Michael. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
taught at universities throughout the world: Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the Virgin
Islands, and I spent the last twenty-five years of my forty-year career at a
California community college. I live in Southern California wine country with
my wife, Kitty, and our two other cats. I love to write, read, and travel the
world. I am delighted that I now have the luxury of time to devote to all three
of my lifelong passions.
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
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?
inspired you to write this book?
relationship the United States has had with Saudi Arabia, one of the most
restrictive societies in the world. As a college professor in Saudi Arabia, I
was witness to the fact that life here and life there is as different as being
on two separate planets. What we take here for a given is nearly always a no-no
intrigued me, and where better to deal with something such as this than in a
very hidden-from-the-rest-of-the-world location. The mixture of live and let
live as practiced in Bavarian Munich, coupled with the fervent zeal of Arabia,
enhanced by American involvement—and the plot just seemed to thicken, drawing
me into it as I wrote, without my ever knowing precisely where or how it would
end, but loving every minute of it.
The Munich all around her was bustling with activity. She could hear it from
all directions. Munich was a wonderful city, a fun-loving place, the live and
let live ebullience of the city emanating from its every nook and cranny. She
had had a lovely stay here. All of it had been so adventurous, so new, so
unlike life back home in Arizona. She could vividly recall the first time she
had ventured into a Munich beer garden, where the liter mugs had been so huge
that she had had to lift hers with both hands, and the giggles, from him, until
he too had had to use both hands.
The fumbling noises he had been making came to an abrupt halt. He began
stroking her cheek again. Gus looked so happy, so young, so full of life. It
was so hard to imagine that he could be so heavily involved in all this horror.
Gus smiled at her once more. His eyes were soft, so gentle, so caring, so
Maybe this was some kind of huge mistake. Maybe he wasn’t going to kill her after
all. Maybe everything would turn out happily ever after. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.
But then suddenly she saw it clearly. It was no fairy tale. There would be no
maybe. This was real, as real as the mixture of sadness and fear that now
flooded her brain.
am currently working on something quite different from anything that I have
ever written before. It is a memoir of my journey from grieving widower to the
once-again happily married man I am today. It is entitled The Three Kitties that Saved My Life, dedicated to my rescued stray
cat, my inspirational three-legged cat, and my wonderful new wife, Kitty.
did you first consider yourself a writer?
young age. I must have read every Curious
George book out there. At the age of ten, I self-published my first book, a
short synopsis of California history. My parents bought the only copy, but I
was a published author, and I was hooked. I have always been good at writing.
In fact, all through the school system, my teachers would compliment me on my
writing. I have written stories, essays, poems, novellas, and novels, but it
wasn’t until I retired, in December of 2010, that I gave my writing itch a good
scratch. I am not out for money. As a retired college professor, I have a nice
pension. Rather, I want to write until I die. I love creating characters and
plots. Writing to me is like reading. I never know precisely where things will
lead. I am in good health, and my doctor told me that writing is a very healthy
avocation for someone in my situation: a retiree. I love his advice.
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do
other than write and how do you find time to write?
time now to my family, to my writing, to reading, and to travel, both
nationally and internationally. I love to travel. I have lived abroad many
times, and there are few countries in the world that I have not had the
privilege to visit. My international travels have helped me become a better
person and a better writer. When I decide to write, I do so. I am not out to
make a lot of profit. I want to have fun, and creating plots and characters in
the exotic places I have lived is very enjoyable. The minute my mind has to
struggle with what is to come next, I promptly get up from my computer and do
something else. I want to ensure that writing is always pleasurable for me
instead of being hard work.
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
in the morning for my daily exercise. I will often find myself running home as
fast as I can, so that I can jot down a great idea that popped into my mind
before I lose it. I look forward to my daily walks. They are healthy for me,
and they also provide me with new ideas for my writing,
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
college professor, and that is precisely what I became, for over forty years. I
loved every minute of it.
about are real. For instance, Covert
Dreams is set primarily in Munich and in Saudi Arabia. I have lived and
studied in Germany, and I know Munich as well as I know the back of my own
hands. Also, I was a college professor at the University of Petroleum and
Minerals, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I have traveled extensively throughout the
Middle East. In addition, my Caribbean murder mystery, Deadly Eyes, is set on the island of St. Croix, where I was a professor
at the University of the Virgin Islands. The
Famous Union is a humorous look at college life, and I was a professor for
forty years, so I know the territory well. The
Survival of Marvin Baines is a semi-humorous look at midlife, something
that I personally have lived through.