Butler alumnus Pres Maxson self-publishes “Pigeon”

ERIC SNYDER | STAFF REPORTER | egsnyder@butler.edu

Photo courtesy of Pres Maxson.

A Butler University graduate, former rock star, husband and father of three Pres Maxson self-published his second novel last month.

“Pigeon” tells the story of a busboy in an elite Paris club who is mistaken for a renowned private detective.

Maxson described “Pigeon” as a mild absurdist satire, taking place in Paris but with characters who speak with English colloquialisms and do crazy things, meet exotic animals and navigate numerous plot twists.

Maxson received his MBA from Butler, learning to market himself as a professional creative.

“I learned how to become a better marketer, and a lot of hard lessons about finding an audience,” he said.

Bob Mackoy, professor of marketing at Butler, had Maxson in class and spoke highly of his creativity.

“You don’t see many people as creative as Pres,” he said. “He was also very smart, driven and balanced, working hard with his creative side.”

Maxson works at Salesforce in Indianapolis as a copywriter, which means he is writing during the majority of his time. Ever since college, his responsibilities have grown, but so has his passion for writing.

Gianna Kujawski, a junior English major, said that balancing responsibility and personal projects is a common problem in her life.

“I always want to write for myself, but I find that I never discipline myself enough to do that,” she said about her passion for poetry.

Maxson, with a full-time job and a family, shared his secret for making time.

“The key is just finding a way to sleep a little less,” Maxson said. “Passion projects are important for everybody.”

Maxson has had many “passion projects.” His first novel, “Bender at the Bon Parisian” was also self-published.

“I was proud of my first novel, definitely,” he said, “But with ‘Pigeon,’ I just sort of let my image run free.”

Maxson’s “image,” has varied over his career, ranging from devoted entrepreneur to satirical author. He was also a musician for years, before earning his MBA from Butler.

Mackoy recalled Maxson and another student, Richard Ash, performing together.

“Yeah they actually went to Broad Ripple for gigs,” he said. “They were memorable, that’s for sure.”

Maxson and his wife Mollie, a fellow Butler graduate, vacation in Paris, which provided some influence for his writing. Other influences for Maxson include renowned mystery writer Dashiell Hammett and Ernest Hemingway. Maxson, however, tries not to emulate them in his writing.

“If I try to write like them, I just can’t,” he said. “I found it easier to just let my voice, you know, ring through.”

Now with a growing family, Maxson has to be creative between new responsibilities, usually after his family has gone to bed. As far as the stress of writing and self-publishing a novel, he said it was about as stressful as anything else in life.

“More than anything I just have to tell myself, ‘Just get to work!’” he said.

He encouraged those who love reading to give “Pigeon” a try.

“I hope, at least, that it’s funny,” he said. “It’s a light read, pretty digestible, and I think it’d be a good travel book.”

Both of Maxson’s novels are now available on Amazon.

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