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Arizonan Author Wins Prestigious Whitney Award For First Book

Arizona Author Tyson Abaroa holding his Whitney Award.  Photo courtesy of Tyson Abaroa

Arizona Author Tyson Abaroa holding his Whitney Award.
Photo courtesy of Tyson Abaroa

Local author Tyson Abaroa received inspiration for his book The Fattest Mormon from a real-life situation: he entered a weight loss contest for both men and women at his work. He was the only man who joined, but he won the contest and received a $91 cash pot. Abaroa claims that he found the situation full of humor, and it rolled around in his head until he came up with a story.

Abaroa is a member of the American Night Writers Association, ANWA—a national group of LDS writers. He submitted his story to a few traditional publishers without any luck, so he decided to publish it himself. The novel grew legs of its own and soon was nominated for a prestigious Whitney Book Award for LDS authors in the General Fiction Category. Tyson states he was genuinely surprised to win. He and his wife attended the awards ceremony hosted in Utah in April of 2018.

The Fattest Mormon is a story about a man who lives in his Winnebago and drives cross-country looking for contest to enter for prize money. He plans to earn enough money to go to Japan to sturdy and compete in his first love, Jiu-Jitsu. A weight-loss competition with an $8,000 prize is being held in Snowflake, Arizona. As he drives cross country to enter the contest, he eats anything and everything to pack on the extra weight.

Naturally, amusement ensues.

:   The Fattest Mormon book cover.  Photo courtesy of Tyson Abaroa

: The Fattest Mormon book cover.
Photo courtesy of Tyson Abaroa

Abaroa’s slapstick humor is used often throughout the book: “[I] tried to slide across her hood. For some reason it wasn’t as slippery as I thought. My butt stopped sliding but my upper body kept moving forward. I sprawled out on her hood for a second, then rolled off onto the gravel of the shoulder.”

As of future plans, Abaroa says, “I plan to take my writing to the next level of mediocrity. Just kidding. I have always wanted to write something, anything about the Superstition Mountains.”

Abaroa says, “Treat yourself to some award-winning funny! Buy my book, The Fattest Mormon. It’s available on Amazon.”

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