• MLK Announce

    The Martin Luther King Mitzvah

    Mathew Tekulsky’s novel
    is a timeless story of two kids
    who defy the odds, unite a town,
    and make a brave stand against discrimination.

    Learn More

Mathew Tekulsky with MLK book

The Martin Luther King Mitzvah

Mathew Tekulsky’s novel
is a timeless story of two kids
who defy the odds, unite a town,
and make a brave stand against discrimination.


© Copyright 2019 Mathew Tekulsky

001IMG 5641mathew Tekulsky Writing Bernie And The Hermit Pain Quotidien E Raw Blog8

I thought it would be a good idea to share some behind-the-scenes images of what it’s like to be a working writer, especially a writer of fiction. I often bring typewritten pages of what I have written so far with me to a local cafe, and I then continue the story longhand, as I people watch and just clear my mind of the constraints of being at my house all the time. 

002IMG 5549mathew Tekulsky Writing Pain Quotidien Pad Pen Bernie And The Hermit E Raw Crop Blog8

You can see one of these pages here on the table.

003IMG 8215bayliss Office Mathew Tekulsky Writing Heidelberg E Raw Crop Blog8

Then, when I return to my office, I input what I have handwritten into my computer. I often write on my computer as well, and use the Internet to do fact-checking, as when I was working on my short story entitled “Heidelberg.” You can see the Old Bridge on my large screen as I reminded myself of my visit to this great city in 1974.

004IMG 5569bayliss Office Mathew Tekulsky Writing Bernie And The Hermit E Raw Crop Blog8

While I was writing my novel Bernie and the Hermit, I used a number of books for research, and you can see them here along with my handwritten text and the typewritten text on the computer screen.

005MG 8121mathew Tekulsky Writing The Postcard Gelsons E Raw Crop Blog8

Sometimes, when I am writing in a public place, I lose myself in the story and I seem oblivious to my surroundings, but it’s all part of keeping the creativity going. In this photo, I’m writing my short story called “The Postcard,” based on a railway trip up the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland.

006IMG 8179bayliss Office Mathew Tekulsky Writing The Postcard E Raw Crop Blog8

Later, back at home, I fact-checked a view that I had witnessed of the Grindelwald valley, with the face of the Eiger on the right.

007IMG 6608mathew Tekulsky Writing Pain Quotidien E Raw Crop Blog8

Sometimes, I use my time at the café to proofread the typewritten text of what I have so far, as in this photograph of me working on Bernie and the Hermit. You can see that I have already produced a lot of material by the thick folder of paper beneath the pages on which I was working.

008IMG 8236mathew Tekulsky Writing The Alamo Aaron Bernbach Photo E Raw Crop Blog8

On another occasion at the same table, you can see me writing the short story “The Alamo,” which takes place on the Sunset Limited Amtrak train, and beneath my handwritten pages, I have printed out from the Internet the menu from the dining car of that train for accuracy.

009IMG 2659mathew Tekulsky Mlkm Book Pain Quotidien E Raw Crop Blog8

The result of this combination of working at home and in public is (hopefully) a published book, in this case The Martin Luther King Mitzvah, which I am holding up at the same table where I was working on Bernie and the Hermit at the beginning of this essay. Being a working fiction writer means working all of the time, while you have the inspiration, and you only know when you are finished when you feel that you have reached the logical end of the story. As a former editor-in-chief of Scribner’s told me many years ago, “Just keep writing.”

Praise for The Martin Luther King Mitzvah

  • David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer:
    “Great job! Very moving, and you really captured the era along with a keen kid’s point of view. Very impressive!”

  • Ed O’Neill, actor on “Modern Family” and “Married With Children”:
    “You should be proud of what you have done. It’s a real book and a real well told story.”

  • James B. Harris, director of “The Bedford Incident” and other films:
    “I really enjoyed reading it. It’s beautifully written. I was really impressed. It’s sweet and touching, and you can identify with the story.

The Latest

Backyard Bird Photography and Art of Hummingbird Gardening books

I visited the Wildling Museum in Solvang, CA recently and saw my books there. It’s a great museum and they displayed a Willow Flycatcher photograph of mine in an endangered species exhibition many years ago. I’m hoping for a solo show of my bird photographs there someday. We’ll see.

Read more

With MLKM in the hills above Los Angeles

Read more

Follow Mathew on Facebook

Follow Mathew on Twitter