Patrick Middleton

Biography

Patrick Middleton is the first and only prisoner in America to earn all his higher degrees, including a Ph.D in Education,within a classroom setting all while incarcerated with a life sentence without parole. In his forty plus years of incarceration, he has received numerous academic awards and accolades. In 1989, he was awarded “Outstanding Student of the Year” accolades from the Pennsylvania Association for Adults in Continuing Education. In 1990 he was the recipient of two Congressional citations for outstanding academic achievement. During his eleven year tenure as a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Patrick earned many scholarships and teaching awards; was accepted into the prestigious honor fraternity Phi Eta Sigma, taught and lectured undergraduate students; paid room and board to the Department of Corrections from his teaching stipends; and conducted and published research reports with his professors and colleagues. He is the coauthor of three college textbooks, the sole author of a memoir, INCORRIGIBLE and a self-help book, HEALING OUR IMPRISONED MINDS which is used in several state correctional facilities throughout the country.
Both books are available in paperback form through Infinity Publishing and Amazon.

Smashwords Interview

Congratulations on the publication of your novel, Eureka Man. Why don’t you start by telling us about the title and how it relates to the story?
Sure. None of my editors or early readers liked any of the half dozen titles I had come up with. One afternoon, my wife Marta an I were playing that old free association game. You know, where you say the first word or phrase that comes to mind. Well, the moment Marta blurted out “Eureka Man,” I knew instantly it was the right title for the book. Oliver Priddy, the young protagonist in the novel, is always having these Eureka moments where he “gets something–an idea, a truth, a realization. He is the Eureka Man. So that’s how the title came about, and my wife gets all the credit.
Eureka Man is listed as literary fiction. For the sake of young readers and others who may not fully understand that term, would you explain what makes a novel fall into the literary category?
Author Ken Follett once said that thrillers are about one thing — danger. You think up a dangerous situation in which to place people, create a setting, etc., and then you find a way to draw the story out for a hundred thousand words. One of the cardinal rules of writing literary fiction is that less is more. You allow the writing to speak for itself in a somewhat more formal style through the use of figurative language — analogies, allusions (not illusions!), metaphors, and similes. These are generally employed not just to achieve some aesthetic quality, but usually to suggest something more, something symbolic, perhaps some abstract or universal idea about what it means to be human. In my novel, I set out to present the protagonist Oliver Priddy and his actions in such a way that my readers could see themselves doing the same thing if they were put in his circumstances. Oliver Priddy is much like you and anybody else. He’s human, he’s doing the best he can, but unfortunate events and circumstances still seem to follow and find him. In spite of it all, though, he grows in knowledge of self and the world. He shows us what makes him tick and shares with the reader a partial meaning to human existence through his own acquired philosophy. And herein lies another trait of literary fiction — creating characters who are best suited for providing the greatest range and depth of ideas to the reader. In Eureka Man, Oliver Priddy is one of those characters.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Patrick Middleton online


Where to buy in print


Books

Eureka Man
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 85,590. Language: English. Published: August 14, 2014. Category: Fiction » Literature » Alternative history
Set in Pittsburgh's notorious Riverside Penitentiary, this coming-of-age story follows the life of young Oliver Priddy as the combined forces of blackmail, violence, harsh prison conditions and a beautiful college professor converge on him and turn his ivy league prison upside down.

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