Deciding the Setting for My Novel
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 mixture of live and let live as practiced in Bavarian Munich, coupled with the fervent zeal of Arabia, enhanced by American government 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. 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.
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Genre – Suspense / Thriller
Rating – PG13