A believer in things most found silly, Michael Lackey has always been a dreamer. He loved to pretend as a child in the forests of Alabama. Michael would find himself in a land of monsters where he was the only one who could save the world from utter destruction. In his free time, Michael would map out bike courses and fantasize about becoming the next big Hollywood stuntman. With the stunts complete, Michael would raise his sword high and proclaim himself the slayer of the mystical beasts plaguing his land.
Like most over-imaginative children, real life set in for Michael.
He never really grew out of his imagination, but rather suppressed it to the point of monotony. Now in his forties, Michael’s stories and love for fantasy come alive on the pages of The Bad Seed. Join Michael on his fantasy-filled quest to tell the story of the brave Zachery Morely and his adventures on Amundiss.
Hi Michael Lackey, it’s so good of you to come and join us aboard the Fantasy Sci-Fi Network interview space shuttle today. I look forward to learning more about you.
Do you have a pen name and why?
No, I do not have a pen name. Why? It’s a little vain but, my stories are a part of me. I would not want to put any other name on them besides my own.
What was the defining event that made you start writing?
I have always loved stories and storytelling. Even as a child I had to play by myself because we lived in the country and the nearest neighbor was 20 miles away. I was never lacking in imagination. As an adult I read The Heroes of Olympus series about Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan and it inspired me to tell my stories. These books brought to life a world of adventure that I always loved to go. I started to remember fragments of my story and decided to write them down. Before I knew I had enough for several chapters. I thought to myself when I actually started to write the story, I’d be lucky to hit 60k words. The Bad Seed sits at 95k words and I am proud of every one.
That is a mammoth effort for your first novel, well done.
Which scene from your book do you like best and why?
Not to give too much away, there is a part where the dwarven leader comes to find King Gabriel to help fight the demons. The dwarves had not been seen in force for centuries, especially to help humans. By the courage and honor of the small band of warriors, it united the races for a bigger cause.
Which is your favourite character and why?
Oh this is a hard one. I love them all. The elven wizard Benzoete I tend to favor a little more. His wit, intelligence and overall compassion for all living beings is in a way how we all should see our world. Fight for what is right and love every minute of it.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
I have worked for a company making playground equipment for over 24 years.
Oh, that is a cool job. I can imagine what you get up to at lunchtime.
What music do you listen to when writing?
LOL I listen to Pandora radio with a shuffle of stations ranging from hard rock: Staind, Redlight King, 3 Years Hollow to classical: 2 Cellos, Bach, Mozart
What are you working on now?
I am writing book two in the Battle for the Heavens series that follows The Bad Seed. The title is Shadow Gate.
What do you do when you have writers’ block?
Besides banging my head against the wall, I try to write something totally different. I am playing around with a Sci-Fi book so I write a little in there to get my mind going in a different direction.
Describe your road to publishing your book:
My road to publishing was filled with rejection. I have come to realize most authors go through this as well. Most talk about being rejected time and time again. I had one author that I went to meet at a book signing tell me he was rejected 30 times before his book was picked up by Baen Books. I had time frame issues as in I needed my book before Christmas so I could give a copy to my parents. I don’t like to think negative, but we never know how many Holidays we have with elderly parents. I needed to have a book with my name on the front and my words on the pages.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
The cover art was probably the easiest part of this process. My very good friend, Helen Terrell is an up and coming photographer. She can be found on Facebook at Elysian Photography by Helen. She had never did a book cover, but she has wonderful insight and makes phenomenal photos. She read some of the book before it was released, I told her some of my thoughts and BOOM! She creates this beautiful work of art using her daughter as a model and graciously allowed me to use for my cover. When she first sent it to me, she said she wanted to try some other poses, other settings and I just stopped her. I fell in love with this shot and couldn’t see any other on my book.
It looks great too. I bet they are both proud of the cover too.
How do you handle marketing on social media?
Social media is a godsend for indie authors in the self publish market. I have made hundreds of new friends on Instagram and twitter. Numerous contacts and interview sessions. Social media, if handled with care, is the life’s blood to indie authors.
List some great books you have recently read:
The Red Pyramid, City of Bones, Fablehaven, The Son of Neptune
What is your favourite quote?
This is going to be a little biased, but it’s mine from the opening pages of The Bad Seed. “The Light shines brightest, when the world is at it’s darkest.”
What are your writing plans for this year?
Hopefully to finish my second book and get it ready for publication. I tend to spend more time promoting The Bad Seed rather than writing.
Who inspires you?
My parents have always inspired me. My father is a pastor in a local church, has been for my entire life. I put them in the dedication of the book saying they were the first to show me the Light. My wife and daughter. They are two of the bravest people I know. They have to be to put up with me.
Who would you choose to read your audiobook?
Well, I am in the middle of the process to make The Bad Seed into an audiobook. Unfortunately, James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman didn’t return my calls, lol!
What’s your dream job and do you think you’ll do it one day?
Writer of course! I dream of traveling the world with my wife, seeing places we never seen and opening my laptop or cracking open a notebook and writing a kicjass chapter while over looking the Eifel Tower, or after I walk through the Colliseum in Rome! Only time will tell.
Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
Hardcopy hands down. Ebooks are the future, but nothing beats the feel, the smell and the intimacy of holding a book in your hands as the story takes you to places uncharted.
Favourite food: Chicken Alfredo
Silliest saying: I yell “YOU DON’T KNOW!”
Best holiday spot: Mountains
Favourite song at the moment: Emotionless by Red Sun Rising
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Next question. . . How can anyone choose!!??
Best superpower: Flight
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Be published by a traditional publishing company.
Thanks Michael. It has been great having you here today. Best wishes for book 2. We look forward to it.
Blog: on website
Goodreads: Michael Lackey
Interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series. www.huntersofreloria.weebly.com
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