Cromwell teen pens tale of fox, quest and supernatural struggleCalling local authors! The Cloquet Public Library is inviting local authors to bring their books and take part in a public book signing/author meet-and-greet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7. Interested authors are asked to RSVP to Mark King, adult services librarian, at 218-879-1531 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Jana Peterson, Pine Journal
Cromwell’s Matt Anderson said he’s just a regular old Minnesotan who likes to write, draw and make music “while battling evil time constraints.”
Except that most Minnesotans don’t get around to writing and actually publishing a book before their sophomore year in college.
Written when he was a senior at Cromwell-Wright High School, “Leave Well Enough Alone” is Anderson’s first published book, a fictional account of a young arctic fox named Kettu that heads out into the wild alone for the first time, in a rite-of-manhood-style adventure that quickly takes a dangerous and fantastic turn for the worse.
In Anderson’s case, the old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” holds true. When Kettu’s mother hands him a stone knife and a spear before his quest, the reader quickly realizes that Anderson wasn’t picturing the dog-like animal pictured on the front page of his book.
“One of my staples in writing is that I always write about anthropomorphic animals,” Anderson wrote in an email interview with the Pine Journal. “That is, animals with human-like characteristics. Even [if] I write a short story with predominantly human characters, I’ll try to figure out how and where I can put in anthropomorphic characters.”
The young writer said he wasn’t particularly happy with the cover art – nice, but not what he wanted – for the final product.
“I did not send any conceptual sketches to the publishing company; they took it upon themselves to imagine what the writer wanted, not collaborating with the writer as they said they were going to do,” he said. “For me, the cover art is both a symbol of triumph and utter disappointment. Triumph in that it is my first book to be officially published, and disappointment in that I had nothing to do with [the artwork].”
Now a freshman at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet with plans to major in biology and/or chemistry when he transfers to the University of Minnesota Duluth, Anderson said he has always wanted to write.
“Ever since first grade, I believe, I’ve been writing short stories, mostly fan-fiction of cartoons I watched at the time while trying to be original in my own creations.” he said. “As an avid fan, connoisseur and collector of horror movies, I often look to these for some form of inspiration, as well as music.”
Anderson noted that he often likes to set his anthropomorphic characters into a tale of Lovecraftian horror, referring to the sub-genre of cosmic horror of the unknown made popular by American author H.P.
In the case of “Leave Well Enough Alone,” Anderson said he was inspired after watching a 1937 cartoon about penguins that got into a lot of trouble.
Kettu gets into a lot of trouble, too.
“Suddenly, a rumble rose out of the chasm, escalating to the grotto, which seemed to quiver and shake from the sound. At the same time, Kettu desperately tried to cover his nose as the bittersweet other scent swept over him, overwhelming in its sickly cloud.”
Here comes trouble. It’s big, slimy and out of this world.
PUBLISHER: Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.
AVAILABLE: Amazon or www.dorrancebookstore.com