Friday, November 21, 2008

GUEST AUTHOR: Bobby Ozuna

I first met Bobby while I was blog-jumping over at Melanie Anderson's little slice of internet and saw that she had another guest for one of her wacky interviews. Intrigued, I searched for his book, Proud Souls, and was even more intrigued by the blurb and the great reviews. So when Bobby contacted me and asked if I had some space on my blog for another guest, I jumped at the chance to have him visit so that I could hear more about his book -- and 'cause he's such a cutie!

Please welcome Bobby Ozuna:

In the summer of 2003 I visited a small west Texas town called Seymour. And just north of the town whose population was just over 2,900 people, sat the beautiful still waters of Lake Kemp. I had my family with me-—my wife Michele, my daughter Elizabeth and my son Dominic who was just a baby at the time. And there to greet me was my special friend and his family, Ralph Ponce of Abernathy, TX. By 2003 I had seen my friend every year since we departed our lives as US Marines at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. We would share a cabin between our two families and “rough it” for an extended weekend, without running water, cell phone usage and the plagues of city life, we spent a wonderful time together talking beneath the stars of the west Texas sky. At night I sat on their porch swing overlooking Lake Kemp and listened until the calmness of the night's sky was all I could hear. It was truly magical. It was a time with my friend and his family I will never forget. I came home that weekend and after my wife and children fell to sleep, I wrote fourteen pages of descriptive material for nothing more than fulfilling my necessity to write. Below is a sample from my journal, written in 2003.

Journal Entry, 2003:
“The sun was winding down behind him and shadows danced before him on the ground—shadows of the blackbirds that gathered on the roof of his cabin. They gathered every evening in small bands, feasting on left-over bread he tossed upon the roof. He sat still in that porch swing, as if he was nailed to the wood on his back and thighs. He watched the shadow of his porch extend further and further away until it finally reached the water's edge.”

Within a year of that moment I was divorced from my wife and acclimating to lonely nights in a bed without her or my children to kiss goodnight. The rage that comes natural with being Bobby Ozuna was amplified and the hate I tried to put to sleep every night since leaving the US Marines became personified in my attitude and my perception of life. In essence, a part of me had died and in exchange, I allowed a darker more vindictive side of my persona to take hold. In October 2003, I began adding more detail to my journal.

10.13.2003
“There were only a handful of things left in the world that he cared for anymore, and none of which was himself. He just as soon let God strike him dead where he stood; but God doesn't work that way and that was something he had to learn...The only evidence to prove he was alive came from the steady breeze that slapped his face at intervals as the porch swing rocked back and forth. He sat in the same position overlooking the same settings as he had for the past six years.”

I put the journal away for two more years before attempting (or even considering) to write a novel. Before this time I only produced short-stories, completely fictional, with traces and hints of my own personal life. Like my hero Justin, my journal sat in a corner of my life like his Holy Bible sat in the corner of his cabin off Lake Kemp. It would stay dusty and untouched until May 16th of 2005 where I began extending the storyline and working on what would become my debut literary novel. The story of Justin Bower is not a story of my own life. It is the story of many lives. By October 29th of 2005 I would change the title from The Cabin to Proud Souls.

Those years of my life tested my faith in a higher power and my trust in relationships. No matter how much I smiled or who I was able to charm with my wit and romanticism, still inside I wrestled with the notion of a life full of hope. At the recommendation of a very good friend named Ladd Holder, I scrounged enough courage to start working on telling the story of Justin Olerude Bower. On May 16th, I wrote the following lines:

5.16.2005
“Most people were obliged to stay away from the hobbling, broken-spirit who trotted through the bar like a pirate, slant-eyed and bitter, carrying not a parrot on his shoulder but the burdens of a past life and the hatred of those patrons who clung desperately to hope.”

This theme written in the late Spring of 2005 became the driving force behind my novel, Proud Souls. And as much as I would like to say I had a plan for how the story would turn out, I did not. Using mythological archetypes I created a supporting cast in the life of Justin Bower. To challenge his cause to die I created the character Tessa Jameson, who in her fear of being alone and unloved became the epitome of the lonely damsel in distress. With her sexual aggression she would help me find my place as an independent author and publisher by scaring away my first print press. In early 2007 the manger of the print shop clapped his hands to me and said, “We wash our hands of you and this book.” But in a relentless pursuit to see my book in print, Ozuna Publications was created and my book hit an online storefront and gained immediate recognition.

