Hello guys, so here’s the Author Interview for this week. I interviewed Mr. Mike Reynolds since he accepted my request. I met Mr. Mike via Twitter. and yes almost all the Authors I’ve interviewed are from Twitter. So I practically talk to Mr. Mike every now and then… anyway here is my interview with Mr. Mike. Hope you enjoy it and I’d love to hear your thoughts down the comment section.
Q: Hello Mr. Mike, thank you again for Accepting this interview request, would you mind telling us a little something about yourself?
A: Hi Kenchi. It is absolutely my pleasure. I’m honored you wanted to learn more about me and my work. So…about me. That’s a topic I’m actually not great at talking about, but I’ll give it a shot. I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, spent most of my life there. About three years ago I moved to LA, and I’m loving it. I’m married with three children and two granddaughters. The granddaughters are the best. In fact, they are the reason I moved to LA in the first place. I have published three books: Hell and the Hunger and two books in the Lake of Dragons series, Lake of Dragons and Kallum’s Fury. I’m completely fascinated by history and all of the various cultures – both current and historical – that tell the story of us. I also love funk, punk, and the blues.
Q: I’ve been wanting to ask you since I like received your book. Why did you make a Penname? and why choose E/ Michael Mettille?
A: This one’s easy. Google Mike Reynolds once…pages and pages of dudes who aren’t me. There is a (I think former) congressman from New York, an architect who has published several books on architecture, and a whole slew of others. I needed a way to differentiate myself from all of these individuals who share my name. As far as what the name means, E. is for my grandfather, Emil. He was the greatest storyteller I have ever known. No matter the topic, he would suck you into the story and keep you completely engaged. I hope to be able to tell a story that well someday. Michael is me. I’m not trying to hide my identity or anything, so I wanted to keep an obvious piece of me in it. Finally, Mettille is my step-father’s last name. He’s the man who raised me, my dad, and has had a huge impact on the person I’ve become. I felt it was appropriate to take his name for my creative persona.
Q: what genres do you feel comfortable writing Mr. Mike? What draws you into those specific genres?
A: I’m most comfortable writing fantasy. I’m a big fan of myths and fables, really any story with a deeper meaning. I find fantasy the perfect vehicle for wrapping these kinds of broader ideas about differences in beliefs and feelings into exciting adventures. I also like writing horror and children’s stories. However, both typically contain some fantastical elements when the stories are coming out of my head.
Q: Can you tell the viewers a little bit about your Book? Which is Kallum’s Fury.
A: Absolutely! Kallum’s Fury is the second book in the Lake of Dragons series. This particular story is very special to me. The first story was mostly focused on Maelich’s journey, his training, and his challenges. In Kallum’s Fury, I was able to challenge Maelich, take him to the brink and nearly break him. Meanwhile, other characters who played more supportive roles in the first story, really begin to come into their own. Maelich suffers great loss very early in the story, and he doesn’t respond well. In fact, he doesn’t really deal with it at all. He develops this fantasy world for him to inhabit, and we follow him on a slow descent into insanity. You’ll have to wait until the final book to learn how he recovers if he is able to at all. Meanwhile, Cialia, Maelich’s sister and equal in every way finds her flame. Her path to the flame is completely different than Maelich’s had been. Maelich trained for years to master Dragon’s fire. Cialia finds her flame when she is faced with an event that challenges her beliefs about justice and fairness so deeply that she can no longer contain it. She lashes out it glorious and violent fashion. This event makes her question everything she has ever believed about her world and her role in it. While our two main characters are on their journey, Havenstahl is attacked by an army of nightmare creatures from across the Great Sea, and Daritus, Havenstahl’s general, must wage war without his city’s greatest Champions.
Q: Can you please tell us what made you want to write Kallum’s Fury?
A: The entire Lake of Dragons series began during a time when I was questioning my own beliefs. This made me think about the various truths that exist in various different cultures, things taught directly as lessons or more indirectly through normal, common behaviors exhibited by a group of individuals who share common beliefs. How do you know what is truth? I wanted to explore what would happen to someone who had been immersed in an idea since the time they were old enough to remember when faced with someone who believed the exact opposite to be the truth. What would that do to a person? Kallum’s Fury continues this exploration through the challenges faced by each of the main characters.
Q: Please give us an Insight to your Main characters. What does these characters do that makes them special?
