This week it is my pleasure to welcome talented indie author Mike Cooley to our blog tour. Many of you know him for his compelling, witty, and interesting(sometimes--lol) comments on Fb. However Mike is also the author of the well-reviewed action adventure fantasy tale THE CRYSTAL WARRIOR. As an author of fantasy and science fiction for many years, Mike's writing has an edge to it, as you will see. So let's welcome Mike Cooley!
1 Tell us about you upcoming release.
The novel I am working on now is called, Crystal Origin. It is a sequel to my Epic Fantasy novel The Crystal Warrior. I can't reveal too much about it, but I can say that some of the characters from the first book survive, and there are some fascinating new characters. The story picks up immediately from where the first book left off, although Crystal Origin is very different in scope from the first book. We learn more about the crystals and the characters, and there is a new menace. I am currently about a third of the way done with it, and plan to finish it this year.
2 How did you come up with the title of your book?
Well the title of my first book (The Crystal Warrior) came directly from the story. The protagonist, Larissya, is The Crystal Warrior. The story is about her and how she is involved in an ancient legend of magic. She has to grow up quickly to survive.
3 What is The Crystal Warrior about?
At its heart The Crystal Warrior is about good and evil, friendship and loss, and survival.
4 Did anything special inspire you to write this particular story? Why?
To tell the truth I always thought my first novel would be a science fiction novel, but this
story just grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I love artifact stories about magical artifacts, so that factored into it. And I also wanted to portray magic as a double-edged sword, not a 'get out of jail free card.'
5 Tell us a little about any current works in progress.
I'm always working on quite a few things at a time. Currently I am working on Crystal Origin and a Lovecraftian Horror story called Fade Away. I often stop between chapters on longer books and write a short story or two. I am terrible at single-tasking.
6 What do you as an author find as the most challenging aspect of writng? How do you deal with this?
Staying focused is the biggest challenge for me. I am always starting new projects in the middle of other projects. I deal with it by taking the attitude that "as long as I'm writing… it's all good." I don't stress too much about how many different things I have in progress.
7 What are you currently reading?
I'm reading mostly indie writers works these days, on my Kindle. It is very cool to see how many great authors there are that are publishing independently like I am. To be perfectly honest, when I have free time, I write. So I am way behind on my reading. Books keep piling up on my Kindle, gathering virtual dust.
8 If you could coauthor a story with any writer out there—deceased or alive—who would it be? Or would you even consider collaboration?
Wow. Tough one. It would have to be James Tiptree Jr. I love her work and I would love to have been able to meet her. She's brilliant and lived a fascinating life. I would consider collaboration since I have done it many times (in the rock music field -- not in fiction).
9 Writing can be very challenging—what do you do to just “get away” for a break every so often?
When I'm not writing I like to do things like Mountain Biking in the woods, and read, and play guitar (I have a recording studio in my basement and I still write and record music).
10 What do you like LEAST about writing?
Marketing. Editing would be second place, but these days I usually pay for a copy-editor to do that.
11 Any advice for beginning authors?
The only way to get better is to write more. The story is the most important part… grammar and spelling can be fixed -- boring can't (as easily). Show your passion for your words in your words. Be confident in yourself. Write like YOU--that's what you're selling.
12 Tell us about your other published works.
I have a science fiction short story collection out called Skin Of Giants. It's pretty dang good. I'm proud of it. I also have a Twilight Parody out called How To Keep Sparkly Emo Vampires Off Your Lawn. It's really short but readers seem to enjoy it. And I have a poetry book out called End Of The World Love Songs. The poetry is actually lyrics from 93 of my songs (I've written over 300 songs). In that book there is a link to my fiction blog where I will have links to the music for all 93 poems (not all are up yet but I'm working on it). So, my poetry book literally has a soundtrack.
13 How can readers contact you?
I can be found all over the internet like the dust from ancient civilizations. Specifically on twitter I am: @last_writes, and my fiction blog is at: http://www.blogger.com/goog_1820563838
List of purchase links for your books. Please send them as active links so I can just copy and paste them in. Thanks.
Stop by and leave a comment for Mike. BTW, Mike, that's a good looking cover--you know her?