Monday, April 23, 2018



Michael Mirolla, in The Photographer in Search of Death, tells us stories that blend the explicable with the inexplicable. As if a camel were actually passing through the eye of a needle, these stories pass what is commonplace through a hyper-realistic lens into the utterly mysterious. Houses have rooms that appear and disappear. Very real objects, invaded by an unbelievable force, become believably unreal. Streets filled with everyday individuals become – in our modern technological environment – ultra ordinary. What we wish to avoid becomes unavoidable. This is a world beyond the merely “magical” – this is a binary world of becoming.

Book Details:

Title: The Photographer in Search of Death

Author’s name: Michael Mirolla

Genre: Magic realism/Speculative fiction

Publisher: Exile Editions (November 2017)

Page count: 128


A few of your favorite things: Daily SuDoku, AC Milan Official Soccer Shirt, Grade Six Certificate for Religious Instruction, Tom Swift Jr. books, signed Charles Bukowski, baseball cap from City Lights Booksellers, portrait of Silenus the Satyr.
Things you need to throw out: Instruction Manual for Grade Six Religious Instruction, pre-2000 Income Tax Receipts, running shoes whose bottoms flap, worn-out jogging pants that could serve as veils, T-shirts predicting the Y2K disaster, Kuerig coffee maker.

Things you need in order to write: Computer in reasonable working order with memories of a typewriter in reasonable working order, espresso.
Things that hamper your writing: Everything else in the universe seeking engagement and attention from cardiac rehab classes to young idealists in search of sage advice, and thoughts of a Kuerig coffeemaker.

Things you love about writing: The idea of creating something out of 26 letters of the alphabet, the startle and elation of a story or a poem or a play coming together, the interaction with the characters, the sending out of one small paper boat on the seas of entropy.
Things you hate about writing: The necessity of endings, the downward spiral waiting for new ideas and inspirations, the greyness of the world between creations.

Hardest thing about being a writer: Trying to balance life as a writer with life as a family person, as a social animal.

Easiest thing about being a writer:
Nothing easy about being a writer but to choose the least hard – the impression of making a difference.

Things you love about where you live: Peacefulness, ease of travel, diversity, easy-access mall
Things that make you want to move: Lack of excitement, blandness, distant neighbors, easy-access mall.

Things you never want to run out of: Ideas, compassion, espresso, seeds for the winter birdfeeders, a good supply of undergarments.
Things you wish you’d never bought:
Kuerig coffeemaker, barcode scanner.

Words that describe you: Taciturn, witty, slow to anger, sensitive.
Words that describe you but you wish they didn’t: Dour, pun-ny not funny, slow to act, emotionally fragile.

Favorite foods: Cornmeal and cabbage, lentils and rice, olive oil on Italian bread, all sprinkled with hot peppers.
Things that make you want to throw up: Butter, ketchup, mustard, Kraft Food Products, snake oil salespeople.

Favorite music or song: Folk/folk rock/hardcore punk; song: "Highway 61." Revisited or anything by the Dead Kennedys.
Music that make your ears bleed: Michael BublĂ©, Celine Dion, anything in today’s Top 40.

Favorite beverage: Red or white wine.

Something that gives you a pickle face: Bailey’s with or without castor oil.

Favorite smell: Grated orange peel sprinkled on rice pudding.

Something that makes you hold your nose: Uncleaned rabbit hutch, fish remains in the composter.

Something you’re really good at: Compromise and copy editing.

Something you’re really bad at: Decision-making, I think

Something you wish you could do: Pilot the next flight to Mars, or go along for the ride.
Something you wish you’d never learned to do: Texting, chemical formulae, formal logic.

Something you like to do: Special occasions with the entire family (grandparents/parents/kids)
Something you wish you’d never done: Leave Italy.

People you consider as heroes: The peace makers, activists, and healers [Gandhi, MLK, Mandela, Mother Teresa, Doctors Without Borders]

People with a big L on their foreheads: Grubby, mealy-mouthed politicians, sold-out hacks, self-involved narcissists—they know who they are.

Last best thing you ate: Sushi
Last thing you regret eating: Pizza that wasn’t margarita pizza.

Things you’d walk a mile for: To burn off some calories and get the heart pumping, tickets to an Arsenal soccer match at the Emirates.
Things that make you want to run screaming from the room: Hearing a gun lobbyist justify being an accomplice to murder.

Things you always put in your books: Some part of myself; a surprise around the corner; mysterious deeds that almost (but not quite) reach a metaphysical level
Things you never put in your books: Facile situations or plots; meaningless characters; obvious politics; formulaic writing.

Things to say to an author: “I read your book. Can I buy you a beer and talk about what I liked and didn’t like about it?”

Things to say to an author if you want to be fictionally killed off in their next book: “I’ll give you a thousand bucks if you include me in your next book.”

Favorite places you’ve been: Nigeria, India, Kashmir, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, England, France, Germany.

Places you never want to go to again: Dubai.

Favorite books: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Waiting for Godot, The Good Soldier, Schweik.

Books you would ban: Anything by James Patterson.

People you’d like to invite to dinner:
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bob Dylan, Maggie Smith
People you’d cancel dinner on: The current President of the US (obviously), Boris Johnson, James Patterson.

Favorite things to do: Write, edit, evaluate manuscripts, watch soccer, watch British mysteries, attend readings, travel, write
Things you’d run through a fire wearing gasoline pants to get out of doing: Go shopping, drink Kuerig-made coffee.

Things that make you happy:
My partner, writing, watching soccer, watching British mysteries, being married for 46 years, having grandchildren and watching them sprout, getting books published, publishing good books
Things that drive you crazy: Listening to mealy-mouthed politicians, being called a civilian by police officers, Super Bowl hype, self-identifying authors, any and all TV ads, listening to Jordan Peterson being called a genius.

Most embarrassing moment: Picking a fight just to show off in front of friends.

Proudest moment: The launch of my first published book.

Biggest lie you’ve ever told: That I never lie.

A lie you wish you’d told: That I always lie.

Best thing you’ve ever done: Switched from science to the arts in my second year at university.

Biggest mistake: Not pursuing a higher degree beyond my masters.

Most daring thing you’ve ever done: Purchased a literary publishing house at the age of 62.
Something you chickened out from doing: Skydiving from a plane when invited to do so with a friend.

The last thing you did for the first time: Drove a car.

Something you’ll never do again: Drive a car.


Michael Mirolla is the author of numerous novels, plays, and short story and poetry collections. Among his publications are three Bressani Prize winners: the novel, Berlin (2010); the poetry collection, The House on 14th Avenue (2014); the short story collection, Lessons in Relationship Dyads (2016). “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected among the stories chosen for The Journey Prize Anthology. “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy and raised in Montreal, Michael now makes his home in the Greater Toronto Area.

Connect with Michael:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads 

Buy the book:
Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indigo