We’re honoured to have USA Today Bestselling author Michael Siemsen join us at e-Books India. We carried out an exclusive interview with Michael to find out about his work, including his famous Matt Turner series of books, and a recent instalment from this collection; a story entitled Return. We learnt about Michael’s exciting upcoming projects in 2016 and got some top advice on becoming a published author. Continue reading to find out what the versatile writer had to say.
Hi Michael and welcome to e-Books India! It’s great to have you with us for this interview. Please tell us about you. Where are you from? What is your professional experience and how did you become an author?
Hello Hiten, and thank you for having me on e-Books India. I’m originally from Venice, California (in Los Angeles), but have lived in the San Francisco area of Northern California for the past twenty years. The majority of the past two decades has been spent working in various information technology fields such as systems administration and network engineering, but my first book, The Dig, became a bestseller in early 2012, and I’ve been fortunate to work exclusively as an author since then.
What types of books do you write?
Thus far, all of my released books fall into the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, but are split among sub-genres therein. Within my Matt Turner series alone, the stories sort of morph from Science Fiction Adventure to Mystery Suspense and International Thriller, AND they are all in the realm of Paranormal fiction since the stories are all driven by the main character’s psychic ability.
Then there’s my more “literary” or “up-market fiction” books, A Warm Place to Call Home (A Demon’s Story), and The Many Lives of Samuel Beauchamp. These books feature “demon” type main characters who can occupy other people’s bodies, taking over their lives while pretending to be the same person.
And I also have my more “Hard Sci-Fi” books such as Exigency, which features a team of scientists observing an alien planet from orbit. An emergency on their space station forces them to evacuate to (and then survive on) the often-hostile planet below.
You might say I’m a bit of a mess when it comes to genre. 😉
You’re the author of the Matt Turner series and a recent book from this series is entitled Return. Could you please explain the overall concept of the Matt Turner series, and tell us a bit about Return?
The character Matt Turner is introduced in The Dig as a fairly eccentric, wealthy young man who avoids society due to his psychic power called “psychometry.” When he touches an object, he essentially falls unconscious while, in his mind, sees through the eyes of those who have touched the item before him. Matt’s special ability was exploited by his own police detective father when Matt was a child, and later, many others force Matt to help track rare and treasured items, or simply seek his help finding lost or kidnapped loved ones.
In the third volume of the Matt Turner series, Return, Matt has mastered his ability, and refuses to be used any longer by others. Instead, he has a plan to set right many of the past wrongs he and his friends have endured. And, like all of the Matt Turner books, there’s a historical story woven between the modern-day chapters – this time of the ancient Library of Alexandria, and the secrets Matt learns may have a direct effect on the present.
Are you working on any other books(s)? If so, can you please tell us what we can expect to see from you in the future?
I have many, many other projects in the queue, filling up my brain. I wish I could plug a computer into my brain and just have it all dumped out in perfect written form! But alas … I must continue mashing on this primitive keyboard device. 🙂
Coming up for 2016, I’m working on releasing a third “demon” novel, a fourth Matt Turner novel, and a sequel to Exigency. Further, I have two short stories coming – one is a stand-alone Sci-Fi short for the upcoming Illustrated Robot in the bestselling Future Chronicles anthology series.
In other news, I’m working with some Hollywood producers to bring Exigency to the big screen, and some serious interest has been expressed about making A Warm Place to Call Home into an HBO/Showtime/Netflix/Amazon-type series.
What other things do you like to get up to when you’re not writing?
Oftentimes my need for creative expression shifts to other mediums. Between book releases, I can be found in my garage building furniture, painting random objects into art, or restoring antique devices to a functional state.
Outside the home, I enjoy camping, hiking, and traveling to new places. Usually the interesting locations (and sometimes people) I discover, end up in my books.
From your experiences as an author, could you please share 2-3 top tips to help beginner authors who dream of getting their work published?
Number 1 tip: Dream no further! If you have a completed, high-quality book, you can be published with a few mouse clicks. I wrote The Dig in 2007 and wasted years trying to get it published through the traditional routes. With Amazon, Smashwords, Draft2Digital, and other online platforms, you have a direct channel to millions of readers.
Number 2 tip: Professional editing, amazing description, and professional cover are as important as your great, original story.
Imagine inventing the most fantastic, revolutionary device since (whatever – the lightbulb, iPhone, Kindle, etc.), and packaging them in ugly, basic cardboard boxes with the name scrawled in marker on the outside. No one will ever know the brilliance of your invention because no one will ever buy it. Think of the book cover, description, and internal editing/formatting as the book’s packaging.
Number 3 tip: Read and learn from other successful authors. I don’t mean those scam books like “The Ten Guaranteed Things That Will Instantly Make You an Instant Millionaire Author Instantly!!!” I mean the free-to-read blogs, podcasts, and social media pages of the real successes, not those trying to make money off of aspiring authors.
How can people find out more about you?
My website and social media pages are chock-full of all-things-me, including the highest quality random nonsense, ramblings, cat and dog pics, funny memes, and even a thing or two about my books! 😉
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/michaelsiemsen
eMail update list here: SUBSCRIBE
Thanks again for having me, and let me know if I can be of any further assistance!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]