Monday 27 May 2013
Author Interview: Mike Reeves-McMillan
Mike Reeves-McMillan lives in Auckland, New Zealand, surrounded by trees.
He’s almost certainly the world’s only steampunk-fantasy author who holds a master’s degree in English, a certificate in health science, an Advanced Diploma of Hypnotherapy and a certificate in celebrant studies (rituals for transition through crisis). He's worked as an editor for a major publishing house, which is just one of the reasons he has no interest in being published by a major publishing house.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I'm in transition at the moment towards doing more planning. For Realmgolds, I mostly let the story flow, but I'm using the Dan Wells Seven Point Outline, and I've written a synopsis for my next book before I started writing.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
My characters are very strong-minded, especially the women. They want to take over everything. I have to be quite firm.
What is your favourite food?
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Morning person. Married to a night owl, which is a source of occasional conflict.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I'd like to visit the Caribbean someday.
Do distant places feature in your books?
Extremely distant - I write secondary-world fantasy.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Never. I seem to use the same part of my brain for listening and reading, and I can't do both at once.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
Realmgolds is a steampunkish fantasy novel. It tells the story of the struggle between a rabble-rousing upstart and the legitimate ruler of the realm of Denning, who really wanted to be a history teacher, but now has to make history instead. Fortunately for him, he gets the able assistance of his ally Victory, the brilliant but eccentric ruler of the neighbouring realm. Unfortunately, an ancient magical treaty between their realms means she can't send him any troops...
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
I used to work in publishing, so I know that side fairly well (though it's changed a lot in recent years). I've learned a lot about storytelling, though, how to give a story shape and direction.
Is there anything you would do differently?
Start sooner and keep going more consistently.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
I have a lot of respect for Lindsay Buroker. She's a smart indie publisher of steampunk fantasy, which is what I want to be.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Treat it as a craft. Work hard, don't cut corners, and be professional.
What are three words that describe you?
Tall, thin and bearded.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I enjoy Jim Butcher's stuff immensely. I'm really looking forward to his new steampunk series.
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
The Human Purity movement is growing in power and influence in Denning, attacking dwarf businesses and caravans and inciting popular rebellion against the central government, with the passive or active support of many of the ruling Golds.
Opposing them almost alone is the Realmgold, a young man named Determined. His problem is that, even though the Realmgold is meant to be in charge, nobody is paying much attention to him.
Victory, who rules neighbouring Koskant, would love to support Determined, but an ancient magical treaty between their realms means she can’t send in her troops, her skyboats or her pressure guns. What she can do, though, is share a new magical communications technology – and her elite corps of Gryphon Clerks…
List of previous books if any
(Not in the same setting) City of Masks, a political fantasy without magic; and Gu, a near-future science fiction novella about a disruptive technology and how it changes people's lives.
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
My blog is at http://csidemedia.com/gryphonclerks
I'm often on Google+ at http://gplus.to/mikerm
at May 27, 2013
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.