Jan 15, 2015

Interview with Mike

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer in second grade when I was asked to contribute to a school wide "circle story" as a representative of the second graders. When my section was read in front of the student body, the collective reaction was amazing! If I could get such a positive reaction from a bunch of elementary kids, imagine the potential - I mean, I was only eight - imagine how good I would be by junior high!

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? The best and worst thing about it?
The best part of writing is it's mine. I write about what I'm interested in and what's on my mind - anytime, anywhere. That's a double-edged sword, however. Not everyone wants to read your thoughts. Imagine publishing your diary (something I once thought was a million dollar idea - who wouldn't want to read all my brilliant ideas scratched onto paper like a madman?). I've learned a tremendous amount about catering my ideas to the public. I think most writers want their readers to take away something from what they've written, at least I do, and if that's going to happen, it's gotta be applicable and to the point.

Who is your literary hero?
It's a toss up between Howard Roark of The Foundtainhead and Santiago of The Alchemist.

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
The first book I ever wrote was a short novel called Breathe. It was a story about a guy who rode motorcycles and learned that life was about being in the moment. In all actuality, it was a first-person narrative to the sega-genesis game Road Rash, and likely much more interesting for video-gamers than actual readers..

What made you create (your book)? How did it come to you?
I woke up at three in the morning in Seattle in 2007 with a line in my head..."At the top of the hill stood an old tree where the boy with grandfather eyes would sit and overlook the village." It captivated me, so much so that it eventually became the first sentence of The Dreamer's Lotus, then called The Boy with Grandfather Eyes. I wanted to tell a story about a boy who could communicate with the natural world, someone who saw things that others didn't. After that first line the story took on a life of its own.

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
Corvus is in many ways a direct reflection of myself as a person. Naturally, that wasn't my initial intention. I just wanted to create a compelling character. It wasn't until the end of the first draft that I realized, "Oh crap, I'm Corvus." There's nothing quite like writing a book that allows one to see just how vast we as individuals are, and how far our personalities can swing. It's also a terrific tool for psychoanalyzing yourself, though I don't necessarily recommend it.

Describe your main character in six words.
Insightful, arrogant, loner, brilliant, fearless, mysterious

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
self-aware, hidden, illusions, intelligent, madness, secrets

What scene was your favorite to write?
Obiticus is by far my favorite character. He's an old crazy outcast who survives by himself in the forest and one day hopes to take revenge on the Elders who have banished him. When Corvus discovers him in the forest late one night the whole story transforms. It's here that the themes of madness and illusion really begin to take form. I think I just like to get a little crazy every now and then.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
The first few pages of any piece are always the hardest for me to write. They have to be compelling while showing setting, main characters, conflicts, and an idea of where the story is going. I think I wrote about 50 drafts before I thought it was good enough to print.

What are you working on now?
Book 2! The Great City is a story I'm REALLY excited about. It's more dystopian, more chaotic. The first book is about a world where the universe speaks to people in symbols. But when Corvus finds he is forced to travel to The Great City, he quickly learns there is only one symbol there, and it will either aid him or destroy him.

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
Publishing a book is definitely an accomplishment I feel good about. My goal is to get it into as many people's hands that might take away something from it. I feel very strongly about the message in this book. It has deep eco-rooted tones and themes because, inherently, it's about man's relationship with the natural world and man's relationship with himself and his truth. Who are we? Why are we here? What is our potential and can we create it together?

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
Illusions by Richard Bach.
1984 by George Orwell
The Alchemist by Pablo Coehlo 

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
Being outdoors. I love to hike, rock climb, raft, bike, meditate in the cool air. If I'm outside, I'm happy.