As part of the blog tour for Shadow Ops: Fortress Frontier, I’d like to welcome the awesome Myke Cole to the blog! He kindly (and cheekily) answered a few of my questions, and we’ve got 2 copies of Fortress Frontier for giveaway, courtesy of the lovely folks at Ace, so please check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!
Myke, your first novel, Shadow Ops: Control Point was a hit and the 2nd book in the series, Fortress Frontier, is out today! How did you celebrate when you found out Control Point would be published?
By sitting down and getting back to work on revisions. Just because Penguin bought it didn’t mean there wasn’t more work to be done.
You’ve certainly got the background appropriate for writing a fantasy with military themes, but what else inspired you to begin writing the series? Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes. It is the second thing I ever wanted to be in life. The first was a knight. I think, to the extent it’s possible in 21st century America, I’ve accomplished both objectives.
Control Point centered on the story of Army officer Oscar Britton. Fortress Frontier, however, is about a different character, Colonel Alan Bookbinder. When you started the series, did you already plan on featuring a different character with each book?
Yes. My favorite writers (Peter V. Brett, Joe Abercrombie, George R. R. Martin, China Mieville) all use ensemble casts with varying point-of-view characters. It was never my intention to write serial Oscar Britton stories. CONTROL POINT, FORTRESS FRONTIER and BREACH ZONE all have different POV characters, and I have that planned for the next three books as well.
What are some of your biggest literary influences?
I believe I just mentioned them, but let me add to the list: Daniel Polansky, Mark Lawrence, James Clavell, Naomi Novik, Scott Lynch, Patrick Rothfuss, Jack Campbell, Ernest Cline . . . Want me to keep going? Because I can. This laptop will run out of power before I run out of influences.
If you could experience one book again for the very first time, which one would it be?
J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. My adult lens has forever cut me off from the wide-eyed wonder with which I first experienced Middle Earth.
What are you reading now?
These interview questions.
Recently, you participated in an experiment on author Teresa Frohock’s website in which she asked a few authors such as Diana Rowland, Shiloh Walker, Alex Bledsoe, and more, to anonymously write a short story and the readers had to guess whether it was written by a man or a woman. You wrote a Regency romance! What did you take away from the experience?
That gender has zero bearing on one’s ability to tell a story, and that it is next to impossible for a reader to tell the writer’s gender from the prose. Also, that we’re long past due for romance and erotica written by men, and I mean OPENLY written. No pseudonyms, author photo on the jacket.
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to struggling writers?
Lock it up and press. Less talking about writing, more writing. Stop bitching. Stop oversharing on Twitter. Stop using your writer’s circle as group therapy. Do the work.
When you manage to carve out some free time, how do you like to spend it?
I do not carve out free time. I’m serious. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed, I am working (and I count games night with publishing people and happy hours with writers and publishing people as work. Fun work, but still work). Honestly? I like it that way. When you love your job, (or in my case, jobs), you hardly feel the effort.
What’s next for you? Is there any other news on upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us (or anything at all!)?
Penguin has recently signed me up for another 3 novels, so that’s the plan for the immediate future. Two of them will be prequels (events taking place before CONTROL POINT) and the 3rd will follow an ancillary character you meet in FORTRESS FRONTIER. I’ve also finished a novelette that tells a story from the goblins’ point of view, and will provide some background to BREACH ZONE (SHADOW OPS: Book 3). I’m currently debating how best to get that out to readers.
Keep up with Myke: Website | Twitter
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