Today I am introducing Mike Meyer, a very talented and versatile writer whose complete works I have read and reviewed over the last month. His latest book, “Three Kitties That Saved My Life” has just been released. Here is an interview with the man himself and reviews of at least a few of his books.
Losing loved ones is an awful fact of life; losing one’s loving spouse, one’s day-to-day partner through life, especially in the prime of life, is one of the most unbearable tolls that we humans are forced to endure. This is the true story of my journey from grieving widower, not caring if I lived or died, to the once-again happily married man I am today, a man who both loves and cherishes life.
You might laugh and you might cry, at times, as you journey along with me. I sincerely hope that my words and the events they describe will be helpful to you as you too struggle through life
“The Three Kitties That Saved My Life” by Mike Meyer is a moving memoir about loss and recovery.
Meyer lost his first wife to cancer and gradually recovers from his grief and manages to move on with his life, with the help – you guessed it from the title – two cats and his second wife, named Kitty.
This is a selection of short chapters that chronicles the development of Meyer from a bitter widower to a fully functioning and happy man.
As an animal lover myself I could not help but love he tales of his relationship with the stray cat that comes into his life just as he needs someone the most – and the same goes for the cat.
Charming and much more upbeat so much sooner in the book than I would have expected this has a great feeling to it and is inspiring as well as entertaining. It reminded me much more of dog books such as “Marley and Me” (sorry, I have not read a similar cat book yet) than of cancer / loss/ self help books, but it should fit wonderfully in either category.
Having read different books by the same author I am amazed at the versatility of his writing and pleased to see a man so full of life behind those great books of his.
Interview with Mike:
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you come to writing in the first place?
I come from a long line of teachers, and books have always been a large part of my life. When I was ten years old, I wrote my first book, a short pamphlet about early California history, and my parents bought the only copy I made. They paid me a quarter for it. I was hooked. From that day on I wanted to be a writer. I love language. Words fascinate me.
You write in a lot of different genres. Is this a challenge you set yourself or do you find you are more at home in any particular type of writing?
I love to write the kinds of things I like to read since I am like a reader as I create my own books. I am a very eclectic reader. I love a good mystery, and I love to read non-fiction. I like to laugh. I am not afraid to cry. I am at home with writing itself, not with any specific genre.
Tell us about your books and how they came about.
My two international suspense novels came about from my life experiences. I was a professor in Saudi Arabia, where much of my COVERT DREAMS is set. I was a student in Munich, where lots of the action takes place. I was a professor in the Virgin Islands, so the idyllic island of St. Croix, where I lived for your years, is where DEADLY EYES is set. THE FAMOUS UNION, a comic romp through the halls of academia, came about from my forty-year career as a college professor. In addition, I personally made it through midlife, even though Marvin, in my THE SURVIVAL OF MARVIN BAINES, is having a tough time doing so.
When did you first have the idea to write “The Three Kitties that saved my Life”?
I was widowed over ten years ago, and I became a literal basket case. I loved my wife so much, and suddenly I was all alone in the world. I fought to survive, it was tough, but I made it. Married now for the second time, to my wonderful wife, Kitty, living in bliss with her and our two adorable rescue cats, the idea just gradually formed in my head that my true journey just might touch—and help—others.
Did you write it to inspire people or is it “just a love letter” to your wife and cats?
It is probably both. As my wife, Kitty, told me the other day, writing this book was very cathartic for me. I must admit that I found myself crying a bit at the beginning, but I also laughed a lot at the antics of the cats and, especially, when realizing how far I have come, much of that due to the love of Kitty.
Did you find it difficult to open up and write about something so personal?
I had to do it, I think. I have read just about everything I can get my hands on about grieving the death of one’s spouse, and writing about it just made complete sense to me. I do know that my deceased wife would be proud of me. She was an avid reader. She would have been proud of me for writing the book.
Are you going to return to crime fiction and humour?
I am not quite sure where I am going next. I have lots of ideas floating around my head. I do like a good mystery, and several potential plots have popped into my head. You just gave me an idea: I might write a humorous mystery. Yes, I do like that idea.
How do you write? What is the environment like?
I am an early morning person. I like to get up and then go running. As I work out, ideas for that day’s writing session pop into my head. I hurry home to jot them down, and then get to work right after breakfast. Since I am retired, I want to make my writing a pleasurable activity and to never view it as hard work.
How long does it take you to write your books?
It takes me a long time to write a book. I come up with an idea, but I never quite know how things will fit together, and I never know how it will end. That’s what makes the writing process so enjoyable for me: I am a reader as I write.
Who does the editing for it and control the quality?