I took the feelings of being without my children and gave them to Justin. Instead of three children like myself he had only one. A son he lost along side his wife in an accident outside the town of Seymour, Texas. I allowed myself to trust a scattered few for advice and guidance and in the essence of their spirit, the Reverend Hillard Ray Polk was created. He would represent the spiritual guidance Justin would need to make his decision to end his life or move forward with what life he had yet to live. And like any chapter of our lives, there stood for Justin the living symbol of guilt and regret. It came in the form of a lonely grocery store manger named Ralph Winslow Parison. These characters and the stories of their lives within their metaphorical prisons would become the binding force in my novel Proud Souls.

I put a lot of myself into this story. For many who have read it, it seemed to “hit home” and it jostled the nerves of many past scars for many readers. I have been asked about the details within the pain of this story and whether I lost a family member or contemplated suicide or even dammed God Almighty for my adversities. All I can say today is this: All fiction stems from some form of truth within the author...and...with my characters I thereby confess my sins.

I have never read my own book, cover to cover. I lived many of the emotions in simply writing the tale of the broken soul within Justin Bower, the sexual prowess of Tessa Jameson, the spiritual confusion of Reverend Polk and the agonizing guilt of Ralph Parison. I know the story inside and out because each of them became real within my imagination and my daily routine of life. It has been two years since finishing the book and walking away from that chapter of my life. And although I know I have grown far from the man I was when I created this story, it's ironic how much has stayed the same. It took some time to find the perfect opening quote to establish the theme for this story but I found it. Below is a sample from the completed published version of Proud Souls, opening with a quote from W. Somerset Maugham.

***


“How the gods must have chuckled when they added Hope to the evil's with which they filled Pandora's box, for they knew very well that this was the cruelest evil of them all, since it is Hope that lures mankind to endure its misery to the end.”

Six years had passed since their accident and with each day spent without his wife and son Justin deteriorated, shrinking into a dismal world, a prison he created within his mind. And now there were only a handful of things left in the world that Justin Olerude Bower truly cared for anymore, and not one of those particulars included his own soul. He had become a bitter man who would just as soon let God strike him dead where he stood. The sun was setting behind him and he stared out towards the lake in front of him.

The only evidence to prove he was alive came from the steady squeaking of the rusted chain that held his porch swing firmly in place and the intermittent breeze that slapped his face as the weight of his body carried him back and forth in a slow and steady rocking motion. He sat in the same position overlooking the same settings as he had every evening for the past four years of his life. And like the June beetle that fluttered aimlessly, slamming itself carelessly from wood to concrete and then finally resting into the fowl remains of leftover food in the dirt, he too was lost in a drunken stupor somewhere between the memories of his past life and the realities of a certain death.

***

I cannot say anything more about the story without giving it away. I will say this much. In the story the reader will face many human emotions, some that will anger them and others that will arouse them. In a nutshell, Proud Souls is a roller-coaster of emotions and feelings, with insights into the human struggle to survive. I can't say it is dark and I wouldn't call it a story of light. I will say this...it is merely a story common to all of us, the author and its audience. And looking back some five years after the opening lines were written...here at home with my wife Michele and my children...well...there is always hope, isn't there?

Sincerely,
~Bobby Ozuna

65 comments:

J.K. Coi said...

Bobby O! Welcome!

Some questions: :) (You didn't think you were getting outta here scot free did you?)

You mention you used to be a US Marine. What did you do after you left the Marines? Are you still working a day job now?

Also, it sounds like there was a lot of emotion driving this book, Proud Souls. Did you find it cathartic. Did writing the book help you to work things out with your wife?

Finally (for now) What is coming next for you? Do you have another book in the works?

Maggie Robinson said...

I'm glad you had your own happy ending. Your writing is very powerful!

Adelle said...

I always say, if you can evoke emotion, any emotion from a reader, it's a job well done. Kudo's to you. I will definitely look up your book. If this post pulled me in so quickly, I can't imagine how intense your book is. Congratulations!
I wish you Mile of Smiles :)

Bobby Ozuna said...

