Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Legend in His Own Mind

You've heard the phrase "A Legend in His Own Time." That's when somebody does something so extraordinary they create a legend around themselves. As time moves on, the legendary aspect grows and morphs into something bigger and, well, more legendary.

Then there's the phrase at the top of this post. That's when a person's ego grows beyond reality. They believe themselves to be so wonderful, they're a legend. Of course, they are the only ones who think so.

Then there's another type of legend. It's when an author bases a book on a real person, but exaggerates the person's feats to make for good reading; the writer creates the legend. Can you think of a case where this has occurred? I imagine there are many, considering possible biographers who hero-worship their subject past the point of reality.

Then I come to my own mini-legendary person: Little Eddie from Tales of a Texas Boy. The stories are mostly based on some brief vignette passed to me from my father. Those of you who have read the print edition might have slowed down enough to peruse the Foreword where I lay out that Eddie is my father and some additional background on his life. Nothing too exciting there. He just happened to have a few incidents in his life that I could turn from a passing comment into a short story.

I made my father a legend. The stories I wrote about his experiences are so enhanced, they have become the stuff of legends. Yes, a very small part of the population know the stories. However, how long will the Tales books be out in the world? I published the first edition in June, 2007. Coming up on the 3rd anniversary next month. In three years, more than 2000 people have had possession of the book in some form. They may have even read it. If I keep the book in print, how many people will get to know Eddie in ten years? I should mention that the majority of those potential readers picked up the book in the last year.

What's my point here? Not sure other than to state my realization that even not so famous people can become legendary to some extent from some author deciding to write about them.

By the way, I just finished a new Eddie story, which I'm including in the ebook editions. Already available at Smashwords and will percolate out to B&N, Amazon, Kobo, Sony, and Apple over the next few weeks.

The added story is titled "Ma Yote and Her Cubs." The new edition at Smashwords is available free til the end of May using coupon code XZ59M.

1 comment:

  1. I've read all the stories in the book, Marva, and I have to say I really enjoyed them. No matter how enhanced they hold some true history of the area. Nice going.