Author Interview: Erik S. Meyer

 






 

JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Erik. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

ESM-Originally from Connecticut, I've been living in Europe for over 20 years, mainly in Germany. Currently, I live in southern Germany on beautiful Lake Constance, not too far from Austria and Switzerland.

I love to be outdoors and do a lot of hiking and biking. The area offers wonderful trails, which is perfect. I also love reading a wide variety of books from fiction to non-fiction across many genres.

A perfect day for me would start with a leisurely breakfast, be followed by a vigorous hike, then an afternoon nap, and close with a delicious dinner with friends.




 

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

ESM-The time period 1880-1914 has always fascinated me. Perhaps because that is the era most of my family emigrated to the US. Perhaps because it is a unique period of invention and change connecting the past with the future of today. And it was also a period of hope, destroyed by World War I and its aftermath.

 

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

ESM-My favorite historical figures are U.S. Presidents and I've read a lot of their (auto)biographies. One of the most intriguing is Herbert Hoover, mainly due to the time period he was president, which included the Great Depression. He believed that people should "pull themselves up by their bootstraps," which meant the government did little under his leadership to help the starving and out-of-work. I would want to ask him if he really believed that. Because he must have seen and heard a lot of what was actually going on in the country at the time.

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

ESM-Years and years ago, I started researching my family history, which is a mixture of early American settlers, Polish Catholic immigrants, and Eastern European Jews. I was hooked on the story I had heard of one family member and this became my fictional account of his life in my novel Caged Time.

JMR- You’re an American living abroad. How has this influenced your writing?

ESM-One of the main things is always watching words in English. British English has some variations and I try, if possible, to be inclusive of both country's English.

Living abroad certainly gives me a broader perspective, though if I look at all my writing, there are mainly American themes throughout.

JMR- Did you visit anyone of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

ESM-My father was from Brooklyn, so I've been to New York many times. It's my favorite city and the vibe is definitely reflected in my novel. I've visited some of the places, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but some alas are no longer around, such as Child's.

Overall, the locations, such as the places the characters live, are a mixture of reality and fiction.

JMR-Erik, tell us about your new book, Caged Time.

ESM-Many many years ago, not too long after I had moved to Europe, I had been thinking about writing a novel, but wasn't sure which genre or which topic. I have loved reading and writing since I was young and I wanted to get it just right. This meant finding a topic that really inspired me to write an entire novel.

While contemplating this, I was also doing my regular genealogical research on my family. This time, I was looking for my grandfather's birth certificate in London, where he was born in 1895. I did not find it, unfortunately, but I did find the birth certificate of one of his brothers. By stroke of fate, I also found this great-uncle's death certificate. Based on this find, which I felt was telling me something, coupled with the family story that I had heard about this great-uncle, inspired me to write Caged Time.

At the time, I was also reading "Gay New York" by George Chauncey about the time 1890-1940. So everything somehow just fit together prompting me, more screaming at me, to write Caged Time.

This great-uncle had a terrible time in the 1930s as a gay Jew and I wanted to try and understand his life and his pain, perhaps give him more hope than he really had had, and explain to readers how difficult being yourself can be even today.

 

JMR- You book involves sensitive and painful topics, how hard was this to write?

ESM-I wanted to tell a realistic story, well as realistic as I had researched and could imagine it. And perhaps I did want to shock the reader at points. I think the hardest thing while writing was really trying to put myself into his shoes and somehow "relive" what he went through. Just terrible. And depressing.

On the other hand, there were some highlights in his life, as I wrote it, and these helped pick up my spirits.

JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

ESM-At the moment, I'm querying a murder mystery/cozy crime series. The first book is completed and ready to go. I'm now in the editing process for the second book in the series. There's also a thriller/horror script that needs a rewrite. I try not to have too many projects open at once so I can feel I'm moving forward rather than just doing bits and pieces of several manuscripts.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

ESM-The first place to start is my author website. I also encourage everyone to check out and follow me on these channels as well:

·        Amazon

·        Goodreads

·        Twitter

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

ESM-If I had any advice on writing. My answer to this would be: write what you like, not what you think other people expect. And keep at it, don't give up.

JMR- Thank you, Erik for stopping by The Book’s Delight, it’s been lovely chatting with you and getting to know more about you and your writing. Readers, I know you’ll want to check out Erik’s books, so I’ve included an Amazon link below. 




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