Call me Mudcat!
It dates back to a time when I labored in the very bowels of corporate America. I gave everybody I worked with a blues nickname. It’s Leadership 101 — you know, like Maverick, Goose & Iceman in Top Gun or tribal warrior names like Crazy Horse or pirate names like Blackbeard. Anyway, the moniker stuck and eventually led to my pen name: M.T. Bass. When it came time to pick a surname, I chose to align myself ancestrally with that rock-throwing, tree-climbing, hopeless romantic from Mayberry: Ernest T. Bass. I like that it pays homage to my favorite American author and fellow pilot, Mark Twain (he of the river, I of the air), as well as my favorite beer (say it fast: M.T. Bass…Empty Bass — and, yes, I’ll have another).
Besides the fame, the fortune and the women (wink-wink, nudge-nudge), I wanted to be a writer because of the great stories I have read and enjoyed. I wanted to tell tall tales, too, and follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Ken Kesey, Thomas Berger, John Fowles, Carl Hiaasen and so many others (“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp…”). So, I don’t really camp out in any one genre, just like I don’t read only one kind of book. And over the years, I piled up a few manuscripts and more than a few publisher rejection letters, until through the miracle of modern publishing technology, I can see to it myself that my scribblings find their way into print and into eBook screen electrons.
Of course, my most bestest book is always the one I’m working on right now, which makes the second best book the one I just finished. I am currently editing the former, Somethin’ for Nothin’, and should be done by the end of the year. It’s about two college dropouts who go to the the Great White North to get rich working on the Trans Alaska Pipeline, but end up involved in a crazy treasure hunt scheme instead.
My current second best book is Crossroads, A Music Novel, which is available for pre-order as an eBook from all the usual suspects (Amazon, Apple iBooks, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords) with a publication date of March 15. Again, technology came through for me, because I had always envisioned it as a novel with a soundtrack. It’s about a bar band rock-‘n’-roller who gets inadvertently identified as a spy by the government during a foreign policy crisis — think of an unholy fictional union between the Rolling Stones and Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest. Anyway, I always thought that a story about musicians, should have…you know…music. So the plot line is littered with links to YouTube lyric videos for songs that help tell the story. I never could have pulled it off without the invention of eBooks.
Last year, I released In the Black in eBook form and plan to put it into print this year. It’s my attempt at doing for the Sixties what Catch-22 (my all-time favorite book) did for World War II. And, really, is there any time period riper for that kind of zany satire? My very first venture into self-publishing was My Brother’s Keeper, which I did a few years back in eBook form, then published in paperback last year through Ingram Lightning Source. It’s a noir kind of mystery set in the 1950s about a Hollywood stunt pilot who plays amateur sleuth to find out who murdered his brother, a prominent Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. It’s the first in a series and I’ve just started the sequel, Jungleland, about Hawk’s adventures as a mercenary pilot during the Belgian Congo civil war.
I suppose it’s natural that some of my guilty pleasures should find their way into my stories. I’m a guitar player and pilot/flight instructor. So, you can guess the connection with Crossroads. And kind of like Johnny Cash always has a song about trains, there always seems to be an airplane somewhere in my stories. It does make for a pretty cool deus ex machina sometimes.
I reside in Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, but I live in Mudcat Falls, which is my own personal version of Lake Woebegone. You can read and scratch your head (like me) at the local, Onion-like antics at www.mudcatfalls.com.
Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you enjoy my other stories.