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Interview: Mike Friedman
Introducing Mike ....
I first met Mike on another writing site several years ago. That ended up being quite a fiasco actually and "would make for a good hub" one day!
The wonderful news is that I made a lifelong friend! In addition to being one of the most creative writers I know Mike is a real teddy bear. He is protective, caring and supportive to all the women of HubPages who frequent his Quinn Moosebroker Mystery series.
Mike is a consummate gentleman, and it is my privilege indeed to present this amazingly insightful interview with mckbirdbks.
Congratulations to Mike for being named The Best HubPages Fiction Writer in the 2013 and 2012 Hubbie Awards...!
The Times I'm Most Joyful
If you asked every member of my family and extended family this question about me, no one could provide an answer. Recently my youngest posted a photo on Facebook of ‘our’ fourth grade ‘California Mission’ project, which sixteen years later resides at the same school it was submitted to. That it still exists and that she cared enough to share it brought me joy.
Something I'd like to learn to do... Ciao, VORREI imparare l'italiano
The times I'm most creative are... 10 pm to 6 am
If You Peeked in my Closet
My Favorite Book
and why... Easy question. “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein is my favorite book. Why? Now that’s tougher. It arrived in my possession the second week of basic training. I spent many an hour with it in between running up and down hills with a full pack and KP duty. It taught me that it is better to laugh at things. The message was important to me then as it is now. It taught me to question things people told me. It provided my first adult conversation.
Best Advice to a New Writer
This is a really tough question. Any answer I give makes it sound like I might know something. I think two things would stand as advice. The first is to write what you know about. The second in the value of quotation marks; anything between quotation marks is exempt from all the rules of the language, because people do not always speak ‘by the rules’. And this is not a rule, but I suggest that you write for yourself first.
What subjects / genres are you best at writing/ about? I am known on hubpages for writing a story about things that ‘might could’ happen at a Texas Cafe, a roadside stop just off the highway, on the way to nowhere. I have been told that I write about the mundane. That the story is about ‘nothing’, but to me the story is about life, and about good people.
Whether I am best at this genre or not is questionable. My view is that the more compelling stories are ‘better’.
About the poetry: A quote from an anonymous source called me a ‘rhymer’, which is just not fair, can’t help that I’m square, held up in this lair, eating a pear, which is neither here nor there, ok I’ll stop I swear, because I can just not bear to be this debonair.
What would be a subject/ genre that would challenge your current writing efforts? Or are you perfectly happy with where you are...
Some writers are in tune with themselves; they easily draw from their emotions and can get their thoughts and feelings onto paper. I place myself at a distance, as the narrator, the characters have their thoughts and their feelings. An odd thought, I am not the hero in my stories.
Can you take us to your favorite piece of writing on HubPages...
Genna East has cut words from stone as fine as any diamond cutter in her “Daniel of Lucid Dreams…A Poem” her metaphor is of the highest caliber. Her images are sublime and Mickey Dee’s, “Semper Fi Rodney Watson – The Duke of Earl” is a work of art that has left a lasting impression. I feel each of these works is award worthy and well worth your time to read.
Song(s) That Tell Us About You
No one song defines me. Not even close. Nothing could sum me up in three and a half minutes. I have selected a song. It is a recurring theme in the least significant part of my history.
Johnny Paycheck: Take this Job and Shove it
This is the music I would pick for the DVD that will eventually be made.
Mason Williams: Classical Gas
My Secret Talent
Oh, that I had a secret talent. OK here it is. I can take a piece of wood, balance it on the tip of my finger, extended away from my fingertip with a man’s leather belt draped over the piece of wood and the piece of wood nor the belt will fall to the ground thus defying gravity. The trick amazes those under eight years old.
Some advice to my younger self...I don’t feel that I wasted much time as a young adult, the Army was kind enough to give me a full time job right out of high school, then my oldest daughter came along and demanded to eat every day, and so my adult history began. To be more concise, if there was a time machine available I would make a few minor adjustments to my decisions and instill the fact that time is very precious and should be spent wisely.
The best part of getting older... Someone can mention the name Carol Burnett, Phil Silvers, Buddy Hackett, Johnny Carson, George Burns, Dom Deluise, Steve Allen, Jonathan Winters, or Red Skelton and I know who they are talking about.
My Dream Dinner Date
There are several possible categories to this question. “Amorous-wise” - given the loan of a proper time machine that I can hop a ride back 25 years then take a second hop back again, so I don’t show up in the past from my future golden years… see it gets so complicated, what’s the point showing up as a five year old. Barring that, lunch at a nice Café, with lots of terrific people would be just fine.
My favorite vacation spot... paradise destination... I have travelled quite a bit. But have only taken a couple of what are referred to as vacations. Of the places I have been, Italy is the most beautiful and welcoming. I likened it to walking around inside a painting. There was art, architecture, beautiful people, and three hour dinners.
In Florence I walked down a narrow passage and heard an operatic solo coming out of a nearby studio – someone just practicing for her performance.
I smoked a Havana cigar while standing at the edge of the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy. My shadow danced on the Adriatic Sea, across the bows of the moored gondolas in a choppy tide.
In Rome I had dinner in a restaurant that every inch of wall space was covered with oil paintings from local artist. It was a restaurant where the locals ate. It was a community as well as a place to eat. There was incredible energy.
Something I Got Rid of and Never Missed
This is a straight line worthy of Gracie Allen. And the answer is, quoting Johnny Carson as Carnac, opening the envelope, “My first wife.”
Something I fear... I have told my daughters ‘Don’t dig a hole so deep I cannot save you from it.’ I am afraid of deep holes. Things I can’t fix, when they go wrong. The ‘unknown’ would be a likely answer, but I have been so many places that the things they have in common are more abundant than how they are different. I visited London, driving in the back of a taxi I passed a Safeway Supermarket, Starbucks and McDonalds, just like Central Avenue in this town.
What I most despise in others... I don’t much like the word despise. Arrogance, and the “There is nothing you can do about it”, attitude evokes a Mr. Hyde instinct in me.
Best Gift I Ever Gave Someone
I teamed up last Thanksgiving and gave a young man and his family in Texas a turkey at Thanksgiving with Sunnie Day.
Best gift I ever received from someone... As a father my answer is ‘daughters.’ If you are referring to a material thing, then about twenty-five years ago, I received a watch that had my initials engraved on the back. It had modest value, but it took some time and thought to acquire. At the time that touched me. Come to think of it where is that watch?
The Temptations: Psychedelic Shack
Thanks, Mike ....
I selected this Temptations song just for you, Mike!
"The Psychedelic Shack" is the closest thing I can find to Millie's Cafe... what do you think? Can the jukebox handle it?
Thanks for this interview information. It was so cool getting to know you even better.
© Maria Jordan (updated October, 2014)