Thursday, August 30, 2012


The Cosmic Laire of Science Fiction and Fantasy (for the record, I never noticed that "laire" could be spelled that way) tagged me with a meme. It's called "Be Inspired" and has this plain "Google-esque" (that's a word, right?) badge here. The rules are simple. Answer the questions in the meme and pass them on to five other authors. Also give thanks to the person who awarded you with the meme as well as linking back to them. Thanks David and GO VISIT HIS BLOG HERE!
  1. What is the name of your book? Oculus.
  2. Where did the idea for your book come from? It's a sequel to my first book, Slipstream. It came from the characters doing stuff.
  3. In what genre would you classify your book? Speculative Fiction/Dark Fantasy
  4. Who would you pick to play your characters in a movie adaptation? No idea at this point. Someone young, hot, and blond with like 5% body fat and sparkling blue eyes.
  5. Give us a one sentence synopsis of your book? A boy with NHL dreams must kill demons slaughtering hundreds of cops in the streets of New York City following the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.
  6. Is your book already published? Nope. I'm finishing up with my edits soon. I had the best editor I've ever worked with help me with my manuscript. She really was frickin' awesome.
  7. How long did it take you to write this book? I started it in May 2010. So that's 2.5 years. Geez, I'm slow. In my defense, Oculus is an incredibly intricate and complex book. I think readers who liked Slipstream will see that this book definitely raises the bar. Plus I feel that my climax is really awesome, and all my beta readers seem to be blown away by it too. That makes me feel confident, because I think endings are difficult to write.
  8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to? I have no idea. I'm not trying to be obtuse, because I'm well read. But I honestly have no idea. One beta-reader said it had a Harry Potter-esque feel to it because of the Cornell University setting and the sport element. But it's an adult book, darker than Slipstream, with graphic sex, extreme violence, murder, gore, and terrifying demons. I'm going to say, it would be a cross between Harry Potter and Hellraiser, if you can even imagine that.
  9. Which authors inspired you to write this book? Oh, all that I've read. Seriously, every book I finish is an inspiration to pen my own story.
  10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book. I did a ton of research to make the places in New York featured in Oculus leap off the page. The book loops continuously on itself, referring back to earlier events, which is some of the things that I really enjoy about great books I've read. There are many, "Oh that was mentioned two chapters earlier and now it's important" moments. It's been cut and rewritten to the point that every character is necessary (and I have a lot of characters). Each one has a role to play. Each person pulls their own weight. It's gone through beta reads and two professional level edits even before sending it to the publisher. There are no unnecessary characters and events at this point. Jordan and Kathy's powers grow in unexpected and strange ways that I think will have people marveling at my unique "magic" system. I honestly think it's pretty clever, but I wrote it.
Five people I would like to tag with this meme:
Mina Lobo
P.T. Dilloway
Alex J. Cavanaugh
M.J. Fifield

Bonus Person: Elise Fallson 'cause I must know what she's writing and you should too.

Second Bonus Person: Matthew MacNish because I beta-read Warrior Monks, and I want him to talk about it.

Since I'm talking about my writing projects in this post, I wanted to thank all the supportive people who have purchased my book. I got my royalty statement from Double Dragon Publishing for sales thru June 30th, and it was much bigger than I ever expected (DDP by the way is really professional in case you are looking for a publisher). Then following that, I got a couple of amazing emails from readers who aren't bloggers (like actual readers who aren't authors and that's all that they want to be) who raved about my book to me. That just felt good. It made all the work that I put in seem worthwhile. I guess what I'm saying is that fan mail is really frickin' awesome. Plus, I had a person request a review copy of my book. That has never happened. I've always had to pester people "Can you review my book, pretty please with sugar on top?" This person just found me and asked for it. Maybe that's how real authors feel? I dunno. But maybe they don't have to go begging at doors asking people to post reviews of their book. Anyway, it just made me feel good for a brief moment in my day, and I hope that you get that feeling all the time with your own publishing endeavors.

Have a great Thursday. I will be featuring author J.L. Campbell as part of the Distraction Tour on Friday. I will resume blogging on Tuesday (I'm taking Labor Day off, as should you).


  1. Your books sound great, and I for one wish you would go into more detail about your publishing, both with Double Dragon and working with your editor. Lots of us are sitting on the fence trying to decide whether we should keep trying with traditional publishing or jump into the self-publishing quagmire.

  2. Oh, and you're not slow! I'm averaging three years to write each book, plus more to do editing.

  3. I'm going to use the word Google-esque next time I get the opportunity. :) I love the excitement I can sense in your sequel. I like your one sentence pitch. Very nice.

  4. Came from the characters doing stuff - funny! And even more complex? Going to need some really smart readers then.
    Fan emails and raving reviews from complete strangers are awesome beyond words.

