Mike Hartner, in his first half-century, has taught mathematics on the personal and classroom level, has programmed, networked, and repaired computers, and has worked on his family’s genealogy. Now, he turns his attention to writing historical romantic fiction. If you can find him, he is normally cheering his son’s high school accomplishments. He’s here today to talk about his latest novel, I, Mary.
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, I, Mary. When did you start writing and what got you into historical fiction?
I started writing when I was in my schooling years. At the time, I wrote poetry, and it was usually about things, or spurred by things, for which I had passion. Nearly fifteen years ago, that was my family’s genealogy. Today, it is historical fiction. I believe the genre gives the writer a lot of lee-way, and since I’m still learning, that makes it easier for me. I’m also a die-hard romantic at heart.
What is your book about?
I, Mary is the third book in The Eternity series. The Eternity series is a retelling The Canterbury Tales on an international basis, across many centuries. In Book One, I, Walter, Walter was the sailor. In Book Two, I, James, his son James was a banker. Now, comes book Three, I, Mary. I believe she can rightly be called a teacher or mentor.
This book, I, Mary, as well as the first two complete a trilogy – The Crofter Trilogy. This is the first trilogy of the series, and probably the only one with one particular family. At least for now.
Everyone I have known has encouraged me. But, I think it’s important to single out a few. Lisa, who spoke at SiWC (Surrey International Writer’s Conference… end of October, www.siwc.ca) a few years ago, described an ‘ideal’ editor as one who not only tears down what needs to be changed, but also is complimentary about the things that are Right about your writing. My editor, Rob, at www.theperfectwrite.com does exactly that. He’s been an immense help in guiding me as my writing skills improve.
Did you have any struggles or difficulties when you started writing?
I still have struggles while writing. But, in most cases, those struggles mean that I have to look in more detail at the situations, the characters and the settings. And if I attack the learning, I can usually learn enough to continue, before too much time passes.
What was your inspiration for I, Mary?
Mary presented her character to me while I was working on I, James. I knew then that she was waiting for me to tell her story as well.
Who is your target audience?
Anyone over the age of 10.
What do you hope readers will get from your book?
In the last several decades, North Americans have grown very jaded. They make judgment based on appearance rather than character. This series is attempting to show that everyone has their own journey.
Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined?
My writing schedule revolves around my family. Which means that it mostly gets done late at night or early in the morning. No, there’s no set schedule. No, I’m not disciplined at all. My wife still uses a rolled up newspaper (LOL!)
How do you celebrate the completion of a book?
By starting work on the next one. The beauty of The Eternity Series is that the next book’s characters show their faces before the end of the current one.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about your work?
www.theeternityseries.com is the book series website, and it has information about the books. My website, www.mikehartner.com contains some book information, reviews on books I’ve read, and a blog on Women In Mathematics. That blog is on hiatus for a few more weeks and should return in early November.
Where is your book available?
I, Mary, and the rest of The Eternity Series is available through B&N, Indigo, and the Amazon website.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?
Do it for yourself.
What is your advice for aspiring authors?
An author friend of mine, Rachel Thompson, is well-known for saying, “Write what you want.” I’d add to that: “Write what you know.” Don’t write for anyone else, since you’ll never be able to please everyone. If you write for yourself, the passion in what you’re saying will come through.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
Thank you. Thank you for having me on your site today. Thank you for taking interest in my books. Thank you for reading. And, I hope, thank you for reviewing. I love to see the passion some have as they’re reading my books. And I appreciate each and every reader.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00Y7I7LRQ]