Haha...I was hoping to be bombarded with questions!!! I can't understand (and I truly hate) when I put so much time and effort into sharing the secrets of my soul...and no one (on any particular blog) will post questions or comments.... Now that I got that out of my system... here we go!!!

I do work a day job. I have been working within the Information Technology field for nine years now, doing freelance website creation, graphical design work, server administration, etc...and I work part-time only. I make money when and where I can...at the schedule I choose. This is nice because it allows so much free time to blog, write, promote and also, spend as much time with my kiddos as necessary.

Writing Proud Souls did NOT help me work out anything in my life or my wife. If anything, it helped me see the horrors in falling victim to the notion that "everything will be okay" just because people tell you that. Nothing will be okay, unless you work at it. I hate to say that...but it's true. Justin's story was hard to write and hard to carry within my mind. It's the reason I haven't read the book (and I don't plan to...) from cover to cover..

I will answer the "coming soon" question in one moment please....

Bobby Ozuna said...

Thank you Maggie...I write from my heart and I pour every bit of my soul in every sentence I create. I believe as an artist, I owe it to myself first and foremost and secondly anyone who shares in my work to do nothing less than my best. Artists of every kind are the color of the soul of humanity. We are free thinkers and we each bring a different perspective to the table of Life. Sometimes my work is controversial, as was the case with my character Tessa Jameson. My first print press denied printing my books after the owner--a devout Christian--read (apparently) the third chapter where she is introduced. I suppose in the spiritual world, no one masturbates and therefore, "no one should read about it" either. But I wouldn't change her because her antics and her heart were crucial to the growth and journey of my hero, Justin Olerude Bower.

Thanks for the support!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Adelle:
(I love the name by the way) Thank you for the kudos. Like I told Maggie a moment ago, I pour every ounce of my soul on paper when I draw a story. To become an author people can truly identify with, it means taking literary risks and holding nothing back. I suppose that's why it's so easy for me. To become emotionally naked on canvas is hard for many...but easy for Bobby Ozuna. Please, should you read Proud Souls, I hope you share your thoughts and criticisms with the literary world and post those feelings on Amazon.com.

Thank you and it is a pleasure to meet you!!

Adelle said...

The pleasure is mine, Bobby. I look forward to reading Proud Souls. I love a book that can make me feel something, and maybe even challenge my thinking on some level.I'll be sure to post my thoughts. I will probably read once I'm finished the MS I'm working on. I reward myself with reading time once I've completed a task.
What types of books do you read?
Adelle 'Legs' Laudan

MAP said...

For those of you who haven't read Proud Souls I highly recommend that you read it. This is a great book I myself have read the book twice. Bobby's ways of writing makes the reader feel like there part of the storey. Anyone that reads Proud Souls will experience the heart and soul he put in this book. (And no he didn't pay me to say this) lol.... Also, I agree with J.K Coi he is a CUTIE.

J.K. Coi said...

*snort*
No one in the spiritual world masturbates? They don't want to admit to it is all...

Bobby Ozuna said...

Thanks MAP... You have always been such a huge supporter...what city/state are you in again???

I think I told you this before, but you have read my book more than I have!!! Kudos to you!!!

J.K. Coi said...

I usually don't get all preachy here (I save that for weekends and holidays), but I agree with you when you say "nothing will be okay unless you work at it". It's very true for lots of things. So many people have gotten it into their head these days that life should be easy. Life should just play out exactly the way you want it to, and you can stand back and watch it happen, then reap the rewards. But life ISN'T easy. It isn't supposed to be. What is it worth if we don't have to work for the important things in our life? If I want my relationship with my husband to be strong and lasting, then I have to respect him, and show him every day that I appreciate him and love him. We do the same thing with our kids. We assume that they'll get all of the education that they need from their teachers, but it's really not their job to make sure our children are learning. That may sound like a weird thing to say, but I think it's true. The teachers' job is to present information to our children, to give them opportunities for learning. It is our job as parents to assist our children to be open to those opportunities and help them when they struggle.

J.K. Coi said...

And oh yeah, MAP. Definitely a cutie!! ;)

Hey Bobby, you still blushing? he he

MAP said...

I'm from San Antonio, TX. And, I so agree with what J.K Coi just wrote on what us as parents should teach our children. I try to do this at home with my two daughter and with the kids I work with.

