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

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Uncle Mike's Band: A tribute to Michael A. Arnzen

I'm a Mike Arnzen fan, I'll admit it.

I also have to admit that I really didn't know Mike all that well--being the uneducated reader I was back then--when I first met him in 2006.  He was a mentor in the writing program I had begun attending at Seton Hill University, the professor that it seemed like all of the horror writers wanted to be their mentor.

But then at a book signing I picked up one of his books 100 Jolts, a collection of over 100 flash stories and randomly flipped to a story entitled "Taking Care of Baby."  After reading that little puppy I must say--well I've already said it haven't I--I became an instant fan*.  

And like all good fans I tried to emulate the master.  Below is my own Arnzen-inspired poem written around the time I first became enamored with flash fiction.

Looking at it now, I know it's not my best work, but it takes me back to the early days of my writing career. 

NOTE: It's best to read aloud using your best Arnzen impression. 

(Blog Continues below...)

Uncle Mike’s Band

Severed-head-disco ball scouts the dance floor, spinning its absurd axis.
Demons dance...Spirits fly...down the gullets of hoary beasts.  How they shriek, as they digest, over and over for eternity. 

         The band is ready.  Human tendons tuned on monstrous bass guitars.  Flesh stretched tight on primal drums.  Lead Siren spitting words, her lyrics hiss from snaky speakers.  The patrons groove in a trance.

         The bloodied staff cries in angst, werewolves howl, vampires feast.  A VIP guest am I, earning high status for my life.  Hell’s a party. Hell’s a blast.

Hell is the VIP pass.

Hell is Disco for the dammed.  Doomed to numbing light and sound.
Severed head, disco ball, I scout the scene, spinning on my absurd axis.

Photo by Jason Jack and Heidi Ruby Miller

Currently, Mike is working on the Fridge of the Damned poetry magnet kickstarter, and like all of Mike's works, you'll want to own a part of it.

Be an instigator, support the Fridge of the Damned poetry magnet kickstarter

*And to date I seem to have survived the ordeal with minimal physical and emotional scars

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dog Star Books New Cover Reveal: A MIRACLE OF RARE DESIGN

Well, while we are getting slammed (or so the weather reporters would have you believe) with snow up here in New England, and any semblance of my humanity goes into deep freeze until such time as Punxsutawney Phil grants absolution, I was granted a small reprieve and a moment of respite upon learning that Dog Star Books have landed and will be launching one of Mike Resnick's books A Miracle of Rare Design in the warm summer months of 2013, with another amazing cover by Bradley Sharp.  Exciting, exciting news! 

BOOK: A Miracle of Rare Design
AUTHOR:  Mike Resnick
ARTIST: Bradley Sharp
PUBLISHER: Dog Star Books
GENRE: Anthropological Science Fiction
SUMMARY: The best way to learn about an alien species is not only to live among them, but to become them in both physical form and function, but could a human really learn to think like an alien, and at what cost to his humanity?

Journalist and adventurer Xavier William Lennox becomes obsessed with the rituals of the Fireflies, an alien culture of gold-skinned inhabitants living on the planet Medina. When he gets too close to their mysterious society, he's captured, tortured, and banished for his curiosity, but vows to learn what it is that the aliens are so desperate to hide, even if it means becoming one of them.

But his curiosity doesn't end with the Fireflies. As opportunities arise to study more alien races, Lennox undergoes a series of cosmetic surgeries so that he can blend in with their cultures. But each time his humanity is stretched until he faces his biggest challenge—trying to return to the ordinary life of a man who has experienced the universe in ways he was never meant to.

RELEASE: Summer 2013 
LINKS: Dog Star Books - http://dogstarbooks.blogspot.com
Mike Resnick – http://mikeresnick.com
Bradley Sharp - http://www.bradsharp.co.uk/

Saturday, January 12, 2013

2012 Reading List and year end review--of sorts: Are You Too Cool for School??

While 2012 was another year of little reading (disappointed sigh)--I plan to try to push myself to read 50 books for 2013--I have nothing but good things to say about all of my reading for 2012.  Looking back, it seems I have been a little heavy on the Dean Koontz in 2012, but there was a new Odd Thomas book as well as one that I read for a small reading group.  I usually try to be a little more diverse and spread my limited reading time across more genres.

