Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Interview with Mike Hartner, author of I, James

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He's traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.

His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.
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Can you tell us what your book is about?  

I, James is the tory of James Crofter.  It is the second book in The Eternity Series.

Why did you write your book? 

I wrote this book as a proper sequel to Book One, I, Walter.   Walter, the title character of Book One is James’ father.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting

The two main characters are James Crofter, son of a Princess and an English commoner, and Rosalind, grand-daughter of a well-to-do English family, and daughter of a rogue.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? 

I’ll say imagination.  They are real characters, but I don’t have adequate proof to show their records.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write? 

Plot gets discovered as I’m writing.  Upon starting a book I know of one, maybe two, of the characters.  The rest comes during the write.

Your book is set on the waters of the Indian Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.  Can you tell us why you chose this setting in particular?

These waters were chosen because they were a continuation of Book One, where, at the end, James was kidnapped.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story? 

I believe setting always plays a major part in story development.  My settings, however, are usually a product of the characters, not the other way around.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

P.69 is in the middle of James’ slavery.  He is on a tobacco farm in east Africa, and is using his powers of observation to try to find was of escape.

Is it hard to get a historical fiction book published?

My books cross several different genres, including historical fiction, romance, historical romance, young adult, and memoir. Any one of those may be okay, but a book that crosses many of them needs special marketing.

Is it hard to promote a historical fiction book and where do you start?

I’ve started with blog tours, with Goodreads giveaways, and other online promotions.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Usually, when I suffer from writer’s block it means that there is something I’m trying to write that I need to learn more about.   I go back to the research and try to iron it out.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?  

Write, write, write.

Which holiday is your favorite and why? 

All of them are favorites, because I enjoy spending time with my family.  But, if I had ot single one out, I think Christmas would be it

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

Within walking distance of my home there are public libraries, and a very good seafood restaurant.  Either would work.

What do you like to do for fun? 

Write, spectate my son’s sports, DungeonMAster my sons DND adventures, bike, swim, bake, and work puzzles.

Can you tell us about your family?

My wife and I have been married  for close to 25 years.  We have a teenage son, and two eighty plus year old parents.

What do you like the most about being an author? 

My ability to put pen to paper and write new episodes in life.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life? 

Reviews and feedback from the readers.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors? 

Several pieces of advice: 1) Write what you want (thank you, Rachel Thompson)… you don’t need anyone’s permission to write what you feel or want. 2) Edit, edit, edit.  Get a professional editor to help you to polish it so that your mss is the best it can be… and 3) Enjoy it.  Have fun writing it.

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