Max Mobley writes from his home in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He is a former columnist for the pioneering music magazine Crawdaddy! The Magazine of Rock. He has written extensively for the music industry, including magazine features, reviews, interviews, and books on music technology. Max also penned the popular Rush biography, Rush FAQ – All That’s Left To Know About the World’s Greatest Power Trio. Max contributed to the Santa Cruz Sentinel series “Rock of Ages” honoring the 50th anniversary of the birth of rock and roll. He also wrote the limited series The Chief and I for the Tracy Press. Howard & Debbie is Max’s debut novel.
Mastering Auto-Tune (2014)
Howard & Debbie (2019)
Biggest literary influencers:
Stephen King, John Steinbeck. Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, Neil Gaman, Louise Erdrich
Last book read:
There There by Tommy Orange
The book that changed your life:
Not only is On Writing a great autobiography from one of my favorite authors, but the book also helped me wrap my brain around writing long-form fiction. It gave me the courage to successfully jump from nonfiction and music journalism to novelist. Everything I learned about great writing I learned from reading. For me, On Writing helped me gather that understanding, and direct it toward writing novels.
I need to keep it very loose when I start a book. The story shouldn’t appear until I sit down to write, fingers on the keyboard, my head peering through the window into that other universe. On Writing validated that approach.
Your favorite literary character:
Dwayne Hoover (Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut) Dwayne’s delusions provide some of Vonnegut’s best social commentary and character development (or collapse). It’s chilling, hilarious, relevant, and plausible.
Ben Hascom (It by Stephen King). A realistic hero in an unreal situation. With the heart of a poet, Ben grows through the pain of adolescent ostracization to become a quietly powerful force willing to do whatever must be done to save lives and stop evil. All while keeping grace and empathy toward the world around him. What more could one ask from a hero?
Sherlock Holmes. I read the Holmes canon four times growing up. Hard to find a more complex and complete figure in all of literature. Confident, complex, brilliant, flawed.
Currently working on:
A novel about a funerary technology that changes the world for better and for worse. Commentary on Big Pharma, corporate influence, our treatment of the marginalized. Parallels to Frankenstein as well.
Words to live by:
Do what makes you truly happy without hurting others, and trust in providence.
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
With brutal devotion, serve the story—ALWAYS.
Articles / Reviews:
“Howard & Debbie is one of the most original novels I’ve read in a very long time. Provocative, meticulously crafted, and razor-sharp. A poignant, heart-wrenching tale told with a fresh breath of humor and style. Max Mobley is a name you’re going to soon hear a lot about.”
―Martin Jay Weiss, acclaimed author of The Second Son and Flamingo Coast
“Howard & Debbie will take you on an emotional roller coaster, a Grand Guignol wild ride full of horror, humor, rage, and tenderness. It isn’t always easy to read, but it’s impossible to put down.”
―Erik Tarloff, author of The Woman in Black