This is not going to be a pitch- although I hope many of you will buy a copy, it’s a great stocking stuffer-it’s more an essay about the fun of writing. Particularly a piece of fiction. if it’s humorous fiction so much the better. Humor seems to be the first thing lost when times are as bad as they are now. Where is Robert Benchley? Dorothy Parker? James Thurber? Walt Kelly? We just lost Kurt Vonnegut who once said, “You can only be funny if you have matters of great importance on your mind.”
Kurt was called “the best least-read novelist in America.” I love that. I think, however, if Kurt was a ten on the ‘best least read novelist in America” I’m a ten plus. My novels haven’t been read at all.
Writing SCAM? I’ll use a writer’s term, it was written in the zone. Most writers will tell you that books written in the zone are always the best. Dean Koontz speaks of The Watchers-hope you read it-I think it’s the best piece of fiction I ever read. I’ve read it at least a dozen time. To enjoy. To learn. To be humbled.
I’ll do more with the ‘zone’ thing after I make this observation: a writer MUST also be a reader. As voracious a reader as he or she is a writer. I have to write like roosters have to crow. I blame it on my irish roots. I’m filled with words. Good thing there’s pen and paper otherwise the entire world would be deaf in both ears. Imagine me on a soap box.
The SCAM was the first novel I ever wrote. In 1979. I started one in the 2nd grade but outgrew it.
Circumstance, unpleasant circumstance, by the way, got me started, it was write a book or go nuts, so I made up some characters, knew where they were to come in, where they were to go out, and then put a zillion of them in a setting I knew well. “Write about what you know about.” Remember? After that I just moved in with pencil and paper and took dictation. I wrote in a ‘classic’ fashion for the time. Long yellow legal, a pencil, then my husband’s ancient portable typewriter-I think I married him because he loved books and had a portable typewriter- and wrote a chapter a week until it was finished.
Actually, writing a piece of fiction is a bit like taking a trip, San Francisco to New York by car. You know the route, you get on the road, and anything can happen. Detours. Blow outs. Rain, sleet, and snow and goodness knows what wrong turns, but you do get there.
One of the characters in the book, Gypsy Jake, came out of nowhere and turned out to be the most important character in the book, I discovered as I journeyed on. Tolkien spoke of The Strider in the Hobbit-if you remember him- the same way and this is the most fun that happens to a writer of fiction.
You can find The Scam on Amazon. The easiest way, I think, is to look in the Amazon search for The Scam by Bettejo Dux. Or you can check out Humorous Fiction Kauai and me and my wonderful book will pop right up. You can also find it under Kauai Fiction. It’s a madcap romp through North Shore Kauai in the 60’s. “Lots of laughs and larcenous, licentious, and litigious characters. A delight for the mind and tickle for the funny bone. Entertaining and improbably possible.” So says a delighted reader.