For our Science Fantasy month, Andrew D. Michaels joins us to talk about his book, the December Project!
Kayla Perisho-Denley: So, to start off, can you tell us a little bit about your current project?
Andrew D. Michaels: Well the December Project is a two part series that takes a look at an almost dystopian society that has been united under an umbrella based government.The government, known as the legion, is extremely development focused, to where their goal is any advancement for the greater good at any cost.One of the scientist groups have been looking at DNA and gene modification for the purpose of accelerating evolution for adaptation to their changing environment
Perisho-Denley: That sounds pretty awesome! What inspired you to write this story?
Michaels: It was started as kind of a joke. I was talking with some of my friends in Theta Fleet which is a roleplay based gaming sim set for Star Trek universe (Check them out at theta fleet.net!) And we were brainstorming ideas about how and why the utopia idea never really took off. Everything from corruption and greed to war and such came up. Eventually it got around to the competition of advancements and how people were always trying to one up each other with the ‘next big thing’ So the idea came of what if the next best thing wasn’t the best thing? Like if there was something created that we weren’t ready for or could handle, how would humans react to something like that?
Perisho-Denley: Some of the best ideas start as jokes, I think. How long have you been into RP, and do you find it helps a lot with your writing?
Michaels: I’ve been playing and running D&D for a little longer than fifteen years now and it is extremely influential in my writing. A lot of my stories stem from one game or another
Perisho-Denley: That’s awesome! What was the main thing that drew you to the Sci-Fan genre?
Michaels: I blame Orson Scott Card for that one, haha! I came across his Ender series and I had the little lightbulb that fantasy wasn’t strictly dragons and spells and such. So I started experimenting with a few sci-fi based games to become familiar and then story ideas started to form and here we are lol.
Perisho-Denley: That is an excellent source for inspiration! Besides the Ender series, and I know this is a dreaded question for writers, but what authors or books have you been most inspired by?
Michaels: That one is actually fairly easy for me. My inspiration comes from Stephen King, Robert Jordan, and Piers Anthony for a majority. Recently I have wandered over to PC Cast, and Orson Scott Card.Though I’m currently reading David Baldacci, but I’ll have to get back to you on him.
Perisho-Denley: Stephen King is especially good for Science Fantasy, the Dark Tower is so amazing. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Is there any specific time or place you prefer to write, or can you write anytime?
Michaels: I’m usually at least writing in my head whenever I can, but as far as sitting down to write I save at least an hour or two every day.I have a playlist that helps me so much when I’m writing because it keeps me focused on what I’m doing, because I can tend to get distracted fairly easily.My favorite spot is the library down the road. The staff there have been fantastic and extremely helpful when I need to find or research something.
Perisho-Denley: Playlists are a must, in my opinion. I shouldn’t keep you much longer, so one more question. Do you have any advice for someone wanting to get into the Sci-Fan genre? How about advice on surviving NaNoWriMo?
Michaels: My tips for surviving nano? Get a group together. Someone(s) to beta, brainstorm and keep things going. Someone to kick your butt when you stray and support you through. And someone who knows how to doodle.Nothing motivates me more than a completed cover for a project.As far as sci-fan in particular, find something you like and can relate to. A game, movie, books, whatever and start there. Also look into other authors in the genre so that you can become more familiar with it and get comfy. Always write what’s comfy. If you feel not comfy with your writing, it’ll show in it.
Michaels: And build a playlist. Music is a great influence in writing. Something slow and sad or upbeat and jumpy will be conveyed in your word choice as well
Perisho-Denley: All fantastic advice. Actual last question. Where is the best place for people to find your work? Any genre.
Michaels: As I’m unpublished for the time being, not much of anywhere. December Project is anticipated early 2017, and Black Bridge is going out just before New Years this year. Announcements and behind the scenes extras can all be found on my fb page or my Instagram. Facebook.com/AuthorADM Insta: ADMAuthor
Perisho-Denley: Awesome. I know I’m looking forward to reading it! Thank you again for joining us!
Michaels: Thank you!