Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Blog Tour: Covert Dreams by Michael Meyer [Promo + Author Interview + Guest Post]

Title: Covert Dreams
Author: Michael Meyer
Date of Publication: June 1st, 2012
Publishers: Createspace 
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback
Length: 340 pages

AN INTERNATIONAL SUSPENSE THRILLER Imagine 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 never visited. 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?

Hi Mike! Its such a pleasure to have you here! Welcome to my blog. To start the interview, first tell us something about yourself.

I am a retired English professor. I taught at universities literally throughout the world: Thailand, Saudi Arabia, the Virgin Islands, and, for the last 25 years of my 40-year career, I taught at a California community college. Now that I am retired, I can devote my time to my four favorite things: my family, writing, reading, and world travel. I live in Southern California wine country with my wife, Kitty, and our two adorable rescue cats.

That's enviable! You traveled a lot! So, now lets talk about your book and writing. When did you first know that you wanted to be an author? Did you always want to be one?

I wrote my first book when I was about ten years old. My parents bought it for a dollar, I think. From that time forward I was hooked. Now that I am retired, I have the luxury of time to practice what I preached for forty years as a professor of writing.

 How did you come up with the idea behind "Covert Dreams"?

I love a good mystery. I like to be thrilled. There are few locales in the world more mysterious than Saudi Arabia. In addition, Munich has been one of my most frequented vacation spots. That is how I chose the two primary locales. As for the plot, the strange relationship between the very Western American government and the ultra-conservative Saudi government has always intrigued me, so the plot was born.

Is any of the characters/incidents in your book influenced by real life people or circumstances?

The characters are all from my imagination, but the locales are authentic. In addition, the premise of the book, the involvement of the American government, is not too far-fetched. As a matter of fact, many readers have told me that the ending is quite believable, which, to me, is quite a frightening thing.

What was the biggest challenge while writing the book?

I hated it to end. My books are like my children, in a way. When they go off to live their lives on their own, say at Amazon or at Barnes and Noble, I miss interacting with them on a daily basis. I am like a reader when I write, and I am always a bit sad when I finish a good read.

Did you ever suffer writer's block? If yes, what did you do to get over it?

I write because I enjoy doing so. Whenever my writing becomes anything more than pure fun, I simply get away from it for a time. I never want my writing to seem like work. I am retired now. I have put in my time, so now, when I sit at my computer, I do so because this is what I want to do in retirement.

What were your feelings when you first saw the finished copy of your book?

I was elated, but, as I mentioned earlier, I was also a bit sad. However, when I held the paperback version in my hand, I must say that I beamed like a proud father. I love seeing my own books on my bookshelves at home.

Are you completely satisfied with your writing or would you like to change something in your story, given a chance?

When I finish, I am finished. I then move on to something new. I have spent so much time rewriting, that there comes a time when I simply have to tell myself, “Enough.”

Why did you choose this particular genre to write about? Who are your target readers?

I am an eclectic writer as well as a reader. I have published two mysteries/thrillers, two humorous novels, and one non-fiction book. In other words, I am all over the place. I write what I like to read, and I have many different reading tastes.

Okay! I'd now love to hear a few things about you. To start with, is writing your full time profession?

As a retiree, my profession is now behind me. Writing is now my preferred avocation, and I am enjoying every minute of it.

When you're not writing what do you do to relax?

I love to read, and I thoroughly enjoy spending quality time with my three kitties. My wife, Kitty, and I travel a lot. We enjoy short vacations in the U.S., and we make it a habit to travel overseas at least once a year. In fact, we just returned from a three-week holiday in Germany, where we rented an apartment in a small town along the beautiful Rhine River.

What’s the schedule of a typical day for you?

I really do not have a typical day since I write when I like, and Kitty and I might decide to spend the day along the beach or at a local bookstore. Or, we might decide to stay home all day and read since we are both very avid readers.

If your book is adopted for a movie, which actors would you like to play the characters of your story?

I’m not choosy. If any of my books become a movie, I would be so elated that I would not care one bit who starred in it.

You said you love reading. So what are your favourite books?

I am an avid reader, and I select the books I read pretty carefully. Therefore, since I really get involved in what I am reading, I would have to say that the book I am reading at the moment would be my favorite.

What are you reading currently?

I just finished DOG’S RUN by Nick Russell, and it was terrific.

What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Write, write, and write because that’s what writers do. And be sure to enjoy it, not to think of it as labor intensive. Life is too short to do otherwise.

Just for curiosity, if you’re ever deserted in an island alone, which 5 books would you pick to carry along with you? And why?

A large blank book, so that I myself could write; a concise encyclopedia, so I could continue to learn about the world; a large collection of poetry, so that I could calm myself when need be; a large anthology of British and American literature, since you can never take the English professor out of me; and a second blank book, so I can continue writing, which is very cathartic for me.

Are you working on any other book now?

I am taking a short break at the moment since I just recently completed my latest book, THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, my true journey from grieving widower to the once-again happily married man I am today.

Thank you so much, Mike. I loved the chat with you. And lots of good wishes for your book. :)
Topic: How did you decide the setting of your novel?
Written by: Michael Meyer

People often ask me how I selected the settings for my international thriller COVERT DREAMS. I got the traveling bug early in life, and it has stayed with me all these years. I love to travel internationally at least once a year. I have been a student overseas, and I have taught at universities overseas. I have visited, and know well, all of the locales in COVERT DREAMS, London, Rome, and the two major locales of Munich and Saudi Arabia. I have been to Munich so many times that I know it like the back of my hand. I can practically move about blindfolded and find my way. I love that city! As for Saudi Arabia, I was a professor for two years at the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I literally traveled all over the Middle East. The local color drawn in the book is real. I was there. I lived in both major settings. Authenticity is in all of the local color portrayed in COVERT DREAMS. Boisterous Munich and the mysterious burning sands of Saudi Arabia are portrayed in all their splendor, glory, mystery, and secrecy.  

I have always been intrigued by the relationship the United States has had with Saudi Arabia, one of the most restrictive societies in the world, where I have been personal 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 there. It is as if our two cultures come from completely different worlds, so the interaction between the two fascinates me and makes for a good suspenseful read.

The area of parapsychology has always 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 live and let live boisterousness of Munich, coupled with the religious zeal of mysterious Arabia, enhanced by government intrigue – 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. I was like a reader as I wrote. It was as if I were back in the two locations I have experienced so well in my real life.

The sites of London, the glory of Rome, the ebullience of Munich, and the mysteries of Saudi Arabia—the locations are all presented authentically since I have personally visited and /or lived in all of them.


  1. Thank you for for featuring COVERT DREAMS today, Book One of my International Suspense Collection, which lives here at Amazon: http://smarturl.it/CovertDreams