Guest Blog: D. Michael Poppe – Authors and Writers

Authors and Writers

MATCH PLAY is my debut novel and I have worked on it for several years, I am 67. Since I am a novice I don’t know if I can relate any advice or experience that hasn’t been typical for a lot of authors and artists. I was a painter for many years and so I have experience with being rejected more often than being accepted, but I learned to understand that everyone who looks at your work has their opinion, their personal bias, and their idea of what is good.  And very importantly for them what is marketable! I submitted a first draft of MATCH PLAY to as many agents and publishers as I could find and all of them politely rejected it. I was discouraged to say the least, but as I said, I had experience with rejection. I rewrote it and submitted it again, of course I got almost as many rejections as I had received the first time, but a small publisher took an interest in my novel. That was Wido Publishing from Salt Lake City, UT.

Regarding the actual work of writing I have my own approach. When I get an idea for a novel or short story I have an outline in my head. I start, from the start and allow my creativity to alter the book as I go. I think we all have sort of sixth sense about what works in a context. In painting I discovered that you start with an infinite number of possibilities, but every mark you make on the canvas eliminates some of those possibilities. And I am certain the same is true about writing. The ideas beget other ideas and as they accumulate the story gets more and more developed and the possibilities for deviation in that development get narrower and narrower. I believe if you are sensitive and aware the work then begins to create itself; the work tells you what to write or paint and you are just the instrument. Try this, keep writing, revising, and inventing until the story becomes an entity to itself. But I caution you, if you work it to death with determined insistence it will suffocate and once it is dead, you cannot revive it.

To anyone who reads this I would say creativity and art are numinous, if you believe in God it is a way to experience it or at least a sensation of what is universal. I believe that everyone inherently has the power to create and that like life, self-realization is accomplished by doing.


FBI Agent Lou Schein is assigned to investigate a grisly murder in Los Angeles, one echoing a similar case in Phoenix, Arizona. Agent Schein, a golf enthusiast, notices a strange coincidence: both crimes occur while the LPGA tournament is being held in the respective cities.

After the fourth murder, it’s clear they are after a serial killer obsessed with the golf game of match play. He is scoring the individual murders as one hole of the match on the current tournament course.

The killer leaves a series of taunts and clues which the FBI must decipher to learn where he will strike next. It is a game that becomes an obsession for both the killer and Agent Lou Schein, one determined to win the match and the other to stop him before he strikes again.

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I was born in the Midwest on a dairy farm outside a small town. I had a love of art from a young age; drew and wrote stories about the farm. My upbringing was conservative and religious and it took a long time to overcome it. I served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam war and was honorably discharged in 1971. I then attended the University of Calfornia and received a degree in Studio Art in 1976. I painted for many years and have paintings in many private collections primarily on the West Coast of the US. I retired and finally had some time for writing; Match Play is my first novel and it will be released later this year or in early 2014. I live in the South Western United States with my wife Ann of twelve years.

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2 thoughts on “Guest Blog: D. Michael Poppe – Authors and Writers

  • November 25, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for sharing the interesting backstory to writing your first mystery Match Play. Looks like it’s going to be an exciting read!

  • December 11, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve been busy so I haven’t had a chance to respond to this. I really like this blog! It’s so true about everything, not just writing. I find if I try to hard with an idea it’ll do alright for a while but then it’ll die. Mostly because a fun thing has suddenly become work.

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