Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
Today I welcome Michael Meeske author of Poe's Mother and several other novels and stories.
VH: If you could change one thing about our world, what would it be and why?
MM: Easy to say, but I would change man’s inhumanity to man. Could I ask for the eradication of stereotypes? Throughout the centuries, millions have died for a cause, or some ideology that within a hundred years has itself withered away. However, I am not naïve. If man’s societal nature hasn’t changed in millennia, why expect it to change now? Despite Lennon’s “Imagine” and Star Trek’s Federation, violence, hatred, racism and homophobia seem destined to continue far into the future. I wonder how and why these processes occur? Is it genetic or environmental? Currently, I’m reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. It is a most fascinating and frightening book, despite whatever academic flaws it might contain – a cautionary history of how to hijack a country through nationalistic fervor and shrewd political tactics. The parallels to politics today are eerie.
VH:If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
MM: I would tell myself not to be afraid. For many years, I failed to recognize that I have certain talents I should applaud and cultivate. I was afraid to step outside my shell. As I grew older, I changed, but perhaps not as fast as I should have. It’s easy to remain comfortable, oblivious to the world around us and not take risks because of fear. And, by risks I mean those that are good for us and others – not destructive. Abusing drugs, alcohol and sex are risks, but not the type we should be taking. Why not start the novel you’ve wanted to write for all these years? When I tell people I write, most say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” My response is, “You’d better get started.” There’s so much to learn. Life is too short, and as age encroaches, we see just how limited our time is. Be happy, be healthy and use your life to your best advantage.
VH: For what are you grateful?
MM: I’m grateful for every day I have on this earth. I know that sounds clichéd, but it’s the truth. I am grateful for the beauty we have around us. It’s sad that so few fail to recognize or appreciate it. I live in South Florida, an area not known for its outstanding natural beauty. Yes, the Everglades is a magnificent natural wonder; the miles of beaches, despite overdevelopment, still have their attractions. The sprawling tri-county area from Miami to Palm Beach is filled with strip malls, parking lots, ugly buildings and urban blight, but if you look past that you can enjoy nature’s wonders. Beauty exists in my suburban environment. My backyard is filled with all kinds of flora and fauna: birds, lizards, snakes, butterflies, coconut palms, ferns, flowering plants year round. The microcosm is lush and spectacular. I love the zebra wing butterflies that flutter into my yard every day. In one of my books, I have a character who is dying. He tells the heroine, his love interest, that he’s not scared of death but of missing the beauty of the world – not being able to hold a baby, not being able to see another beautiful sunrise or sunset. That’s the way I feel. Heaven may be paved with streets of gold, but those streets can’t compare to the beauty of an isolated Cape Cod beach or a trail through the Rocky Mountains. I live every day I have to the fullest extent I can.
VH: Well said. Thank you Michael.
What teachings can be gleaned from the works of Edgar Allan Poe? Poe's Mother is a startling new novel of terrible family secrets, the lure of the occult and supernatural, the grip of a decaying haunted house, and the claustrophobic isolation of a dying town. It is a cautionary testament to the power of words and the addictive strength of opium.
Learn from the family who holds Poe's Ligeia, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Black Cat and other dark stories in the highest regard.
Discover the lives of Sissy and Riven Baxter and how they are drawn into their strange relationship with Edgar and Madeline Poe - two upstanding citizens of the small town of Nodoline. What Sissy and Riven discover will change their lives forever and love will never be the same.
(This book is for mature readers.)
The chase is on! Written as a sequel to Mary Shelley's masterpiece of 200 years ago, Frankenstein's Daemon captures the spirit of the original in this page-turning tale. Capt. Robert Walton pursues the monster, vowing to carry out the revenge ordered by Victor Frankenstein. Walton's quest takes him to Ernest Frankenstein, Victor's brother, and his beautiful wife, Olivia. Mad ambition, unfettered science and love betrayed lead to a shattering climax on the streets of London.
New York Times best-selling author Heather Graham, says, "Michael Meeske has taken a turn on a classic tale, writing with emotion, that truly seduces us into the humanity of a 'monster.'"
Michael Meeske writes across genres, including romance, mystery, suspense, horror and gothic fiction, a genre that blends horror and romance, and has its roots in some of the earliest novels ever written. Poe’s Mother is his latest release available exclusively on Amazon. com.
From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President of Florida Romance Writers (FRW). He has been a member of FRW and the Romance Writers of America since 2002. He also was an active member of the Writers’ Room of Boston, a non-profit working space for novelists, poets and playwrights.
Michael’s writing credits include Frankenstein’s Daemon, a sequel to Frankenstein, offered through Usher Books. He also is the co-author of His Weekend Proposal, a tender category romance published in August 2009 by The Wild Rose Press under the pen name of Alexa Grayson (soon to be published in Greece); Zombieville, a short story included in a 2011 anthology by FRW writers, available at Amazon.com, and Tears, a short-story published in the Fall 2000 issue of Space & Time, a magazine of fantasy and science fiction. Usher Books will publish additional works by Michael in 2012 and 2013.
Some of his influences are Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, Richard Matheson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and any work by the exquisite Brontë sisters. You can contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~