Michael is a young Scot living in London and has completed his first epic fantasy series, The Dragon’s Blade. His next book, Battle Spire, is a crafting LitRPG novel that was released in late 2018. Michael is ‘that guy’ who enjoys discussing the mad fan theories of Game of Thrones even more than the books or show, and knows more about World of Warcraft than is probably healthy.
When did you first start writing fiction?
When I was in primary school I’d often jot down some story ideas or write out a chapter or two. Sadly the school system doesn’t encourage creative writing so I didn’t get back to it seriously until after uni but I don’t see myself ever stopping now!
What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Paper or eBook?
Audiobooks! I get through far more books that way these days than reading. A great narrator also adds an extra level of enjoyment to a fantastic story.
Of your books, which is your personal favorite? Why?
The second book in my Dragon’s Blade series – Veiled Intentions. It was a classic tough second book and I grew a lot as an author writing it.
You can make one LitRPG book (not your own) a movie. Which is it and why?
I know I’m biased but probably Occultist by Oliver Mayes. The humor, the characterization, the vivid world are all on point. Plus, I went to see Noigel the imp brought to life. Also, I know where things are heading in that series and it’s going to blow people away.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
I do but what it means is you have a problem in the story or worldbuilding that your subconscious is flagging and preventing you from moving forward. Once you figure out the problem it can often be an easy solution but diagnosing the issue is the hardest part.
Are you an outliner or pantser?
I outline my plot and character arcs but the character personalities change as I write them. I go back and adjust any plans ad needed.
What is your writing process like?
I write best in the afternoons with a coffee. If I have a clear evening and I’m on a roll, I’ll keep writing late into the night.
How many hours a day do you write?
With my work at Portal Books and other obligations it varies wildly but I try to do at least 2 hours per session when I get the chance.
Who are some of your favorite authors of all time?
Brandon Sanderson, Susanna Clarke, Douglas Adams, Bernard Cornwall, Rowling, George R.R. Martin and, of course, Tolkien.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Teleportation. How great would it be just to arrive wherever you needed instantly!
Where do you get your ideas?
At 3am on the full moon I strap a frog’s liver to my forehead, descend into the basement and roll the goat bones. This induces a vision and after talking it over with my pet familiar (a black cat) I usually know what the next book will be about.
What are your thoughts on how VR will affect the future of humanity?
I don’t Ready Player One is too far off how things will go once the technology gets good enough. If we can genuinely do everything remotely I think people will. Already social media and dating apps have killed off a lot of traditional face to face interactions. Hopefully we’ll have a killer game to pass the time with though.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I do research as needed for certain world building elements or scenes where I think some grounding is needed / will help me get the scene right. How heavy are swords really? How long does it take on average to travel on foot/on horse back etc. As with any world building it’s a balance between having all that detail and just getting the darn story written.
First video game memory?
Playing an old Tomb Raider game with my dad.
What can fans expect from you next?
I’m working on a dragonrider series. Hoping to take the best pieces of Eragon and How to Train Your Dragon and make something wonderful!
Anything else you would like to add?
You can find Battle Spire on Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited by following this link. Battle Spire on audio can be found here. If you’re into epic fantasy, you can get my entire Dragon’s Blade Trilogy for just $3.99 or for free on Kindle Unlimited here or check out his author website.