Blogs by L.T. Suzuki
Micheal Rivers Interview
7/21/2012 10:42:25 PM
Professional ghost hunter and author Micheal Rivers discusses his paranormal thriller 'Verliege' and the writing life!
LTS: If you enjoy well-written paranormal thrillers, then I’d like to introduce you to Micheal Rivers, author of Verliege. I’d like to begin by having you share a little information about yourself with our readers, Micheal. What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
MR: Hello Lorna, nice to be here. Thank you for inviting me today. The things I enjoy doing when I am not writing covers a wide territory. I spend as much time as possible with my wife and my dog. I like to play music as well as listen to it. The other end of the spectrum is filled with movies, electronics, photography and about a million other things. Top of that list is ghost hunting. All of these things come into play whenever time permits.
LTS: Has writing stories always been a part of your life and becoming a published author a lifelong dream?
MR: It is true I have been writing for a long time, but I never published anything until later in life. Due to the nature of my work I was lucky just to see home. Seeing one of my books published was like a dream for sure and the excitement of it was more than I could ever imagine at the time. I think I was smiling in my sleep for months afterward. The books that followed still never lost the thrill of seeing them in print.
LTS: I had a chance to read an excerpt from your latest novel, Verliege and you must be feeling so proud that your story is a semi-finalist of The Kindle Book Reviews Best Indie Books of 2012! Can you tell us a little bit about your protagonist, Adrian Bolt?
MR: Yes, it makes you feel good when your work is recognized by others and I thank them all. Mr. Adrian Bolt. When I discovered Adrian Bolt I was sitting on a curbing at a hospital in the mountains of North Carolina. I saw a surgeon that I knew walking from the ER doors down to his RV parked beside the hospital. This was a man who had dedicated his entire life to his profession. A lot of people are like that, but what was the percentage of those who woke up one morning to the perfect dream that became their worst nightmare? Then I saw Adrian Bolt in my mind’s eye. He was a historian and dedicated to his work. It may not make any sense but it was what came into my mind.
Adrian wanted the dream most of us have and strived hard for it; money, fame, and a chance to live his dream was all he desired. The dream was to be shared with the one he loved and just like life you never know what is in the cards for you. There is a little of Adrian in all of us.
LTS: As the founder and lead investigator of the Smokey Mountains Ghost Trackers of Western North Carolina, was this story inspired by paranormal events you’ve encountered?
MR: Actually no, Verliege is the product of a very large imagination with a few actual events. I borrowed a few events from actual investigations from my archives and incorporated them into the story. While writing the story it brought back some very good memories. Being touched, pushed, struck, items moving seemingly by unseen hands are just a few of the things I have witnessed over the years, and yes some of the things you witness will engage the pucker factor very quickly when you are standing in a pitch black room that is supposedly empty.
LTS: Without giving away too much, can you reveal what’s in store for the readers when they crack open Verliege?
MR: When you begin to read Verliege it would seem as though the characters are living in what we would call a normal world. The world of Adrian Bolt is anything but normal! His plight is not one to be envied and his future shows hope to a small degree. Imagine losing the one person you loved more than life and stand accused of killing her. Listen to his story. Then decide for yourself if it is the truth or is he insane?
Through a visage of time you will travel to a foreign land and walk the halls of an ancient castle still belonging to those who have long passed.
We, as mortals have our beliefs and disbeliefs we hold dear. In the end you will find yourself trying to answer a simple question. “Can you bargain with the dead?”
LTS: The road to publication is difficult at the best of times. What made you decide to self-publish? What is the best/worst part of being indie?
MR: I currently have a brick and mortar publisher as well as being self-published. The best part of self-publishing is I set my own deadlines, reap much higher benefits in royalties, and write what I want to write without Damocles’ sword hanging over my head. I still do the same things my publisher demands, but the difference in profits is extraordinary. The big six as well as a few others are still dominating the market and it makes it difficult for an Indie to see daylight. Things are starting to change. The worm is turning for the better.
LTS: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned on the road to publication?
