Pres Maxson’s vocation also happens to be his hobby.
“Writing is my passion. I do it all day at work,” said Maxson, a copywriter who has three young children with his wife, Mollie. “We have dinner with the kids and play. The bulk of the writing I do is when they are in bed and occasionally early morning.”
Because of the pandemic, he didn’t have a commute to work, so that afforded him more time to work on his latest novel.
Maxson released his third self-published novel, “Kevin on Earth: An Extra-Terrestrial’s Account of Life on Earth in 2020,” on Nov. 27, 2020.
“I think the creative process was different, therefore the outcome was different,” said Maxson, a Westfield resident who lives near the Carmel border.
His first book was “Bender at the Bon Parisien” in 2015, and his second was “Pigeon.” Both are mystery/humor books.
“When I started the process for ‘Kevin,’ I was looking for something still fun, still humorous, but it is a little more urgent than writing a mystery novel,” Maxson said. “I designed it to be a fast read.”
The book is a collection of letters each day that Kevin writes home to his planet Xylu 4 after coming to Earth for a study abroad program on Jan. 1, 2020. Kevin, who is disguised as a human, finds roommates to live with, gets a job as a waiter and sees how humans on Earth handle a catastrophic year, while he also adjusts to a new planet.
“The idea is Kevin came to Earth because he believed it to be the party planet,” Maxson said. “When he came to Earth within a few months, it was clear it was going to be an extraordinary year on Earth. The book is meant to be Kevin’s observations on everything that happened this year. day by day. from the perspective of a complete outsider.”
Kevin’s home base is Denver, but he spends most of the year traveling to see the sights.
“We’ve all been given the gift of time for those of us who don’t have a commute because of the pandemic,” Maxson said. “I really asked myself, what did I want to have as a result of this extra time, not to mention we were observing an extraordinary year.”
Maxson started writing in mid-August and concluded just days before the November release.
“My first book I was just learning how to write a novel while I was writing a novel,” he said. “I learned those lessons and applied them to the next book, which was ‘Pigeon’ in 2017. Because of those lessons. the writing process went a lot more smoothly, and ‘Pigeon’ ended up being creatively and commercially more successful.”
“Kevin on Earth” was more of a challenge because Maxson didn’t have time to do many rewrites or to get more feedback because he thought it would be cooler to release the book in 2020.
“’Kevin’ is a direct reflection of what is going on in 2020, so I didn’t need to decide the storyline,” he said. “The news every day was going to help do that.”
The book is available on Amazon.