JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Michael Meyer, author of Covert Dreams
Is the mysterious disappearance of an American in today’s Saudi Arabia somehow linked to a terrible murder in Munich back in 1984? Is B.J. living a nightmare, or is it reality? How can he dream the same dream night after night and know intimate details of Munich, a city in which he has never been? How can he speak German in his dream, a language he does not know? Why does everybody think he is losing it? Is he going crazy?
How can a woman suddenly disappear in the Saudi Arabian heat, along with every trace of her very existence? Why is there absolutely nothing, not one single detail in any records anywhere, to prove that she is indeed a living person and that her spouse is not crazy for thinking so? Why do both the American government officials and the Saudi Arabia authorities insist that she has never even existed?
What is real, and what is not? Who is really who, and why? What is behind the murder, the kidnappings, and the nightmares all leading up to what end? The mounting suspense moves from Munich, to London, to Rome, and to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia. What is the horrifying link between these two alternating stories?
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Covert Dreams?
Michael Meyer: I love a good mystery. I like to be thrilled. There are few locales in the world more mysterious than Saudi Arabia. In addition, Munich has been one of my most frequented vacation spots. That is how I chose the two primary locales.
As for the plot, the strange relationship between the very Western American government and the ultra conservative Saudi government has always intrigued me, so the plot was born. As I wrote the thriller, not knowing where it would lead me or how it would end, I was like a reader myself.
I have lived in both Germany and Saudi Arabia, the two most prominent locales depicted in Covert Dreams, so the authenticity of the setting appealed greatly to me.
JP: What sets Covert Dreams apart from other books in the same genre?
MM: I don’t see myself competing with other writers. I am not very good at tooting my own horn. What I can say, though, is that I strive to be only at my very best when I write. I am a strong critic of my own writing. If I don’t like something, then it does not find a permanent home in my work.
I love language, and I spend an enormous amount of time just trying to get every sentence to convey precisely the right sounds and images. In other words, I think of myself as a perfectionist when it comes to my writing.
One reviewer said the following about Covert Dreams, “The dialogue in the book was completely realistic. It was not cliché or overly dramatized as we sometimes see in thrillers.” That meant a lot to me.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Covert Dreams getting out to the public?
MM: I rely heavily upon word-of-mouth advertising. I have been fortunate to have gathered great reviews of the book, and many from pretty prominent people. I seek out interviews on blogs, and I participate in a wide variety of forums. The bottom line, however, is that the quality of my work has to speak to others, and they, in turn, have to speak about it for me. Thus far things are going quite well.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Covert Dreams?
MM: I am an early morning person, so I like to get to work right after breakfast. I walk for about an hour six days a week, and on that walk, just before breakfast, while exercising my body, I am also exercising my brain by coming up with ideas for that morning’s writing session.
I sometimes find myself having to hurry home just to be able to jot down a note or two before I lose the idea. I started Covert Dreams a couple of years ago and then after my retirement in December of 2010 from a forty-year career as an English professor, I made it my priority to finally give birth to my baby.
JP: What’s next for Michael Meyer?
MM: I am nearly finished with my second novel of suspense, entitled The Deadly Eyes of St. Croix. I was a professor of English at the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands for four years. I hope to have the novel published by Amazon Kindle in the next couple of months. And then I hope to get started on my next book and the one after that. I seriously hope to be writing well into my old age.
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I have always been fascinated by language. For instance, why would I want my credit card swiped at the cashier’s booth while I am swiping it after a purchase? If you are going to come to my house for dinner, are you coming or going? Do children drink their milk up or down? I love the creativity that can be achieved by getting the wording just right. I am an avid reader, and that has also contributed to my desire to write. I enjoy reading my own work. I still can laugh, or cry, at the scenes I have created.