Sitting at the campfire one night my peace was shattered by the appearance of a magical portal. Who should step through? None other than fantasy author Michael Ross the author of the Wand Chronicles.
- Hi Michael what appeals to you most about the fantasy genre?
Letting my imagination run riot. I have the imagination of a 6-year-old and always been lost in fantasy
- Tell us a little bit about your latest project and the challenges you’ve faced putting it all together?
Released an epic fantasy trilogy on the 1st of July. The Wand Chronicles. Charts the events and adventures that ensue when the humans meet the elves for the first time via a portal that appears on Earth. The adventures centre around a very powerful wand (not a harry potter type wand) that is sentient and integrates with the person that is using it. Of course everyone wants it, so adventures happen in trying to protect it, but we also see how the elves cope with the bumbling humans, and as the story progresses we have the very first 1/2Human/ ½ Elf, a girl called Kia a very powerful empath. Magic abounds so do lots of unusual characters from all over the cosmos www.thewand.me
The biggest challenge was putting all my eggs in one basket, ie Amazon KDP. I did everything right, amazing website, landing page, editor, illustrator etc On its release date, Amazon lost the plot. For 17 days you couldn’t find the books, and then for another week after they appeared, each of the books said ‘Unavailable to purchase’ All Amazon said was sorry for the inconvenience?!
But now in the process of uploading to many other platforms, Kobo, Goodreads, Draft2Digital etc
- What type of characters do you like to write the most and how much of yourself do you put into them?
I like characters that are a little bit quirky, not your normal sheep-like kind. They all have a loose kind of moral attitude. I have an overweight fairy in my latest series called The Big Fairy Adventures. She is called Tinker Tanker but has a heart of gold. She is covered in little bruises from bumping into walls since her wings can’t cope with the excess weight. From my last epic fantasy trilogy, I have brought a favourite character over from that, he is a little human, A Chinese man called Ding Ling, he provides the humor, even in the darkest moments. There is a scene and h is in discussion with his master Hugo. Hugo is thinking of doing two major things at the same time and Ding Ling knows it will lead to disaster, so he uses Confucius sayings, to get his opinion across, in this case he says to his master, “Master, Confucius would say, ‘never take a sleeping pill if already taken a laxative tablet’”
There is a lot of myself in the characters, particularly the humor I would like to think
- For any wannabe writers out there what’s the most useful thing you’ve learned?
Watch out for the charlatans on the marketing side out there. You will pay them money, for absolutely no guarantee you will sell lots of books. Go off personal recommendation. Please, if you are an indie publisher, put your books on more than one platform and not just one. Join up with Facebook groups for help and advice
- What writing tricks do you utilise to hit your deadlines and keep your stories on track?
Not really had any problems like this. Certainly, my preparation for a books official release will happen a minimum of 3 months before its release date. I don’t stress out about getting a chapter written by a certain time. I am lucky, I can sit down and immediately write and write. I know now how long an editor needs a book, how long my illustrator needs to design the book cover and so on. I never ever leave things to the last minute, that’s a sure fire way of messing up your plans
- Are you a plotter or a pantser (make it up as you go)?
I am most definitely a pantser. I did try going down the apparent tried and tested route. Potting out chapters, working on characters before starting to write and so on, but it stifled my creativity. Oh I can tell you with a book its beginning, middle and end in ten minutes, but then I type directly onto my laptop, I have a very rough idea of the characters, but then let the whole adventure fill out as I write. The only problem is, I needed to know is my writing good? This is where the Beta readers can help, but more importantly, it’s when all the rave reviews come in from the public, that you know you are ok as an author
- What plans do you have for the future? A new series or perhaps a dip into other genres?
Working at the moment on a series called The Big Fairy Adventures. I have a big map of a fairy kingdom called Layleamonee on the wall of my authors man cave. It is covered with all sorts of little titles like, The Oberon fairy warriors, the blue whispering mountains, the Grobs, the Crags and so on, each one is a book in itself that will make up the series.
But I am about to start writing a story which is SciFi about an Android (can’t tell you much more, but there is a very interesting hook to it)
- With the world the way it is at the moment what sort of tales do you prefer? Ones with heroes where good triumphs over evil or ones that take a darker approach?
I am a multi genre author, so have written a true life story about a devastating tragedy, also written a book about scary stories, but I like books that are colourful, convey a whole gambit of emotions, have a touch of moral issues about them. I do have some very dark sections in my book but generally good will overcome evil
- What’s better, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Star Wars?
Hmmm. Star Wars to watch, would never read this. Lord of the rings, well written but too dark and depressing and really? 4 pages to describe a character? Not many laughs either, I always feel I need to go for therapy after reading Tolkien, to improve my mood. So it has to be Harry Potter
My website: www.thewand.me
My Amazon Authors page: https://amzn.to/2ZPPWzd
My epic fantasy trilogy: The Wand Chronicles on Amazon: https://amzn.to/33IWuAO
Book one of my Big Fairy Adventures, How it all Began: https://amzn.to/3bDpgGU