Saturday, May 2, 2015

Author Interview: Bob Miller author of Marks

Bob Miller, author of Marks, stopped by for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Outside of the bio information, I am a person of broad interests who is equally comfortable repairing an automobile as I am engaging in philosophic discussion. In my younger years I was able as a member of the U.S. Air Force to travel to Europe and spend over a year in Turkey. The vivid impressions that I received from that time still remain with me, sort of a "life closest to the bone is the sweetest" sort of thing.

What do you do when you're not writing?

Bike, play guitar, repair the inevitable mechanical breakdowns and enjoy life with my wife.

When did you first start writing?

I was around 8, I became enamored of the original "Hardy Boys" series, read every book I could find and then tried to emulate the books by writing scenarios where I replaced the names with those of friends. Thankfully I have moved beyond plagiarism.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

Without question it was "Mysterious Island" by Jules Verne. At the age of 10, it was my bridge into the comprehensive descriptive style of writing that has become my preference as a reader, and one that I seek albeit with only limited success as a writer.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

Professional wrestling occupied such a considerable part of my psychic space in my boyhood that I always had an idea that I would one day craft a text with it as the center. It's my homage to the unique era of the 1960's, rampant with juxtapositions, of which "rasslin" was a perfect example of. I wanted to weave these broader themes into a specific human story, and I am happy with the result.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The opening chapter of the "story within the story" as I introduce the main character Clint Long to the audience via a series of flashbacks to his earlier years in the world of wrestling, was very satisfying to write. Paradoxically, that section took far longer to construct and then revise than any other, but I thought that setting the table for the later events was critical.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Embrace your contradictions as a human being - and believe me, we ALL have them - and then imbue your fictional characters with equivalent paradoxes.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

I wanted to bring a unique niche of human experience, one that for all intents no longer exists, to life for readers. I hope I have accomplished this goal.

About the book:

Professional Wrestling, Race Relations, and the 1960's Counter-Culture Collide

Thom Kincannon has reached the final day of closing out the contents of his late father's house. But an unexpected find of a trunk in the attic brings a previously unknown manuscript to light. Despite working against a deadline, Thom is drawn into the world created by the author of the writing - a world of physical and psychological conflict.

The year is 1969; the backdrop is the dramatic societal changes of the decade; and the stage is the professional wrestling arenas where men and women put on exhibitions of strength, athletic prowess, and acts of violence. Marks is the tale of the journeys of Clinton Long, Ivy League graduate and rebel who grapples by day with questions of philosophy and ethics, and by night with men in tights under stage lights. Burned out at the age of 30, he seeks one last hurrah, one last huge payday before he escapes the theatrical world of pretend violence forever. But an adversary has crossed the line into real violence while a deadly secret he keeps may have been discovered, and with it his life and those of others may be on the line unless he can find a way to escape while on the biggest stage of his career.

Marks bridges major cultural phenomena of the 1960's - sex, drugs, racial unrest - with the arcane world behind the scenes of professional wrestling; a dimension kept hidden with a fanatic determination by its practitioners to maintain the veneer of realism. Through the eyes of the narrator in this "story-within-a-story", readers take a journey behind the curtains and view the often rowdy, raucous and passionate lives of the men and women who entertained generations of true believers.

Marks is suggested for readers 18+, due to strong language and depiction of sexuality

About the author:

Bob Miller is Arkansan-born, but has spent most of his adult life as a proud resident of Texas. His professional life was shared between medical science and education, and in this phase of his journey he spends his time practicing the art of writing in all its myriad forms. He achieved a Master's degree in Humanities, with an emphasis in Cultural Anthropology, and taught academic writing at a university for five years. He has written several short stories and academic papers in addition to over 220 songs. MARKS is his first published novel. Bob lives in North Texas with his wife Karyl and is the proud parent of a daughter Katelyn, and son Sean.


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