As part of the virtual book tour for Many Genres, One Craft, I have more contributor interviews this week: Elaine Ervin, Russ Howe, Dana Marton, and Mike Mehalek.
1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
2. Tell me about your travels.
Most recently, I spent some time this summer in Colorado. Biked the trails around Colorado Springs, hiked Mount Aspen at what had to be it’s steepest trail, found a geocache at the top of Pike’s Peak (along with about a dozen other finds). It was one of the coolest, most active vacations of my life. The people in each town were awesome and if I had any complaints, it was that I couldn’t have stayed longer.
3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
4. What else can you do besides write?
5. Who are you reading right now?
The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King, which is Book Two of the Dark Tower Series. What I’ve found interesting having returned to King after several years since I’ve picked up one of his books was that some people are novelists; some are storytellers. King is a storyteller, and he’s admitted himself that his best work has come from his heart--his gut--not his head. This insight into writing that I initially did not see (perhaps I was simply too stubborn or too dense at the time to understand this) has given me a greater appreciation of his writing, of other great writers’ styles, and even my own.
6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
In my manuscript Dragon
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
9. Food you could eat everyday.
Pepperoni Pizza from Pizzeria Regina’s
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?
11. What kind of music speaks to you?
One of my biggest criticisms I have of myself is that I have no musical talent, and I often joke that I hate musicians because of my shortcoming. The truth of the matter is that I love music that can evoke emotions. Music is the only art that has the capability to connect instantly with an audience. It hits a person’s core with sledgehammer force and laser-guided precision. At the end of the day, my goal as a writer is to mimic the musician, to tug the heartstrings of my readers and to leave them wondering what the heck happened. That’s how I’m left after listening to songs by folks like The Avett Brothers, John Denver, The Killers, Dashboard Confessional, Gomez, Pearl Jam, Ingrid Michaelson, John Williams, Snow Patrol, DMB, Mummford & Sons, Phoenix, Vampire Weekend and dozens and dozens more.
12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?
About the only one I still make time to watch religiously is the The Venture Bros. It’s the best thing ever!
A friend once told Mike Mehalek that "writing will set you free," and he’s bought into that philosophy 110%. To him writing is a way to escape from reality, a means to earn a living, and a way to show the world that one person can make a difference. He feels fiction should be enjoyable at the surface, but it should also have enough depth that those willing to dive for it can find greater meaning. In 2008 Mike graduated from the Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill with his thesis Dragon, an urban dark fantasy. Visit him online at http://mikemehalek.blogspot.com
Mike is a contributor to Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, a writing guide edited by Michael A. Arnzen and Heidi Ruby Miller and based on the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction graduate program.