Author Spotlight: Michael R. Miller
Joining us for today’s Author Spotlight is Michael R. Miller!
Michael is a young Scot living in London. Book 1 of his first epic fantasy trilogy, The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King, made the top 20 books in Mark Lawrence’s Self-Published Fantasy Blog Off 2016. The second in the trilogy, Veiled Intentions, released in February 2017 with the finale, The Last Guardian, having just been released last week.
Michael is ‘that guy’ who enjoys discussing the mad fan theories of Game of Thrones even more than the books or show, and knows more about World of Warcraft than is probably healthy.
You can follow him on Twitter @MMDragons_Blade.
Hi, Michael, and thanks for joining us today! Let’s start small: tell us about a great book you’ve read recently.
It’s not so recent but Ready Player One is the book that struck me the most last year. It’s realllly THAT good for anyone still on the fence about reading it. I didn’t even understand 75% of the 80’s nostalgia references and it was still amazing.
Okay, time to escalate things: reality warps and you suddenly find yourself leading a D&D-style party through a monster-infested dungeon. What character class are you, and what’s your weapon of choice?
I’m a paladin with an incredibly oversized hammer.
An incredibly oversized hammer? Interesting… When you’re not trawling through dungeons, do you prefer to type or to hand-write? Why?
Type. My writing has deteriorated too much over the years and it was hardly calligraphy to begin with.
And how do you like to work – in silence, with music, or serenaded by the souls of a thousand dead shrimps?
Music. Movie/game soundtracks mostly.
… dead shrimp… ??
Who wrote that question?
Um… that was J.P.. Not Laura. Nope, definitely not Laura. Ahem. Michael, are you an architect or a gardener? A plotter or a pantser? D’you write in your underwear, or in a deep-sea diver’s suit? Tell us something unusual about your writing method!
I plan then garden a bit and then rejig the plan. I seem to work best in the evenings and especially so if I’m in my comfy tartan trousers.
What are your most significant non-book fantasy influences?
World of Warcraft, Oblivion, Fable and Dragon Age.
What was the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
Jessica Jones season 2 – because if the villain is even half-as good as Killgrave in season 1 then we’re in for a disturbingly fun time.
The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write or otherwise do any work. How do you choose to spend the day?
Start off with a spot of gaming (currently Kingdom Come Deliverance), then the gym, then cook a new recipe for dinner and see if I can grab a drink with a friend.
If you could choose one punctuation mark to be made illegal, which would it be and why?
Colons because I’m not sure I’ll ever fully understand their ways.
In no more than three sentences, tell us a little something about your current work in progress!
My current work in progress is a meeting of Ready Player One and Die Hard. And that should be a pretty good idea of what I’m up to.
Intriguing! What’s the most (and/or least) helpful piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
The most useful piece of advice I’ve been given is just write the first draft to the end and don’t back track. Get something resembling a finished book together as soon as you can and it’s much easier to chisel that block of stone into something prettier.
Every writer encounters stumbling blocks, be it a difficult chapter, challenging subject matter or just starting a new project. How do you motivate yourself on days when you don’t want to write?
Write it anyway. If I feel it has to be in the book then I’ll have to do it at some point. If I just CAN’T that day – like my eyes will bleed levels of just can’t – I’ll find a scene I’m looking forward to writing in the book and do it instead.
But I’ll always have to come back to that hard spot. If it doesn’t get any easier then I’ll know something is just fundamentally wrong with the tricky spot and go brainstorm how to fix it. This usually involves talking book nonsense to my beleaguered flatmate until I think of the solution.
Finally, would you be so kind as to dazzle us with what we like to call a ‘shark elevator pitch’? (It’s exactly the same as an elevator pitch, but with sharks.) (Well, one shark. Which, by the way, is currently picking between its rows of teeth to try and dislodge the remains of the last author who stepped onto its elevator.)
Ahem. So: why should readers check out your work? A shark elevator pitch of your own book in no more than three sentences – go!
The Dragon’s Blade is an epic redemption story. It’s about an arrogant prince of dragons who is reincarnated, raised by humans, and must become the king he never was before. It’s also a complete trilogy, but you should avoid those pesky sharks!
Thanks, Michael, we’ll certainly try!
Michael R. Miller is the author of The Dragon’s Blade trilogy, all three books of which are available now!