Friday, December 07, 2012

GUEST BLOG: MICHAEL LOYD GRAY


This Post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Writing might be the creation of dreams, I suppose. Or some form of a dream—a waking dream with structure and plot and somewhat less reliance on subconscious decisions? Though, writing does also involve some subconscious choices. And because we accept that something called a subconscious exists, and that we don’t have conscious access to it, then it’s something we may not actually understand or need to understand better than we do. Make sense? Hemingway relied on his subconscious to supply him with the next day’s writing. He likened it to an internal human spring that replenishes overnight, for example. That’s a good way to look at it. I rely on my internal spring, too.

When writing my new novel King Biscuit, for example, did I dream about it? I don’t know. I can’t recall whether I had dreams related to it. I do feel sure, as I mention above, that each day I wrote on it I was aided to some degree by my subconscious, which seems to be some level of a dream state.

About the Author:
Michael Loyd Gray was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, but grew up in Champaign, Illinois. He earned an MFA in English from Western Michigan University and has taught at colleges and universities in upstate New York, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Journalism degree and was a newspaper staff writer in Arizona and Illinois for ten years, conducting the last interview with novelist Erskine Caldwell.

He is the winner of the 2005 Alligator Juniper Fiction Prize and the 2005 The Writers Place Award for Fiction. Gray’s novel Well Deserved won the 2008 Sol Books Prose Series Prize. His novel Not Famous Anymore was awarded a grant by the Elizabeth George Foundation and was released by Three Towers Press (2012). His novel December's Children was a finalist for the 2006 Sol Books Prose Series Prize and was also released in 2012 by Tempest books (an imprint of Sol Books) as the young adult novel King Biscuit. He has written a sequel to Well Deserved called The Last Stop, and another four novels entitled: Fast Eddie, Blue Sparta, The Salt Meadows and The Canary.

Whereas in his first novels Michael focuses very much on Argus and the Midwest, he ventures out into other parts of the world in his last three novels. A lifelong Chicago Bears and Rolling Stones fan, he lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and teaches as full-time online English faculty Professor for South University, where he is one of the founding editors of the student literary journal Asynchronous and sponsor of an online readings series featuring fiction and poetry. Michael is represented by Vilain Innovations – Literary Agency in The Netherlands

http://www.michaelloydgray.com



It’s 1966. The Beatles have taken over the airways, Star Trek is in its first season on NBC, and 389,000 American troops are stationed in Vietnam.

A war is going on Argus, Illinois as well, between sixteen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener and his father. While his father dreams of Billy Ray joining the family business, Billy Ray dreams of moving to California, becoming a surfer, and getting into Margie Heinrich’s pants—not necessarily in that order. Instead, he gets a summer laying pipe and the dubious distinction of town hero after saving Purdy Boy, the mayor’s wife’s dachshund.

When his beloved uncle and role model Mitch is killed in combat, Billy Ray feels like he must leave Argus or be stuck there forever. With little more than the clothes on his back, he hops a bus for Helena, Arkansas to visit Mitch’s grave. Along the way he meets up with a cast of characters as varied and polarized as America itself, from a marine captain home on leave to a band of hippies bound for Graceland. Each teaches him something about love, loyalty, and the true meaning of freedom, but what Billy Ray really learns is that everyone has the power to define who they are. He may have left Argus a boy, but he returns a man.

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Christine D. said...

Interesting guest post. I liked how he described the role of his subconsciousness in his writing. Thanks for sharing.

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Ingeborg said...

I'm looking forward to reading King Biscuit, it sounds like a great read.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Michael Loyd Gray said...

Thanks, Christine. And thanks to anyone who reads King Biscuit.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to this book!

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Shannon Ro said...

Thank you for another thought provoking post. I don't know whether I dream about the things I write but it is interesting to consider. Good luck with your book

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MomJane said...

You are a very prolific writer. It is obvious that you love writing. I read this book, and i loved it. I believe you have another winner.

Chelsea B. said...

Michael, good luck with your writing in the future! I hope to see many more books from you!

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My hubby is a landscaper and he solves many landscaping problems in his sleep. If he's thinking about it before he goes to bed, invariably he'll wake up with a solution. Perhaps you solved any plot problems subconsciously in your sleep?

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