Updated: Jan 30, 2022
By Bob Deakin
It’s finally published! Unruly Mix (Tales of Music, Artists, Posers and Misfits) eBook and paperback dropped on Amazon Wednesday and the eBook will hit all other booksellers Saturday. It’s my first and has been a fun process.
I finished writing months ago but it took a long time to do the cover and formatting, and I then changed a lot of the stories to fit a more common theme. I was going to go with a custom cover depicting various clues to the stories in the book but ultimately decided to ask my friend, Walter Von Egidy, if I could use his painting, which is titled Saturday at the Caverns. It took me a while to muster the courage to ask him but finally did and he agreed right away.
The book contains 22 stories of mostly un-related characters, hence, Unruly Mix, and the more I looked at his painting of this odd assortment of characters, the more it made sense. Plus, it is a beautiful image with a lot of detail, color and texture, so it looks impressive. Also, the painting sets a certain mood that I wanted to capture as this series of stories develops in the next two volumes, which is a bunch of odd characters coming together for a common purpose.
My other friend, Maurice Zetina, had previously purchased the painting from Walter and he went out of his way to professionally photograph it, painstakingly lighting a makeshift studio and battling the shadows and reflections that this highly textured enamel painting contains. I am forever indebted to him for all that effort.
The illustrations in the book are all by John Coutinho, whom I’ve known since childhood. He is a master caricature artist with a warped sense of humor. I don’t think he even read the stories before drawing the pictures or generating the digital images. I gave him very brief instructions for each picture and he took it from there, basing most of his inspiration off the story titles. My stories are extremely concise and I think his simple images add an extra level of humor and information.
I never planned to have illustrations for the stories, but it just dawned on me one day to ring John up and ask if he’d be interested. Lucky for me he was, and I hope he will again on the next volume.
I hope you enjoy Unruly Mix. They are stories for people who don’t like to read, and I know a lot of people like that. It is alarming how small the finished book is, considering how much work I put into the stories, but I despise wasting words on unnecessary descriptions or details. I just want to make the reader laugh for a minute or think about the same silly little thing that comes to my mind for no apparent reason.
Thank you for reading the book and visiting my site! I’m so glad we had this time together. Just to have a laugh or sing a song. Seems we just get started, and before you know it, comes the time we have to say so long.