Sunday, June 20, 2010

UPCOMING INTERVIEW: Thomas Cobb - Award-Winning Author of "Crazy Heart"

Novelist, Thomas Cobb was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of Crazy Heart, a novel, Acts of Contrition, a collection of short stories that won the 2002 George Garrett Fiction Prize and Shavetail.

Mr. Cobb, a former-country-music-covering-journalist-from-Arizona turned writing-professor/author-living-in-Rhode Island with his wife. He now teaches English and creative writing at RIC, a public college in Providence where enrollment in his graduate fiction-writing workshop has blossomed since the film Crazy Heart release.

The novel, originally published in 1987, and it was Mr. Cobb’s doctoral dissertation. Mr. Cobb's adviser on the project: famed postmodernist author Donald Barthelme. The book only sold 11,000 copies before being pulled from print after initial buzz died down. Now, it's being reissued in paperback by publisher HarperCollins.

CRAZY HEART is a 2009 musical-drama film starring Jeff Bridges, which earned him his first Academy Award for Best Actor, Maggie Gyllenhaal was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Supporting roles are played by Golden Globe award-winning Irish actor, Colin Farrell, Academy award-winning & four times Golden Globe winning actor Robert Duvall, with child actor Jack Nation. Bridges, Farrell, and Mr. Duvall also sing in the film. The film was written and directed by Scott Cooper.

In the movie, Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, the protagonist of "Crazy Heart," A boozy, down-and-out country music singer-songwriter past-his-prime country star saddled with the indignity of playing backwater bowling alleys and opening for his former side man played by Collin Farrell.

He tries to turn his life around after beginning a relationship with a young journalist named Jean, portrayed by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The film's main character is based on a combination of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard. The media talk about Mr. Cooper initially wanted to do a biopic on Haggard but found the rights to his life story were too difficult to obtain. The novel on which the film was based was actually inspired by country singer Hank Thompson. The film has been described by critics as "half Urban Cowboy, half The Wrestler.

Thomas Cobb other book, Shavetail, was a winner of 2009 Spur Award for Best Western Long Novel. The novel is set in the desert of the Arizona territories in 1871. Shavetail is the story of Private Ned Thorne, a seventeen-year-old boy from Connecticut who has lied about his age to join the army.

On the run because of a shameful past, Ned is desperate to prove his worth—to his superiors, his family, and most of all, to himself. He is young and troubled; Ned is as stubborn as a shavetail, the soldiers’ term for a willful, untrained mule. After a band of Apaches attacks a nearby ranch, killing two men and, perhaps, kidnapping a woman,

Ned’s superiors, also seeking to atone for their mistakes, lead Ned and the rest of his company on a near suicidal mission through a particularly menacing stretch of desert and into Mexico in hopes of saving the woman’s life.

Photo of Mr. Thomas Cobb by Alberto E. Rodriguez
To learn more about Thomas Cobb, please visit his website
To purchase his books, please visit AMAZON and Barnes & Noble

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