BY Rudy Mars (CMP)
(Kalamazoo, MI) — In an act of self-promotion that has raised eye-brows even among fellow writers and drawn concern from the counseling community, Andy Mozina declared his debut novel Contrary Motion a “Must Read” for Father’s Day.
The novel is about a divorced harpist in Chicago preparing for a symphony audition. A main plot line is the harpist’s relationship with his troubled six-year-old daughter.
Mozina made the dubious self-recommendation during a recent interview while sitting on his front porch dressed in a cardigan, dress pants, and wing tips.
“The father-daughter relationship in this book is super touching,” Mozina claimed. “And there are plenty of insights into good parenting. If I weren’t me, I’d buy this novel and give it to myself for Father’s Day.”
Other writers questioned Mozina’s attempt to exploit the holiday.
“I once leafleted a juvenile detention center to promote my gardening book,” said Malcolm Broad, author of Ten Tips for (Secretly) Growing Your Own Marijuana, “but I would never stoop this low.”
“Whenever I see one of his Facebook posts about his novel, something inside of me dies,” said Jean Chodorow, a children’s book author. “Shoot me if I ever do anything like this Father’s Day thing of his.”
Stephanie Regal, a family therapist in Kalamazoo, recommended that readers think twice before drawing parenting insights from the novel.
“I would never diagnose someone just from reading about them in a book, or, for that matter, because they’ve written a certain book,” she said. “I guess I would just invite people to proceed with caution in this case.”
For his part, Mozina welcomed the skepticism, saying “it comes with the territory” of writing–and of fatherhood.
“Being a father isn’t easy,” Mozina asserted. “Sometimes it all boils over and you have to go in the woods and bite a tree or fire bullets into the air with the handgun you purchased to protect your family. But if you stick with it, and nothing too bad happens, eventually your kid will move out, and your work will be done.”