  5. Gotta love an author who lets his characters do their own stuff. And thanks for reminding me of Labor day. Now that I live in Mexico, I'm forgetting some holidays. Have a great weekend.

  6. Hmmm, I should request a review copy of your book. Then I can get it for free, bwahahahaha.

    But really, more intricate and complex? My head my explode when I try to read it.

  7. @Ted: Thanks :) I'll do a post of that soon I guess. I don't talk about my writing much, because I think writers talking about their writing is kind of boring.

    @Brinda: le awesome.

    @Alex: I agree

    @Em: You're welcome. I shall remind you of all kinds of holidays if I can remember to do so.

    @P.T.: I mean there's a lot of stuff going on. That's the complexity I'm referring to.

  8. The title of your book alone says dark fiction, which is a good thing. I really should get around to reading Slipstream. I shy away from Sci-Fi, thinking that it'll all go over my head. Time to get rid of that notion.

    Good going on your sales. I gotta agree that it's wonderful when readers connect to your writing.

    Enjoy your holiday.

  9. I suppose some might find it boring. Those of us who are thinking about self-publishing or not will probably glean something useful from it.

  10. The climax ending to Oculus is amazing! I can't wait to read book three.

    And there's nothing wrong with being a slow writer. Your books have so much research required and are intricately written.

  11. I'm so happy the book is such a success, though I'm not surprised! You've worked super hard, and it shows. And I love when writers stuff their stories will callbacks to earlier parts. (like Lost!)

  12. You're welcome! I'm nearly finished with Slipstream, so now I'm stoked about Oculus. :)

  13. Ooh, had to go look up what Oculus meant. Very cool title. And I think novels take as long as they take to write. That's my new mantra anyway, since I tend to be pretty slow at finishing my stories too. :)

  14. Characters doing stuff is good.

    Hmm. I'll have to think about how I'm going to go about this. I don't want to talk too much about an unpublished work.

  15. Hi, Michael,

    WOW, you're new book sounds amazing. Let me know if you need a review... I love your writing.

    I will feel right at home since you have it based in NYC... it will always be home for me...

    Congrats on the royalties and letters... See you don't need to worry about the occasional one star review.

  16. Because I haven't had a chance to get to your 1st one, yet, I didn't read this. Yours should be coming up soon, though.

  17. You already know I'm excited to read Oculus and this post is a great tease. And *thanks* for tagging me...(bhole). (; I'm in the process of changing things a bit and adding a whole new section to my wip, so not a great time to talk about this cluster f*** of a story. But I'll hang on to this and hopefully by the end of the year, say...2025 I'll be able to post something. But don't worry, I'll let you know when I'm ready. *thumbs up*

  18. It's important for characters to, you some stuff.

    And apparently yours are doing lots of all kinds of stuff. Congrats on your success. You deserve it.

  19. Oooo...can't wait for the sequel. :)

  20. Congrats on the award. Very well-deserved. Love those answers, very smart and creative. ;) I follow all those peeps you've tapped and they are wicked cool.

  21. 2.5 years? If that's long, my pace is glacial.

    I've always preferred stories that put in small things that become important later on. It makes me feel good for paying attention.

    Oh, right, Labor Day. Forgot about that.

  22. Had no idea what this was but guess who learned something? :D

  23. Your book sounds fascinating. I love stories that are intricate and depend on every single character.

  24. It's fantastic you got fan mail. That should spur you on to book 3!

  25. Your next book sounds wonderful. I've heard about your publisher and it's all good.

  26. Harry Potter and Hellraiser, two things I'm quite fond of! I can't wait to get my hands on Oculus! :)

  27. If 2.5 years is slow then I'm... well, let's not talk about what I am.

    Looking forward to reading the Thanksgiving Day Parade scene. Sounds fun!

    Oh, and thanks for the tag.

  28. I can't wait to see how you've spruced it up Mike. And I'd call it a cross between The Dark Tower and Harry Potter. That's what came to mind for me.

    This was a cool meme. I'd been looking forward to reading it all day and almost went to be before I got the chance.

    I'm looking forward to your publications announcement.

    Have a great weekend. I plan of being offline too - hoping to get some housekeeping projects completed. I hate housework and yard work though . .


  29. Ohmigosh, I only now realized you'd tagged me, Dude! Thanks!

    And congrats on your fan-mail! It's so rewarding to connect with folks who enjoy your work and want to discuss various aspects of it with you, maybe even saw things here and there you'd never realized could be seen. Rock on!
    Some Dark Romantic

  30. Endings are crazy hard to write. I've got a WIP I've been working on for ten and on, and in my defense I graduated from university and will soon graduate from another. Anyway, every time I write a new draft the ending changes and I go *oh shit*

  31. I finally put this up yesterday. Thanks for tagging me.