Hey Guys! So today I am introducing you to the wonderful Michael West, author of Legacy of the Gods series. I will be asking him some questions for you all to read over and enjoy! Hope it helps you get a better insight into him and his novel!
Hello Michael and welcome to A Daydreamer’s Thoughts! Why not tell us a little bit about yourself, anything you would like your readers to know. I’m a member of the Horror Writers Association and President of its local chapter, Indiana Horror Writers. I wrote my first novel while still in high school (A work that will never, ever see the light of day. Awful. *shudder*), then I went on to graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory. And since that time, I’ve written several much better novels, a multitude of short stories, and some non-fiction articles and reviews for various on-line and print publications.
It’s nice to know more about you! But how long have you wanted to be a writer? I saw Star Wars in the summer of 1977, and I immediately began to write movie scripts. Growing up, I had dreams of being the next Steven Spielberg or James Cameron, making movies with my parents’ video camera in the back yard, films with a lot of imagination and very little money. And when my imagination finally outgrew those budgets, I turned to writing prose. I always have stories to tell!
Sounds brilliant! But I want to know, when you’re not typing away at the keyboard coming up with new ideas, what do you do? I like to read, listen to music, watch movies, and attend Horror conventions with my sons.
So now we know more about you, what about your novel? What is it all about? I don’t want to give too much detail—I hate spoilers, and there are a lot of twists and turns to this story—but here is the synopsis:
“Man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change. After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current—high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.
“And that’s just the beginning.
“Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes….at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage, Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.”
It certainly seems interesting! What inspired you to write a story in this genre? The idea for Legacy of the Gods series came to me in a dream—a very vivid, very strange dream. Some dreams fade as soon as you open your eyes. Others stick with you for days. This particular dream has been with me for over twenty years. It involved an ancient stone temple, with odd markings etched into its walls, and a very seductive sea-creature. Most people have fantasies about movie stars and musicians; mine get directed by H.P. Lovecraft. Go figure.
A fair few people write fanfiction based around their favourite stories, how would you feel if your novel inspired fanfiction? I would love to have written something that people are so passionate about, with characters that people want to see more of outside the confines of the novel. That would be very rewarding for me. Let’s hope it happens for you then! With that in mind, how long did it take you to write this story? I’ve been working on it off and on for about twenty years. I would work on it, put it aside for a bit, then come back to it between other projects. Wow, that’s a long time. Which leads me to ask, were there many days of writer block or did it all just seem to flow? Oh, there are always days of writer’s block. You just have to work through it. Sometimes I will go for a walk or listen to music, other times I will just try to write scenes where I have a clearer picture of what is to happen and then come back later. Sometimes, when you have a very clear idea of what is to happen, it does flow. I love those times. Yes, writing that seems to write itself is definitely a charmer! But were there any challenging scenes that you felt that you just couldn’t get right? There is a scene where all the story threads come together and all the heroes join forces. I wrote that scene and re-wrote it at least a dozen times, adding more info, taking out who parts of conversation, trying to stay true to all the characters, to get it to flow naturally and not be this huge info dump. I think the final version that ended up in the novel is about the best it could possibly be. Novels vary in length, did you know how long your novel would be before you started writing it? I never know exactly. When I start writing a novel, I always put 82,000-words on the cover sheet, which is what most publishers are looking for in terms of length, but the answer is however long it takes to tell the story.
Is there anything you can say about your novel that would help to bring it to reader’s attention? What is unique about it? This is a story that has something for everyone: ancient civilizations, Cthulhu-style monsters, mobsters, action, sex, violence…you name it, it’s in there. I think it is unique in that it weaves these very different elements together into a coherent, cohesive story that moves along at a break-neck pace and offers characters that are real and engaging. As one of the reviewers has already commented, “You’ve never read anything like this before.”
And finally, do you have any advice for any aspiring writers out there? I think it’s important for writers to have readers who aren’t fans of their particular genre. Someone who likes horror is far more forgiving of the conventions of horror, where as someone who doesn’t read or watch the genre will take you to task on aspects of plot and character that don’t ring true. And, if these readers suggest edits, listen to them. As a writer, you have to learn to kill your babies. You may write a truly amazing passage, or a wonderful subplot, but, if they don’t serve your story–if they bog down your action or obscure your theme, you need to make the edit. It’s never easy, but in the end, the story will flow much better because of it. Which brings us to one final bit of advice: never throw anything away. I’ve cut things from novels that I’ve later turned into stand alone stories or parts of other novels. Just because something isn’t right for Project A doesn’t mean it won’t be a better fit for something in the future.
and a quick fire round;
ebooks or hard copies? Hard copies. day or night? Night. reading or writing? Reading. paper or computer? Computer. tea or coffee? Coffee. favourite book of the moment? Currently reading Machine by Jennifer Pelland most memorable book? Stephen King’s The Stand
Ah! It was lovely to know more about you Michael! Thank you for answering all of my questions today! If you want to know even more about Michael, you can visit his author page, here.
Legacy of Gods Series – Poseidon’s Children
Man no longer worships the old gods; forgotten and forsaken, they have become nothing more than myth and legend. But all that is about to change. After the ruins of a vast, ancient civilization are discovered on the ocean floor, Coast Guard officers find a series of derelict ships drifting in the current–high-priced yachts and leaking fishing boats, all ransacked, splattered in blood, their crews missing and presumed dead.
And that’s just the beginning.
Vacationing artist Larry Neuhaus has just witnessed a gruesome shark attack, a young couple torn apart right before his eyes … at least, he thinks it was a shark. And when one of these victims turns out to be the only son of Roger Hays, the most powerful man in the country, things go from bad to worse. Now, to stop the carnage,Larry and his new-found friends must work together to unravel a mystery as old as time, and face an enemy as dark as the ocean depths.