Onism said...

Being that I know Bobby O. from his younger years. It doesn't come as a surprise that he would be such a great author. I know it must have been hard for you to write Proud Souls, but the emotion that you put behind your words invoke such inner strength. I'm very proud of you and gives me nothing but honor to know you.

J.K. Coi said...

Onism, thanks for dropping by the blog. That's a really sweet thing to say. But come on...if you know Bobby from his younger days, we want dirt! LOL :)

Bobby Ozuna said...

Adelle:
I read mostly fiction...although there was a period in my life where I read lots of True Crime (Non-Fiction). My favorite author is Paul Coelho, author of The Alchemist. It's the only book I have read multiple times (multiple being 10+). I like Cormac McCarthy's descriptive methodical style, John Irving's daring side and Michael Chabon's comedic and sarcastic style.

Bobby Ozuna said...

Onism:
That was very thoughtful of you. Like I said before, I had no idea my life would take this direction. With the stunts I have pulled in my life and the #@!% I have gotten away with, I should been either a lawyer, a politician, a rock star or a writer. I have always had a wild imagination and when you couple that with the series of events I have experienced in my life, those good ones and those very bad ones, well, they helped me identify with the human struggle from a complete aspect and therefore, it helps my writing take on the "so true" emotion I get from so many people.

The common compliments I get to my writing are this...people say...
(1) I could see Proud Souls as a movie... are you listening Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford??? and (2) they feel as though I pried into a private part of their life and wrote about it....
It's not that I borrowed someone else's struggles...its that I am not afraid to struggle myself...

Bobby Ozuna said...

(Clearing my throat)
If you want dirt...there is no need to dig up skeletons out of my storage facility (Uh, I mean closet)... all the people have to do is ask. I told a friend of mine recently that I want people to take my writing seriously...and take me serious as an artist...but NOT forget I am just that--an artist. I want to be the Axl Freaking Rose of the literary world... so if you want dirt...leave the shovel at home and bring a pen and paper...and a gallon of whiskey, Canadian style....

Wait til the second book comes out...and you will learn about a far darker side of Bobby Ozuna...the side that knows how to find the holes in the desert....

J.K. Coi said...

That's cool, Bobby. I'm impressed that you're not afraid to show people that you're a real person with a life that has the full range of emotions and experiences. Your work is a reflection of yourself (to an extent, of course), which is the way it should be. In fact, I think that's true for all writers. And if it isn't, then why am I reading it?

Even my own writing, with all of its paranormal elements--still deals with the issues we face everyday. The highs and lows of real people--just like me. And how could I write about it if I didn't know exactly how it felt? :)

Bobby Ozuna said...

True...true...and true...
"All fiction stems from some form of truth within the author..." You heard it here first. If you want to be an author, then you have to take some chances. No one wants to read about the lady who goes to the grocery store to buy eggs....Now, put some high heels on that lady, make her 80 years old and tell how her thong fell to her ankles when she was reaching deep for a carton of eggs in the freezer aisle, then (ta-da!!!) everyone is hooked! Why? Because it's funny and we aren't sure whether it happened or not. That's the beauty of fiction.

My advice for would be novelists is this: Get away from the window and slip out of the bubble!!! You can't tell an effective story from the security of your front porch! Dare to be different...dare to dream...and dare to tell the truth...just remember the disclaimer: "This is a work of fiction. Any relation to real persons, places or things, is completely coincidental. "

Keep the comments coming people!!!

jessykamp said...

Okay, I am Grabbing a gallon of Crown and heading to DFW right now...lol! I told you Bobby, you are a freakin rock star! You so crazy!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Rock Star huh??? Hmm...my greatest claim to fame is this:

I was at North Side High School last week, speaking to a group of students who are on the cusp of greatness, telling them to follow their dreams and NEVER let anyone or anything bring them down for being "different" and I stopped by a local taqueria to get some grub...and someone asked me to sign a napkin. She said I was going to be famous one day and before I get on Oprah, she wanted a "raw" signature/autograph to say I knew him when....he was getting tacos in the North Side??? Haha....

jessykamp said...

well I have one of those raw autographs too, so when you are more famous and on Oprah, I will watch that day with my book in hand, saying I kinda know that guy...haha

Jeff Sneed said...

Wow, these comments need some testosterone. First let me start by saying even the non spiritual among us masturbate. And if I were spiritual I would thank a higher power for opposable thumbs.

Having said that Bobby is one of my closet friends and has been for many years. When he first started writing I had the added privilege of being in on it in a "Backstage Pass" sense.

Not being a writer myself I get a funny feeling (uncomfortable) when it is possible for others not in my immediate circle of family or friends to see / know what I am feeling. Not Bobby I respect the way he can just tell people how he is feeling not only in his personal life but on paper. He has a talent and it is nice to see him receive the accolades he deserves.

That being said and in the interest of infusing some testosterone into the mix I want it known that I can and have drunken Bobby under the table on many occasions and that real men Drink bourbon not that Canadian swill :)

ND Hansen-Hill said...

Sounds like quite an intense read, Bobby. Very emotional and complex. It's amazing how much writing can help us view certain aspects of our lives in a different perspective.

Thanks, J.K., for the invitation and introduction to Bobby's work.

Best wishes,
Norah/ND/Melody

J.K. Coi said...

Oooh, Jeff. Them's fightin' words you know :)

And in the interest of increasing testosterone levels, I hereby ban the name of Oprah from the blog. There. Happy?

J.K. Coi said...

Hi Norah. Thanks for dropping in! Everybody try Norah's awesome horror novels!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Now J.K:
I only said Oprah because I told my daughter Elizabeth that if I ever made it on Oprah's show (which I swear I wouldn't jump on her sofa)... that I would slap her on the butt and say, "Sophia, Sophia Sophia...that sure is a lovely name..."

I feel as though any interview--written or oral--can help give Proud Souls the credit it deserves. I believe in my heart that it's a good book--NOT great--but good. But I am the book's biggest critic as I am my own worst enemy. Is it worth buying? Yes... Is it worth reading? Yes...

But in the grand ole scheme of things, I am hard on my work...and hard on myself for producing it... I just say Oprah because that would be a chance to allow more readers to see and feel and taste the story of Bobby Ozuna and my journey to create Proud Souls. Hell, for all I know...THIS could be that breakout interview! You rock J.K!!! Be sure to send this to as many of your friends as you can...let's see how much "dirt" we can dig up and insightful information behind my novel...and keep this post running...I've got the time...if you've got the beer...

Bobby Ozuna said...

Jeff:
Thanks for jumping in and sharing some thoughts...I have to say...whenever you start talking (writing)... my butt muscles tighten and I get scared...there's no telling what you might say! And for the record...it's all lies!!!

Back to Proud Souls...

It was one of the most instense stories I've ever written. One of the first times I ever shared the story, it was read by someone who was very "in tune" with their emotional side. When I later saw this person...they were in tears and I worried that I had truly offended them...and in the end, this person said: "The story broke my heart...I love it!"

J.K. Coi said...

*sigh* Just teasing about Oprah you know. The woman sure does have power, and I'm all about women with power.

So, where did the title come from for Proud Souls?

And you were all nice and cryptic about your second book but I think we'd like to hear more? Will it continue the story of Justin from Proud Souls, or is it about other characters entirely?

Bobby Ozuna said...

ND:
It is a very emotional story, that's for sure...and this story truly helped me view my life "outside the box." I can this much, looking back some many months after its beginning...that I did learn alot about myself--as a person and a writer--during the course of this story's creation. It is a moment I will never forget, honestly.

Thanks for the kudos and thank-you for welcoming me to the site!

Bobby Ozuna said...

JK:
No disrespect to that "other" story about a cabin that happens to be a top-selling, million copy best-seller called The Shack, but I didn't think the original title--The Cabin--was suitable. Originally, that was my title. After I wrote those original 14 pages, The Cabin is what I was sure I was running with...then after the story developed and I learned more and more about Justin and each supporting character, I had to search for a name that encompassed the "extra" cast members.

Being the story is a metaphor on the emotional prisons we create within our lives to protect us and shield us from the horrors and setbacks of everyday living, I felt Proud Souls was more suitable. I felt the reference to the spiritual (and Good) aspect of life (Souls) and the reference to one of the seven deadly sins (Pride/Proud), I felt it was a perfect contradiction and fitting with my style of story writing.