A: Maelich is the lad of the Lake. His mother was impregnated by the Lake of Dragons. Because of this, he has the power of Dragon’s Fire. He was trained as a warrior and taught to control and wield his interesting and unique powers. Maelich is a hero motivated by a desire to defend and protect.
Cialia is Maelich’s twin and shares all the unique powers and capabilities of her brother. The difference with Cialia is that she wasn’t trained to wield her powers. Her transformation is equally challenging, perhaps more so, and she must face her new powers without the wisdom of a guide.
Leisha is the mother of gods. A former queen of Druindahl, she has spent her life protecting the secrets of Dragons and the Lake. Leisha is a leader that puts the safety of her people above all else.
Daritus is Leisha’s husband. After leaving Druindahl in the wake of the events of Lake of Dragons, Daritus is recruited to serve as the general of Havenstahl’s great army. He is Leisha’s husband and raised Cialia as his own daughter, teaching her the art of wielding blades. He is a master strategist who is constantly questioning himself.
Perrin is Maelich’s wife. She has one of my favorite transformations in the story. Perrin has always been the damsel. During the events of Kallum’s Fury, she is pushed far beyond her limits. She won’t be a damsel waiting for her knight in shining army any longer.
Ymitoth is the king of Havenstahl, the greatest city of men. However, prior to taking the throne, Ymitoth was the greatest sword in that city and charged with raising the savior, Maelich. In that role, he acted as both father and mentor to the lad of the Lake. He is the only father Maelich has ever known.
Here’s the picture of the book cover of Kallum’s Fury
Q: The cover was totally stunning my eyes had hearts in them when I saw it, can you tell us how it came about?
A: I love the cover too. It was designed by L.J. Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations. It depicts the moment when Cialia finds her flame. She’s in the woods on the trail to Druindahl when she is faced with riders from the city she grew up in who don’t exhibit the morals of their post. These wicked, false riders of Druindahl do something so despicable to Cialia that her flame is released. The event will haunt her and inform her decisions for the rest of the story.
Q: Who designs your book covers?
A: As I said before, Kallum’s Fury was designed by L.J. Anderson of Mayhem Cover Creations. Lake of Dragons was designed by designers at AuthorHouse. I didn’t have a great deal of input on that one, and it will be getting a refresh in the very near future. Hell and the Hunger was designed by Ricca Santiago, a wonderful designer I work with at my day job.
Q: Do you think that the cover plays an important role in the buying process?
A: I really think it depends on the reader. A gorgeous book cover definitely gets a book noticed. It catches your eye and earns you a closer look. However, you can’t be all show and no go. There better be some meat inside once the reader gets past the cover.
Q: while writing your book, specifically Kallum’s Fury did you encounter a “writer’s block”? If so, which part of the book?
A: As a matter of fact, I did. When Maelich and Ymitoth return to the hut where Ymitoth raised Maelich and trained him to be a swordsman, I knew where I wanted them to go but wasn’t sure how to get them there. I wasn’t sure how to express that Maelich was slowly losing his grip on reality and buying into the fantasy he had developed for himself. In the end, I was inspired by a fishing trip with my son. Chapter 10, Fishing, is the tipping point where Maelich really begins losing touch with reality.
Q: Lake of Dragons is an ongoing Series how do you feel on writing a series? Do you think writing a series is hard in some way?
A: I’m really enjoying writing the series. I don’t think it’s any more difficult than writing a stand-alone. A story is a story to me. Most of my stories have so much back-story informing the characters and the main part of the story, that I could make a series out of any of them. I guess the challenging part is deciding which part of the story is the most compelling and worth telling.
Q: Besides the Third book of the Lake of Dragons Series, what are you working on at the moment? Can you tell us what’s it about?
A: I’m actually working on a screenplay for a children’s book I wrote that is currently being illustrated. I have a couple other things brewing, but I haven’t started serious work on any of them.
Q: How are you publishing this book? And why? (Indie, Traditional or both)
A: I’m an Indie. Both Lake of Dragons and Hell and the Hunger were published with AuthorHouse. I’m not a huge fan of the way they do things, so I released Kallum’s Fury under my own imprint. I intend to continue in that fashion. Control is the main reason. I have complete control of what is released when.
Q: What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
A: When you are self-publishing, you are not competing with a publisher’s other interests. You also have complete control of what channels carry your work, retail prices, etc. On the other hand, when you self-publish, you are responsible for everything. If you are represented by a publisher, many of these things may be handled for you, and you can focus on being creative and writing great stories.
