About Me

My photo
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

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finding Time to Read in a Tricky 2013

Well my 2013 reading goal was 50. I knew it was unlikely that I'd do this, what with a new home, a marriage, and a new novel, but by setting the bar high, I WAS able to read 26 (and closer to my "real" goal of 30.  I am a very slow and detailed reader, so this has got to be a personal best).

The theme of this year was books that became movies or TV shows interspersed with some others because these were books I've been salivating over and just *HAD* to read. And while I didn't get to all of the titles that I wanted to (Next year, Exorcist, Godfather, and Harry Potter, next year!) I thoroughly loved these selections. I've bolded the titles that fit the theme...

I've also linked to the pages of some authors that you may or may not have heard but are so, so, so worth checking out.

So without further adieu, here they are by month that I finished the book.

  • Darkly, Dreaming Dexter--Jeff Lindsay
  • Dearly, Devoted Dexter--Jeff Lindsay
  • Dexter in the Dark--Jeff Lindsay
  • Sleeping Murder--Agatha Christie
  • Fight Club--Chuck Palahniuk

  • Lisey’s Story--Stephen King
  • Leave Myself Behind--Bart Yates
  • Odd Interlude--Dean Koontz

  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh--Michael Chabon
  • Water for Elephants--Sara Gruen
  • Dexter by Design--Jeff Lindsay
  • Psycho--Robert Bloch

  • Blood Meridian--Cormac McCarthy

  • Shogun--James Clavell

  • Full Dark, No Stars--Stephen King

  • The War Magician--David Fisher
  • The American Boy--Andrew Taylor


  • Odd Men Out--Matt Betts
  • Trick or Treachery--Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain

You can see these books and my all time reading list at goodreads.

*I did read my book this year (for fun) after publication so I counted it...Hope that's not cheating

Sunday, December 8, 2013

My book Only Human is out now

Hi everyone,

There is a great new Urban Fantasy that is part action, part romance, part mystery and suspense, and part horror.  It's my novel Only Human.  I hope you take a look, and I hope you enjoy.

I'd love to hear that you think.


“Dragons do not cry. They control their emotions. That is what all dragons were taught, but I am now the only one alive to remember this lesson.” 
Cover Art by Allie Raines
Now for sale at Amazon

What does it mean to be a human? 

Meet Vincent, a most unusual dragon who has been trying to avoid answering that particular question for thousands of years, ever since his kind banished him and forced him to spend the rest of his life as a human. When a new love arrives unexpectedly, Vincent discovers that the only way to find happiness is to revisit his violent past and to confront his uncertain future. Haunting, heart-felt, and sometimes funny, Vincent discovers that even through tragedy, the things we most often try to avoid are those that make us whole.

What others have said

ONLY HUMAN takes you on a journey through Vincent's past lives and loves as he navigates his present incarnation and the darkness that follows him throughout the ages.
-Heidi Ruby Miller, author of Greenshift

There's lots to love about ONLY HUMAN: action, mystery, secrets revealed and redemption. Add to that dragons (who doesn't love dragons?), wicked bad guys and an all-too-human narrator who will win your heart...the strongest element of this book is the love story...This is an epic, timeless story and a small intimate one at the same time. Dip your toe in, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
-Jennifer Barnes, editor at Raw Dog Screaming Press

Purchased and enjoying!!...AND I had a dream I was a flying dragon last night! It was awesome!
-Amazon Reader

Watch the trailer below

For fun

Who would play the characters in the movie version?

About Me

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. 

He'd love for you to visit him at his blog, Writing is Tricky
or on Twitter @mikemehalek

If you'd like to join his email list, please email mike.mehalek@gmail.com
with like to join in the subject line.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cover Reveal: Wasteland Blues by Scott Christian Carr and Andrew Conry-Murray

Hi everyone, check out the newest cover sneak peek by Dog Star Books: Wasteland Blues, written by authors Scott Christian Carr and Andrew Conry-Murray.  Read on to learn more.


Of Mice and Men Meets The Odyssey in a Post-Apocalyptic Future

Having only ever known the uncivilized wake of nuclear and biological apocalypse, three friends and their wheelchair-bound hostage set out on a perilous fool’s mission--to cross from one side of the devastated United States to the other, in the desperate, half-believed hope of finding a rumored haven. 

Spurred by a dark vision and the murder of their father, rageaholic Derek Cane and his over-sized, simple-minded brother, Teddy, flee the only home they've ever known, a struggling shantytown on the edge of the vast Wasteland. Heading ever eastward, they are accompanied by their friend, John, an orphan brought up by a fanatical religious order, and Leggy, a crippled old drunk who brags that, in his youth, he once traversed the Wasteland as a scavenger.
Cover Art by Bradley Sharp

Post-Apocalyptic novel coming from Dog Star Books in March 2014

Monday, October 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: Corpus Chrome Inc by S. Craig Zahler

Hello Trickyverse,

Raw Dog Screaming Press has been back at the pound and working like--well dogs--to bring to us the next installment for the Dog Star books imprint.

Today they reveal the cover to S. Craig Zahler's novel Corpus Chrome and another winning cover by Bradley Sharp.

Read on...

Corpus Chrome Inc 
Who should be given a second chance at life? 

Decades in the future Corpus Chrome, Inc. develops a robotic body, dubbed a “mannequin,” that can revive, sustain and interface with a cryonically-preserved human brain. Like all new technology, it is copyrighted.

