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Authors and Their Books > AUTHOR FORUM - MICHAEL ROBERT DYET

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message 1: by Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB (last edited Mar 01, 2010 06:59PM) (new)

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
Michael Robert Dyet

I am The Metaphor Guy. Novelist, closet philosopher, chronicler of life’s mysteries – all through the lens of metaphor.

Author of “UNTIL THE DEEP WATER STILLS: AN INTERNET-ENHANCED NOVEL” – a traditional print novel with a unique and groundbreaking online companion ( www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog ) featuring text, imagery and audio recordings. Available from Amazon. Awards: Finalist in one of the fiction subcategories in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Winners to be announced mid March 2010.

Author of “METAPHORS OF LIFE JOURNAL aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm”. Located at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2 where you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Metaphors of life Journal categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor.

For more information, visit my author website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

Novel Info

ISBN: 978-0-9811995-0-4
Genre: Literary Fiction
Released: March 2009
Trade Paperback, 6 x 9
Pages: 310

Synposis

For Katherine Orr the words “I love you” are not enough. Only a demonstrative expression of her husband Jayce’s love can rescue their relationship. But Jayce’s personal demons prevent him from giving her this even though he knows that she is all that stands between him and a descent into chaos.

Simultaneously, Bryan struggles to repair the breach of love in his life caused by the death of his daughter. But his wife, Jayce’s sister, grows ever more distant. Charismatic social activist Faith, who longs for love but fears she will lose herself in it, unwittingly becomes the catalyst for change in the lives of all four characters.

The paths of these four converge toward a tragic event as each struggles to decipher the intricacies of love lost and love found. Each discovers in their own way that love is the living core of human existence and that how we love defines who we are.

Each chapter in the print novel has a corresponding entry on the optional companion website where readers can choose to expand their experience of the novel. The website offers secondary plot lines not found in the print novel.

The reader can approach the book three ways: 1) Read the print novel only as it can stand on its own, 2) Alternate between the print novel and the website chapter by chapter, 3) Read the print novel first and then experience the website.

Book Trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOHmJbgC...

Writing Techniques

I strive to weave together memorable characters with a tightening web of external events. My work ranges from lyrical to provocative in its narrative technique and from introspective to universal it its message. Metaphors figure prominently in my writing making my work layered and, I hope, engaging for readers who like to be challenged.

I enjoy exploring characters faced with complex life situations where there is no black and white answer. My characters struggle with their identity and their relationships as they seek to be true to themselves.

My work passes through many revision stages as I dig deeper into the story and the characters. Several more revisions follow as I refine the narrative voice searching for that fine balance that defines good writing.

I am The Metaphor Guy. Novelist, closet philosopher, chronicler of life’s mysteries – all through the lens of metaphor.

Author of “UNTIL THE DEEP WATER STILLS: AN INTERNET-ENHANCED NOVEL” – a traditional print novel with a unique and groundbreaking online companion ( www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog ) featuring text, imagery and audio recordings. Available from Amazon. Awards: Finalist in one of the fiction subcategories in the Reader Views Literary Awards. Winners to be announced mid March 2010.

Author of “METAPHORS OF LIFE JOURNAL aka Things That Make Me Go Hmmm”. Located at www.mdyetmetaphor.com/blog2 where you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Metaphors of life Journal categories: Shifting Winds, Sudden Light, Deep Dive, Songs of Nature, Random Acts of Metaphor.

For more information, visit my author website at www.mdyetmetaphor.com .

Novel Info

ISBN: 978-0-9811995-0-4
Genre: Literary Fiction
Released: March 2009
Trade Paperback, 6 x 9
Pages: 310

Link on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/64091...

Synposis

For Katherine Orr the words “I love you” are not enough. Only a demonstrative expression of her husband Jayce’s love can rescue their relationship. But Jayce’s personal demons prevent him from giving her this even though he knows that she is all that stands between him and a descent into chaos.

Simultaneously, Bryan struggles to repair the breach of love in his life caused by the death of his daughter. But his wife, Jayce’s sister, grows ever more distant. Charismatic social activist Faith, who longs for love but fears she will lose herself in it, unwittingly becomes the catalyst for change in the lives of all four characters.

