Finding a talented new author is like discovering buried treasure. It could happen when you least expect it. Maybe you’re looking through a sea of writers among the ranks of Amazon or just stumbling upon an incredible find one day over at WordPress. You really never know where the next great author is going to surprise you.
Today’s post is a tribute to one of those talented new authors, my friend Mike Lane. So, without further ado, let’s get to the juicy details about Mike, from the man himself:
If you could give any piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?
“Don’t let life kick you in the scrotum. Like most people, growing up really sidetracked me. I didn’t live an uneventful life and was a pretty wild kid. Getting into lots of trouble, my parents kicking me out of the house, drugs, et cetera; I wasn’t focused at all. Had it not been for naiveté and youth I’d probably have at least of few books on the market by now. On the flip side of the same coin, those experiences also allow me certain latitudes when it comes to making characters more believable. It’s easy to regret moments in your past. We all do it. We just have to learn from those experiences.”
If you could name one person who helped you the most in becoming the person you are today, who would it be and why?
“Without a doubt it would be my wife. She’s always been a constant source of support in my life. We’ve had a lot of tough times in our short marriage [two kids and 5 family deaths and a couple of cancers] and she’s been a rock. She’s also a writer of her own merit. Having written a full-length trilogy, a fourth novel and is currently halfway through her fifth. She’s my inspiration. I wouldn’t be where I am without her. She’s always telling me – You can do this!”
When did you first know you were meant to be a writer?
“It was sometime around ten or eleven years old. One Christmas morning I awoke to snow, a rarity where I live in Texas, and an oddly shaped present under the tree. After opening it, I saw that it was a typewriter with a ream of paper. I had written short stories prior to that on yellow legal pads but now it was easier to write as long as I wanted without having to stop from cramped hands or broken pencils. That day I started typing and didn’t stop until after turning out a forty page short story aptly named “Alucarda”. It was about a vampire that came to the United States with the sole purpose of ‘changing’ others. The name is “A Dracula” spelled backward. I wrote it that same afternoon.”
What is the biggest challenge that you face as a writer or the hardest obstacle you have had to overcome?
“I’m a visual learner and always have been. Like most things, there are two sides. On the one hand it allows you to visualize in a way that others might not be able to. Characters, settings and scenes all seem to come to life. I’ve been able to really get into the heads of characters that way. The downside is that research can take a very long time. It isn’t enough to read about a place; I’ve got to be there in some form or fashion. As an example, some authors have the financial ability to take a trip and research a particular setting. I don’t have that luxury…not yet at least. So, thankfully, there are things like Google Maps or, you can sometimes find someone in that city who’s willing to take pictures of interesting places if you send them a disposable camera. It’s a process I guess but one I’m getting used to.”
Since most writers are also avid readers, which author or authors are you a fan of?
“Like most people there are certain authors that I lean to depending on the genre. Here’s a breakdown though:
- Horror: E.A. Poe, H.P. Lovecraft
- Science Fiction: Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury
- Crime/Noir: Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Lawrence Block
- Fantasy: George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien“
Last, but not least, do you have an all time favorite book?
“That would be an autobiography titled “No Destination” by Satish Kumar. At the age of nine, Satish left his family and the world he knew to become a Jain monk. Around the age of 18 he left being a monk to follow a more public approach to peace. Following the thoughts of Gandhi he was making pilgrimages for peace throughout his life. Including one that was over 8,000 miles. I don’t often read autobiographies because they can be filled with ego and lies. This one though sticks with me and I’ve read it several times. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read what a life can be. A very close second would be the Vietnam memoir “And a Hard Rain Fell” by John Ketwig. You’ll never look at war the same after that book; flat out gripping.”
For more information on Mike Lane, check him at: