Michael Deeze - War, Crime and Violence
Michael Deeze retired as a physician after 35 years in private practice. His life experiences are numerous and he held many occupations before pursuing a health care education and career. In his storied life has has visited every state in the Union and worked on 5 of the 7 continents of the world. From shoveling manure to delivering babies he has many life stories. Honing his skills as a public speaker while he served as a professor and administrator for a major university, Michael Deeze is an excellent story teller. As our Author of the Day, he tells us all about his book, The Heretic.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Heretic is about.
Emmett Casey is no longer a young man. Alone in the winter of his life he is left with his thoughts and memories, reliving them all and seeing how each event marked him, taught him and changed him. He seeks to find the forgiveness for his actions as a younger man and perhaps, finally, redemption at the end.
What inspired you to write this book?
Even the tamest among us have a past. The personality that we meet in every new relationship is the product of a past that we cannot know. The Heretic is the end of the tale of Emmett Casey's journey and it wanted to be told. It was a surprise to me that I was the one selected to do it.
Tell us more about Emmett Casey. What makes him tick?
Emmett is a good man trying to be a bad man. He is convinced that the sins of his past cannot be forgiven although he tries hard to atone. In the end, he has discovered that he is the good man he always wanted to be.
Why is Emmett so plagued by the ghosts of his past?
Emmett's mistakes in the past have cost lives, and ruined others. He feels deeply responsible and rues those mistakes while trying to live them down.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I don't think I have any secret skills. Most of the episodes that I write about in the tales of Emmett Casey I actually lived, in many ways the books are autobiographical but fictionalized to 'hopefully' make them more interesting. So a secret pleasure at least that I know if you are reading the books, you are also getting to know me.
You grew up in inner-city Chicago. How has this influenced your writing?
The first place that I lived was a one room apartment without any windows, only an air shaft in the wall for ventilation. My sister, brother and I lived with my parents and I watched my WWII veteran father raise himself up by his own bootstraps, put himself through school while he worked nights. Then finding work with his new degree and every time he could, improving our lifestyle. He taught us to work hard, keep our head down and blame no one for our situation. He taught us honesty, integrity and that nothing is stronger than family.
This is Book 3 of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books tie in with this one?
Yes, all 3 books can be read as standalone stories. Hopefully, they're interesting enough to keep the reader engaged. It is helpful to start with the first book because the characters are carried over from one to the next, but each book also includes enough back-story to help as well.
Why did you title this "The Heretic"?
In The Heretic, Emmett, now a licensed chiropractor is often pressed into service as a mainstream physician, his teaching of holistic chiropractic flies out the window as he sets bones, stitches wounds and delivers babies, hence he functions as a heretic chiropractor. But on a deeper level he also realizes that he has long embraced the darker side of personality, but on the inside he is a good man, he has been a heretic in his own personal beliefs and the realization that near the end of his life, he finally knows who he is.
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
Each member of the Casey clan represents just one aspect of human nature that we all carry with us. Each one is admirable in their own way, but each one is only one piece of the whole.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Almost everyone that reads my books tells me that it should be a movies or movies, maybe a mini-series. I would love for my cousin, Terry O'Quinn, a well-known character actor in movies and television to play either Emmett or his father Mick.
Do you have a favorite line from the book, and can you explain what that line means to you?
"What you do is who you are, what you are called does not matter." It is a theme that plays out in this book and to a lesser extent the first two as well. In this book, it is spoken by a humble Amish farmer.
When working on a new book, what’s the first thing you do?
I go for a ride in my truck with the music as loud as I can stand it. I can conceptualize the story-line I want while doing that. Different music for different moods and scenes. Then when I sit down I only have to put words to the images I've already created.
What are you working on right now?
The children of the clan. Time has passed, the millennials are taking over the family and it is time for them to assume the mantel of leadership.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My website, www.michaeldeezebooks.com or Facebook page, Michael Deeze.