Book Name and Description: Shadows of Wychering and The Bloodstone Reckoning
Shadows of Wychering: People are missing in Wychering Wood. Rumors of dark magic and demons abound. Ameline Harsent and a small group are sent to investigate the dark forest. Nothing goes as planned. Can Ameline save the man she loves in time? Or will Wychering Wood claim more victims?
Shadows of Wychering – a fantasy novella set in the Corvarix Age. Magic thrives, kings rule, and Wychering Wood is claiming lives.
What gave you the idea for Shadows of Wychering? (since it is my latest release)
The protagonist in Shadows is the 10x great grandmother of my protagonist in The Bloodstone Reckoning. I was trying to craft an intrigue story with her in it, but my editor said to consider making it more along the same lines as Bloodstone i.e. for the same market. So I took his advice and used some of the elements from the intrigue story in this one. Ameline, the protagonist in Shadows is a character that was already in my head from Bloodstone. She is a legend in that book, and I wanted to show part of how that legend was born.
I love fantasy. I grew up on tales of heroes. From King David, and King Arthur to Audie Murphy. As a kid I read the Chronicles of Narnia and of course The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Though I have to admit King Arthur is by far my favorite fantastical character. I love world building, though my editor has to get on to me to do more of it.
How long have you been writing?
Well I wrote my first story back in 1981. A murder mystery. It was the summer of my 7th grade year and the story included all of my friends and I wrote myself into a corner so much that I didn’t even know who did it. So I gave up, and of course football, hotrods and other activities took over my life for many years. Serious, sit-your-butt-in-the-chair, writing, well that has been about two to three years.
What is the writing process like for you? What is your writing day like? What have been the biggest influences on your writing?
I have a fulltime job, and write part time. I hope to change that and write fulltime. That said, I come home from work, eat dinner, visit with my wonderful wife, then hit the computer for 3 or so hours. I have to set the mood so to speak. I have a playlist of music called Writing Music. I put that on, and laser in on what I want to accomplish that day. I get my best work done in the evenings.
The biggest influence on my writing is my wife. She has convinced me I have what it takes.
What is your favorite book (other than your own book, of course) and why? What book disappointed you and why?
My favorite book(s) are The Warlord Chronicles (The Winter King, Enemy of God and Excalibur) by Bernard Cornwell. It is Arthurian legend at its finest. It’s called Historical Fiction but I call it Historical Fantasy. You never know if magic helped or not, Merlin is ever vague about it. It is one of the most wonderfully spun tales. I have read those books at least 15 times, maybe more.
The book that disappointed me the most has to be book 10 of the Wheel of Time. Half of the book was book 9 from others perspective. I put it down and didn’t finish the series. I want to finish it now and have started the series over.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I study the craft of storytelling, I buy books on it and the biggest thing I think I have improved on is forcing bad vs worse decisions on my characters. You have this situation where no matter what happens, a decision has to be made and either way you go, it is not pretty.
What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Thick skin. I mean if you get your work professionally edited, you had better be prepared to swallow the criticism that is coming. That is what you paid for. We all want to hear how good we are, and we want the editor to gush “oh my gosh you’re the next (insert super author of xyz genre here)” but that is not what happens. So yes thick skin that must be it, above all else. In today’s world, everyone is a critic.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
My editor who is also an author, told me, that at the end of the day it’s my name on the book and so no matter what he says or what anyone else says, it’s up to me ultimately to decide what happens.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I have only just begun to delve into marketing. Honestly I have no idea what I am doing J I do a lot of word of mouth when I get the opportunity to tell someone about my work. I have boosted posts on Facebook and Instagram with little conversion rate to sales. As an indie author I am dealing with obscurity as my biggest enemy. There is a ton of information out there and it is hard to slog through it all. And so I wrote a novella, Shadows of Wychering, and it is free as an ebook, through bookfunnel. I will use that as a marketing tool to give folks a chance to read my work and see if they want to read the novel and the books that will follow it. I hope to build a platform that way.
What piece of your own work are you most proud of?
I also write poetry, and my poem Chronos is my favorite piece of work. It’s on my website. But a close second would be Sword of Vinganza. It’s a book I am working on and am 20k words into. I love the protagonist, Owain. He’s a more complicated character than I have written before.
For those who haven’t read any of your stories, what story/book of yours do you think best represents your work and why?
I have two books out right now sooooooo, both of them? J Why? Because they encompass most of my writing to date.
What are you doing next?
I am writing book two of the Earth Mother saga. Book 1 is The Bloodstone Reckoning.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Only writing will make you a better writer. Study story-craft and write! Also, get an editor. Never skimp on editing and by that I mean get a developmental editor.
Michael lives in Texas amongst the pine trees and is married to a wonderful woman and between them they have four kids and two grandchildren.
Michael gets get inspiration from great authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan and Bernard Cornwell. He loves classic lit and especially fantasy and mythology genres. Nothing is more rewarding than reading a page-turning novel packed with adventure where characters become your best friends and heroes, and you hate to leave them when you reach the last page.
He says, “I love C.S. Lewis’ quote, ‘You can make anything by writing.'”
www.fantasyinmyveins.com facebook.com/michaelwigingtonauthor amazon.com/author/michaelwigington