PRINTED IN THE FEBRUARY 2019 ISSUE OF THE JACKSONVILLE REVIEW
A BIG ROGUE VALLEY WELCOME TO NEWLY arrived author EA Luetkemeyer. Gene and his wife, Leslie, relocated to Jacksonville after forty years together in the San Francisco Bay Area. After retiring from a mundane career in yellow page advertising sales, Gene decided to make his novel-writing ambition a reality. He was awarded an MFA in Creative writing from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, in 2015, where he dusted off a decades-old journal of his escapades during his turbulent earlier years and upon it based his thesis and two recently completed novels.
Inside the Mind of Martin Mueller, released in November under his imprint, Laughing Buddha Books, tells the story of a man of wealth and taste whose mission in life is no less than to “reassemble the scattered shards of the shattered Over-soul of mankind.” He believes the penitentiary he’s an inmate of is in the basement of his country estate. Daily he discards the fine clothes of a retired billionaire and dons the blue denim of a prisoner and takes an elevator down to his cell where he toils obsessively at his masterpiece, a manuscript which when completed will alter the course of the evolution of humanity and earn him a high place among his brethren-to-be, the Illuminati. Is he delusional? Which is real—the mansion or the cell block or both? Inside the Mind of Martin Mueller is a literary inkblot test of a twisted tale: what you see is what you get. Kirkus Reviews calls it “An eccentric but extraordinary story.” Online Book Club calls it “A brilliantly conceived journey into the darkest corners of the human mind…a luminous, far-fetched, existential mind-trip with a freaky twist ending.”
Gene’s stories are not for everyone. The good guys don’t always win, and the bad guys don’t always lose. The language is explicit, the situations dicey, the characters debased, and the reader will be taken to places best visited on the page.
Asked why he chose to relocate to Jacksonville, he replied: “There is a tremendous undercurrent of creativity here. People are shaping their own lives artfully. Poets, potters, painters and entrepreneurs abound. There is no place I’d rather be to enter this phase of my writing career. And of course, there is the wine.”
For excerpts and reviews of Inside the Mind of Martin Mueller and previews of works in progress, visit http://www.ealuetkemeyer.com.