Blog Archives

Authors You Should Be Reading: Michell Plested

mplested

Michell Plested is a shady character capable of unscrupulous behavior.  He’s been known to darken the door step of many an unsuspecting host. On his best behavior he may be found digging in your back yard convinced he’ll locate a secret tunnel to China. At his worst…. wait a minute. I’ve got the wrong Michell Plested.  Pardon me. Let me make sure I’ve got my facts right.

Oh, there’s another Michell Plested. Pfft. Silly me. Let me start over.

The Short:

Michell Plested is an author a number of books including the podcast novel GalaxyBillies, The YA super hero novel, Mik Murdoch(no relation),  the Action Pack adventure Boyscouts of the Apocalypse,(also over at Wattpad) and is currently looking for a home for his colaborative work, Jack Kane and the Statue of Liberty. The last story he penned with that mighty, mighty author, J.R. Murdock (why does that name sound so familiar?) He’s also edited an excellent anthology with an abundance of great authors (such as that J.R. Murdock fellow again) entitled A Method to the Madness: A guide to the super evil (That’s quite a mouthful for a book, isn’t it? You’ve seen the cover on the main page, right? You ran out and bought a copy, right? You didn’t? Why? Go now! BUY BUY BUY this book!) He also has a bi-weekly podcast, Get Published, where he interviews

The Long:

Michell Plested, a close, personal friend of mine, was discovered on the shores of California in 79 A.D. covered in seaweed and struggling for life. Oh, wait, wrong Mike again. He was actually born in the Great White North (where he currently resides) and is married to a beautiful woman and has two wonderful children he loans out on weekend (wait, no he doesn’t).

Mike had been writing for some time and wanted to become a published author so he could be on easy street and line his pockets with hundreds. So he started a podcast, Get Published, to get his name out there. He’s not missed a show in 17 years (wait that’s not right, how about he started in January 2009 and you do the math?). He’s interviewed professional in publishing including editors, agents, publishers, authors, and everyone in between. He’s been nominated nearly every year (could be every year, I don’t know) for the Par Sec awards and has always lost (don’t want to see him break that perfect record or anything).

During his podcasting of Get Published, he had delusions of grandeur and decided it would be a good idea to podcast a novel AS HE WROTE IT! What Madness that was, let me tell you. Insanity at its highest form! But podcast  GalaxyBillies he did and it was a lot of fun to listen to.

Someone (well call this someone Dan Dan the Art Man) suggested on Twitter that Mike and I should write a book together. Sheesh. Talk about insanity. Well, the two of us thought it was nuts and went for it anyways. We came up with Jack Kane and the statue of Liberty and it’s currently been through a few rounds of editing and is currently in the hands of another publisher. We’ve already plotted a second novel in the series as we had so much fun losing our minds doing a collaborative work once, why not suffer through the pain twice, right?

The Mike decided he’d work with another person (cheater!) and joined forces with Jeff Hite (I’m sure I’ll talk about him at some point so I’m not going to link to him from here. This is all about Mike after all. Why do you think I didn’t like to Dan Dan the Art Man? pfft. Just read and quit questioning what I’m linking to). Mike and Jeff came up with the idea of putting together an anthology. The opened it up to submissions and put together A Method to the Madness: A guide to the super evil. Why come up with a short name when you can come up with a long name, right? I mean, it is catchy and just rolls off the tongue, right? <sigh>.  They got about 1500 submissions (or 10, like I know. I wasn’t part of the assembly process, I just sent in a story like any other writer).  The anthology was a rousing success! They managed to get just enough submissions to fill a book!

BUT!

During this time, Mike had Mik Murdoch: Boy Superhero picked up by a publisher (5 Rivers) and was now doubly busy. He managed to put Jack Kane on the back burner as he was far too busy to deal with our book (I’m not pouting. DON’T LOOK AT ME! at least my name was in the title, sort of, wait… what’s kind of weird, isn’t it? Why did I just now notice that. Hmmm… Mike, you’re weird, #justsaying). So he got his book out and 5 Rivers (they used to be 4 rivers, but 4 rivers doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as 5 rivers) and they decided to also take on his anthology (I wonder why they didn’t make the title to A Method to the Madness: A guide to the super evil a longer title, I mean, at least another two or three subtitles or something).

So during a short period of time Mike went from an unpublished slacker to an author with a writing credit and an editing credit under his belt. And what about Jack Kane? Huh? What about it? DON’T LOOK AT ME!

His success has catapulted him to the ranks of authors like…uh… what authors have actually sold a negative numbers of books? Anyway, he’s got a couple books out there. Good job. I’m proud of you, no really. Don’t worry about us little people.

Once he was done with all this great success, he decided that he’d throw me a bone and he and I (Along with Scott Roche, more on this slacker later) started the Action Pack Podcast.  (Later as in another post). There was Boyscouts of the Apocalypse,(also over at Wattpad), Golden West by J.R. Murdock (Hey! I know him!) and … uh.. Scott’s story… The house of the Planet from out there? Planet Express? My Planet looks like a banana? Oh, let me look it up, hold on…here it is! Invasion From The Hidden Planet. (No, really, I’ll talk about Scott on another post, quit bugging me about it. Seriously.)

So Mike and I spent a year writing and podcasting our stories (Scott, not quite a year, but that’s a story for another post, really, it deserves its own post. You’ll enjoy that story. Seriously. I’m not putting it here.)

