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Mystery of Love Leads Novel-Writing Alum to Ireland

The life of Minnesota native Mike Faricy ’73 reads equal parts love story, international adventure and mystery.

The genre fiction author now splits his time between Dublin and his hometown of St. Paul, Minn., thanks to a chance encounter over a decade ago. 

Out of the blue
When Faricy, then owner of a small mail-order company, joined a friend on a business trip to Ireland, the trajectory of his life took a sudden turn toward love.

It was when Faricy made his way to a local pub to enjoy some music that he first met her: Teresa. “It was literally love at first sight,” he says. “We struck up a conversation and have just been great friends ever since.”

The two met for coffee and enjoyed dinner and music together before Faricy’s trip came to an end. About a week and a half later, Faricy received an unexpected call asking if he’d ever consider returning to Dublin. 

The trip, the phone call and the years of long-distance romance that followed all culminated in marriage.

Author’s paradise
The back-and-forth travel between two home bases has allowed Faricy to remain connected to his hometown while exploring a whole new world and relishing what has become his own personal writer’s haven. 

“I don’t have any interruptions at all,” he says of his time spent in Dublin. “I can start tapping keys at 8 o’clock in the morning here. I knock off at about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, and I do that seven days a week ... . You hear about people who literally sort of go into seclusion for three or four weeks to get something accomplished or go over editing. I’ve got that all the time here.” 

For a history major and a man who spent much of his career in graphic design, setting up shop as a successful fiction author may have seemed like a bit of a stretch, but in hindsight Faricy says that in many ways he’s been a writer from the get-go. 

“Someone asked me one time when I started writing, and I said the first thing I wrote was probably on a wall in my parents’ home and I probably got sent to my room,” Faricy jokes. “But I continued it from that and have always enjoyed it.” 

In high school he wrote for the yearbook and the newspaper. Now later in life that passion has blossomed – supported in part by the workspace he has embraced. 

The joining of his Minnesota roots and newer Irish home reveals itself in other ways, too. Faricy plays bagpipes, for example, in the long-running Brian Boru Irish Pipe Band of St. Paul.

Labor of love
Faricy’s path to publication began in a traditional manner. He mailed out hundreds of query letters and waited for responses from literary agents and big publishers. 

As the rejection letters began to pile up, however, he decided to take a leap into an emerging form of publication that has since revolutionized the industry. “Fortunately for me, there was a side gate into the playground,” Faricy says, “and it was called electronic publishing.”

With several completed manuscripts ready to send out into the world in 2009, he released the books online and has never looked back. He has held the #1 slot in the crime fiction genre on Amazon several times, he’s moved 130,000 copies of “Russian Roulette” in the past 10 months, and “Last Shot,” published in 2013, was nominated for a Minnesota book award. 

Faricy’s genre fiction, set mainly in the upper Midwest and filled with the types of characters most of us have encountered at one time or another, blends mystery, crime and suspense.

“I am really blessed,” Faricy says. “It’s a Labor of Love – capital ‘L’ on both.”

It’s also a passion he enjoys sharing with others. Last fall he joined Laurie MacDiarmid (English) and one of her creative writing classes for a discussion. He has made plans to donate several of his books to the Mulva Library as well.

Mystery and romance unite
Faricy’s plans do not include slowing down. 

He just sent his latest manuscript, “Ting-a-ling,” to an editor and anticipates that this seventh book in his Dev Haskell series will be available this month. Next up, he’ll be starting a new book series. “I’ll be on that effective Monday morning at zero-dark-thirty,” he says.

With someone who embraces mystery writing, predictions may not come easy, but there is one detail that continues to show up in the opening pages of Faricy’s works: a loving dedication to his wife.

March 4, 2014