Friday, July 8, 2011
Meet Author Rico Austin : Day One
Rico: Thank You Fran for inviting me as a guest for Your interview.
Fran: Please give everyone a brief summary of My Bad Tequila and why you decided to share your story?
Rico: "My Bad Tequila" is a revealing, a story of one man's epic journey through life which begins with the main character Rhet Austen boarding a blue school bus once painted yellow. Rhet has saved his hard earned dinero (money) to take a once in a lifetime Spring Break trip that is offered at Boise State University by a dive instructor whom also serves as bus driver and guide. This disastrous Spring Break trip to Mexico does not end up being the Dream Vacation that Rhet had envisioned.
I, the author Rico give insight to Rhet's soul and personality by taking my readers into short stories and memories of Rhet's past that have led up to this painful experience and trip.
I wanted to share this story because this Spring Break of 1986 had such a significant and powerful impact on my life and the way I looked at life from that point on. I do hope that this novel will help young high school and college age students to understand there are sometimes dire consequences for not making the right choice or in heavy irresponsible drinking. This novel covers so many problem areas in life and there is something valuable that every Adult – Old and Young alike can take away from this read of “My Bad Tequila”:
Gambling, Alcoholism, Binge Drinking, Bullying within our School System, Imprisonment Life, Gang Affiliation, Driving While Intoxicated and Irresponsible Sex are all mentioned and discussed in this book. Social irresponsibility of the NFL and our Government is also mentioned in Chapter 20 of “My Bad Tequila” in regards to how they reacted to the Pat Tillman incident and in dealing with an honorable request from his close Amigo, fellow ASU and NFL football player Jake Plummer.
Fran: What started this chain of events that went downhill for Rhet?
Rico: The chain of events of this Spring Break gone bad are best explained in the following passage from Chapter 5 of "My Bad Tequila."
"If I had not gone on that trip, if I had just opted to wait a few minutes more for the local bus and put my two pesos into the tin box. If I had not flagged down the pickup truck. If .........
There are so many ifs that if just one thing had been done differently the outcome of serveral of our lives, including my own, would have been different. I now believe in physics, in the complete power of physics. Even though I refused to take it in my undergraduate studies I know more about physics than I wish to know. Newton's Third Law of Motion states, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
"MY BAD TEQUILA" was in infancy when I made the decision to leave Boise and handed over to Craig my first installment of $75.00 for the trip. My choosing to do so, and the choices I continued to make while on "vacation" have impacted several lives, some of them strangers, some of them not so strange. And of course, "MY BAD TEQUILA" affected me and would later affect my family and friends."
Fran: What problems in his childhood spilled over and left a definite impression on him?
Rico: Rhet’s dad had been an alcoholic and had left the family several times and sometimes not returning for a year or two. This put a hardship (both emotionally and financially) on Rhet, his brothers and mother.
Fran: Why did he feel like the scapegoat and why did everyone seem to blame him when things went wrong?
Rico: Rhet is the oldest of five brothers so he had to accept responsibility at an early age for himself and the younger siblings. If anything went wrong when he was with his brothers or suppose to be watching them then Rhet was blamed. Rhet developed a personality trait of believing most everything was his fault if anything went awry when he was around.
Fran: What was Rhet’s relationship with his family? Why were they not present when things happened ?
Rico: Rhet had a strong love for his family as they did for him. The family was not around when the bad things started happening as Rhet preferred to tell no one that he was going on a Spring Break trip to Mexico.
Fran: Why did he decide to take this road trip and what happened at the bus stop that changed everything? Why did you decide to share this real life story from 1986 with everyone now in 2011?
Rico: Rhet wanted to take this trip to have fun, do some deep sea fishing and to have some time away from a new relationship he had formed with a young college co-ed and to decide where this relationship was headed.
As quoted from Chapter 1 of “My Bad Tequila”:
“I wanted to get out of the cold, far from Boise, as my girlfriend and I had broken up a few weeks earlier. I was already in another relationship and needed to think hard and long about where things were headed and if in the right direction. It would do me good to get away, smell Mexico or the sea, didn’t matter, although I was looking forward to some deep sea angling. I’ve always considered myself quite a fisherman even though it seems I have to barf each time I leave land behind.”
Fran: Why didn’t he wait for the bus? Why did he and several others hitch a ride?
Rico: Rhet is an impatient human who would take shortcuts to avoid waiting any longer than necessary. Rhet and some of his fellow Spring Breaker Amigos and Amigas were eager to start their Mexico adventure.
Fran: What happened to the some of his friends and why did he feel guilty?
Rico: Fran, some terrible things happened to Rhet’s friends; however, I do not wish to expand upon this as I don’t want to spoil any of the book for those readers who have not yet experienced “My Bad Tequila.”