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Born and raised just outside Chicago, Mike Proko grew up in an atmosphere that would make a seasoned writer jealous. What a list of characters! Priests. Politicians. Mobsters. Union leaders. The high-lifes and the low-lifes. Strangers who would give you the shirt off their backs. Relatives who would try to take your last dime. At a very young age, he would learn that the people you were supposed to look up to were the ones you had to look out for. And, quite often, the bad guys were the good guys.
Being a voracious reader blessed with a telling imagination, writing stories seemed like a natural fit for Mike. With a style born from tonal dialect and experimentation, having been schooled in the art of storytelling by his grandparents, his 1st book, 'Some Things My Grandparents Taught Me' was an homage to his instructors.
Six months after writing his first screenplay, life threw Mike a hard curveball. One massive stroke, then another. Writing or the thought of writing would have to take a back seat for a while until an off-handed remark by one of his doctors would set up his next work. 'Rising From the Ashes: A Spiritual Odyssey' is based on his journey through the rehab process, taken from the journal notes to himself while in the hospital.
What followed was 'Rising From the Ashes:A Golfers Tale About Starting Over' this book describing how a man tries to piece back bits and pieces of a game now gone due to the strokes. Could he do it? Well, let's just say it's not wise to bet against him.
He followed that up with a collection of short-stories which would become 'A Box of Shorts.' The portions of some of the stories were so dark and somber that fellow writer/friend HJ Weinand suggested a lighter fare for the next project. That brief conversation gave birth to 'Pendleton the Penguin and His Magical Friends' which is due out Jan.2012. And that leads us,finally to 'LIFE IN AMERICA,' a personal look at our country and the changes its going through. This is a salute to the people who made our country great, the forgotten middle-class.
Mike Proko continues his wide range of writing genres as well as other multi-media adventures.
Thank you and God bless.