Welcome to my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, scriptwriters, biographers, agents, publishers and more. Today’s is with science-fiction / fantasy novelist Michael J Brooks. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further.
Morgen: Hello, Michael. Please tell us something about yourself, where you’re based, and how you came to be a writer.
Michael: I currently live in Washington, DC. I have always had a love for the sci-fi genre and began experimenting with writing my own science fiction in 2008. That’s when I decided to try to become an established author.
Morgen: Is that the genre you generally write and have you considered other genres?
Michael: I mainly write science fiction, but I also love the fantasy genre and just might try writing my first fantasy novel soon.
Morgen: If you do and it’s published, you’d be welcome to return (on the mixed blog) for an author spotlight. 🙂 What have you had published to-date?
Morgen: Do you have a favourite of your books or characters? If any of your books were made into films, who would you have as the leading actor/s?
Michael: Of all of the novels I have planned, Exodus Conflict is my favourite so far. If it were made into a movie, I’d probably have Rosie Alice Huntington-Whiteley, from Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon, as Andrea Blair. I think she’s gorgeous and would be a perfect fit for my character.
Morgen: One of my favourite (Pink Floyd) albums. 🙂 Did you choose the covers of your books?
Michael: For all of my covers, I tell a professional cover designer exactly what I have envisioned and as he / she shows me the progress they have made, I make suggestions or tell them what I want changed until my vision is brought to life.
Morgen: It’s a great cover. What are you working on at the moment / next?
Michael: I’m currently working on the sequel to Exodus Conflict, which is titled Exodus Conflict: New Genesis.
Morgen: That sounds very Star Trek (I hope that’s not a disservice!). Do you manage to write every day, or ever suffer from writer’s block?
Michael: I manage to write at least a page or two every day. I do get writer’s block every now and then, but when I do, I simply stop writing and come back hours or a day later. Then new ideas come to me that weren’t before.
Morgen: Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
Michael: As soon as I get an idea, I begin to plot the beginning, middle, and end. But nothing is definitive, so I make many adjustments to the plot as I write.
Morgen: What do you think makes your characters believable?
Michael: What makes my characters believable is the differing beliefs, opinions, and ideology each character has, which often causes conflict among them. Also, each character has their own flaw, just as we all do, and they make mistakes as any human being does.
Morgen: We do, and so should they or they’d not be believable. Do you do a lot of editing or do you find that as time goes on your writing is more fully-formed?
Michael: I use a professional editor, and after he / she is finished, I continue editing the novel myself and make adjustments until I am satisfied.
Morgen: Very wise. What point of view do you find most to your liking?
Michael: I always write in third person but am considering writing in first person for a future novel I have planned.
Morgen: Do you write any poetry, non-fiction or short stories?
Michael: I write some poetry every once in a while, and I currently have part 1 of a short story up on my blog, but once all parts are finished, I think I will publish it as an ebook.
Morgen: I have and that’s the great thing about eBooks; they can be any length (my shortest is about 600 words). Do you enter competitions? Are there any you could recommend?
Michael: I do enter competitions. I would recommend for writers to enter the annual IPPY Awards competition.
Morgen: Do you do much marketing for your published works or indeed for yourself as a ‘brand’?
Michael: I usually market each book that I write separately, but I am beginning to market myself and my novels as a whole, as a brand.
Morgen: What’s your least favourite aspect of your writing life? Has anything surprised you?
Michael: I would say that the least favourite aspect of my writing life is the frustration that comes with writer’s block or sometimes not knowing quite where to take the story next. What has surprised me most is how much I have grown as a writer.
Morgen: It’s all about practice isn’t it – like playing the piano or painting. What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Michael: I would tell aspiring writers to not wait for the traditional publishers and self-publish if they have to, but don’t give up on them either.
Morgen: Absolutely. Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how valuable do you find them?
Michael: I am on Twitter and LinkedIn. I have especially found Twitter useful. It has helped me gain some exposure and has drawn people to my blog.
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
Michael: I believe that ebooks are quickly becoming the future of the publishing industry and much of a writer’s work will be in ebook format in the future.
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your writing?
Morgen: Thank you, Michael.
I then invited Michael to include a synopsis of his novel…
For three years, humankind and an alien race called the Zull have been battling each other over a new world both races are in need of. Caught in the midst of this conflict is a lone journalist named Alex Mercer who seeks to understand why the war continues, even though the simple solution of “coexistence” could end it tomorrow.
While on his adventure, Alex becomes acquainted with an EUF soldier named Andrea Blair, whose cold gray eyes tell a tale of death, sorrow, and hate; and for much of his time on Second Earth, it becomes his personal mission to prevent Andrea from remaining the cold shell of a person war has made her, as well as prevent humankind and Zull from wiping each other out.
Michael J. Brooks holds a BA in art and an MFA. He loves writing and is a die-hard fan of the science fiction genre.
Drawing inspiration from the many Sci-Fi books and movies he has enjoyed throughout his life, he seeks to write his own science fiction novels which are not meant to be only entertainment but to address some of the most crucial issues of our time and explore the trials of being human. He hopes to create characters that people can relate to and stories that will have an impact on them long after they are finished reading one of his novels.
If you are reading this and you write, in whatever genre, and are thinking “ooh, I’d like to do this” then you can… just email me and I’ll send you the information. They do now (January 2013) carry a fee (£10 / €12.50 / $15) for the new interviews on the mixed blog but everything else (see Opportunities on the main blog) is free.
Alternatively, if you’d like a free Q&A-only interview, I now have this blog, https://morgensauthorinterviews.wordpress.com, on which I’ve rerun the original interviews posted here then posted new interviews which I then reblog here. These interviews are Q&A only, so I don’t add in my comments but they do get exposure on both sites.
If you go for the interview, it’s very simple; I send you a questionnaire (I have them for novelists, short story authors, children’s authors, non-fiction authors, and poets). You complete the questions, and I let you know when it’s going to go live. Before it does so, I add in comments as if we’re chatting, and then they get posted. When that’s done, I email you with the link so you can share it with your corner of the literary world. And if you have a writing-related blog / podcast and would like to interview me… let me know.
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