There is dialogue in the story that references the fictional bar I created--The Hawk's Nest--a "...happy place full of happy drunks [and] it became a sanctuary for the lost proud souls of this chapter of the world. I described a sign that sat atop the bar, with a flamboyant male hawk eyeballing two female birds. The two female birds are facing back to back, one smiling and one seemingly upset. I went on to say the sign (and those female birds) represented the duality of sexual desire in men and their emotional battle "between choosing the wife with whom [they] fell in love and the girlfriend who reminds him how great he is."

The theme of Life and Death, Good and Evil, struggle and release is a favorite theme and I believe the essence in the balance of life's struggle.

Marie-Claude Bourque said...

I have to say I am quite intringued by your book. Deep and dark and maybe a little raw perhaps.
I'll have to check it out...

I love cake said...

Wow, I must not have asked the right questions on my interview. ;) What am I doing wrong? *grin*

This blog post gave me a lot to think about that's for sure. Thanks Bobby for letting us into your world.

Oh and thanks J.K. for the plug. :o) I'm always jumping over to your blog too!

Melly

Bobby Ozuna said...

Marie:
One of the first compliments anyone ever gave me with relation to my writing within Proud Souls--and one that has stuck with me ever since I heard it--was the day my special friend said my writing was very raw. She said it proved I had an old soul.... Thank you for the support!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Melly:
What are you talking about? We got some good responses and feedback on your blog post!

I just had this very conversation today with a very close friend and I said: I should have spent more time being Bobby Ozuna from the VERY BEGINNING....and then perhaps I would have had this same feedback from my fans and supporters. I think I was too scared in the beginning to be open and sincere with relation to interviews and such, because I (actually) worried that if people discovered who I am...and how I am...then they wouldn't give my writing a chance...

BUT I am glad JK opened the interview the way she did... I just felt like being me...without worry about what others had to say about my attitude, my approach or anything...just being Bobby... the loud, over-bearing, over-confident, obnoxious, witty, funny, smart-a$$, sincere, big-hearted friend that I can be...

Thank you everyone! I will be watching for more comments and feedback...I truly love all of you!

(OH! And I am going to respond with more info regarding book#2)

J.K. Coi said...

Marie and Melly!! Thank you for dropping by! I'm living the life of a party animal--out to a Christmas party and home by 10:00 lol.

Melly, I LOVE your interviews! They're fun and light-hearted and the perfect contrast to all the serious "where do you get your ideas" stuff that everyone else has!

And Bobby, you keep saying that about Book 2, but I have yet to see anything...

It's a good thing this blog is staying up until Sunday :)

Wylie Kinson said...

Sounds like a fascinating book written by a fascinating man.
From the snippets offered here, your imagery is beautiful, haunting almost.

J.K. Coi said...

Wylie, I can attest to that. I started reading Bobby's book late this week and I haven't been able to put it down.

Nancy said...

Ok...my two cents worth..Bobby as usual, your wit and charm and enthusiasm for your craft shines each and every time you get the opportunity to share. There is so much I could say about your talents, but you already know I'm one of your biggest fans and supporters. I look forward to reading your next work...
It was great to read all the wonderful comments from this blog. GREAT JOB, my friend!!!

Shelley Munro said...

It's great to meet you, Bobby, and hear about your book. Emotion is the hardest thing to write. It sounds like you've done an awesome job. :)

RobinRenee said...

Hello Bobby,

You know, I love to follow your interviews and I've seen a great deal of blogs that have been written, but I have to say that this was the most touching.

I also enjoyed reading the comments..lol. Thank you J.K., this just rocked!

Bobby, you will do nothing but grow in life and I'm more than proud to say that I'm your friend, fan, and someone who aspires to be a better writer, because of you. Thank you for always being, not only an out-standing author, but so caring to all those who share your world.

Zulmara said...

wow...que cool are you...Loved this interview...so raw and so emotional....

thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us and so much of your soul...

You are AWESOME!!!

ADELANTE!!!

Zulmara

Bobby Ozuna said...

Wylie:
Thanks for the kudos...and I especially like the compliment about being almost "haunting." You know in private I brag about my work, but in open forums like this I seldom toot my own horn... why? Because as I have said, I was a reader first long before I ever dared pick up the pen and write...and being a fan of fiction...I know there are far greater books out there....

