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Robert Mangeot Books In Order

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Publication Order of Anthologies

Not So Fast(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder Under the Oaks(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Robert Mangeot
Robert Mangeot is a teacher, writer, and sandwicher. He is a counter of things. He lives with his wife, a cat beast called Zelda, and another cat with plans of her own. When he isn’t busy writing something, he can be found wandering snack food aisles in France or America or counting things.

Since he skidded into our world half-Southern and half-Irish, clearly a brush with writing was inevitable. And so it was. He is also part-French, so the fiction brush came with savoir vivre.

During his college days, he wrote a humor column and a few this-and-thats, but not a lot after. He counted things and wandered snack food aisles. Eventually This Whole Writing Thing rediscovered him, and he feels he is fortunate that his work has appeared in wonderful places.

Robert loves all things dogs, and many of his stories were written with not horses however a trusty Pomeranian nearby. Cats have discovered his lap, too. He is fine with this just as long they remember to keep their claws in, and damn the Bond-villain parallels. He might be cool with it because of these parallels. Blofeld is over-the-top cool, is what he’s saying. Blofeld would have been a lot cooler with some dog, however. Like a Pomeranian.

Robert digs Predators hockey, the English Premier League, University of Louisville athletics, poetry, Dashiell Hammett, and most any sort of music. The “most any” part ends up being minute to minute. He used to have some mad song trivia skills, however he can still name the starting nine for the Big Red Machine in the seventies and even many of the subs.

He graduated from Bellarmine University, and they haven’t attempted to retract it or anything. So everybody seems to be cool with it. Liberal arts.

Counting things isn’t all spreadsheets. There are also weights and measures. Once he was asked to count some odorless and colorless gas. And he did. Boxcars of the stuff. Some other time they had him counting mock turtlenecks in subzero warehouse conditions. One time for many weeks he was a regular on television auditing for the nightly Lotto drawing. This is the extent of his counting-related brush with stardom.

Another of his great joys is travel, which often seeps into his fiction. Look for him in a Belgian friterie or some Caribbean market or any international snack food aisle. Or he is at his writing desk dreaming about stories, or editing the dream to ashes, which is more likely.

He has also been the Vice President of the Southeast Chapter of MWA and a past president of Sisters in Crime Middle Tennessee.

“Murder Under the Oaks” won an Anthony Award. Robert’s work has also been a finalist for the Derringer Awards and has won contests sponsored by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, Chattanooga Writers’ Guild, and On the Premises.

“Star of Zoe” first got going without Zoe. Technically, not. But he was riffing on this phrase and idea: I just have to see here. Right there comes one She Who Must Be Seen. A proto-Zoe in the mix. His first riff, however, opened with our perspective “I” in the equation, the man-on-a-mission. Jimmy.

He is banging on the door, desperate. In love. Still in love. And being denied all entry. Who is blocking it and what door? He didn’t know, but these are questions that make you riff.

Robert enjoyed writing about Jimmy. The guy wasn’t especially clever, however not all that dumb. He is a petty thief yet still an identifiable enough guy. A sense of how to push his luck and a big heart. Damn, the guy just wanted to tell his story, too.

Robert turned on this cold riff, and Jimmy kept on talking. He would not shut about. About himself, sure. Zoe, too. He spoke about her with plenty of tenderness. As Robert found the guy’s voice it soon became clear that he didn’t know her. It was like his words formed some loving filter about Zoe, her shape without any inner self.

As Jimmy talked about Zoe he held onto, what hadn’t was the Inner Zoe. She was waiting silently on the other side of the door. First draft went on with Jimmy attempting to jive or break his way into her hospital room. Without any luck at all. No reaction from Zoe, either. Then it finally occurred to both Jimmy and Zoe why she was quiet. She was dead.

Zoe was only shown, originally at the very end in her coffin. Robert held her out as the prize for getting past her family guard. And when he got there, it just fell flat. Thing was, he had made the same mistake as Jimmy did. Putting her on the pedestal, those drafts just showed the shape around Zoe.

So he decided to make her actually participate in the story. He would allow readers to meet her and judge if she was worth all of this mourning everyone was doing. He wrote Zoe in via some flashbacks timed to the caper’s inflection points. How Jimmy picked her up, how Jimmy’s being a thief turned their love story south, and how a one-night stand blossomed.

“First of a Fine Spectacle” is a short story. Did you know that Catherine the Great, the Russian empress, wrote operas? She did, and badly, or so goes her history. Back on his when an anthology called for stories about Catherine the Great and here she was in his research having tried her imperial hand at writing librettos. So Robert wrote it, and it was a comic romp. It got a yes. So there he is, in the year 2013. Him and a Catherine the Great opera romp. Not everybody is able to say that is in their locker.

Robert likes this story. The story’s imperfect in its execution, however, wonderful for its tomfoolery. Today, the world is struggling and people need a breather romp. So, here is that Catherine tale. As published, all hindsight editing resisted the urge to preserve all of its goofball spirit. Robert only hopes that it brings that much needed smile.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Robert Mangeot

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