Q: When did you become a writer?
A: I’ve always been a writer. However, I published my first book in 2005.
Q: When did you decide to be a writer?
A: I wanted to be a writer when I was in High School. However, it didn’t become a real goal until I took an English class taught by Martha Berglund. She spoke so patiently about writing and challenged me like I hadn’t been challenged before. That was the spark for me.
Q: Why do you write?
A: In some ways it’s therapy, perhaps a way to keep myself from going insane. I love stories, always have. I love developing characters, giving them strong ideals, and then dumping them into situations that will challenge those ideals to see how they react. Sometimes they surprise. Perrin is a great example of one of those. To be honest, I didn’t realize just how strong and fearless she would become.
Q: Do you write Full time or Part-time?
A: Part-time, I still have a day job in the print and marketing industry.
Q: Was there a particular Book/ Author that inspired you to write?
A: I read my first Stephen King novel in 3rd grade. The book was Cujo, and I was hooked. However, as I mentioned earlier, I had the good fortune of taking an English class taught by Martha Bergland. She really inspired me with her passion for writing.
Q: While writing a book do you aim a set amount of words or pages per day?
A: I don’t. Stories swim around in my head until they develop a life of their own. Some are more persistent than others, but they all come out when their ready to be born. I try not to force it.
Q: Where do your Ideas come from?
A: Mostly from my studies into history, belief systems, and cultures. I don’t always stick to the mainstream either. Once in awhile I’ll get on a trail that takes me to some really fringe ideas. I try to weave some of these ideas into my stories and my characters’ back stories. Some of the ideas just hit me. In fact, Lake of Dragons started with a bit of dialog that just popped into my head one day and I found amusing, “Never go drinking with dwarves. Their king is a giant, fifteen feet tall, eyes like fire, teeth like spears. If he catches you inebriating his minions, he will rip the head from your body and suck your insides out before your brain even realizes you are dead.” That bit doesn’t happen until near the end of the story, but it is what started me thinking about it.
Q: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively? Since you’ve written fantasy novels.
A: I think early on getting the story out of my head was the most important thing. I still feel that way, but now I want to get the correct story out. Some ideas never fully mature, and those should be left alone.
Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?
A: For me, it’s editing and re-writing. Vomiting the raw story onto the page like a passionate drunk is the easy part. Molding it is tough. Crafting the words into something someone might want to read is where the real work comes in.
Q: how long does it take to write one book?
A: I have a day job that actually sucks up quite a bit of my time. Add marketing my works that have already been published and making time for my family, and there aren’t a whole lot of clicks left on that clock for creativity. It will typically take me about year or a little better to get a novel-length work out. If I had full-time hours to dedicate to it, I could probably have a completed manuscript finished in six months.
Q: Why do you think other well written books Just Don’t Sell?
A: I think there are several reasons. The first is competition. We have a finite amount of time on this planet and have to make decisions about how we spend that time. The fraction of that total we can afford to spend on reading must be carefully guarded, and there are millions of books to read. Another issue is marketing. It’s really tough to get your voice heard without shelling out a ton of money and time.
Q: What do you think of “Trailers” for books?
A: I’m not sure how helpful they are for selling books, but I certainly enjoy them. I did a no-budget trailer for Hell and the Hunger. I’m not sure if it convinced anyone to buy the book, but I did have fun putting it together.
Q: If you could have been the original author of any book, What would it be and why?
A: Jonathon Livingston Seagull. It might be my favorite book of all time. I love the deep message the book contains and how simply it is described. It’s a masterpiece, one of those books I can read over and over again.
Q: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
A: Just write, write, write, and write some more. Like anything else in this world, practice makes you better. I would also highly recommend joining a critique group. Hook up with other writers traveling the same path you’re on. I’ve belonged to a handful of groups along my journey and I’ve always found the feedback to be extremely helpful. There is nothing like a raw, honest critique from a fellow writer to smack you upside the head and let you know that manuscript ain’t quite read for prime time.
Here’s the List of Mr. Mikes Social Media Accounts and website.
Website: http://www.themikereynolds. com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ mikereynoldsaut
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/ TheMikeReynolds/
Amazon Author Page:
Thank you again for answering my Interview Questions Mr. Mike and hope I can Interview you again soon and also I’ll be talking to you every now and then.
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