Interview with Michael Meyer
1 - Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, when did you know you really wanted to write? I became fascinated with books at a very young age. I must have read every CURIOUS GEORGE book out there. At the age of ten, I self-published my first book, a short synopsis of California history. My parents bought the only copy, but I was a published author, and I was hooked. I have always been good at writing. In fact, all through the school system, my teachers would compliment me on my writing. I have written stories, essays, poems, novellas, and novels, but it wasn’t until I retired, in December of 2010, that I gave my writing itch a good scratch. I am not out for money. As a retired college professor, I have a nice pension. Rather, I want to write until I die. I love creating characters and plots. Writing to me is like reading. I never know precisely where things will lead. I am in good health, and my doctor told me that writing is a very healthy avocation for someone in my situation: a retiree. I love his advice.
2 - What inspired you to write Covert Dreams? I love a good mystery. I like to be thrilled. In addition, I have always been intrigued by the relationship the United States has had with Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive societies in the world, where I have been a personal witness to the fact that life here and life there is as different as being on two separate planets. What we take here for a given is nearly always a no-no there.
The area of parapsychology has always intrigued me, and where better to deal with something such as this than in a very hidden-from-the-rest-of-the-world location. The mixture of live and let live as practiced in Bavarian Munich, coupled with the fervent zeal of Arabia, enhanced by American involvement—and the plot just seemed to thicken, drawing me into it as I wrote, without my ever knowing precisely where or how it would end, but loving every minute of it.
3 - What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing? For me, the toughest part of being a writer is finishing a novel. When the words The End appear, I feel sad. My baby is now on its own. It is like having a movie that has fully engrossed you coming to an end. It is like being so absorbed by a book that you are reading that you simply never want it to end. As I said earlier, I am like a reader when I write, never quite knowing what will happen next and especially how things will end.
4 - Who are your favorite writers? Why? In a nutshell, I have many favorite writers, and I have been inspired by most everybody I have read. I am an avid reader, and I have very eclectic tastes. I read a wide variety of genres, both fiction and non-fiction. I am a pretty keen observer of the world around me, and bits and pieces of what I hear, see, and read trigger thoughts that eventually find a home in my own writing.
5 - Is there anything else you would like your readers to know? The locales I write about are real. For instance, COVERT DREAMS is set primarily in Munich and in Saudi Arabia. I have lived and studied in Germany, and I know Munich as well as I know the back of my own hands. Also, I was a college professor at the University of Petroleum and Minerals, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I have traveled extensively throughout the Middle East. In addition, my Caribbean murder mystery, DEADLY EYES, is set on the island of St. Croix, where I was a professor at the University of the Virgin Islands. THE FAMOUS UNION is a comic look at college life, and I was a professor for forty years. THE SURVIVAL OF MARVIN BAINES is a semi-comical look at midlife, something that I personally have lived through.
Thank you, Michael!