Saturday, November 14, 2020

Book Blog Tour and Giveaway - The Square Root of Texas: The First Calamity of QED Morningwood (The Calamities of QED Morningwood #1) by Rob Witherspoon

THE SQUARE ROOT OF TEXAS: The First Calamity of QED Morningwood
Rob Witherspoon

Genre: Satire / Humor / Absurdist Fiction
Publisher: Independently Published
Date of Publication: September 26, 2018
Number of Pages: 181 pages
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QED Morningwood is a liar, braggart and teller of tall tales. When he shows up at the domino parlor with a mysterious Russian crate in the back of his pick-up truck, he confides to the players he is a ‘Shadow’ member of the NRA, not on their official membership roll, and has a load of rocket propelled grenades – all lies. The news spreads to the real Shadow NRA, the FBI and Homeland Security. Meanwhile, the Russian Ministry of Cultural Preservation sends an agent to retrieve the crate, the actual contents known only to the Russians.

The Russian agent, an FBI team, a DHS undercover agent and a Shadow NRA hit team arrive in Heelstring, Texas looking for QED and his crate. Their convergence is followed by interrogations, seduction, lies, arrests, jailbreak, kidnapping and rescue – along with car chases and explosions. If not for Cotton Widdershins, an ancient black man with secrets of his own, who acts as QED’s mentor and savior, the Morningwood line would be doomed to end, or at best spend life in a federal penitentiary.

Rob Witherspoon was born and raised in rural Texas. He earned a BA in Physical Education, UT Arlington 1985 and a BS in Aerospace Engineering, UT Arlington 1990. He worked in the aerospace industry for 30 years before retiring in 2018. He lives in north central Texas with his wife and youngest daughter and has spent much of his life in rural communities and on the ranch. He combines his love for Texas, lying, the outdoors, engineering, and his children in his writing.
- Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work?
The great British humorists, or humourists if you will, P.G. Wodehouse, Douglas Adams, and Terry Pratchett all inspired me to translate their wry absurdity into something Texans could appreciate. Stylistically, I always liked how Elmore Leonard stressed dialog, allowing his characters to tell the story. It’s not that I’m clever, but I try to make my characters clever.

- Which character from your book(s) is most or least like you?
Kid Morningwood and Cotton Widdershins are both me at different stages in my life. Kid is a young, unqualified braggart, striving to win his father’s approval – close enough resemblance to myself forty years ago. Cotton has been around, seen the elephant, and approaches things slowly, rationally, and wisely – still an aspirational goal for me.

- What do you like to read in your free time?
I grew up reading Science Fiction, Mysteries, and Historical Fiction written mostly by white men. I still enjoy those genres, but I’ve consciously attempted to branch out and read more works from women and people of color. It’s a matter of broadening my perspective. Props to Texas authors Lara Prescott, Gabino Iglesias, Donna Ingham, and PJ Hoover who were on this year’s reading list.

- What projects are you working on at the present?
I just released the second calamity of QED Morningwood: Deus Tex Machina. I’m about a quarter into the first draft of the third calamity: Dearth and Texas.

- What do your plans for future projects include?
I’m gathering ideas and researching the fourth calamity. TC: the Texas Celestial.

I’ve got a collection of short stories from many different genres I want to complete. Tentatively titled: Brevity’s Rainbow.

- Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?
Theodore Roosevelt’s 1910 address to the Sorbonne. "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
(Three Winners - US Only)
FIRST PRIZE: Signed copies of The Square Root of Texas and Deus Tex Machina by Rob Witherspoon
SECOND PRIZE: Signed copy of The Square Root of Texas by Rob Witherspoon
THIRD PRIZE: Kindle copy of The Square Root of Texas by Rob Witherspoon
(US Only)

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