Born and raised on Long Island, Michael has always had a love for horror, thriller, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy and self-help. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. Michael currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children.
Michael, you are working on a new epic fantasy series, the first book of which is: Schism: The Battle for Darracia. Can you tell us how you became interested in writing a fantasy genre book/series to begin with? Did you grow up reading authors like MacDonald and Tolkien, or was writing fantasy just something that you felt a calling for?
I love Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. I have played fantasy video games my whole life as well. Schism: The Battle for Darracia, sort of played out in my mind before I wrote it. Consequently, it was relatively easy to commit to paper.
Do you find writing fantasy more challenging than any other kind of fiction, due to the requirement of having to create everything yourself? With no facts, (historical or otherwise), to use as stepping stones for a tale?
I didn’t think about it until I actually started writing. I had a story and then I realized as I wrote it, that I had to back everything up with a structure to build upon. If the world is completely new, the reality totally my own, it needed to be defined. It was hard to describe everyday things we take for granted and try not to sound silly by inventing names. I did use world history for the political backdrop; I just adjusted the issues to my new little world. People and their challenges are the same, as far as I am concerned. The human condition is universal, even if you are not dealing with “humans.”
My brother and I were playing at inventing a universe with conditions and problems that plague this world. The characters came to life, easily and felt so familiar. They could be found anywhere, they just look different.
In Schism: The Battle for Darracia you have explained, (via the back cover), that an ever-widening social gap is destroying the harmony of a once peaceful world. Can you give us a brief summation of your vision for this book?
Prince V’sair is the heir apparent to a fractured world. His father married a different species and he has never fit in with the rough and tough Darracians he will someday rule. His own planet is divided into three very diverse cultures that barely tolerate each other. It is a planet fraught with prejudice and social inequality. Add in action, romance, rebellion, fratricide and you have a great adventure that tackles a wide variety of issues. It is a coming of age story, a tale of budding romance, a novel of fate and the choices we make to get here.
And then, of course, what’s your vision for the Schism series?
I don’t know yet. I actually have the last page of the series done, but I haven’t decided how I am going to get there. I am thick into the second book right now and just getting to the climax.
While I understand that this is a fantasy read Michael, is there anything you wish your readers to take away from the tale with regards to our very real world? If so, what would that be?
The most important lesson my mother taught both my brother and myself is: “To thine own self be true.” Every time we get just slightly off course, she will remind us of those words. The book is also about faith and belief in yourself.
Lastly, what other tales are in the works once this series is completed?
I have a ghostly crime drama that I will start researching as soon as this one is printed. It is based on truth and is very interesting.