I am a retired English professor. I taught for over 40 years at universities literally throughout the world. I do all my own editing. I am now practicing what I preached to my students, so to speak, for over 40 years in the classroom.
Who is your favourite character of all your books and why?
I literally fell in love with Rosie, one of the main characters of my Caribbean mystery DEADLY EYES. She is lively, sexy, and witty, and she can stand up to anyone and is not afraid to do so. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the quick repartee between her and Cuff. I miss it so much, that I revisit them in my book every now and then. I can’t help myself.
Who would play your characters in a movie?
I would love to have had a young Maureen O’Hara play Rosie. The fit would be perfect. My wife, Kitty, of course would play herself, as would my two rescue cats.
Do you find that your readers follow you as you change genres or do you get grief for not satisfying their demands or expectations?
I have no idea. I do know that many of my readers have read several and, sometimes, all of my books. I simply cannot be thought of as a writer of mysteries, because that is not what I am, although my two mysteries have been so well received that they are now #’s 1 and 2 on the Goodreads Recommended Thriller/Suspense List.
Who are your favourite authors? What is your favourite book?
I have very eclectic tastes, so I have many favourite authors: Richard Russo, John Steinbeck, and Stephen Ambrose—the list goes on and on. Since I really immerse myself in what I read, I would have to say that my favourite book is probably the one I am reading at the time.
What are your plans for the future? What are your latest projects and where would we find out about them?
I am tossing my ideas around at the moment, but, since I just recently finished my very emotional THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, I haven’t yet finalized my next WIP.
WHERE YOU CAN FIND ME:
Amazon author’s site: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Meyer/e/B005E7M8CW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Goodreads author’s site: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/674626.Mike_Meyer
Facebook writers’s site: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMeyersWritingLife/app_191387770912394
Pinterest writing site: http://pinterest.com/temmike/
COVERT DREAMS trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9drU4-um_U
DEADLY EYES trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LWLBtVDUdC4
I have resided in and have visited many places in the world, all of which have contributed in some way to my own published writing. I have literally traveled throughout the world, on numerous occasions. I have lived in Finland, Germany, Thailand, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Saudi Arabia, where COVERT DREAMS is set. I gained the wanderlust to see the world, to experience other cultures, at an early age, and this desire has never left me. If anything, it has only gained in intensity as I have aged. I try to travel internationally at least once a year. In the interim, I spend lots of time traveling around both my home state of California and other nearby states.
I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as COVERT DREAMS was born.
As a recent retiree from a forty-year career as a professor of writing, I now live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats.
My review of Covert Dreams:
“Covert Dreams” by Mike Meyer is a cleverly told, multi-layered mystery/ detective story that kept me guessing and wondering from the beginning.
It starts with the murder of a girl in Munich in 1984, then moves 27 years forward, where B.J. splits from his girlfriend because of his recurrent dreams about the murdered girl. As he starts to feel that he knows her and speaks German – despite that not being possible – he even hires a private detective to find out about the girl.
In a separate present day storyline Stan Halsey has accepted a teaching position in Saudi Arabia when suddenly his wife is missing and all public records of her have also disappeared.
Stan decides to investigate himself since no official help is forthcoming and discovers by coincidence that another woman has recently disappeared in a similar way.
I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, only that both B.J. and Stan start to uncover things bigger than they had expected and that I was on the edge of my seat while pacing through this book to find out the connection.
This is a very well structured and neatly told thriller, skilfully done with great surprises and turns to make this far from predictable, certainly for me. The book was a bit of a special find for me as I had by coincidence just recently been to both, Saudi Arabia, and Munich which is also my home town and I did appreciate the many cross references of metaphors in the narratives that always pointed from one country to the other. However, the story works just as well without the local knowledge, if you are a fan of suspense and mystery this is certainly one for you. I was amazed at how long the two parallel stories could run separately with only hints at a connection, but it worked very well for me. A well-deserved 5 stars.
My review of The Famous Union:
“The Famous Union” by Mike Meyer is a hilarious farcial comedy set in a University Campus, highlighting the issue of institutional bureaucracy and its effects on effective public spending.
The story tells the arrival of two new academics on Campus, one of which has too many students and one who has none. The latter being stuck to a binding contract that secures his position although his job has been officially axed.
Meyer has a talent for comedy and unfolds the story and the implications of said binding contract very well. The main characters are fleshed out nicely by giving them rather quirky personalities and amusing side plots, such as their amorous involvements. There is also a cast of other characters: students, secretaries and bureaucrats that make the story an entertaining and enjoyable read.
Having known Meyer only as the writer of crime fiction it was a welcome surprise to see him just as good a writer in a different genre.