Hidden behind lawyers and a chrome facade, the inscrutable organization resurrects a variety of notable minds, pulling the deceased back from oblivion into a world of animated sculpture, foam rubber cars, dissolving waste and strange terrorism. Nobody knows how Corpus Chrome, Inc. determines which individuals should be given a second life, yet myriad people are affected. Among them are Lisanne Breutschen, the composer who invented sequentialism with her twin sister, and Champ Sappline, a garbage man who is entangled in a war between the third, fourth and fifth floors of a New York City apartment building.

In the Spring of 2058, Corpus Chrome, Inc. announces that they will revive Derek W.R. Dulande—a serial rapist and murderer who was executed thirty years ago for his crimes. The public is horrified by the decision, and before long, the company’s right to control the lone revolving door between life and death will be violently challenged….

Cover Art by Bradley Sharp

Cyberpunk/Transhumanism novel  coming from Dog Star Books in January 2014

What They’re Saying About S. Craig Zahler

“Zahler’s a fabulous story teller whose style catapults his reader into the turn of the century West with a ferocious sense of authenticity.”
—Kurt Russell, star of Tombstone, Escape from New York, Dark Blue, and Death Proof

“If you’re looking for something similar to what you’ve read before, this ain’t it. If you want something comforting and predictable, this damn sure ain’t it.  But if you want something with storytelling guts and a weird point of view, an unforgettable voice, then you want what I want, and that is this.”
—Joe R. Lansdale author of Edge of Dark Water

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Guest Host: Mark McLaughlin: "What Will You Write Next...?"

Hello Trickyverse,

As promised, today I am happy to bring to you a guest post, written by Bram Stoker award-winning author Mark McLaughlin.  I was thrilled when Mark graciously accepted my invitation to post, and I hope you enjoy his writing advice as much as I did.

Without further ado, I bring you--

What Will You Write Next…?
by Mark McLaughlin

These days, the world of horror literature is filled with zombie books. I know this because I’m one of the authors who have contributed to the current glut of undead literature. Last year, Wildside Press released my story collection, BEACH BLANKET ZOMBIE. People have asked me if I wrote that book expressly to capitalize on the current zombie trend. Honestly, the answer is “No”: the stories in the book were written over a period of around 17 years. I’ve been writing about zombies long before the trend ever began.

Mind you, I’m not complaining about all the other authors who have chosen to write zombie books. I enjoy creating zombie stories and wouldn’t want to deny any other writers that pleasure. Based on conversations and emails with other authors, I know that many writers have written zombie books simply to jump on the undead bandwagon. But, I’m not complaining about those folks, either. Everyone should be able to write whatever they want to write. In fact, that’s the point of this blog entry: everyone should write what they WANT to write.

Now, let’s say you don’t really WANT to write a zombie book, and you’re only thinking about doing it because you want to ride the current trend. If that’s the case … well, you probably shouldn’t do it. For one thing, the trend is already on the downswing, and by the time you finish your book, the trend will probably be deader than a zombie’s brainless victim. Plus, if you’re not really into the topic you’re tackling, it won’t be your best work.

My most recent book is BEST LITTLE WITCH-HOUSE IN ARKHAM, a collection of Mythos-inspired horror stories, and I wrote it because I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing stories of cosmic horror. Do I think that cosmic horror is, or will become, a huge national trend? No: it’s too complex of a subgenre and definitely too much of an acquired taste. But hey, lots of people do like it … there’s certainly a readership for it … so that makes it a win-win situation for me. It’s a subgenre I enjoy writing about and that others enjoy reading.

With all that in mind, you may now be thinking: “I like a lot of different genres and subgenres. If I don’t jump on the zombie trend, what trend should I jump on?”

My answer is this: If you must jump on a trend, do some research and find a trend that speaks to you. A trend that excites you. Or, forget about trends and write whatever the hell you want! Who knows, you may write something that will initiate the next big trend, whatever it might be. Every trend has to start somewhere, and maybe what you create will become popular and inspire other authors, because you wrote it with passion and sincerity.

I will add this cautionary note: If you do decide to write within the boundaries of a trend, make sure you are well-read within that trend and its genre, so you don’t end up reinventing everyone else’s plotlines. Fans of that trend will be able to tell if you’re faking it, and they’ll be disappointed if you get any of the details wrong, so do plenty of research. Also, push yourself to be innovative and energetic. If you add something new to the trend and do it with enthusiasm, readers will pick up on that energy and truly enjoy your work.

Good luck -- and get to work! The next big thing ain’t gonna write itself!

-- End --

About Mark McLaughlin: Mark's fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have appeared in more than 1,000 magazines, newspapers, websites, and anthologies, including GALAXY, FANGORIA, LIVING DEAD 2, WRITER'S DIGEST, CEMETERY DANCE, MIDNIGHT PREMIERE, DARK ARTS, and two volumes of THE YEAR'S BEST HORROR STORIES (DAW Books). His latest releases are the story collection, BEST LITTLE WITCH-HOUSE IN ARKHAM, the two-author poetry collection, REVENGE OF THE TWO-HEADED POETRY MONSTER (with Michael McCarty), and the story collection BEACH BLANKET ZOMBIE. Feel free to visit Mark on Facebook at www.facebook.com/markmclaughlinmedia.