Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Message from Mike Perry and a New, Local Writer

Here's a little note from Mike Perry, one of our fave authors and occasional guest at LaDeDa. He is the author of Population 485, Truck, and Off Main Street. Of course, you already know all that...and if you don't, what are you waiting for? Here's his message.....

Howdy. Lately I have been raising pigs and chickens and will therefore leave my boots at the door. This is a relatively new habit developed on the advice of my wife. I cannot lie - I am lazy about unlacing, and sometimes when she travels I get pertinacious and track up the kitchen. I watch the clock and calendar and mop up shortly before she is due to return. As I am a disciple of distraction she regularly walks through the door and catches me in my steel-toes trying to nudge clumps of dried mud out of sight against the mopboard, all the while sporting the same ghastly grin of ingratiation employed by cookie-thieving six-year-olds and willfully incontinent puppies.
I meant to say thank-you, and already I am off track. This is a recurring theme with my writing. Not everyone is enamored of the tendency. People sometimes ask me why I skip around, and I can only reply because that's how it's going in my head. In the early years I attempted to write seamless prose. I insisted on taking the reader by the elbow and gently introducing each narrative thread as if it were a timid child on its first day at a new school. Then one day in the mid-1990's I sat in my old green chair and read several of the essays in Jim Harrison's Just Before Dark, and as he jumped for haute cuisine to Budwiser to stag hunting in the south of France to ice fishing in Michigan and so on, it struck me that all my solicitous handholding was presumptive and made me not a Boy Scout but rather an overbearing lunkhead who mistrusted the navigational abilities of the unknown reader. So now when I come to the end of a thought, I just jump. I don't always make the right leap. Readers and reviewers sometimes point this out. I don't mind. Nonstop encomiums artificially enhance the ego while softening one's critical midsection, which is where the blows are absorbed.

Originally this book (Truck) was supposed to be about two things: the resurrection of my old pickup truck, and a year in the life of my garden. I wanted to write a book about gardening because I was fed up with happy gardening books. I felt it was time for a grim gardening book, and I'm eminently qualified. I wanted to write about fixing up my truck because I dreamed of claiming brake pads as a business expense - sadly, the tax lady said no. The third thread - the real love story - came as a complete surprise. Tangent of a lifetime, really. Things are going good: I am currently in the process of trying to figure out how to adjust a four-point racing harness in order that it might secure a baby seat.
It's fun to joke and ramble, but here's the main deal: I am baffled and overjoyed at the wrong turns and coincidences leading to the book... It would not exist were it not for word-of-mouth readers talking to readers, book lovers talking about books. And for that I owe a great debt...Thanks. Thanks. For you, I remove my boots.


Joe Keil, a local author and 20-Year veteran of law enforcement, dropped this book off last week hoping that I would stock it. Honestly, I am not a fan of self-published books, but there are a few that have the right ingredients, and this is one of them.

Joe and his wife, Deb, spent a long time visiting with me, and their belief in this project and their sincere efforts to do the hard work needed to get this book into the right hands is impressive.

As a former educator, I know how important it is to have detailed knowledge on the signs of drug use/abuse, and even with that knowledge firmly in hand, we sometimes get it wrong. This book shakes the subject down to readable bits, not in police jargon, but in language that we all can understand. It is an exhausting, frightening, but necessary book. If you do nothing else but look at the pictures in the appendix, you will be a wiser, more aware protector of our youth and their future.