By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
As he prepares for the debut of his feature film, Beau Yotty, Arizona author and resident, has recently published a collection of memories and experiences coined “Modern Cowboy: Quotes and Poems: Life and Love in Today’s World.”
Mr. Yotty say he was impacted by films and literature at an early age marveling at images of heroes like Clint Eastwood, John Wayne and Sylvester Stallone. Those icons of stage and screen provided Mr. Yotty, he says, with a foundation for effective storytelling and meaningful dramatic effect that can last a lifetime. As an actor, he has appeared on networks such as Showtime, A&E, USA Network and MTV.
The Arizona Digital Free Press sat down with Mr. Yotty to offer readers a behind-the-scenes look at what inspired the local cowboy to pen a book about quotes and poetry. This is what he had to say:
Q&A with Beau Yotty
•Can you tell me about the inspiration of your book: ‘Modern Cowboy: Quotes and Poems: Life and Love in Today’s World’?
My inspiration behind “Modern Cowboy” came from my personal experiences. Although life is a locomotive steaming forward in one direction, it’s full of hills and valleys. Whether it’s personal or professional, we are at the mercy of obstacles out of our control. It’s how we react to the blessings and pitfalls on our journey that counts. The words in the book are from my experiences. You could say “Modern Cowboy” is a personal diary in a way. Lessons that I have learned thus far in life. My goal is for the reader to have an emotional reaction, to find comfort in one of the passages while reading.
•From your perspective, what is the image of the American cowboy?
From my perspective, the American cowboy is the ultimate figure. A person who is tough as nails, full of grit, but is also compassionate. Someone who follows the “Golden Rule” as Jesus spoke during his Sermon on the Mount, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The American cowboy is a person that personifies integrity and respect. Like the characters John Wayne played on the silver screen. The American cowboy will fight until the end for what he loves, and for what is right.
•Are you from here in Arizona? If so, whereabouts?
I’ve lived in Arizona for several years now, but I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Western Washington has changed a bit since I was a child. My friends and I would play baseball or football until we saw the glow of streetlights. I recall an adventurous, yet safe environment growing up with a view of Mt. Rainier on the horizon. The area still had the can-do spirit of pioneers and mountain men who settled in the area. My father would tell me stories about my grandfather’s experiences as a trapper for the state. He sure fit the description of an American cowboy.
•What do you think separates your writing from the pack?
That may be for the reader to decide, but I can tell you that I focus on being genuine in nonfiction, and character driven in fiction works. For example, “Modern Cowboy” is based on my real-life experiences. The words written come from honest emotions. I was having those particular thoughts, and feelings as I sat down to write each individual piece. It is sort of like a diary, as I mentioned previously.
In regard to screenplays and novels, I focus on the characters. Once a main character is developed, I’ll create supporting characters. Each character is given a backstory from birth. After that process is complete, I drop them in a scenario. From then on, the story writes itself as the characters respond to confrontation and experience emotions that moves the story forward. It’s all about the characters.
•What do you think has been lost regarding how the myth or legend of the American cowboy is thought of today?
The American cowboy was respected as a man of principle and integrity. An individual who could be counted on, no matter the circumstances. Someone who, through hard work and determination, strived to create a better life for himself and his country. Somewhere along the way, the steadfast principles of American cowboys have become a negative traits. Today we see people rewarded for taking shortcuts and attacking cultural moral fibers. Some even lash out at those who take a stand for what is right. The principles of the American cowboy are perceived to be antiquated in some circles of today’s society. That couldn’t be further from the truth. A moral foundation is vital for a just society.
•What do you hope will come from the recent publishing of your work and where can folks get a hold of a copy?
Anti-heroes are pushed by modern culture. Even the “good guys” operate without a moral foundation or code. In a world bombarding us with negativity, my goal was to create a book with a positive moral message. That old school heroes and gentlemen do exist, and more importantly, are needed. My hope is the words resonate on an emotional level with the readers. That someone will find comfort, and possibly motivation. Hopefully putting a smile on someone’s face.
•What was the most challenging part about putting together this book of quotes and poems?
The most challenging part about writing “Modern Cowboy” was opening up. I am a private person. I was raised to keep your thoughts to yourself, not to reveal too many things. Overcoming my instincts not to share was a big hurdle, but one I’m glad I did.