"Writing," [MAX SCHOTT] says, "is a way of thinking about my own past." In fact, the characters and events in "Shannon" (Page 18) are autobiographical: There was a stable owner who was like a second father to Schott when he was growing up in Culver City; there was a girl who died trick riding and another who fibbed her way into the stable where he worked. "The story was inspired by memories, but I was also fascinated by ideas of independence in rodeo girls. They simply wouldn't be imposed on by anyone. They fascinated me as a kind of ideal."
Much of the cast of "Shannon" is also the cast of Schott's latest novel, "Ben," published last month by North Point Press. Schott, a horse trainer and rodeo roper till he was 30, is 55 and a professor of writing and literature at UC Santa Barbara.
PHOTO: MAX SCHOTT; PHOTO: [SANDRA CISNEROS]; PHOTO: [ETHAN CANIN]; PHOTO: [ALICE ADAMS]; PHOTO: [GERALD HASLAM] / Fredrich Cantor; DRAWING: COLOR, (COVER) Illustration by Nancy Klobucar.