Monday 5 November 2012

Author Interview: Michael J. Brooks

What is your name and where do you live now?
My name is Michael J. Brooks, and I currently live in Washington, DC.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have always enjoyed writing since I was a child and dreamt of one day writing my own novel.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it what would you say?
My latest ebook is called Exodus Conflict. If I had to summarise it in a few short words, I would tell you  that it's a science fiction novel about love, war, animosity, and coexistence that is sure to be a thought provoking journey for male and female readers alike.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Because of extensive editing and a lot of rewrites, I'd say at least a year.

Do you have plans for a new book?
Yes. My next book will be the second in the Exodus Conflict story. It's working title is Exodus Conflict: New Genesis. I also have another novel in the works. It's about a young cripple woman who discovers that she just might be the world's best chance in a war against paranormal forces.

What genre would you place your books into?
Definitely science fiction.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
When writing science fiction, I'm not bound to the constraints of reality. Science fiction allows me to use my imagination to its fullest extent. I can create worlds, beings, alien societies, and technology that could never exist in the real world.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so, why is it your favourite?
My favourite is indeed Exodus Conflict. It is my favourite because of the many themes and morals one can find throughout its story. Also, readers' perception of good and evil is challenged.

Do you have a favourite character from your books? Why are they your favourite?
My favourite character is Andrea Blair of Exodus Conflict. She's my favourite because, like every human being, she's flawed. For example, her traumatic past has left her with PTSD symptoms; her hatred for the enemy responsible for these mental scars sometimes makes her reckless. But Andrea fights through her shortcomings to remain a strong warrior. Fighting through your flaws is something I can relate to; that's why I love this character so much. It was also simply a blast writing a character who was meant to be strong, sexy, and cool with a bit of an attitude.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
I get my book plot ideas and inspiration from history, sci-fi books and movies, anime, current world events, non-fiction books, video games I've played, etc.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
Once I have an idea for a novel, I simply jump on my computer and get started. However, there are times when I find it helpful to listen to music when pondering the right words for a specific scene. For example, when writing a love scene, I might listen to some R&B. When writing an action scene, I find it helpful to listen to Rock music. Music that corresponds rhythmically or lyrically with the scene I'm writing definitely helps me conjure up the right words for it.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I think of the story first, then I think of a good title for that story. Sometimes the title changes as I continue writing the story.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
For characters, I sometimes google lists of names to see if I can find one that will fit the character. Some names are a combination of names from characters that I've read in books or seen in movies. Sometimes the names for my characters are made from persons in reality.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I decide those traits before I start writing, but as I continue to develop my story, my characters develop as well; and I find myself adding traits that I hadn't planed at first. For instance, the character who I created to be a tomboy girl might also end up having a an explosive temper as well.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes, I have suffered from writers block. What I simply do is stop writing and take a break. I come back hours or a day later. What I discover once I come back is that a bunch of new ideas come to me that weren't coming to me before.

Is there a certain author that influenced you in writing?
Many authors have influenced me, some of which are Tom Clancy and Whitley Strieber.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
My favourite book is actually a non-fiction book called Mandala’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage. The words in this book have had a profound impact on me, and I have read through it several times.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Yes, I believe books can transfer to movies well. Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter are proof of this. Lord of the Rings would be my favourite book to movie transfer.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I'm currently reading a good sci-fi novel called The Omega Point, and it's a paperback. I am enjoying this novel greatly.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
No, I don't. Ebooks are a wonderful thing, and I believe their popularity is growing. However, I think people will always buy printed books. The experience you get from turning actual pages or the ability to send someone a book in the mail as a gift is something you can't get from an ebook.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
(1) Write as often as possible. It's how you improve your skills. (2) Read as often as possible. Reading books gives you inspiration, and I myself learned a lot about how to write from reading. (3) Don't wait on the big publishers to publish your work; don't give up on them either. But publish your work on blogs, as ebooks, in magazines. Get your work out there any way you can.

In the year 2147, because of war, environmental mistreatment, and the overuse of natural resources, Earth was brought to the brink of catastrophe. In order to preserve human civilization, nations put aside their animosity and worked together to find a new home world within the Milky Way Galaxy. It appeared to be the perfect planet to call Second Earth, and humanity thought this new world would be all for their taking; however, a race of people known as the Zull also needed this planet for their salvation. 

Because of fear, hate, and distrust the races were unable to compromise. Earth then united their militaries to form the Earth United Front (EUF) and a war for total supremacy erupted. 

Now, in 2150, a lone journalist named Alex Mercer travels to Second Earth seeking to understand why the war has been drawn out for three years, even though the simple solution of “coexistence” could end it tomorrow. 

While on his adventure, Alex becomes acquainted with an EUF soldier named Andrea Blair, whose cold gray eyes tell a tale of death, sorrow, and hate. But though Andrea seems to be nothing more than a heartless Zull killer, Alex sees something more behind her cruel demeanor. Alex sees someone who wants to simply laugh, love, and enjoy life; and for much of his time on Second Earth, it becomes his personal mission to prevent Andrea from remaining the cold shell of a person she has become, as well as prevent humankind and Zull from wiping each other out.
Of all the wars Alex has covered, he has never experienced one quite like this, and he has certainly never met a woman like Andrea Blair.

You can find out where to purchase Michael's latest novel, Exodus Conflict, and everything else that he writes at his blog.

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