Xlibris Publishing introduces Gerald Meyers, author of Flight of the Peacock.
My sixth novel, and my initial first person biographical narrative, The Flight of the Peacock, was inspired by my desire to memorialize the relationship I had with my best adulthood friend, who died unexpectedly and tragically from complications of elective cervical spine surgery at the age of 62. Ours, I felt, was a special relationship, the details of which begged to be chronicled, as a way of my paying tribute to his memory while helping me process such a profound loss. That said, it was really a celebration of life and friendship.
The work started out as a memoir. But upon completion, when his widow, as next of kin, was asked to grant us permission to tell his story, she refused, citing issues of invasion of privacy. She even went as far as having a law firm in Pittsburgh send me a certified letter insisting that I cease and desist in my endeavor or run the risk of being sued. Given that, after investing almost two years in the project, and having no intention of simply abandoning it, I was taken down a completely different path, choosing to novelize the story, changing what needed to be changed and embellishing the many and varied subplots in ways I didn’t imagine was possible.
As for me, I happen to be a 66-year-old cardiologist from Northeast Philadelphia whose group practice was located in Pittsburgh, Pa for 30 years, before relocating to Fort Collins, Colorado in the winter of 2003. Although my vocation is medicine, my avocation — and passion — has always been creative writing. In fact, believe I can date this back to my pre-adolescence when, at the age of 9 or 10, I attempted to write my own version of a Hardy Boys mystery. I got up to about 50 pages and then ran out of steam. My post-pubertal affinity toward creative and journalistic writing continued with a daily diary I kept during both junior and senior high school, amounting to almost 1200 typewritten pages over a four-year stretch. Also, during my junior and senior years of high school, I ‘published’ a 4-12 page long weekly gossip sheet called The Daily Disaster chronicling the exploits and adventures of the few dozen of my friends and acquaintances during the tumultuous late 60’s in Northeast, Philadelphia. The two mimeographed copies of this ‘newspaper’ was passed from hand to hand around the classes I shared with these folks. My fifth novel, The Other side of Innocence, a coming of age story, was a tribute to those times and those people and was created on the occasion of my class’ 40th high school reunion in 2008. It focused on 1968, ‘the year that rocked the world.’
My dual interests in sports and writing were also combined in high school and college through the medium of sports journalism, working my way up to sports editor of my high school paper in Philadelphia and of the Pitt News at the University of Pittsburgh. From there, for fifteen years, writing took a back seat to my medical career pursuits until 1987, when I sat down to fictionalize an experience I had driving back from the Heart House in Bethesda, Maryland which, eventually, evolved into a 425-page manuscript and the birth of my adult-based creative writing odyssey. Thirty years and a lot of rewrites later I completed my sixth published novel.
Xlibris Publishing will return with Gerald Meyers in Part 2.
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