Good News from A Great City Haverhill, MA
He began research for the play in August, 2016 and finished the first draft in December, and “was fortunate to fall in with some very talented and driven people, whose love of history and good theater is immeasurable. My friend Linda Greenstein was encouraging from the very first, and always there to help in any way. She’s a PR dynamo, and a gifted journalist in her own right. Then there’s our director, Myriam Cyr, an accomplished actor and director whose instincts are always spot on. She’s just a pleasure to work with, and I’ve learned a great deal from her already. Patricia Jamison, our producer, is another dynamo who makes things happen behind the scenes. Jan Williams, the director of Haverhill’s Buttonwoods Museum, was also extremely helpful when I was researching the subject matter. The Haverhill Public Library’s archives were a great source of information, too.”
History in Haverhill –
The Cormier family moved to Haverhill in 1973 and Michael attended Hunking Middle School and graduated HHS in 1978. He also lived in Haverhill off and on as a young adult, and had a law office here. His parents lived on South Kimball Street in Bradford for nearly forty years. After graduating HHS, Michael earned his BA from Northeastern University and his JD from Rutgers University.
He practiced law for 23 years where his focus was family and criminal law. He no longer practices and currently lives in Atkinson, NH. Though he wrote on the side for years, he began writing full-time in 2013. It was always his first love, one he regrets not pursuing full-time from the start.
When Michael isn’t writing novels and plays, he is copywriting for small businesses. There is a lot of demand for blog articles, ad copy, brochures and the like. Lately, ghostwriting anything from speeches and essays to full book length projects has become more of a focus for him. At long last, following his passion and dedicating himself to writing is a dream come true!
The Heartbeat of Haverhill noted that his major works “Convention”, “Sumner Island”, “Why, Brother, Why”, and “Saltonstall Trials”, on the surface at least, seem to be different genres, and wondered what unites the books and short stories he writes.
“Great question! I wrote Sumner Island while I was still practicing law. It turned out to be a stew of some of the subjects I love most: ghosts, the 1920’s era, old resorts and the New England coast. It’s a love story within a ghost story within a murder mystery. Great fun, and people of all ages and genders love it for different reasons.
Convention is strictly a love story. It explores the old adage, ‘Be true to thyself,’ in the context of a regretful breakup. In a lot of my stories I like to explore the fallout from making bad choices.
Which brings me to the other book you mentioned: Why, Brother, Why? I was hired to do this book with a gentleman who’d been an opioid addict all his adult life and was now in his sixties. (The regretful choices theme again!) But this book is nonfiction, a biography about drug addiction and the horror it leads to. Unfortunately, the gentleman passed away shortly after it was published, which highlights the nightmare of our present opioid crisis.
Finally, there’s my new play just now being being produced, entitled Saltonstall’s Trial. As my first play it’s a departure in terms of format, though I’ve worked on short screenplays before. The theme, however, is familiar territory for me: self-doubt caused by a disruption in one’s psychological world. The play takes place during the Salem Witch Trials, but it’s more of a personal play about one man’s struggle to do the right thing in the face of mounting evidence that his lifelong mindset has been wrong.
…if I were to pick a genre I love best it’s definitely psychological suspense and classic horror. In fact, I have two books in the works (one of which is with an agent now), dealing with ghosts and demonic possession. But at the same time I’m working on a two-act drama about a classic “angel on the street, devil in the home,” personality, whose disturbing effect on his family is felt years after his death even as the town deifies him….”
Had The Heartbeat of Haverhill grown up in this fascinating city and learned of Saltonstall at an early age, we, too, would have been obsessed; we certainly are now. THOH can’ wait to see how both Nathaniel’s historic story and Michael’s modern day adventure in play-writing turns out.
THOH thanks Linda Menzies Greenstein for making connections and encouraging The Heartbeat of Haverhill to write this post.