Author: Mike Phillips
Genre: Science Fiction/Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Eternal Press
Purchase at AMAZON
It’s the end of the world, but a new beginning for humanity. The war has lasted for generations. In this technological age, no longer must humans risk their lives in combat. Fierce robots operated by remote control make up the bulk of the militaries. Satellites in the atmosphere render the heavens a frenzy of violent confrontation. However, the war has little effect on everyday life. The bloodshed is minimal, the disruption to commerce even less. It is a comfortable war. Most of the populace believe they have nothing to fear. Little they know their world is about to come to an end.
I never wanted to be a writer. I went to college, got a great job when I graduated, and was bored out of my skull. I didn’t have any money when going to school, so I was used to working forty hours a week and taking a full time schedule. When I got my “real job” I had more down-time than I ever had in my life. Stories just started developing in my mind and I thought it would be fun to write them down. That was twenty years ago. Now I can’t stop. If I don’t write, the stories work their way into my head anyway. The only way I can get the stories to leave me alone is to write them down. Don’t get me wrong. I love writing, but it was never anything I set out to do.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?
My reading habits are diverse, almost quirky. Short stories, poetry, novels, I read it all. I have an interest in science and engineering, so I read a lot of non-fiction articles as well. When I’m reading fiction, I gravitate toward stories of the supernatural. Some of the new authors you find in online anthologies are really pushing the boundaries of the genre and are worth checking out. I also like historical fiction. My most guilty pleasure is the Sharpe series by Bernard Cornwell. WB Yates, Margaret Atwood, Walter Mosley, Neil Gaiman, Dean Koontz, James Lee Burke, and Jim Butcher are some of my favorite writers. When I’m taking a break from writing, I like to read old favorites like Watership Down or Anansi Boys.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
Titles, names, and first lines are the most difficult parts of writing for me. In Dawn of Ages, the lead character, Boyne Caro, always went by “young boy” or YB in my notes. As the story matured on the page, he became a young man but the name Boyne stuck. There is a mountain and a few cities in Northern Michigan with the name Boyne in them, and that’s where the spelling comes from. Caro, his last name, is a city in the “Thumb” area of Michigan. That name has to do with witchcraft but also has some historical reference to Mars, the god of war, and is related in a way to the plot of book which I will not explain here as I don’t want to give too much away. Coming up with a title was a real struggle. I had a dozen or so working titles as the book was being written. The editor and I went through no fewer tries before finally settling on Dawn of Ages, which I like and is descriptive on the books plot. Bored yet? I didn’t realize I had so much to say about this. The first line came rather quickly. It introduces us to this world where drone combat and political oppression are commonplace. Boyne Caro is on duty, bored out of his mind and is playing with the controls of his command vehicle when he makes an accidental discovery that changes his life. Even with all the editing and work that goes into a final manuscript, I still like it just as it was originally put down. …There was something wrong with the sky.
Are there any current books that have grasped your interest?
The last book I read was The Paper Magician. Loved it! Great fantasy, great plot, and great writing. I’m about twenty pages into the Witching Savanna series. At first I wasn’t sure it would be my thing, but now I’m hooked.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
For me, the writing, the creativity, is a joy. I like nothing more than to end a long day by sitting in front of my computer and telling stories. Often I compare it to the impulse painters or other artists feel during the process of creation. The hard part for me, no offense, is the promotions. As a published author, it’s part of the deal. After a publisher invests so much into editing and advertising and whatnot, they are owed some help in sales. Interviews are hard for me to manage. I find myself not all that interesting and am often nonplussed that people would bother to read an interview about me. Sooooo, thanks for reading my interview.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative, you can talk about your first job, something that inspires you, anything fun that might grab the readers attention.
I love animals. I grew up with dogs and cats and all the different farm animals you can imagine. I even had a pet duck that used to follow me around. Her name was Peeper and I rescued her from a weasel the night of her birth –or should I say hatching? My wife is allergic to fur, so I can’t have a dog or a cat or any of the usual suspects. I do have a pet rat. Her name is Sassy and she is my second rat. Once you get past the tail and the black plague thing, rats are great pets. They are very affectionate. They are intelligent and trainable too. I often think of Sassy as a very small dog. When I have a party, I bring Sassy out for everyone to meet. Am I cool, or what?
Thanks again for having me as your guest. I hope you check out Dawn of Ages and my other book, Reign of the Nightmare Prince and The World Below. I’m on the web at mikephillipsfantasy.com. Thanks again and take care, MP