Mark Scheel grew up in east-Kansas farm country. Prior to writing full time, he served overseas with the American Red Cross, taught at Emporia State University and was a public library information specialist. He co-authored the book Of Youth and the River: the Mississippi Adventure of Raymond Kurtz, Sr. and his collection of stories and poems, A Backward View, was awarded the 1998 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award from the Kansas Authors Club. More recent works include the blog collection The Pebble: Life, Love, Politics and Geezer Wisdom, the fiction collection And Eve Said Yes: Seven Stories and a Novella, and the poetry collection Star Chaser.
The year is 1967. Mel Steadman, a Midwestern farm youth recovering from a severe head injury, becomes dissatisfied living at home and hops a bus to California. He finds work in a low-rent hotel chain and mingles with the young drifters along Hollywood Boulevard. Soon he bonds with an estranged night wanderer named Burch who clerks in a shop called The Potter’s Wheel and encounters a free-spirited femme fatale named Maureen. Adventure follows adventure, culminating, however, in abandonment and violence. Young Mel accrues many hard lessons of the street coming of age, echoes of a Holden Caulfield wrapped into a Day of the Locust during the sixties’ Summer of Love.
“The sixties may now be history, but that history lives again through Scheel's faithful rendering of the street scene in the Hollywood of 1967. The war protests, frenetic youth, and a lonely Midwesterner’s search for life's purpose are deftly depicted here by an exceptionally talented writer.”
—Ronda Miller, former State President, Kansas Authors Club, and author of MoonStain, WaterSigns, and I Love the Child.
“Mark Scheel is one of the best writers I know, bar none. And The Potter’s Wheel is a testament to that fact!”
—Edna Bell-Pearson, author of Headwinds and Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams.
“Having experienced the turbulent California sixties myself, I can vouch that Scheel’s portrayal of the people and the times is spot on. Once again, turn on, tune in, drop out!”
—Paul Goldman, ecstatic poet, author of Silence Speaks and Upon Your Canvas.