The paths of these four converge toward a tragic event as each struggles to decipher the intricacies of love lost and love found. Each discovers in their own way that love is the living core of human existence and that how we love defines who we are.

Each chapter in the print novel has a corresponding entry on the optional companion website where readers can choose to expand their experience of the novel. The website offers secondary plot lines not found in the print novel.

The reader can approach the book three ways: 1) Read the print novel only as it can stand on its own, 2) Alternate between the print novel and the website chapter by chapter, 3) Read the print novel first and then experience the website.

Book Trailer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlOHmJbgC...

Writing Techniques

I strive to weave together memorable characters with a tightening web of external events. My work ranges from lyrical to provocative in its narrative technique and from introspective to universal it its message. Metaphors figure prominently in my writing making my work layered and, I hope, engaging for readers who like to be challenged.

I enjoy exploring characters faced with complex life situations where there is no black and white answer. My characters struggle with their identity and their relationships as they seek to be true to themselves.

My work passes through many revision stages as I dig deeper into the story and the characters. Several more revisions follow as I refine the narrative voice searching for that fine balance that defines good writing.


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
How do you feel metaphors are best used in fiction- and do you feel that metaphors are a lost art- or still going strong?


message 3: by Gary F (new)

Gary F | 170 comments Hi Michael,

Welcome to the forum. I found it interesting that you mention you enjoy exploring characters faced with complex life situations where there is no black and white answer. Can you give an example of this type of situation?


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Hi Rick:

Not sure what happened but the Goodreads link is to a different author. Can you just remove it?

Yes, I think metaphors are at risk of becoming a lost art. Many readers these days seem to want a quick and simple read - a fast moving plot with not too much depth. Hopefully there are still a critical mass of readers who like to get their teeth into a good book.

I think metaphors are a great tool for drawing readers deeper into the story. They allow the writer to create multiple layers which makes reading the novel an interactive experience. The reader's intellect is engaged which opens up all kinds of possibilities.

Re Gary's question, here's an example from the novel. Bryan must decide whether or not to attend the press conference for Faith's "Drug Free Raves". He knows if he does it will anger his wife as their daughter died while at a Rave. But he also senses he needs to attend to find closure for his grief. There is no "right choice" but he still has to choose. Much of life is lived in these gray areas between right and wrong.

Thanks for your great questions. Keep them coming! Michael


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
Is there one writer who inspired you most with his/her use of the metaphor? for me it is the late Norman McClean and A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT - in which he used the art of flyfishing as a metaphor for the beauty of life as well as its tragedies.


message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian | 274 comments Welcome to the club. I find it most interesting and unique how you provide a reader with different choices to expand upon your book. Especially chapter by chapter. I have never seen an author use a more interactive approach with a book before. How did the idea form in your mind and was it difficult to develope kind of a subplot within the main structure of your book? Very impressive!


message 7: by Brian (last edited Mar 02, 2010 09:20AM) (new)

Brian | 274 comments Hi Michael: After reading more on your bio and book, I agree that the use of metaphors is not as prevelant as it once was. My opinion for a reason is Shakespear's writing whereas teachers would ask to find metaphors lets say in "Romeo and Juliet". The consequences is that students read too much into them and disected the book looking for even metaphors that were not one. Many students such as I did not enjoy the experience as metaphors were over used. I think it is a very useful writing tool if used in an appropriate amount. Do you feel you achieved a balance in your book? I observed that interests in literature and writing styles is comparable to an ebb and flow. For example, fantasy was fading and the introduction of Harry Potter books has revived fantasy thus becoming a rapidly growing genre as the youth readers became adults. I think that metaphors will return as strong as ever and hopefully your book will be an exmaple of how the skillful use of metaphors is a very useful tool in writing.


message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael Thanks for the questions. I'll reply to them one at a time.

Rick: I can't say there is one particular writer who inspired me the most when it comes to use of metaphors. I read Victorian Lit voraciously for many years when I was a younger man. My love for metaphors probably originates from that period.

My favourite contemporary author is Southern U.S. novelist David Payne. I love his lyrical narrative style. Metaphors do figure into his work.

Brian: The idea for the "internet-enhanced" component of my novel was an afterthought. I was looking for a way to stand out amongst the thousands of novels in circulation these days. I was speaking with a friend about having an author website created and that planted the seed of an idea in my mind. Having an online component seemed like a good hook.