Every year I put up some type of post about my reading for the year on "Writing is Tricky" as a means of reflection (and action for the next year) as well as hopefully to bring something useful to all of you.

So this year I decided to make my reading list a bit more interactive. Rather than summarize what I read or give details on what I was doing and where I was when I read each story, I thought I’d set up a little quiz about the books that I read to test your writing prowess (and coolness).

(Note: Designing this quiz was WAY more challenging than anticipated.  Do not expect an end of year quiz for 2013!)

Pre-quiz instructions PLUS a TOTALLY AWESOME 80s flashback!!

Picture Pages! Picture Pages! Time to get your Picture Pages.  Time to get your crayons and your pencils.  Picture Pages! Picture Pages! Open up your Picture Pages. Time to watch Bill Cosby do a Picture with you!

Matching will be the format that we use for the quiz, 30 questions, totaling a possible 300 cool points should you answer everything correctly.


You’re on the honor system (answers are below).

Note: This is an “open-internet” quiz--feel free to websearch, and no you don’t need Mortimer Ichabod Marker* to take this test

Matching Part I Match the book to the author

1. Hellbender                                    A. Matt & Natalie Duvall (editors)
2. The Blood Poetry                           B. Gary A Braunbeck
3. Days of Reckoning                          C. Troy Aaron Ratliff
4. Cloud Atlas                                    D. Gail Z. Martin
5. A Game of Thrones                         E. Stephen King
6. Odd Apocalypse                              F. Dean Koontz (Used 3 times)
7. The Last Werewolf                          G. Leland Pitts Gonzalez
8. 30 Days to Social Media Success        H. Jason Jack Miller
9. To Each Their Darkness                    I. Ansel Dibell
10. 77 Shadow Street                          J. David Mitchell
11. The Wind Through the Keyhole         K. George R. R. Martin
12. What the Night Knows                     L. Glen Duncan
13. Little Bernie’s Map                          M. Chris Stout
14. Hazard Yet Forward
15. Plot

Matching Part II Match the summary/description/theme/quote/observation/etc… on the left to the story/book to the right

1. First installment of A Song of Fire and Ice               A. Hellbender
2. Make social media marketing work for you              B. The Blood Poetry
3. Features a young fry cook who sees the dead          C. Days of Reckoning
4. Literary vampire novel yet without one poem           D. Cloud Atlas
5. Anthology, which my story “The Turnpike”             E. A Game of Thrones
6. Creepy old hotel, inhabited by “The One”               F. Odd Apocalypse
7. Roland Deschain & the Man in Black in DT4.5       G. The Last Werewolf
8. Femme fatale aid in crooked cop’s gory demise      H. 30 Days to Social Media  
9. Family stalked by a poltergeist seeking revenge       I. To Each Their Darkness
10. Reviews essential story structure in all fiction        J. 77 Shadow Street
11. Harness your own horror when you write      K. The Wind Through the Keyhole
12. Struggling family’s drive becomes a nightmare    L. What the Night Knows
13. Appalachian gothic/literary novel set in WV         M. Little Bernie’s Map
14. Story structure resembling matryoshka dolls        N. Hazard Yet Forward
15. “Humboldt's Gift on the highbrow shelves,          O. Plot
      Shogun on the low"--best quote from this novel              


Part I                     Part II
     1.     H                       1. E
     2.     G                       2. H
     3.     L                        3. F
     4.     J                        4. B
     5.     K                        5. N
     6.     F                        6. J
     7.     L                        7. K
     8.     D                       8. C
     9.     B                       9. L
     10. F                       10. O
     11. E                       11. I
     12. F                       12. M
     13. C                       13. A
     14. A                       14. D
     15. I                        15. G


Scoring (Each question is worth 10 cool points):
< 200 -- We probably have very different reading tastes and differing views of “cool”
210-250 -- I’d probably buy you a drink in a bar just so we can keep talking books
260-280 -- I like you.  Can I buy you a shot?
290 -- You’re one twisted SOB…I mean honestly...Can we be friends?
300 -- You must know me, ARE me, or are the principal reason I don’t publish my address

*If you are anything like me and devastated never to have had a Mortimer Ichabod Marker, then click here because Tricky found out how to get one of your very own.