About Me

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Mike Mehalek writes fast-paced lyrical books that can be enjoyed with one reading but have enough substance for re-reading. He brings stories to life that demand to be told, regardless of the hopes/dreams/fears/desires of his characters--the Story first--always the Story.

In 2008 Mike earned his masters degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University

Visit Mike on twitter @mikemehalek

Monday, September 5, 2011

New novel....Untitled

So it's been three years since my last novel.  I feel like I'm in confession with that last sentence, and I guess it is a confession of sorts. I'm not sure why but none of the ideas that have come to me since my 2008 graduation seem story worthy.  And no reason I provide is logical or rational.  It's as if my brain just needed time gather its thoughts and then scream, holy ****, Tricky, do I have a story for you.

And what I have is a combination of a story that I dreamed up in the early 2000s, with a bit of a spin, and I am happy to say that it is a few thousand words and going strong.  Do I know where it is going?  No, my brain is a mean little cuss when it comes to things like providing details, but it's giving its secrets just when it seems like I need them either through hard work (i.e. outlining), inspiration, or through my dreams.  So I am hoping to work diligently through the fall and have something passable by year's end.

One of the main elements I am missing is a villain.  I have an idea of this evil fellow, he's a Hannibal Lechter-esque fellow.  Someone you love to hate and hate to love, and every now and again you find find yourself rooting for him or her--but in this case, I'd probably report you to the police if whomever this villain becomes since he is not the type you really want to like . . . I think.

So I am asking all of you, the internet community, to comment below and tell me who you're favorite villain of all time is and the reason why. Everyone has a favorite.  We must because, without them there really aren't many stories worth telling.

Let's hear' 'em--ball's in your court.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Devil and Preston Black

The Devil and Preston Black.

As a writer, I try to learn a writing lesson from every book I read.  With Jason Jack Miller’s The Devil and Preston Black (Devil) I learned a little about fighting writer’s block.  I mention writer's block because it seems that when I tell people that I have writer’s block, they say just write something.  Anything.  Just write what you’re trying to say.

But as much as writing is about saying something--it is also deciding what not to say.  And that is what is most remarkable about Devil.  Miller has an adept understanding of the nuance of language so readers can extrapolate a much more complex story than the one told on the surface.  He engages the reader, so that, in some strange way, the story channels a shared experience with the author.

When reading this book, do not ask what could possibly be said about the devil that hasn’t already been said a thousand times?--although I could argue that the answer from Miller is quite a bit--but rather what’s been “unsaid” about the devil  and the nature of evil.  Jason Jack Miller is a virtuoso and his writing style gives him an uncanny ability to employ understatement.  For every one thing that Miller chooses to say, he creates a complexity in his characters, settings, and plot--every element--that would be lacking if they were overstated.

Despite understatement, Miller’s images are rich his characters round; his understatement creates a reality and a believability.  Perhaps what makes this most striking is that Devil has a pinch of magic to the story that even the most stubborn I-can’t-suspend-my-disbelief readers will find to be believable elements in a realistic reality.

In addition, Miller is a skilled writer who impeccably breaks from his understated cadence and gives readers a tiny dose of overstatement, the result of which adds tension, creates mystery, and keeps the reader turning pages. And for this reader this is what makes Devil a truly remarkable book worth reading.