It took about a year to develop and evolve the concept to the multi-media approach I ended up with. The idea to add additional subplots came from a friend of a friend who suggested the online component should offer something more than what was in the print novel.

I know what you mean about being turned off by high school English teachers. I went through that phase as well. Fortunately, I came full circle back to enjoying metaphors. Hopefully metaphors do make a comeback. They make reading a much richer experience - at least from my perspective.

Thanks
Michael


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
Michael- though not inspired by an author- can you name some who you admire?


message 10: by Michael (new)

Michael Hi Rick:

There are two contemporary authors who I love and am certainly inspired by. Both are US novelists: David Payne and Barbara Kingsolver.

David Payne's "Gravesend Light" is one of my favourites among his novels. Barbara Kingsolver's "Prodigal Summer" was one of my inspirations when I was writing my novel.

Among Canadian novelists, I highly recommend Katherine Govier (especially if you enjoy historical fiction), Alyssa York, Donna Morrissey and David Adams Richards.

My list of top literary classics includes:

* Charles Dickens: A Tale of Two Cities
* Thomas Hardy: Tess of the D'Urbervilles
* D.H. Lawrence: Sons and Lovers
* Boris Pasternak: Dr. Zhivago
* Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness
* John Steinbeck: The Grapes of Wrath

There are many more but those are the authors and novels that top my list.

Michael


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Hi Rick:

There are two contemporary authors who I love and am certainly inspired by. Both are US novelists: David Payne and Barbara Kingsolver.

David Payne's "Gravesend Light" is one of my fa..."


have you ever read any George MacDonald Fraser(Flashman) or Edmund Crispin?


message 12: by Michael (new)

Michael Hi Rick: No, I haven't come across those authors. Tell me a bit about them. Michael


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
sure
here is some info on Fraser

George MacDonald Fraser, a British writer whose popular novels about the arch-rogue Harry Flashman followed their hero as he galloped, swashbuckled, drank and womanized his way through many of the signal events of the 19th century, died yesterday on the Isle of Man. He was 82 and had made his home there in recent years.

The cause was cancer, said Vivienne Schuster, his British literary agent.

Over nearly four decades, Mr. Fraser produced a dozen rollicking picaresques centering on Flashman. The novels purport to be installments in a multivolume “memoir,” known collectively as the Flashman Papers, in which the hero details his prodigious exploits in battle, with the bottle and in bed. In the process, Mr. Fraser cheerfully punctured the enduring ideal of a long-vanished era in which men were men, tea was strong and the sun never set on the British Empire.

The Flashman Papers include, among other titles, “Flashman” (World Publishing, 1969); “Flashman in the Great Game” (Knopf, 1975); and, most recently, “Flashman on the March” (Knopf, 2005). The second volume in the series, “Royal Flash” (Knopf, 1970), was made into a film of the same title in 1975, starring Malcolm McDowell as Flashman.

In what amounted to an act of literary retribution, Mr. Fraser plucked Flashman from the pages of “Tom Brown’s School Days,” Thomas Hughes’s classic novel of English public-school life published in 1857. In that book, Tom, the innocent young hero, repeatedly falls prey to a sadistic bully named Flashman.

In Mr. Fraser’s hands, the cruel, handsome Flashman is all grown up and in the British Army, serving in India, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Now Brig. Gen.Sir Harry Paget Flashman, he is a master equestrian, a pretty fair duelist and a polyglot who can pitch woo in a spate of foreign tongues. He is also a scoundrel, a drunk, a liar, a cheat, a braggart and a coward. (A favorite combat strategy is to take credit for a victory from which he has actually run away.)

Last, but most assuredly not least, Flashman is a serial adulterer who by Volume 9 of the series has bedded 480 women. (That Flashman is married himself, to the fair, dimwitted Elspeth, is no impediment. She cuckolds him left and right, in any case.)

Readers adored him. Today, the Internet is populated with a bevy of Flashman fan sites.

Flashman’s exploits take him to some of the most epochal events of his time, from British colonial campaigns to the American Civil War, in which he magnanimously serves on both the Union and the Confederate sides. He rubs up against eminences like Queen Victoria, Oscar Wilde, Florence Nightingale and Abraham Lincoln.

