Matthews – Mint Hill Weekly
MATTHEWS – Rob Deason’s life changed when he was laid off in 2009.
But instead of dwelling on the loss of his job, the 57-year-old Matthews Castle Cliff resident turned the experience into something positive by following through with a long-forgotten dream – to publish stories he’d told his children more than 12 years ago.
“I kept the ideas stashed in a drawer, until one day, I decided to pull them out and thought, ‘I’m going to do this,’” Deason said.
Deason was laid off for six months; that’s when he became serious about writing fiction. He said his initial ideas were a bust, but what developed was greater than he could imagine.
“I wanted to write young adult (work) … jotted down a number of ideas and flushed them out,” he said. “I liked the idea of young people dealing with internal and external pressures, people trying to find themselves – when everything is magnified.”
Deason published his first eBook on Amazon Kindle in August 2013. The book, “Super Shy,” is a coming-of-age adventure story filled with superpowers and self-reflection.
The 13-year-old main character, Edelweiss Featherwhite, and her two friends, Tom and Dewanna, are trying to survive middle school bullies when an accident gives them the power to change their lives – for better or worse.
“Everyone can relate to the fear of not fitting in – it’s universal,” Deason said.
Fast forward to today, and Deason is working on his third book about these characters. He said he never expected to write a trilogy, but some close friends encouraged him and believed there was more to tell.
Deason’s second eBook, “What the Fire Wanted,” was published in December 2014.
He described the sequel as an action/adventure story that alludes to the old adage, “Be careful watch you wish for.” Deason also mentioned the second book includes a big twist regarding the trio’s superpowers.
Deason draws most of his inspiration from his faith.
“My faith plays a part in the story; one character is a person of faith, although the story is not religious,” said Deason, a dedicated member of Elevation Church in Matthews.
While Deason hasn’t had the opportunity to do any book readings, he spoke to United Faith Christian Academy in south Charlotte during the students’ chapel time, discussing bullying and self-image.
As for what’s next, Deason said he’s enjoyed writing in the young adult fiction genre, but he’s open to changing it up for his next book. He said he’s been toying with the idea of writing a romance novel.
“Nothing too steamy,” he said, “more like a Hallmark romance.”
Although Deason has worked in television for more than 10 years and graduated from the University of Missouri with a journalism degree, he said he never took creative writing classes. He said he learned to write fiction by trial and error.
“I have several books that will never see the light of day,” he said. “You’re a writer by writing.”
While writing can be difficult, Deason said the most important thing he can do to keep his dream alive is to be consistent.
“On Sunday morning before church, the house is pretty quiet. I dedicate two hours every Sunday morning to writing,” he said.
Deason’s persistence and passion has paid off, as he’s five chapters into writing his third book and has many ideas for future works. He believes hard work is worth it, so he can leave his legacy behind.
“It’s incredibly satisfying and rewarding to put the time and effort to put into a book,” Deason said. “(It’s) something tangible that you can have for future generations – a way of making your mark.”