Michael Drakich is the author of The Brotherhood of Piaxia, an epic fantasy, as well as Grave is the Day and Vows Above.
I had the opportunity to read and review The Brotherhood of Piaxia and you can see my review HERE. Thank you Michael for allowing me to read your novel and now taking the time to for this interview!
So of course the first question I need to ask as an avid reader, do you mostly read books from the fantasy/ scifi genre or do you prefer to read something other than what you write? Any favorite books I should add to my reading list?
Yes, my first choice on reading is science fiction and fantasies. I read a few thrillers along the way and the odd mystery. I always enjoy playing Sherlock Holmes and trying to guess what’s going to happen before it does. I don’t want to recommend any books though. Tastes are unique to everyone. One of my habits when choosing a book is to wander my favorite bookstore, latte in hand, and pick up one from the discount stand. I could care less about what’s selling hot. You find some great books that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Nothing really beats wondering a book store, especially a used one, and discovering new books. I am similar, I always make a bee line for the discounted books, its a great way to try something new.
I really love reading fantasy and leaving our current world behind, but sometimes imagine it would be nice if different things from the books I read could be real. If you could choose one thing; a character, a power or even a town that you could bring into real life from your book The Brotherhood of Piaxia what would it be?
When it comes to having one thing from my book, it would be the power to heal. My oldest son is severely autistic. What I would give to cure him is everything and more.
I am sorry to hear that about your son, I can only imagine how hard it is for your whole family. The power to heal would be an amazing gift and help so many people.
One of the things that really stood out to me in The Brotherhood of Piaxia was Bron and his very interesting flock of sheep. Now I have worked as a ranch hand on a sheep ranch and raised my own sheep, they certainly didn't act like the sheep in your story. Where did you get the idea to use sheep in such a pivotal role?
Where does my inspiration come from? Clearly an existential question that I find hard to answer. The idea of the sheep had many places of origin. In today’s literary world filled with vampire bats, werewolves and cat people it is always the violent creatures who get all the press. How better to challenge that image than with a large herd of innocuous creatures who, through the will of Bron, serve as an army against the oppressors. Or maybe the idea came from inside my left shoe. One can never tell.
I love the fact that you went for something out of the norm. It was not only a great twist for the story but also a breath of fresh air. Very unique idea, maybe it did come from your left shoe!
Another part that I enjoyed was each of the characters had so much more of a back story. I wanted to delve into each of their individual stories. Did you ever think of writing more in the land of Piaxia, or do you plan to leave us to our own devises and imagination?
What’s next on my docket is a busy schedule. At my editor right now is a cross genre thriller, Lest The Dew Rust Them, which I plan to release for the Christmas market - Homeland Security Director Robert Grimmson faces the task of catching five men in New York City. They call themselves the Sword Masters with a single minded plan of terror through decapitations. Barely has the task begun when a new arrival at JFK is a man importing thousands of swords! Alexander Suten-Mdjai is a trainer in the deadly art of swordsmanship and Robert cannot help but believe there is a connection between him and the Sword Masters. As he goes about the task, each step in his search is made more difficult through the interference of politicians, the media and his own government. Robert’s examination constantly draws him back to Alexander who regales him with a tale of swordsmanship from his lineage featuring events of mankind’s bloody past and often oddly having a connection to the case before him. With the clock ticking as New York collapses into a deep panic, he must catch the Sword Masters before it is too late! As of this very morning I finished writing a science fiction piece I think will be a winner entitled, The Infinite Within, hoping for an early spring release. - Going into outer space calls to astronaut Brooke Jones like the sirens of old, and when the chance to be part of the first manned mission to Mars arises, she is ecstatic. But little does she know the fate that awaits her on the surface of the red planet or the results of her encounter when she gets back to Earth. But as to your specific question, I will be starting tomorrow on a new novel, Demon Stones. – Set not quite in Piaxia but in the Southern Kingdoms this is the tale of a youth who inadvertently releases a demon from one of the many demon prison stones scattered across the countryside. There is a plan for another novel, A Daughter Of Piaxia, but my intentions on when to write that will be some time in the next year.
Wow! You definitely aren't kidding about a full docket! Sounds like you have been and are continuing to be very busy and in several different worlds at once. Looks very exciting books coming up. Lest the Dew Rust really catches my interest, I have always been very interested in swords and archery!
The one thing about the Fantasy genre, is that it takes a lot of world building and a lot of imagination to create each world. How long did it take you, from the first idea to the finished product, to write the Brotherhood of Piaxia?
The Brotherhood Of Piaxia was my first attempt at writing. It took ten months to write the first time around. That first attempt wasn’t very good. That was seven years ago. After countless hours, numerous workshops, and hundreds of critiques I honed my craft. I released two other novels in the meantime but didn’t forget my first work and decided to re-visit it. Novels are like children. You want them all to be the best they can be before you send them out into the world. I took six months and did a complete re-write. I hired an excellent editor in Kate Richards and spent another two months going through that process. It’s been a long time since I created my first novel, but now it’s ready for all to see.
Wow! That was a long process, but it was worth all the time and the work!
And on that note, I saw the post you did highlighting the top ten ways to avoid working on your novel. Did you have any special way to get yourself motivated to write?
Yes, the top ten list was a fun thing to write. The blogger wanted a top ten, but the examples she sent me were all top ten favorite books. I wanted to do something different and created that list. If anyone wants to get a chuckle out of that list it can be found in my blog at Goodreads. My strongest motivation to keep writing comes from my support group of close friends and family and a strong will to succeed.
The support of family and friends is definitely important. Also that of fellow writers.
Sticking with the writing process, I know a lot of writers tend to drink a lot of coffee or tea when writing, I seem to prefer a cup of hot cider or nice chilled glass of white wine. What is your preferred writing beverage?
Beverages vary as a soother while writing but I have a strong affinity for cranberry cocktail. Of course, every now and then a little gin gets in there. Damned if I know how.
You got to watch out for that gin, it is very sneaky!
Finally, I was reading about your struggles with publishing and moving to the self-publishing world. What is one thing you know now that you wish you had known before starting the process?
I like to think my blog would be a great read for any aspiring writer. I would recommend they read them in order from the first to the last as so many things have changed for me over the past couple of years. Is there really a way around the school of hard knocks? Even the disappointments have provided valuable insight to me as I wander through the publishing world. The industry is undergoing a tremendous revolution right now and I’m not sure any single piece of advice could have readied me for an ever changing battlefield. I have learned how some authors use deceit to advance their careers, especially in the world of reviews, but my personal values are more important to me than that. I can honestly say that every review for my works are either by an independent blogger such as yourself, which account for most, or a total stranger.
I did take the time to read through your blog, definitely a lot of lessons can be learned through you! It is a shame to see some careers pushed forward when there are so many others who deserve credit. I am glad that myself and my fellow book bloggers can aid in getting the word out there!
Thank you again Michael for taking the time out of your busy schedule for this interview and also allowing me this opportunity. Best of luck with all your future novels!