Thursday, July 16, 2015

Interview with sci-fi author Tegon Maus

Today’s special interviewee is Tegon Maus. He’s here to chat about his new soft sci-fi novel, Bob.

During his virtual book tour, Tegon will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly-drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!


Welcome, Tegon. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else... devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn't friendly, I just wasn't "people orientated". Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.

The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can't remember what it was about... something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.

It wasn't a deliberate conscious thought it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. "Be as detailed as you can," we were told.

I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it's making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn't be sure if it were true or not. When I write, I always write with the effort of "it could happen" very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

Please tell us about your current release, Bob.
Veteran newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away. When he's sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the Arizona night sky, he discovers far more than he ever expected. His investigation leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain, the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by Bob, his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.”

What inspired you to write this book?
The lights in the night sky over Arizona. When the governor came out at the news conference with the guy in a costume it pissed me off.


Excerpt from Bob:
I blinked in disbelief, too stunned to speak.
Standing in front of me, dressed in black jeans, a dark blue tee shirt with a picture of Bob Marley and a backward baseball cap was a small, no more than 5' 2", twenty something, black man.
"Hi. I'm Pete," I said, offering my hand.
"Ahh, is sad story. Bob's cousin not speak English," Bob said pushing my hand away.
"Awhhh," the little man breathed hoarsely, turning away, his arms swung loosely in response.
"Bob, he just said dude to me when he came in," I said, pointing an insistent finger at the little man.
"He tries, broken English not so good. Is Fred," he answered, spinning his hand playfully in the air, pointing, draping a large, affectionate arm over the man's shoulder.
"Fred... your Russian cousin?"
"Da," he answered simply without blinking.
"Bob... he just spoke to me and it wasn't Russian," I protested.
"Ahh, Bob's friend generous, not make Bob's cousin self-conscious. You good man, but Fred speaks no English," he argued, folding his arms.
"Ahhh, damn it, Bob. You promised me... you said I could talk this time. Shit man," Fred cursed in a raspy whisper, stomping his foot, turning away.
"Nyet, nyet," Bob scolded, grabbing Fred. He began to speak Russian, shaking his finger in the other man's face.
Fred's shoulders slumped. His head swung loosely from side to side, avoiding Bob's gaze.
"Da," he said dully, turning in my direction once more.
"His English not so good," Bob added, wiggling his hands dismissively.
"Sounded damn good to me," I said honestly.
"Bob understands. Bob's friend speak Spanish?" he asked with a little annoyance in his voice, threading his fingers through his hair in frustration.
"Nope. Can't say as I do," I answered, folding my arms.
"How you say... no speak Spanish?" he asked, folding his arms as well.
"No habla Hispano."
"AAAHHH, to Bob, Bob's friend sound like native. Bob thought he smelled burritos, heard waves on beach. Very impressed. Bob's friend has gift for language. Sure not speak Spanish?"
"Fred," I said flatly, stepping directly in front of the little man. "Do you speak English?"
"Da. Fred speak no English," he responded dully, tilting his head from side to side, his arms hung slack, swinging loosely as he spoke.
"Very sad, like Bob say. Fred's parents live too close to nuclear plant. Sure, sure, rent very cheap but Fred... no brain for English," Bob said, closing his eyes, shaking his head in a pretentious, melancholy way.
"Bob," I started.
"Very late. No time for Fred's story. Bob's friend want to see house tonight or no?" he asked, pushing himself to stand between me and Fred.
"Alright, have it your way. Let's go," I demanded now irritated, angrily grabbing my coat off the back of the chair.
"Nyet, nyet. Bob's friend almost forget," he said, turning his back quickly, wriggling his fingers.
"Dear God. Money? Now?" I said, throwing my coat across the back of the chair again.
"Business before pleasure... makes good fences."
"The saying is, 'good fences make good neighbors' not..."
"Bob's friend knows what Bob say. Not want money to be sticky bug between us."
"Yeah, yeah, I get it. How much this time?" I asked aggravated, removing my wallet.
"Bob not know about such things. Must speak with cousin," he said, wrapping a huge arm around the tiny man, pulling him to the other side of the room.
"Bob, you gave me your word," Fred whispered forcefully, sending a pointed finger into Bob's chest.
"Fred say, must think about it. Fred likes Bob's friend Peter, wants give good price," he said, smiling in my direction and then began to speak rapidly in Russian.
"Damn it, Bob. You promised me," Fred whispered disappointedly.
"Fred say, four hundred dollars," Bob said, holding up four fingers of his right hand, all the while maintaining his grip on Fred's shoulder.
"Three hundred," I countered, folding my arms, returning my wallet to my hip pocket.
"Oooh, Bob's friend breaks Bob's feelings. Bob's friend would steal bread from Fred very mouth?"
"It's not in Fred's mouth just yet... three hundred," I insisted.


What exciting story are you working on next?
Service before Self.
Toby Grant has landed his dream job as a service tech for Handy Dandy Services. Things don’t go well from day one, when he's teamed up with Ryan Burnell, a twenty year veteran of the company. Toby quickly learns the hardships of being Ryan’s partner, and finds himself in one uncomfortable situation after another. Toby learns the true meaning of the company’s motto—“Service Before Self.”

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my first book The Littlefield Chronicles was published. I panicked because I didn’t have another to follow it up.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m an REO contractor… I write nights and weekends. Actually I write in my head during the day and then put it down on paper at night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Writing quirk?? I can’t imagine such a thing… I do like to have a box of Fig Newtons on hand for inspiration… does that count ??

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I’ve always wanted to build robots, androids… as time went by I switched to building parts for amputees.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Please feel free to send me a note about any of my books! You can reach me at Tegon.maus@Verizon.net.

Links:

Thanks, Tegon! 

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5 comments:

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita said...

Sounds like a great read.

Victoria Alexander said...

I really enjoyed reading the interview, Thanks for sharing

Betty Woodrum said...

Great interview~I think I live in my head quite a bit, too! Your next book sounds like a great one, too! Thank you so much for sharing.

Glenda Hefty said...

Loved the interview and the book sounds interesting too.