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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What writing technique of yours are you most proud of? by Michael Meyer (author of Covert Dreams)

One technique that I am particularly proud of is summed up by one of the many readers who have left reviews on my Amazon website: “One last point: at the end of most of the chapters the author used an unusual and effective technique that really won my respect. I felt I was in the hands of a master. Terrific book. I would recommend it to anyone.” This particular review really had an effect on me since I had worked extremely hard to perfect this specific technique. Since COVERT DREAMS has two alternating stories that are linked in a horrifying way at the end, I wanted to keep the reader in suspense the entire journey. I especially wanted to ensure that this would be a page-turner. So what I did was to link each chapter together with endings that would titillate the reader, making one want to hurry on to see what was going to happen next.

COVERT DREAMS is set primarily in Munich and in Saudi Arabia, both places that I know very well. The locales I have drawn are authentic. The research I did to ensure that the settings are all real came from my own personal observations. I was a student in Germany, and I have probably traveled to Munich on fifteen separate occasions. I know the city like I know my own hometown. In addition, I was a professor at a university in Saudi Arabia, and I traveled extensively throughout the country, which I also know quite intimately. So what I had to do was to somehow link these two extreme cultural entities, the Bavarian ebullient nature and the Arabian ultra religious culture. What I finally came up with, after lots of thought, hard work, and many rewrites was to add an intriguing link between Munich and Saudi Arabia at the end of most chapters.

One of the two alternating stories mainly takes place in Munich, Germany, where a man who has been haunted recently by a series of lifelike nightmares is frantically trying to discover what is real, and who is who. The second story takes place in Saudi Arabia, where an American professor is frantically searching for his wife, whose very existence has disappeared. The first time I used this technique of linking the two alternating threads together to add suspense was at the end of the first chapter: “Time, gradually becoming their enemy, did a flip-flop, and the now became the then, dying, giving birth to what lay ahead, way beyond the present, biding its own good time, in total control, much like a German panzer unit moving across The Netherlands. Just like the power of Allah under the hot Saudi Arabian sun.”

One other example of my using this technique comes at the end of a later chapter: “Then it happened. They were both emotionally wrought, and the fear was evident in the way in which they clutched one another, neither of them wanting to ever let go, the table—their whole world, in fact—shaking, much like a beer barrel polka in a boisterous Munich beer garden—or a sandstorm in the lonely Saudi Arabian desert.”

I am delighted that my readers have found this technique of mine effective because I can tell you that I spent a lot of time making sure that the wording in each chapter ending of COVERTDREAMS was as strong as it could be.

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About the Book
Imagine waking up remembering intimate details about a country in which you have never traveled and fluently speaking a language that you have never spoken. B.J. is living the ideal life. He has a great wife, a wonderful job. And yet he is experiencing life-like vivid dreams of Munich, a city he has never visited.

Stan Halsey is a professor in Saudi Arabia, who sends for his wife to join him. She arrives, and, in the blink of an eye, she vanishes, leaving no trace of ever being alive in either the United States or in Saudi Arabia.

COVERT DREAMS is a fast-paced international suspense thriller that moves from Munich to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia. What is real, and who is responsible for the terrifying nightmare?

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About the Author
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.

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5 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting Michael :)

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  2. Sounds interesting I really look forward to reading! Wishing you well on your tour:)

    Michelle

    Pit Crew

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  3. I still think the cover is attention grabbing. I'm finding out that does a lot in getting a book sold.

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    1. Thank you all, so much. I appreciate your kind remarks.
      Mike

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  4. Liking the sound of this book! Good luck with the tour.

    Louise - pit crew.

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