Meadows, Lee E. 1951-
MEADOWS, Lee E. 1951-
PERSONAL: Born April 18, 1951, in Detroit, MI; son of Lathon and Lillie Rose (Rudolph) Meadows; married March 27, 1993; wife's name Phyllis D.; children: Garrison Thomas. Ethnicity: "African American." Education: Michigan State University, B.A., 1973, M.A., 1978, Ph.D., 1981. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting music albums.
CAREER: Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI, manager of organizational learning, 1991-93; A. T. Kearney, Southfield, MI, senior consultant, 1993-96; Meadows Consulting, Ann Arbor, MI, management consultant, 1997-2000; Davenport University, Dearborn, MI, chair of management department, 2000—.
Silent Conspiracy (mystery fiction), Proctor Publications (Ann Arbor, MI), 1997.
Silent Suspicion (mystery fiction), Proctor Publications (Ann Arbor, MI), 2000.
Silent Rage (mystery fiction), Proctor Publications (Ann Arbor, MI), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Lee E. Meadows told CA: "I write because I enjoy the opportunity of mixing words and imagination on paper. Writing represents the creative and exploratory side of my personality that loves to wander into the realm of possibilities in search of answers to questions that have been a longstanding part of human existence. Mysteries, in particular, provide a forum in which to stretch the boundaries of those answers by having fictional characters act out the questions. For example, why does a person deliberately take the life of another? The answer to that question is woven in the complex insecurities of human nature and though one answer is sought, it rarely explains the entire picture. I am drawn to the writing process as my way of crafting out as much understanding of human nature as possible.
"I am highly influenced by those authors who use the urban center as a character in their stories. Cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco have served as the energized landscapes in which all human behaviors collide and manifest into outward signs of aggression. The dynamic possibilities of this interaction are a great way in which to showcase a uniquely drawn character. One of the reasons why we are drawn to the work of Neil Simon is because all of his plays are interactive subplots of the bigger that is New York City. I wanted readers to see Detroit in that same energized context, but guided by the voice of an African-American male character that is a product of that environment. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Mickey Spillane, and Chester Himes influenced the urban mystery genre, and I am just the next author who gets to carry the torch.
"The early morning hours, five to seven o'clock in the morning, usually find me stationed in front of my computer, creating as I go and watching to see where it leads me. My first fifty pages typically give me an idea of what is really happening, despite my protestations. I write until I tire of the process and then get ready to start the day. I have found that I can average about four good pages a day. By that I mean, even if I wind up with eight or ten pages from one writing session, I am only happy with about four of those pages. So, I have learned to stop fighting the process and go with the four good pages. The Internet has been a valuable tool for researching information that brings critical validity to the content of my story, but it is the free-flowing, open style of writing that allows me to move down the path toward completion. I enjoy being surprised at how my stories end.
"My first real love of reading started with mystery novels and has remained so to this day. As I grew older, and hopefully more insightful, it became apparent to me that the mystery genre needed a sharp kick in its cultural homogeneity. The voices from authors of color weren't truly being represented until Walter Mosley's Devil in a Blue Dress hit the mainstream reading market. A lot has been accomplished since that time, and knowing that the market had opened itself to our voices inspired me to bring my private investigator archetype hero, Lincoln Keller, and his Detroit to mystery and mainstream enthusiasts. Also, it seemed to me that many mainstream mystery authors had a narrow view of the African-American characters they used in their stories. I chose to expand that view and show the kinds of mysteries and issues that are equally as complex and just as interesting from an African-American point of view. I shall continue in that process.
"There's nothing more satisfying than bringing a work of art (book, painting, musical score) to completion and into the hands of the waiting public."