Invention or Alter Ego?
Written by John Hutchinson, VJ Books, Tualatin, OR
I grew up in a home that didn’t read much. Oh my mom read trashy dime store romances and my dad did his best to get through the daily paper, but for the most part you couldn’t call us a literate household. So it comes as no surprise that I didn’t read. I got through school without much difficulty, not reading the required material, and had no concept of reading for pleasure.
That ended when I found myself in the USAF, stationed in Monterey, California. It was there that I found what was to be my first novel, the book that would launch me into a lifetime of reading. Lying in an activity room was an oft read, dog-eared copy of The Godfather by Mario Puzo. I picked it up and I read – yeah, I did know how to read.
I was immediately engaged, enthralled, and fascinated at the story that unfolded, as I followed the Corleone family through their trials and tribulations. As I read I was transported to their New York City home, and sat at the table as Don Vito, Sonny and Michael plotted their war against the five families. Across the table from me, with his back to the wall, sat Mario Puzo, and I knew from that moment that the best authors are more than scribes. It is their heart and soul that evolves in to the characters that jump from the page.
I never had the chance to meet Puzo, but am sure that somewhere in his persona was the very essence of Don Vito Corleone.
One of the profound privileges of our business is that I get to meet and know the authors than pen my favorite stories. It provides a whole new dimension to the work and a broad insight in the characters that grace the pages of their novels. One has to wonder how many authors find the idea for their most notable protagonists in their own alter ego. (more…)