Let's give a big welcome to Michael and learn a bit more about him!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thanks, Kris, well first off I live in Ottawa, Canada, have three daughters – so if you wonder why all of my protagonists are female, you now have an answer – I have a degree in history and oddly enough an MBA in finance.
I like to think I got my start writing fiction working in venture capital! It’s perhaps an odd start for a writer, but like many writers I’ve always known where my heart lay and with the support of my wife I took the plunge and started writing a little over five years ago.
I wrote two novels before writing 24 Bones, which is published through Drollerie Press – The Sand Dragon is my fifth novel and I’m still writing. I also have four young adult graphic novels published with Oxford University Press Canada and some online work that will be coming out this Fall with a major publisher.
2. The premise of The Sand Dragon was certainly original and interesting. I know authors get inspiration from all kinds of places but where did yours come from?
My novels are typically set in exotic locales such as Guatemala, Egypt, Indonesia...but I wanted to write something set in Canada that would be of interest to North Americans. So this started with setting. What is currently tying Canada and the US together? Oil. The tar sands. I liked the setting because it dealt with gigantic everything. Big oil. The biggest trucks ever built. The biggest cranes ever built. Everything is mega. It’s also remote, Northern Alberta, with very little population northward. Isolation really helps when you’re trying to create a believable world--think Under the Dome, by Stephen King.
If you’re looking for where the vampire angle came from, I wanted to do something different there. All my novels have a basis in research, as ridiculous as it sounds, so I wanted to write a vampire novel that was possible. To make it seem possible, it needed history, myth, evolutionary reasons, and that’s the genesis of the prehistoric vampire concept. With all of the fossils uncovered in the tar sands, it was a perfect fit.
3. Did you have a favorite character in the story? (Like asking which child is your favorite, right?)
I love transformation so Jamie and Alice were for sure my favourites. I actually like Bythell too– he’s so very evil but he’s doing it for the right reasons, trying to write a historical wrong, a wrong fork in the evolutionary road.
4. Any other works in progress that we should keep an eye out for?
Oh yes! Hurakan should be out soon with Overmountain Press, Color of the Crow via Drollerie Press by December, and I have another thriller I’m putting the finishing touches on. It’ll be out in graphic novel form next Fall and has been optioned for film.
5. Where can we find you online?
Come find me on Goodreads or Librarything! Look forward to meeting you!
The discovery of an immense pterosaur skeleton lures paleontologist Kim Axon to the tar sands near her childhood home of Fort Mic. But Kim’s not the only one drawn to the find’s siren call, and the others are coming for a very different reason.
Fort Mic, where Kim’s father was murdered long ago, is both blessed and cursed by the shadow population who gravitate to the area for cheap trailers while they mine the sands for oil. Townsfolk begin to fall sick. Fearing the spread of the strange disease, the new doctor quarantines the town.
Now alone, the broken community must rise above its past to battle outsiders who do not fear the return of an ancient evil, but worship it.
A BIG thank you to Michael for joining us today! I really enjoyed this book so if you're looking for a completely different vampire angle check this one out!