Mike Weddle spent fourteen years in Cumberland as an emergency physician, and several of those as a local public health planner. His creative writing dates back to college years when he had no telephone, and members of his writing group would jimmy the window and fall asleep on his sofa. The group spent evenings around the fireplace with a blank book kept on the mantel, making up stories as it was passed around.
While preparing for the defense of his PhD dissertation in engineering, Mike found effective avoidance behavior in the writing of a 3,300 line poem about a Methodist missionary in China. As you might expect, his thesis committee was not amused.
Mike published several poems in college, winning second place in the William Carlos Williams Poetry Awards in his first year of medical school. His writing career then shifted to scientific research, and he published several articles on occupational health and disaster medicine, both independently and with the Pan American Health Organization. His interests included the interface between civilian and military disaster responders, and how differences in these two cultures cause confusion.
Over the years Mike has written eight novels, most consigned to a shelf in his Garrett County home. He was a finalist in the 2005 Gival Press Novel Awards and the 2007 St. Louis Short Story Contest. He published poetry and short fiction in the 2008 and 2009 Backbone Mountain Review and placed second in the Ramble Underground Spring 2008 Short Fiction Contest.
Mike has been traveling to Guatemala for 25 years as a health advisor and election observer, and most recently as a medical missionary. Many of his stories are set among the modern Maya. He has recently published "2012: Under the Witz Mountain," an adventure novel based on Mayan cosmology and creation mythology, and the modern blendings of Mayanism with Christianity. It is intended to be an antidote to the doomsday products being offered to market what began as a Mayan religious day, the end of their calendar in 2012.