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Tremayne Moore Discusses Deaf, Dumb, Blind, & Stupid: Michael Anderson's Fight for Life
By Tracy L. Darity
Today in the Writer’s Lounge I welcome Poet and Author, Tremayne Moore. Moore is the founder of Maynetre Manuscripts, LLC, and is an accountant by profession. Prior to writing his breakthrough novel Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid –Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life, he published a poetry series entitled You Can Take It. When asked to disclose one thing readers may not know about him, he shared that he served in the US Air Force from 1994-1998, then went on to acquire two Bachelor Degrees, one in Accounting, and the other in Management Information Systems.
Before we dive into the interview, I like to engage authors in a quick icebreaker. I ask five random questions, and then give the author 5 minutes to compose a paragraph using all five answers. Let’s see what the icebreaker revealed about Moore.
When asked to write his life story in six words or less, he replied “Interesting and Mysterious.” For question two, he responded that the 90’s sitcom character that best describes him his Steve Urkel. His favorite color is black; and if he could be anywhere in the world at this very moment, it would be Salt Lake City, Utah. Last, he was asked to complete the sentence, “A minute ago I was thinking…” His answer, “What I need to do tomorrow, and before I drift off to sleep.”
Maybe I was too easy on him, but now we get to see what a real writer does with a list of words. Moore took the challenge to heart and provided the following:
“Before I drift off to sleep tonight, I need to make a list of what I need to do tomorrow. I am preparing to travel to Salt Lake City. It is so interesting and mysterious every time I go because it feels like I’m trapped in a beehive. I love Salt Lake because it is desolate from the Florida environment and I can act like Steve Urkel if I so desire. The world does not like Steve, but are enraptured with Stefan. One day this will all make sense and we can love people, as they are (flaws and all). There is so much personality discrimination. Meanwhile, I cannot wait to see someone who is dear to my heart tomorrow. So as I drift off to sleep tonight, I will dream about her.” Now that is a writer in action.
In May of this year, Moore released his debut novel, Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid –Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life, a powerful novel that deals with child molestation, mental illness, and suicide. The story is told in reflection, at the funeral of a young man who has taken his own life after battling with depression. As family and friends gather to say their final goodbyes, they are invited into the tormented and pain-filled life of Michael Anderson, through a series of journal entries.
Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid – Is an interesting title for a book. I can remember growing up and people would say, “You must think I am deaf, dumb, blind, and crazy, if you thought I’d fall for that.” So I was interested in knowing how Moore decided on the title. According to him, “The title was originally going to be Michael Anderson’s Journal. “However, my editor was reading the ‘home life’ scene, and she saw a common theme. The world according to Michael Anderson is deaf, dumb, blind, & stupid.” I agree, sometimes it does seem that way.
Moore reveals in his full bio that he himself has been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I asked him if his PTSD is a result of his time in the military. He explains to me that although we only hear about PTSD when speaking about soldiers returning home from war, the disease can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic incident in their life.
Does this mean that the story of Michael Anderson is semi-autobiographical; and if so did he find writing about it to be somewhat therapeutic? Moore is quick to let me know he has nothing to hide. “Yes, I’d say this book is semi-autobiographical and it was therapeutic to a point. Writing about the abuse wasn’t difficult. The hardest part of the story was writing the suicide note. I’ve never experienced suicide before, but I believe God had to take me to the place where people who I loved so dearly turned their backs on me and didn’t care if I lived or died.” I wasn’t expecting such a frank response but was appreciative of his candidness.
Oftentimes readers think that writers are writing from personal experience, and people who know the writer personally try to find themselves in the storyline. Moore shared that as of today, he is unsure how his family has received his novel, and he isn’t prepared to speak further on the subject. This led me to my next question. Michael Anderson, unlike many victims, seems to tell anyone who would listen that he has been molested; is it common for a victim to tell what is happening to him or her and nothing comes of the information, i.e. no one contacts the police? According to Moore, “I find it very common that victims want to get it out even if nothing comes out of it. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least that if a victim kept the abuse (along with the pains of it) to themselves…that they would become cutters (an act of cutting, usually the arms, as a release of internal pain). As victims get it out, and nothing comes of it, they will feel the pains of abandonment and neglect. Truthfully, the pain of abandonment and neglect are worse than the abuse itself. When that happens, some victims will become cutters, attempt suicide and the list goes on.”
I can only imagine what it must be like to endure such horrible abuse, as the main character did. While reading Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid –Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life, the jury reached a verdict in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse case. Sandusky is the former assistant coach with Pennsylvania State University, charged with molesting several boys who participated in his youth foundation. Regarding the guilty verdict, Moore shares, “I was actually surprised that a guilty verdict came out (especially since we’re in a society where wrongs are glorified). The question now has to be asked and answered, what about the children who have been abused beforehand? Most abused victims are given the forgiveness pill to swallow (you must forgive...).” Moore believes that too much attention is given to the perpetrator, and not enough to the victim, who must then figure out how to move forward and deal with the internal pain alone.
One of the interesting aspects of the book is the reader does not learn who the narrator is until the end. As a reader, I like to know who is telling the story. It was interesting to get Moore’s perspective on his technique. He explained that initially it was not his intention, he then goes on to explain, “During the final edit stage, it dawned on me that someone needed to narrate the story. I felt that Janice (one of the supporting characters in the story) needed to be the narrator because she was with Michael the most and had a connection with him.”
As mentioned in his Bio, Moore has a collection of poetry, three awesome works that he has remarketed into a series. In his novel, he incorporated several poetic pieces. He shares that he prefers poetry, “because it’s easier.” He goes further admitting that, “Writing a novel was a challenge…but now that I’ve written this novel, I see another novel in the making. This is something that’s starting to grow on me.” Looks like the novelist in him is about to take center stage.
Everyday children are molested; many by family members and people entrusted with their care. Moore told the story to garner awareness to this issue. My final question to him was quite simple, what do you want your readers to take away from Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid –Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life?
“I’d like for victims to take away from reading DDBS that they are too special to throw their lives away and that you have a voice in this world (and it needs to be heard).
I’d like for those who are not victims to take away from reading DDBS that sexual abuse is a serious issue and if it’s not reported to the proper authorities or handled correctly, those who are to be loved and cared for stand a high risk of either taking their lives or the lives of others.”
For more information on Tremayne Moore, visit, www.maynetre.com. Click here to purchase your copy of Deaf, Dumb, Blind & Stupid –Michael Anderson’s Fight for Life.
The following article will be featured in the debut edition of Urban Bookshelf Magazine.
Tracy L. Darity is the author of several Contemporary Fiction novels. If you would like to be featured in the Writer's Lounge, on www.TracyLDarity.com, please email your request to [email protected]
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