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Arroyo Grande author pens novel featuring Walt Disney

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He ran and ran, but Mickey just couldn't keep up with the speeding ambulance carrying away his creator's body to a cryonics clinic.

Fast forward to 50 years later, after that fateful Dec. 16, 1966, and Walt Disney has a crucial choice to make: To thaw or not to thaw? Bored curmudgeon Samuel Clemens (also known as humorist and author Mark Twain) goes along to redeem himself, and a new soul, Eepia, attempts to keep the duo from disrupting timeline issues. Hilarity and human connection ensue.

Of all the myth and lore that surrounded the iconic man, the idea that Disney froze himself just in case technology advanced enough to bring him back is perhaps the most far-out and intriguing. So naturally, Arroyo Grande author Wayne Edmiston decided to base his debut novel, Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw?, on this particular Disney rumor. New Times spoke with Edmiston about the man, the amusement park, and coming back from the dead.

LOCAL AUTHOR Arroyo Grande author Wayne Edmiston recently released his debut novel, Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw? - PHOTO COURTESY OF WAYNE EDMISTON
  • Photo Courtesy Of Wayne Edmiston
  • LOCAL AUTHOR Arroyo Grande author Wayne Edmiston recently released his debut novel, Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw?

New Times: What is Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw? about?

Wayne Edmiston: It's about the supposition that Walt Disney was cryogenically frozen, and after 50 years he's given the option to decide if he wants to come back. Well, here he is as heaven's creative director and he gets this call from the angel Gabriel.

NT: Where did the inspiration for your debut novel come from?

WE: My writing has evolved over the years. This book started with my late wife. It was the result of [an] article that supposed that Disney had been cryogenically frozen. My then wife said, "What if he were given the opportunity to come back?" There're factual events that happen, but the characters are fictional.

NT: Let's say he really was cryogenically frozen. Do you think Walt Disney should come back?

WE: That still would have been up to Disney and there would have been a lot of legal ramifications to be addressed.

NT: What's your take on Walt Disney as a person?

WE: He had a dark side, but he idealized about making the world a better place. And that's how Disneyland came to be. He wanted to make sure everything was just so before it was produced with his name on it.

NT: Are you a Disney person?

REDO? Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw? by local author Wayne Edmiston imagines the iconic Walt Disney getting a second chance at life. - IMAGE COURTESY OF WAYNE EDMISTON
  • Image Courtesy Of Wayne Edmiston
  • REDO? Unfatally Dead: To Thaw or Not to Thaw? by local author Wayne Edmiston imagines the iconic Walt Disney getting a second chance at life.

WE: I enjoy both Disney and Mark Twain's writings. My wife Jackie and I went for the first time together to Disneyland in September 2011. It's A Small World was a very interesting experience. That ride is in the book.

NT: Who is the target audience for the novel?

WE: It's kind of a family read. It's easily a young adult novel, more for the general public even.

NT: Do you have any upcoming projects?

WE: I have several projects that are in line, and one is a middle grade children's story about a girl, a piano, and an elephant. And when they come together, magic happens. It's called Ellie And Her Elephant and it comes out sometime next year.

NT: What are some of your favorite books and authors?

WE: I have a wide variety. Deepak Chopra is in there. Wayne Dyer is one of the authors I enjoyed reading and meeting and talking with. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle is fabulous.

NT: What do you want people to take away from the novel?

WE: It's about life itself. How to get along with others, living life to the fullest, making your moments count. Your thought produces action and then you have an effect. Δ

Arts Writer Ryah Cooley's favorite Disney princess is either Belle, Aurora, or Moana. Contact her at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

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