BUT if I had to say something about my first book...I would say, I doubt you will be disappointed and I don't think you will regret your financial investment or the time you spend with my story...Proud Souls...

Thanks for the support! I hope you stay in contact with me!

Bobby Ozuna said...

JK!
Wow... Are you serious??? What part of the book are you on??? I better get an (honest) review on Amazon (and here on your blog) when you are done!!!

Then we can talk/blog about it some more!!! This has been fun!!!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Nancy:

It seems I have had my bluff called on more than one occassion here...and yes, I can say I am stalling a bit on sharing more than I should with book #2.

JK: How about this? I got a proposition...if I hit the 50 comment mark on this post (which is pretty darn good)...perhaps I can come back as a return author and talk more about my development and "secrets" behind my second book. That will make YOUR blog the first place to actually get the inside scoop to The Other Side of Glory....

How about them apples???

Bobby Ozuna said...

Shelley:
Emotion for me is the ONLY way I know how to write...to me...if you spare the audience true emotion, like a singer on a stage, then you are cheating your audience and your fans, and more so....yourself. I already made one reference to my boy Axl Rose earlier in this post...and I will make one more. To me he was an effective song-writer not only because of his lyrical abilities, but because he held nothing back when he performed on stage and when he created the songs he didn't hold anything back. For me my stories and my approach to writing my stories is the same. I will write about things that will upset people, make people angry, and at the same time, make people happy and possibly a bit aroused. That's me...for better...or worse....

Bobby Ozuna said...

Robin:
...a million times over... THANK YOU!!!! There isn't much more I can say other than thank-you... your words are so powerful and they mean so much to me... I can't see myself the way others do... I see myself as nothing more than a court jester, a liar with a bit of pizazz and wit enough to fill the pages of a story that would make most people question their morality...

I keep going because of people like you...so from me to you... thank you....

Bobby Ozuna said...

Zulmara...

Thank you as well for supporting me so much this past year. I have learned as much from you and how you blog and how you network than I have almost any other person on the web this year....

Thanks for spreading the word for me. If sharing my dirty little secrets will make me famous...then hell...excuse me while I take my clothes off!!!!

J.K. Coi said...

It's a deal Bobby.

And that makes 50!!

Wylie Kinson said...

I'd like to hear more!! That makes me 51. I mean 29!
You know what I mean ;)

More please, Bobby.

Bobby Ozuna said...

Everyone....

Imagine a world full of honor and duty and commitment...a place where parents struggle to let go but brag about how proud they are of their boys....boys who will return home one day as men.... There is tradition and history in this world....and everyone loves to see the polished result....

Now, take that same world and add a little prostitution...drug & alcohol abuse...hatred...internal politics and a leadership and attitude that destroys the hopes of young men who were once proud to serve their country....and you will have two powerful sides to a very powerful world...

Now imagine within that world a young man full of hope and ambition from humble roots...hoping to honor the time he is taking away from his family back home. He epitomizes the essence of Good in a world shaded in darkness. Opposite him we will meet another young man who has long given up on the ideals of doing what's right. He hates everything our hero (the good kid) stands for because he remembers how much he once believed in goodness within mankind. He now stands to destroy the ideals of the good kid...hating him...taunting him...pushing him... and it's not until their worlds collide within the warmth of a common bosom that their worlds finally come face to face. Add friendships that most people cannot understand, a sense of loyalty that seems to be gone from the world and love by its true definition...and you will have a glimpse of the story which will become my second book: The Other Side of Glory.

jessykamp said...

Tke it all off Bobby! Sow us the real you! don't be shy!
I am so over joyed for you today, it seem you are on a real up swing and reading these entries has given me a breath of fresh air and inspired me to use some of this advice on my own stories! WOW!!! This makes 52!

Bobby Ozuna said...

How about I do this:....

In relation to my stories and how I come to create them...and the life I have lived...what would YOU(the readers) like to know?

Amy K said...

We are going to see a darker side of Bobby O'? How much darker/deeper can it get? Reading your newest interview's and blogs...I now know that 'Proud Souls' was "maybe..just a little bit auto-biographical".
I have asked before...WHAT happened, WHAT went down, WHAT influenced you, WHAT did you see in NC...that is filling your mind...driving you to write 'The Other Side of Glory'?