For his work, Flashman earns a string of preposterous awards, including a knighthood, the Victoria Cross and the American Medal of Honor.

Mr. Fraser was so skilled a mock memoirist that he had some early readers fooled. Writing in The New York Times in 1969 after the first novel was published, Alden Whitman said:

“So far, ‘Flashman’ has had 34 reviews in the United States. Ten of these found the book to be genuine autobiography.”

The son of Scottish parents, George MacDonald Fraser was born on April 2, 1925, in Carlisle, England, near the Scottish border. His boyhood reading, like that of nearly every British boy of his generation, included “Tom Brown’s School Days.”

In World War II, Mr. Fraser served in India and Burma with the Border Regiment. His memoir of the war in Burma, “Quartered Safe Out Here” (Harvill), was published in 1993.

After leaving the military, Mr. Fraser embarked on a journalism career, working for newspapers in England, Canada and Scotland. He eventually became the assistant editor of The Glasgow Herald and in the 1960s, was briefly its editor.

Tiring of newspaper work, Mr. Fraser decided, as he later said in interviews, to “write my way out” with an original Victorian novel. In a flash, he remembered Flashman, and the first book tumbled out in the evenings after work.

“In all, it took 90 hours, no advance plotting, no revisions, just tea and toast and cigarettes at the kitchen table,” he said in an interview quoted in the reference work “Authors and Artists for Young Adults.”

Mr. Fraser’s survivors include his wife, Kathy; two sons and a daughter. Information on other survivors could not immediately be confirmed.

His other books include several non-Flashman novels, among them “Mr. American” (Simon & Schuster, 1980); “The Pyrates” (Knopf, 1984); and “Black Ajax” (HarperCollins, 1997). With Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson, Mr. Fraser wrote the screenplay for the James Bond film “Octopussy,” released in 1983.

Mr. Fraser’s latest book, “The Reavers,” a non-Flashman novel, is scheduled to be published by Knopf in April.

For his work, Mr. Fraser received many honors, among them the Order of the British Empire in 1999. This award, according to every conceivable news account, was entirely genuine.

Edmund Crisppin was quite a character....

Edmund Crispin (1921-1978) - pseudonym for Robert Bruce Montgomery



British writer and composer, master of fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek mystery novels, a blend of John Dickson Carr, Michael Innes, M.R. James, and the Marx Brothers, as the critic Anthony Boucher once described. Crispin's nine humorous Gervase Fen novels are among the most individualistic works of the genre. Crispin was a product of the University of Oxford - his friend during university years was Kingsley Amis (1922-1995), who also loved detective stories and wrote one James Bond adventure.

"Crispin's work is marked by a highly individual sense of light comedy, and by a great flair for verbal deception rather in the Christie manner... At his weakest he is flippant, at his best he is witty, but all his work shows a high-spiritedness rare and welcome in the crime story." (Julian Symons in Bloody Murder, 1985)
Edmund Crispin was born Robert Bruce Montgomery in Chesham Bois, Buckinghamshire, of Scots-Irish parentage. He was educated at the Merchant Taylor's School in London. Before World War II Crispin traveled around Europe, particularly Germany. In 1943 Crispin received his B.A. from St. John's College, Oxford, where read modern languages. From 1943 to 1945 he worked as a schoolmaster at Schrewsbury School. His friend, the poet and novelist Philip Larkin (1922-85), worked nearby; they read each other's texts and Crispin also dedicated his third book, THE MOVING TOYSHOP (1946), to Larkin. His first detective fiction novel, THE CASE OF THE GILDED FLY (1944), introduced to readers his series character Gervase Fen, a cynical Oxford professor. The figure was partly based on the Oxford professor W.E. Moore. Also the deaf and eccentric Professor Wilkes also becomes familiar to the reader. In the story famous but fading playwright Robert Warner goes to Oxford University to mount his latest experimental drama in the college repertory theatre. One of the actresses dies. Circumstances point neither accident nor suicide or murder – it is an impossible murder.

