Today I am delighted to welcome Mike Tuggle, blogger at M.C. Tuggle, Writer and author. Mike’s latest book, The Genie Hunt, was published yesterday and is available to purchase on Amazon.com for e-readers. It’s a readable fantasy novella with some interesting views on society – make sure to check it out!
What is your book about?
My latest is The Genie Hunt, which Solstice Publishing will release in mid-May. Attorney Buddy Vuncannon and his old friend Coot Pickard are heading out of town for a fishing weekend when a SWAT team surrounds them. Eyewitnesses have identified Coot as the gunman in an armed robbery. Despite his doubts about his friend’s innocence, as well as his ability as a defense attorney, Buddy must somehow clear Coot of the charges. He uncovers a criminal conspiracy that not only controls a shape-shifting genie, but includes an old friend who drives a wedge between Buddy and Coot.
How did you come up with it?
The Genie Hunt punches many of my buttons, and it’s clear the same issues addressed in this book also trouble others. J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy echoes my anger at how the country’s business and political leaders have betrayed the heartland, and Michel Houellebecq’s Submission offers a thoughtful and darkly humorous reverie on the appeal of authoritarian ideologies in a faithless, aimless age. I hope readers will find that The Genie Hunt has something worthwhile to say, even though it is loaded with twists, laughs, and action. The great power of fantasy fiction is that it frees you to play with ideas and trends in ways ordinary fiction cannot.
How long did it take to write?
A month of research, three months of writing, and two months of re-writing.
What do you find is the best part of writing?
The beauty of writing is that once all the parts come together, they acquire their own velocity, that is, speed and direction, and begin pulling you along with it. The trick is to do the research, scratch out that first draft, listen to the story’s inner voices, and, like a tightrope walker, find that path between making and finding the story your characters and setting want to tell. Do those things, and you can create something with a life of its own.
What advice would you give unpublished and/or aspiring writers?
If you truly love discovering and crafting stories — and only you can answer that — then you must write. The act of writing will make you a writer, because you’ll teach yourself what works and what does not. There is no greater joy than reading a scene that grabs your heart, brings you to tears, or moves you to identify with a sympathetic character, and then remembering that you wrote that scene.
What did you learn most/surprised by in the process?
Even though I’ve developed and stick to a definite writing process I discovered over the years, each project takes on its own character. It’s exciting to realize you still have much to learn about yourself and your art, and that each story takes on its own dynamics in ways you could never predict.
What is your favourite book(s)? Has this influenced your novel?
Part of the challenge of writing is to conjure up sensory and emotional responses using words, which are nothing but abstractions. I could list influential books from a number of writers I enjoy. I’ll name Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and Mickey Spillane’s I, The Jury as favorites, not just for what they teach you about the possibilities of writing, but for the sheer joy of reading them.
What would surprise readers about you?
I do all the cooking in the house. And love it.
What have you got planned next?
I’m currently fleshing out a novel about a secret community that exists on the fringes of civilization. The protagonist resorts to trusted friends to determine if it’s evil or benevolent, and the answers he receives surprises and terrifies him. Should be ready for submission by late summer.
Make sure to take a look at Mike’s book! If you would like an interview to tie in with a book launch or something similar, please feel free to contact me.