Bobby Ozuna said...

AmyK:

Trust me...it can get much darker! AS much as I put into exploring the suicidal tendencies and the spiritual doubt of mankind in Proud Souls, I was still reluctant (for fear that I would be labeled and not taken seriously as an author) with Proud Souls. The Other Side of Glory is the story I tried writing several times, each time deleting my only draft and starting over for fear of how people will take me and my words. But now, as I am growing as an artist, I honestly don't give a $^!* what people think of me after reading my work. Seriously??? The whole world talks about artists of every type and scrutinizes and doubts and second guesses their abilities (especially the EXPERTS who can't show you any proof of their writing abilities) and in the beginning I cared a lot...and now I really don't care one bit. I don't write smut...I don't write hate...and I don't write garbage...but I do write what's real and in this world...sexuality, hatred, love, sensuality, hope, faith, loss of faith and the idea of giving up hope are REAL....

(more to come)

Bobby Ozuna said...

Everyone (and AmyK)

I saw a lifetime of events and circumstances within my time in the US Marines. Remember, I was a kid--18 or so--and because of that, my time in the Marines was very influential. I experienced a lot of good and a lot of bad....but I think somehow I was able to take away more bad than good. I have maintained my relationships with a handful of GREAT friends since leaving North Carolina in 1997. But I was also in S. Korea, Okinawa, Japan and California. I met many people and what I endured--with my attitude and my temperament at the time--is enough to blow your mind. And I am hoping, when I write the final pages on The Other Side of Glory, that my story (my FICTIONAL tale) will do just that....blow your freakin' mind!!!!

Amy K said...

Bobby Ozuna wrote: Rock Star huh??? Hmm...my greatest claim to fame is this:..........

I have to disagree. Your greatest claim to fame lies in the eyes of 4 beautiful children who call you 'Father'. The wife standing by you that calls you 'Husband' and your writing. Sharing your life's experience through your writing...In whatever form it may be (novel, short story, blog) These are the greatest. Thank you for sharing.

Bobby Ozuna said...

Amy:
How many times have I had my bluff called today???

You are RIGHT...my family and the legacy I will leave behind as their greatest fan and supporter is my "greatest claim to fame." But I was referencing my writing career when I made that comment... Thanks for keeping me in check...

Bobby Ozuna said...

Everyone....
I once wrote a story about pursuing your life's dreams and following the voice within your head...the creative voice that may be leading you to tap into your creative side and honor your gifts. This particular topic has always been a very sensitive subject with me because I believe EVERYONE has a gift of some sort and I think we waste a lifetime when we waste a gift. So, my short-story "Corrido" was created from the idea of not wasting the gifts and talents we were given.

This story was originally released as part of Scribes Valley Publishing's short-story anthology: Mind Trips Unlimited. You can now download and read "Corrido" for FREE! Navigate to my blog and you will see the iPaper reader for "Corrido." There are some menu options within the embedded object and you can print it or simply open it for reading in full view.

Enjoy!!! And please, share it with anyone you feel may benefit from its metaphoric analogy.
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

Ashley said...

Bobby,

I've finally got your book!!! I'm so excited!! Only read the first chapter, but I'm going to read it all the way through til i finish1!!! The first chapter is very detailed and I love it!!! I'll keep you updated!!!!!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Ashley:
Thanks! I can't wait to see what you have to say... you know what will be REALLY cool??? Post a comment here and share your thoughts with JK's community as you finish a section or chapter...and let people know how you were feeling as you read...then we can see the progression as you change emotions.

Oh! And if you read Chapter 3 more than once...we know what you're thinking!!!!

Bobby Ozuna said...

Hey J.K!!! What was your total (running) hit count on this post???

~Ozuna

J.K. Coi said...

Sorry Bobby, but I don't know how to find that out. Other than counting the comments left here (approx 63)

Bobby Ozuna said...

Hey everyone... just wanted to let you know...I am offering PROUD SOULS as a FREE electronic download for an (early) Christmas gift...to anyone interested...

Click
"HERE" to read or download or share your copy today!!!

Thanks for the support everyone! I only ask...if you download it for FREE...then take a few moments and review it for FREE on Amazon or Barnes&Noble.com.
Thanks...