MR: I would say be very careful who you get to edit your work. It can produce a stigma that is hard to lose once your book goes public. Insist on references from a good source.
(The same goes for publishers) Even an editor can make a mistake if he is unfamiliar with your style. As a famous writer once said concerning Vanity press. “If you use these your writing speaks for itself.” I would also advise obtaining a professional cover artists for your books, first impression is a make or break for a sale.
LTS: Great advice, Micheal! Still on the subject of writing styles, are you a plotter or pantser? The readers would like to know if you tend to plot out your story line in great detail or if your writing is more organic with the characters and events unfolding as you write.
MR: I plot, plan, run amuck, and have the storyboard from hell. I like detail, however if it is overly done it is easy to lose my reader. I like a style that gives the reader a visual and some semblance of the use of his own imagination as well. If I can have my reader standing in the shadows with the characters I am happy. I also do a lot of research. I never could stick strictly with a formal outline. Let’s face it life doesn’t work that way. My mind stays in overload making it hard to sleep most nights.
LTS: Some authors meditate, others need to fuel up on coffee or listen to music. Do you have any rituals, ones that can be shared with the readers that you must do before you hunker down for a writing session?
MR: If you were to draw my blood I guarantee it would be 90% Pepsi. I smoke and yes, I enjoy it so when I die I did it my way. There is also the matter of junk food. They say you are what you eat. If that is the case I am in a lot of trouble. I never know what I will be doing when I start writing. I might listen to music sometimes. I have trigger objects I like to keep around. There are helicopters, dogs, Rhinos, and an assortment of strange objects. They have nothing to do with what I am writing but they spark other ideas that are sometimes truly demented LOL.
Rituals! You bet! I usually start a bonfire, invite people over I don’t like and then have them sing old show tunes. Then when the fire dies down we read the Runes and see what my next book will be about. Just kidding. I really can’t say I do anything in particular when I start to write. One note of importance, I am VERY picky about what kind of pen I use.
LTS: At one time or another, most writers hit the wall and their work stalls because of the dreaded writer’s block. What do you do to get around or over this mental wall to resume writing?
MR: I have never had writers block. I am usually too busy trying to filter through the wreckage in my head trying to get to the parts I want to write about. Picture it as a massive file cabinet overflowing. My wife swears there are too many people running loose inside my head LOL. On a happier note they all have a story screaming to get out.
LTS: Who is your favorite author and how has he/she inspired you to write or influenced your writing style or choice of genre?
MR: I am fond of several. Classically I like the style of Poe. He had a different way of looking at life. My favorite author of all time recently passed away and he will be missed by many, Mr. Ray Bradbury. His story “Something Wicked This Way Comes” keeps me going. Bradbury was one of the first to make me realize all is not what it seems. He worked at his trade as a master and did so until his death at an old age. One other whose style I like, but in a different genre, Mr. Glen Starkey. He keeps my mind active and has an excellent style for writing action books.
LTS: What do you foresee in your future over the next five years and do you hope to branch out from paranormal thrillers into other genres? Can your fans expect a sequel to Verliege in the near future?
MR: I have ventured out a touch and released a paranormal romance titled “Moonlight on the Nantahala” I may eventually produce another non-fiction within the year. My next release “Appalachia Mountain Folklore” will be released by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. in November 2012.
With my current schedule I have no timeline set for a sequel though my readers have made their wishes well known to me. There will have to be a sequel for sure. Coming in the next five years are some stories perfect for sleeping with the lights on regardless of genre.
I have considered doing something in another genre, but at this time I have not fully decided what it would be. There is something on the storyboard that will stimulate your senses.
LTS: Thank you so much for taking the time to share in your writing experiences and discuss your novel, Micheal! I’ll catch you on Twitter!
For more information about Micheal and his works, check out:
Website: Michealrivers.com http://bit.ly/kcThdo
Follow Micheal on Twitter: . https://twitter.com/micheal_rivers
Where to buy the book: Amazon.com http://amzn.to/uHpPD6
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