Author discusses career, traveling the world and new book at Co-Op
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 23, 2013 16:08
Author David Maine imparted wisdom about traveling, writing and life to students at the Co-op on Tuesday afternoon during a book talk that introduced his latest novel, “An Age of Madness.”
“You write stuff because it’s how you interact with the world,” said Maine when asked about the business of publishing. “It helps you filter your life into a manageable shape. If you get money for it, that’s awesome.”
A Connecticut native, Maine has lived in several different places in the United States, but a majority of his life has been spent overseas in Morocco and Pakistan. There, Maine taught at high schools and was able to observe the culture, religion and traditions of Pakistan. Though integration was difficult, Maine explained how he was able to understand himself and how he was raised by seeing the contrast in the society he lived in. Maine currently lives in Hawaii and has taught at the University of Phoenix, Hawaii-Pacific University and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Amongst a crowd of students interested in creative writing, he shared how he had seven written books before he published his first book at the age of 30.
“An Age of Madness” is Maine’s fifth published book, following his publications of “Fallen,” “The Book of Samson,” “The Preservationist,” and “Monster.” At the Co-op he shook hands with each audience member and asked for everyone’s names. A soft spoken man with his hands in his pockets, Maine chatted with the audience for a few minutes, before reading an excerpt from the first part of his newest book.
“I’ll read but I’d much prefer to have conversations,” he said. “So feel free to ask me questions about whatever. Don’t be shy.”
Maine explained how the protagonist of the novel, Regina Moss, is a psychiatrist at a mental hospital in Massachusetts. She’s a mother, daughter and wife; the story is told from her perspective. Although Maine is none of these things, he describes the novel as being his most autobiographical book. With sharp descriptions and intricate details of Moss’s experiences, realizations and observations at her job, Maine laces his novel with the same sarcasm and wry humor that he possesses.
“I’m always surprised cause oftentimes people tell me my books are funny,” he said.
As the youngest of four children, Maine equates this sense of humor with the need to interact with older siblings. He enjoys revealing parts of Moss’s characters through other characters, which is why he chose to write the book in first person limited. By doing so, readers are about to see and understand Moss’s personality and psychology. From his experience working at a mental hospital in Boston, Maine understood, after 14 years of attempting to write the novel, that he wanted to shed light on psychiatrists as opposed to the patients themselves.