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Beyond The Page & Giveaway: “Marcel Proust in Taos” by Jon Foyt

Sep 2
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Largest multistoried Pueblo structure. Taos, New Mexico, USA

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Please welcome JON FOYT to the blog everyone 🙂

According to his Amazon biography, Jon “is really old and lives in an active adult retirement community. Yet he writes with the vigor and romantic bent of a 20-year old.”

You *know* this means a great story in his contemporary mystery romance novel, MARCEL PROUST IN TAOS.

I have a giveaway for you too, so be sure to complete the rafflecopter at the bottom of Jon’s interview

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Marcel Proust in Taos“, the name alone is intriguing. Tell us how you came up with the title and what inspired the story of a physicist who decides to write a novel but ends up opening a microbrewery.

When my late wife and I lived in New Mexico, we explored both Taos and Los Alamos, and met many of the nuclear physicists at The Lab. We also had a white angora cat. One day before leaving on a trip, we took our cat to a boarding place and, there, met a wise and dignified white angora cat named Marcel Proust. Later, writing the novel, I envisioned Marcel Proust collaborating with Christopher who had retired from The Lab. Of course, in Taos Christopher would meet an artist because Taos is a haven and a stimulus for creative expression.

 

What kind of research did you have to do for MPIT?

I was active in archaeological circles in New Mexico and researched the spirituality of the Native Americans and the Taos Pueblo itself, dating it, as Marlene in the novel calculates, to around 1200 AD, the same time as the construction of the Cologne Cathedral.

How cool 🙂

 

What are your Top 5 scenes in the book and why? 

Scene 1: Christopher in the Plaza of the Taos Pueblo getting doused with water by the Taos Pueblo War Chief, Victor, for intruding on the sacred Indian dance.

 

Scene 2: Marlene in her studio, entertaining Mrs. Powers and shoving an apple strudel, loaded with whipped cream, into her face when Mrs. Powers wants Marlene to compromise her artistic ideals.

EXCERPT: 

Hesitatingly Marlene showed Ms. Powers another canvas. “This is my current work in progress. I’m painting my impressions of the Tu-o-ta Pueblo.”

Mrs. Powers pointed to the reddish-brown branches of the red willow trees lining the small stream. “Yes, this color here…a teeny bit softer, I should think. Put in a sweet little deer or two—you artists know what to do—but none of those rickety ladders. I want my friends to feel at home…you know, comfortable…so they’ll come back and donate more money to the Guild. That’s why I hold these socials, you know, to raise money for a good cause. One must support the community, as well as art and artists, don’t you think?”

Marlene nodded.

“How much do you require to get started?”

Marlene didn’t know how to respond.

“Five hundred, then, is that all right?” Mrs. Powers asked, then inquired, “How will you sign my painting? Can you make Marlene look a little like Remington? I don’t want you to actually forge his signature, of course, but I want my guests to be impressed—I mean, they all know that name. Now, could I have that strudel now?”

Marlene cut a slice of her pastry, covered it with gobs of whipped cream and deliberately shoved the culinary concoction into the face of Mrs. Powers. “Ernest Leonard Blumenschein made me do this, and he hopes you get the message.”

 

Scene 3: Marcel Proust walking across Christopher’s computer keyboard, helping to start to write the novel within a novel.

EXCERPT:

Christopher’s system must have been on sleep because suddenly the screen lit up with each of Marcel Proust’s paw steps, miraculously causing letters to appear in an intriguing sequence. Captivated, Christopher began to add to Marcel Proust’s random hits, and soon the scientist and the cat were re-arranging the characters into sentences, the sentences into paragraphs. Before long, Christopher had begun to compose the prologue of his novel about a perfect marriage. He’d written many complex and detailed scientific reports in his career at The Lab, of course, but creating imaginary beautiful people now challenged the right side of his brain, just as his retirement life in Taos was opening vast new vistas.

 

Scene 4: Marlene buying the chartreuse mini bus from the old Hippy at the old commune of New Buffalo north of Taos.

EXCERPT:

Sensing Christopher’s ongoing support, Marlene debated with herself if now was the right time to let him know about her financial dealings with the bearded old hippie who still lived in the quintessential 1960’s commune called New Buffalo up north of Taos. She wanted to tell Christopher that the Volkswagen bus the hippy had advertised was really “a good buy.” The bearded one had told her he wouldn’t be needing the bus anymore because his daughter, Tuesday’s Child, to whom he had willed his psychedelic treasure, “had run off to join the circus, and he never expected to see her again.” He had wanted only a small down payment, probably, she thought, so he could get high with his friends. Be that as it may, he had let her drive off with the bus, advising her not to concern herself with being in a hurry to get a New Mexico driver’s license, or insurance, for that matter. She could mail the rest of the money to him “mañana, or whenever.”

Marlene wanted to describe to Christopher her feelings about the bus: how the vibrant colors excited her imagination, how the chartreuse background caught her fancy, how she envisioned flower children driving the bus back east years ago to that world-famous rock music event known as Woodstock and how she relished America’s youth grooving on their own celebrations for peace and love. She could say, “After all, if Susan can buy a convertible, why can’t I buy a bus.”

 

Scene 5: Marlene and Christopher’s back and forth dialogue as the two characters fall in love.

 

Any upcoming book signings where your fans can meet you?

Yes, I will be doing a book signing on October 21st in Walnut Creek, CA to launch my next novel, Time to Retire, set in an active adult retirement community. And several signings in New Mexico for Marcel Proust in Taos.

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Largest multistoried Pueblo structure. Taos, New Mexico, USABlurb:

A Los Alamos physicist, Christopher, retires to Taos, New Mexico to write a novel about nuclear terrorism.

There he meets aspiring artist Marlene, and the two fall in love.

Together they open a microbrewery and find themselves confronting terrorism of a new sort—in unmapped emotional territory.

BUY Links:

Amazon | B&N paperback | B&N NookKobo |

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Jon FoytABOUT THE AUTHOR:

(From his website) Striving for new heights on the literary landscape, following careers in radio, commercial banking, and real estate, Jon Foyt began writing novels with his late wife, Lois.

He holds a degree in journalism and an MBA from Stanford and a second masters in historic preservation from the University of Georgia.

A marathon runner (60 completed) and prostate cancer survivor, Jon, 81, is active in an adult retirement community near San Francisco.

CONTACT THE AUTOR:

Website | Email  jonfoyt@mac.com |

 

Giveaway

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 Comments

  • Lori Meehan says:

    I don’t really know but if some of the character came from a cat the possibility is wide open.

  • conniefischer says:

    Taos is such an interesting place. We have some really good friends who live there. He’s an artist and an attorney. Your novel sounds very interesting. Thanks for being here today and sharing your giveaway.

  • Janine says:

    Adventures are unlimited there. No telling what they will do. I know I would love to visit again.

  • janinecatmom says:

    Thank you so much! I look forward to reading this book and having the memories of my New Mexico trip come back. I loved it there.

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