Theo and Sprout by Joseph Gergen – Q&A and Giveaway

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If you could go back in time, who would you have dinner with?

At first I was think some deep thinking philosopher like Sarte or Voltaire, but I think that would just be too serious. So I’m thinking Dorothy Parker at the Algonquin. Get a few drinks in her and then let her excoriate everyone else in the room. Then we’d invite the others over later and laugh about how she had made such fun of them.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Maybe a gorgon who I could send to answer the door when unwanted persons rang the doorbell and turn them to stone. Just kidding. That would be terrible. Maybe a winged fairy instead. I imagine it being like a cat that can fly and verbalizing all the witty and sardonic things you know a cat would say.

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

“Theo and Sprout” is somewhat of a magical realism story since the reader is asked to accept the existence of Sprout. What I tend to do is tell the story as straight as possible even when the most fabulous or surreal events are occurring. I think of it like a channeling a deadpan standup comedian. So the writing turns out very not flowery. In fact, while it’s not quite terse, Earnest Hemmingway would be proud of the economical prose.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

Worst advice was about word counts and trying to write a certain number of words every day. While that might work for some people and practice makes perfect I suppose, I was never going to do that. I could have tried but it would have been tortuous and ruined writing for me. Best advice was to read. To read a variety of genres, old and new. Read and let yourself be inspired by the story to want to be able to create the world the author created. Read and admire the craft and the style and the wonderful words.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Many of the normal aspects of story are based on my family life as a child and some events stolen from other families. Those helped shape the main character and who he is, and made it personal for me and hopefully made it personal for those who could relate to those experiences. Then with that personal touch on the main character, we threw him into the more surreal parts of the story and we watch those worlds collide.

While Theo longs for some guidance through the perils of adolescence, the guidance he knew his family wouldn’t give him, he isn’t prepared for Sprout, his inner Divine Feminine, to present herself and offer it to him. In fact, he doesn’t appear to have a choice since Sprout, sassy and confident about her presence, won’t go away.

Enjoy an Excerpt

SPROUT. My brother had no idea the impact the nickname he derisively gave me would have. Neither of us knew how unwittingly appropriate it would become. Was it destiny or self-fulfilling prophecy? I don’t know. Memories and dreams and possibilities like to mix together. As far as my past is concerned and the makeup of who I am and what shaped me, I can make no distinction between memory and reality and dream. I usually don’t try.

While I certainly don’t remember all of my childhood, and many aspects are densely foggy, I remember with clarity the day my life changed. I was preparing for school in the basement bathroom—the small, cramped bathroom that seemed more like a large porta-potty with a shower than an actual bathroom. Wet towels covered the floor and almost all available surfaces. Countless toiletries jumbled themselves wherever space allowed them to balance or stack. Most of these did not belong to me. They belonged to my collection of brothers and sisters. I had a toothbrush. I knew that. Usually, I found toothpaste. If I absolutely needed a less common toiletry, I picked through a baffling array of products, many of which I had no understanding, until I found something useful.

About the Author: Author of “Theo and Sprout”. Born and raised on the plains of North Dakota. Moved to Twin Cities because it’s actually warmer. Enjoy creating in whatever form it takes, including writing, painting, and furniture making. The enjoyment is in the doing. Looking to add a little magic to the world through art.

Other books include “Without a Pang” and “Methane Wars.”

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  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Marcy Meyer says

    The cover looks great. Sounds like a good book.

  3. Teresa Warner says

    New author for me, sounds good!

  4. I enjoyed reading the excerpt.

  5. The book sounds intriguing. Love the cover.

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