Thursday, December 8, 2016

Lone Star Book Blog Tours Presents: The West Texas Pilgrimage by M.M. Wolthoff with Giveaway

by M.M. Wolthoff

  Genre: Contemporary / Coming of Age

Publisher: River Grove Books
Date of Publication: February 29, 2015
Number of Pages: 220
 Scroll down for Giveaway!

Hunter’s friend Ty survived war in the Middle East only to succumb to cancer at home. On a quest with his college buddies and Ty’s father, Hunter journeys from South Texas into the mountains and desert of West Texas to bury his close friend. During this trek, they’ll drink, hunt, party, and encounter unexpected people and enthralling landscapes as Hunter deals with his grief, compounded by his struggle with depression and obsessive–compulsive disorder.  The West Texas Pilgrimage is a love letter to West Texas and the wild culture that defines it. Author M. M. Wolthoff vividly depicts the regional landscape, exploring intriguing stops along the way and the authentic context of music, food, and language integral to this generation of Texans, while frankly and thoughtfully addressing relationships, mourning, and mental illness, with characters as unforgettable as the region itself.



I laughed. I cried. This is a book that is real, honest and reminds all of us that life is filled with ups and downs. The only way to keep moving forward is to get real with ourselves about whom we are and accept our beauty and our pain. This young author has amazing wisdom that is so articulately shared with readers of all ages. 
-- 5 Stars, Amazon Verified Purchase
The West Texas Pilgrimage was insightful into the mind of a privileged, pre-adult male who tries to self-medicate his OCD condition with alcohol. While reading, I felt the main character's vulnerabilities as he struggled with his feelings regarding his career choice, the loss of a good friend to cancer, and the complications of his search for the right female life mate. The book was a quick read...only because I could not put it down! There were several "ah-ha" moments when I thought: oh my, that's really how a pre-adult male thinks??!? I never knew!! 
-- 5 Stars Donna J Millon
I read the first half of the book in one night; it draws you in with believable characters and real challenges they face. Could have been written about people you know or have met. It covers some tough topics but is an enjoyable read. -- 5 Stars Peter Day
Really nice read. Very detailed description of so many things made me feel like I was right there with them. 2 nights to read for a non reader like me makes for a really easy and entertaining time. Thumbs up. 
-- 5 Stars Nunya
The book brought me right back to the border towns of my youth. Step outside any bar and be hit with the smell of fajita and sewer. Glorious!  -- 5 Stars Amazon Verified Purchase


Author Interview 1: Matt Wolthoff

How has being a Texan influenced your writing?
Read one page of The West Texas Pilgrimage and you’ll immediately recognize the influence Texan culture has had on my work.  The novel has been characterized as a “love letter to West Texas,” but I like to think of it as more of an ode to all things Texan. One of the criticisms of the book was that I used too many brand names and musical references, but all of that was intentional as I wanted to create a realistic portrayal of my generation Texan. In my opinion, product brand names and popular music are both generationally relevant and important aspects of a culture.  

I think I have a unique perspective on being Texan as I spent a large part of my youth elsewhere.  As the son of a career Air Force Officer, I moved every three years and had the opportunity to experience many cultures, both domestic and international. None have influenced me more than having lived my high school years and all of my adult life in South Texas. I think I’ve had the opportunity to appreciate many things about being Texan that some may take for granted.       

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I enjoy story telling, but they have to be realistic and relatable stories.  My writing is a reflection of my reading tastes, which have always been novels of the same genre; historical fiction or at least realistic drama. As a kid, I voraciously read military novels like Tom Clancy.  I’ve since found a passion for western and Texas historical fiction like Larry McMurtry. I have a strong desire to tell believable stories based on real life experiences with relatable characters in interesting settings.  If I had the time to do the research I would also love to get into writing actual history.   

Where did your love of reading come from?
My mom instilled a passion for reading in me since I was old enough to remember.  We read everything together and often times books and subjects that were well beyond typical for my age.  One of the first books I can remember reading with her was The Red Badge of Courage, but the list is long.  By the time I was in 3rd grade, I was reading the novels mentioned above.  

How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first novel, albeit a very short one, in 5th grade.  It was a pretty gruesome war story that my teacher wasn’t very impressed with.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?
My writing these days is limited to one or two projects that I am working on and, as mentioned above, they are realistic stories based on real life experiences or historical events.  

What cultural value do you see in storytelling?

Storytelling and poetry, whether in literature or song, help define a culture and are the only thing that prevents it from being forgotten.  There’s no more effective way to share ideas, express passions, entertain, or connect on a large scale than to write it down.  
How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?
As the title suggests, The West Texas Pilgrimage is based on a spiritual journey, although the reader may not immediately recognize it as such. The rowdy, alcohol soaked adventure is far from the orthodox story of finding faith, but it mirrors my spiritual journey at the age of the characters. There are some subtle and not so subtle references to the main character’s struggle with his faith, and I think many readers will relate.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I’d like to think that my writing is real.  My one mission with this book was to create a story that was relatable. I’m still developing my writing skills, and recognize some of my shortcomings in this first novel, but I think I accomplished what I set out to do.  The most gratifying feedback I’ve received has been, “I can totally relate to that character,” or “now I understand where my son was coming from.”  I don’t mind the “man; that brought back memories” either.  I’m an extremely nostalgic person, and it makes me happy to invoke that in others.  
Matthew Martin Wolthoff lives in McAllen, Texas, with his wife, Lucy Ann, and three children, Hunter Ann, McCoy Martin, and Kerr Dunkin. He grew up in a military family, living all over the world until finding home in South Texas, where he went to high school in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His parents instilled a passion for reading and writing in him early in life that grows stronger every day. An avid outdoorsman, he finds his inspiration—and peace of mind—in the shallow waters of the Lower Laguna Madre and the wilderness of the South Texas brush country. His first West Texas pilgrimage was in 2010. It was a life-changing event.


5 KOLDER HOLDER DRINK INSULATORS: (US ONLY) December 5 – December 14, 2016
Guest Post 1
Author Interview 1
Guest Post 2
Author Interview 2
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