The critic and mystery writer H.R.F. Keating included The Moving Toyshop in 1987 among the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published. "The word to describe The Moving Toyshop is 'rococo'. It possesses in splendid abundance the ebullient charm of the works of art thus labelled. It is alive with flourishes. Its mainspring the actual disappearance of a toyshop visited in midnight Oxford, has all the right fancifulness, and at the end it is explained with perfect plausibility." (Keating in Crime and Mystery: the 100 Best Books, 1987) Poet Richard Cadogan, arriving in Oxford for a holiday, finds a dead woman in a room above toyshop. A blow from a blunt instrument hits him unconscious. When he recovers, the dead woman has disappeared and the toyshop has turned into a grocery store. Police do not believe Cadogan's story and he contacts Gervase Fen. "After all," Professor Fen says to the poet, "it's somewhat unusual business, isn't it." "So unusual," says the pot, "that no one in his sense would invent it." Professor Fen immediately finds a clue: a telephone number written on a piece of paper.

Gervase Fen, Crispin hero, is a Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. He is tall, about 40, with cheerful, clean-shaven face, dark hair plastered down with water. Usually he wears an enormous raincoat with extraordinary hats. Fell is happily married, he drives a red roadster, and is a read danger behind the wheel. His favorite expostulations "Oh, my paws!" and "Oh, my furs and whiskers!" derive from Lewis Carroll. Fen cooperates with Inspector Humbleby, a policeman. He is interested in literature – perhaps more than solving crimes.

During a nine year period (1944-1953) Crispin published eight novels, establishing his reputation in the field of mystery genre. In 1942 Crispin had read John Dickson Carr's novel The Crooked Hinge, which altered his view about detective stories and inspired him to create his own detective character. The Case of the Gilded Fly was published by Gollancz while its author was still an undergraduate. In his novels Crispin combined farcical situations with literary references, coincidences with nearly postmodern self-awareness, inappropriate behaviour and sharp observations of the language of various classes and professions. In The Moving Toyshop Crispin lets a truck driver preach "industrial civilization is the curse of our age... We've lorst touch with Nachur. We're all pallid... We'we lorst touch with the 'body.'"

Crispin's professional music career started in mid-1940s. Music also inspired his novel THE SWAN SONG (1947), in which a badly behaving bass from the cast of Richard Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is killed. The murder is not the tenor. Crispin defends Wagner's operas, which were sometimes assocoated in post-war England with the Nazis. There is also a vague hint that Gervase Fen had been involved in the murder inversigation of Hitler.

Since the age of fifteen Crispin had played piano – in his youth he worked as an organist and choirmaster. Crispin composed under his own name, Bruce Montgomery, choral and orchestral works, songs, and film music, including several scores for Gerald Thomas's Carry On series and movies based on Richard Gordon's humorous novels. Growing weary of the city, he built a bungalow in Devon, and settled down to a quiet country life, collected classical records, and took an interest in church matters. After the story collection, BEWARE OF THE TRAIN (1953) Crispin stopped writing novels for many years, but turned his attention increasingly to music. In a hilarious story, 'We Know You're Busy Writing, But We Thought You Wouldn't Mind If We Just Dropped In for a Minute' (1969) the narrator tries to finish a sentence, "His crushed had, paining him less now, nevertheless gave him a sense of..." but is constantly interrupted by visitors and phone calls. Crispin became one of Britain's leading critics of detective fiction, reviewing from 1967 regularly for the Sunday Times. Crispin married late in life. In 1977 he published THE GLIMPSES OF THE MOON, set in the Devon countryside. It was the last Gervase Fen mystery. By the early 1970s, Crispin's drinking finally overwhelmed him and he started to have money problems. Crispin died on September 15, 1978. FEN COUNTRY, a collection on short stories, appeared posthumously in 1979.

As a science-fiction anthologist Crispin's work was unique in several ways. He was an early advocate of the genre and made no apologies or excuses for presenting it as a legitimate form of writing – an attitude that was not common in the 1950s, when science-fiction was not yet respectable branch of literature. His selection of stories showed him to be thoroughly familiar with its currents in both magazine and book form, and his introductions were informed and illuminating.


message 14: by Michael (new)

Michael Thanks, Rick. Too much for my overworked brain to digest tonight after a chaotic day at work. But I'll save the info to read when the fog has cleared from my head. Michael


Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7276 comments Mod
I actually heard of both these authors from fellow members- and got addicted to their brand of writing- love eccentric British characters akaNigel Bruce/Eric Blore


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