AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: MYCHAEL BLACK
Well known author Mychael Black has stopped by to chat with us about writing and the latest book in the Secrets of Socendor series…
Mychael what is your most current work out?
My latest release is the long-awaited book 2 in my Secrets of Socendor gay fantasy series with Samhain Publishing. That one was a long time in the making, but it was well worth it.
Tell us a little about Dragonblade, what inspired you to write it?
Well, beyond the fact that it’s book 2 in a trilogy, Dragonblade was one of those books that wrote itself. I’m an avid fantasy nut, and Secrets of Socendor was my first foray into the genre (solo, anyway).
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
*laughs* I’m merely along for the ride. Dragonblade has several points that were not planned, but I simply let the guys tell their story. Sometimes, it follows a general plot line, and other times, well…even I end up surprised.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
If we’re talking about the blanket genre of gay romance, it was kind of inevitable, I think. I’ve been a part of the GLBT community for well over 20-something years. Add to that, I’m what you could call ‘poly-gendered’–meaning that I consider myself to be neither male nor female, but simply a human being who enjoys all facets of gender expression.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Wow. That’s a hard one. Um, I have several. If I had to pick one from the Socendor series, though, I think I’d have to say Braen. He was the villain of book 1, but book 2 gives him much more face-time, and he’s become almost an anti-hero of sorts, I think.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Braen. Absolutely, positively Braen. In the first book (The Lost Son), he didn’t have a lot of chance to grow as a character. Dragonblade gives him that chance, and it puts him in a spotlight that is close to equal with what Micheil and Kalen have.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Not really, unless you count the pictures of hot men I regularly like and/or share on Facebook. Those end up in a folder labeled Character Inspiration, and more than a few have morphed into actual book characters.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Here lately, focusing. Kids are out of school, which means my writing time is a bit…scattered. It’s not unusual for me to tell everyone I’m leaving, pack up my laptop, and run away to Barnes & Noble or Panera Bread just to work.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
At this point, I’m not sure there IS anything they don’t know. I’m a relatively open book (pun may or may not be intended…). The only thing I could think of would be that I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s of Science in Game Art & Design. Yep, I’m determined to write storylines and/or dialogue for video games.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
*laughs* Spongebob, Mountain Dew, and computer games.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Spongebob (of course), Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Hunters International, Destination Truth, River Monsters, and any nature/science show that includes prehistoric sea creatures–especially prehistoric sharks. And yes, I have a megalodon tooth, from a close friend in Canada.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Music. I simply can NOT write without music.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
*chuckles and points to the previous question* Nearly every story has at least one theme song, if not an entire playlist, whether it’s on iTunes or Youtube. For Dragonblade, the strongest song was Perfect Strangers, by Deep Purple.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Oh, good Lord. I have no clue. Though… given the nature of my stories, I’d cast Johnny Depp as Kalen and Orlando Bloom as Micheil, just to see them go at it. *grins*
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
My very, very first contract… well, that was with a now-defunct publisher, but I was living in Ocean View, Delaware, and the first one I told was my partner. My mom was next.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Well, if you count Wuthering Heights, I was in my early teens, I think. Heathcliff was my first literary true love, and the beginning of my anti-hero obsession.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Josh Lanyon. *laughs* Oh, and Abigail Roux–namely her Cut & Run series. Outside of romance, I’d have to say Dan Brown and James Rollins.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
Nope–I’m a stay-at-home parent, college student, and author.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
Avengers! Oh, my God. Avengers. Yesyesyes! While it’s not my all-time fave (that would have to be a multi-way tie for several movies, like LOTR, Kingdom of Heaven, etc), it’s definitely up there on the list.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on the third (and final) Secrets of Socendor book–titled Retribution. Also in the works is a full novel starring my vampire twins, Lucca and Gabriele. Those two have had a cult following for years, and they’re finally getting their story. I’m also working on book 4 in the Coriolis sci-fi series I have with Changeling Press. And the list goes on and on…
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I have the best co-author in the world: Shayne Carmichael. But, if I had the chance to write with someone else, it would be a toss-up between Josh Lanyon and Sean Michael.
How do you pick your characters names?
Nine times out of ten, they pick their own names. When I’m looking for the perfect name, though, I end up on sites like Seventh Sanctum, or I’ll hit 20000-names.com to search through name meanings.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
It completely depends on the guys. Some of my men are very much love-at-first-sight, and others are slow and steady. And a few are incredibly stubborn to admit a damn thing–a little tidbit included in Dragonblade.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark. Especially Godiva. Give me Godiva dark chocolate ANY day and I’ll be perfectly content.
Ranger or Morelli?
Although I’ve never read the books, I do know Ranger’s a bad boy. So, yeah. Ranger. *grins*.