Call me Mike. Only my mom calls me Michael. And that’s when I’m in trouble…
I suspect that the roots of my writing career actually began early in my elementary school years, when I got to sleep over at my grandparents’ place on the weekends. After Grandma and Grandpa went to bed, I would stay up until all hours watching movies like The Blob, The Abominable Doctor Phibes, and Forbidden Planet. At home during the day, I was glued to TV series like Star Trek, Lost In Space, and Space: 1999, along with every war movie and series I could sneak in behind Mom’s back (Dad feigned ignorance, bless his soul).
And lest you think I did nothing but watch the tube, I spent far more time reading every sci-fi, horror, and war (mostly Second World War non-fiction) book I could get my hands on. In my teens I was so addicted to reading that my teachers had to yell at me in class to get my nose out of a book with spaceships and aliens emblazoned on the cover and pay attention to my “education.” Oh, the pain.
However, like the braces I wore on my teeth until high school, the pain did eventually begin to pay off when I first put pen to paper when I was a senior. The stories I began to concoct weren’t for a class; I was simply compelled to write to express the first yearnings of my muse. Looking back now on those rushed scrawls, I’m rather glad no one else has ever read them. Not that anyone could, so bad was my handwriting. I should have been a doctor, specializing in writing prescriptions.
Poor penmanship aside, I kept dabbling, and eventually one of the stories I sketched out turned into the draft of the first three novels of the In Her Name series – Empire, Confederation, and Final Battle – which I drafted between 1991 and 1994. At that time it was actually a single tome, now sold as the In Her Name Redemption Trilogy, and I shouldn’t have been surprised at any of the rejection letters I received from publishers: the manuscript was so huge that any editor trying to lift it would have been at risk for a hernia.
The draft sat under my desk until 2008, when I took advantage of the eBook revolution and published it on what is now Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform, receiving a delightful shock when people not only began buying it, but actually liked it. The writing itself had been an enjoyable compulsion, but hearing that readers enjoyed what I wrote was a true and treasured gift.
As for my personal information, I was born in 1963, although I’m quite certain I’ve never matured beyond the age of ten (at least according to my wife and parents). I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and still harbor many fond memories of exploring the open desert just beyond our doorstep before the landscape was replaced with endless developments and shopping malls.
After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian language from Arizona State University and being commissioned in the Army, I moved to Maryland in the mid-1980s to play a terribly minor role in defending the free world from the Soviet Empire. In fact, I spent a summer studying in the Soviet Union in 1983 just after Leonid Brezhnev was dipped in formaldehyde, and had a wonderful time in a very magical but tragic land.
Last, but certainly not least, I’m married to the most wonderful woman in the world and got two awesome stepsons as a bonus, with all of us serving the needs of our two Siberian cats, Nina and her big brother Sasha. We spend as little time at home as we can manage, preferring instead to be out on the road in our RV, seeing as much of North America as we can. That’s probably where I am as you read this, working on my next book…