It’s finally here, The Reluctant Journey of Manfred Bugsbee. Years and years of work, stretching the imagination, restretching, reorienting, etc, etc. A few years back, Utah was hit by an earthquake, a strange, seldom occurrence. This happened one week(ish) after my job decided that COVID was becoming scary enough that we all needed to work from home. A tumultuous time, to say the least. Morning of the earthquake, I got a very short email from the wonderful Montag Press, “Is Mindiidus still available?”
After spending a few hours checking my very old, very brick, very (already) crumbly, apartment building for cracks, I spent a few moments in the surreality of the potential of a book contract. Writing can be incredibly lonely. It’s an often thankless, sometimes seemingly pointless endeavor. To imagine that even one person spent time with a project of mine and enjoyed it is a magical feeling.
The Reluctant Journey is a side of my writing that is purely imaginative. It’s me tapping into all the things I loved as a kid—and the holdovers in adulthood. Inspired, in large part, by all the sticks turned swords I found in my grandparents’ yards. Grant Morrison’s, Animal Man and Doom Patrol are in there. Terry Pratchett, Akira Kurosawa, even a little bit of Cormac McCarthy can be found. I’m really proud of this book. Mostly because it was just so fun to write. I had to get over myself a few times while putting it together and remind myself to just play.
This project, like all of my projects, is only possible because of the support of my family and friends. During the pandemic, the earthquake, the excitement of book contracts, I was also saying goodbye to one of my most important creative bastions, my wonderful Aunt Nanci. Much of the magic and play in this book is because of her. She never let me lose sight of the beauty and creativity inherent to the world around me. Every object, hollow or whole, real or imagined, brims with light and adventure if you let it. She taught me that. I miss her everyday. So much of her is in this book.
Word of mouth and reviews go a long way with a project like this. So, grab a copy and tell your friends!