Mike, still a close, personal friend of mine despite his attempts to leave me behind, went to some cons and got some interest in Jack Kane. It went to one publisher that eventually passed and is now on the desk of another. We have high hopes for this one and one day hope it’ll see print. In the mean time, he’s busy working on a new story for the Action Pack Podcast, a sequel to Mik Murdoch, probably another anthology with someone else (cheater! I’m not bitter, really. DON’T LOOK AT ME!) and I’m sure he’ll forget about Jack again and write another book and make a million dollars while I dwell in self-publishing squalor. But hey, that’s how it goes, right?

So there you have it. Michell Plested’s quest to fame and greatness. He’s got some good stuff worth your reading. I hope you take some time to read his work even if he is a two-timing author who can’t focus on one project at a time and see it through to fruition before jumping ship to the next big shiny project leaving his co-author behind while he has fun playing in another sandbox.

I’ve linked all over the place to his work. Buy his books, read him on Wattpad, avoid his anthology (unless you really need a book with an extra long title), and listen to his podcasts. If you like anything I’ve written, you’ll hate his even more and that’ll make me feel better! So stop reading my stuff and go read his stuff. By comparison I’m fricken Hemingway. But hey, not everyone likes filet mignon when they can have a hamburger.

mmmmm Hamburgers. I think I know what I need to go do now. You should be out buying books!

Until Next Time!

WOO WOO!

Advertisements

Super Evil Strikes Back!

Perhaps you’ve heard that Mike Plested has been kidnapped, along with his entire family by the despicable villain, Lord Aquarius. What has he done wrong other than to write the book Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero and edit the wicked compendium A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil? I think that trying to mix oil and water are bad enough, but trying to produce a superhero tome along with a Super Evil guide as well? He has gone too far!

As an interviewer of the SuperEvil (you can find my interview with Dr. Nefarious in this forthcoming tome) I can say this delights me to no end. I had thought that the SuperEvil of this town had gone soft. It’s not often in this line of work you get to see the Super Evil actually pull one off. If we’re lucky, Mr. Plested has not completed his editing work. I would hate to see this compendium of Evil Knowledge fall into the wrong hands (those of superheroes!). The interviews I have performed were never intended for their eyes. If you happen to see this book out in the wild, make sure to buy it, read it, and burn it before it can fall into the hands of heroes like Mik Murdoch! (no relation to this interviewer. See, his name ends in an H, mine ends in a K! K for EVIL!)

Hopefully in the near future I will be able to get a hold of Lord Aquarius to see what his plans are with the offensive Plested. I’m sure whatever his dastardly plans are, they will not go far enough! Stay tuned! I will be back with more on this topic in future posts!

J.R. Murdock – Interviewer of the Super Evil!

Book Review: Mik Murdoch by Mike Plested (available from Five Rivers Publishing August 1, 2012)

Growing up as a kid in the backwoods of Minnesota I spent a great deal of time dreaming of what I would do if I had super powers. I had read a lot of comics and knew a lot of different super heroes. I spent a lot of time staring down a tree trying to bend it to my will. I never succeeded. I jumped off a lot of things in an effort to fly. I’m lucky that I never broke anything. I held my breath for what felt like hours and it turned out to only be seconds. I found tools and old objects in the ‘dump’ we had in our back yard.

The ‘dump’ was a large hole in the ground that we were trying to fill in so people would ‘dump’ all sorts of things back there. A lot of broken lumber, old cars, appliances, trees. It was great fun to explore as the pile changed all the time. My brother and I had built a tree house from scraps, put knobs and dials on the walls. Constructed our own contraptions that did many different things.

What I’m saying here is Mike has written a book that really hit home for me.

As a Reader: Mik, for me, is a typical boy. One who is not content with just being a boy. He wants to do more and be more than he is. He tries hard and when bullies knock him down he gets right back up. When he runs into a problem he can’t solve, he tries to gain super powers to over come them. That’s just like any eight-year-old I know. Through trial and error Mik succeeds in failing in many interesting ways. Along the way he’s bullied by a girl and her dog, a glowing turkey, and continues to work hard along the way.

This book is intended for middle-school to young adult and it’s a fun story. It’s told in a series of events throughout the school year and each has Mik working hard to resolve the problem or situation at hand. Not the least of which is keeping his superhero secret identity from his parents. Mike Plested does a great job with building Mik up, giving him challenges that he must think his way through, and work hard to overcome. Not everything he does is successful and Mik learns through trial and error.

As a Writer: When I got through the first half of this book, I had thought the story telling was a little bumpy in spots and I had gotten into the meat of the story. What I discovered was this wasn’t just one story, but multiple stories all wrapped into one. I loved the way Mik went through all his attempts trying to discover how to achieve his own super powers and always had to come to a solution that made sense and fit within the reality of the story.

Mik’s growth from frustrated kid trying to gain super powers to a boy moderately satisfied with accomplishing tasks within his own means is a fun growth arc. For the most part Mik is left to his own devices though there are times when his parents intervene on his behalf and that helps to add to the realism of his growth. The adults are not clueless, but don’t pry too much which gives Mik freedom to do what needs to be done to work on achieving his dream.

Recommendation: Mik Murdoch is intended for a younger audience. Knowing that going in will allow older readers to enjoy this story. Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, it’ll make great reading for your middle schooler or young adult reader. A fun journey of a young boy and his dog (Krypto). From what I can tell we’re not done with Mik. Or at least we can hope we’ll see more. This is only the start of great things to come from Mr. Plested. I’m glad to say I was there from the start.

Daily Update: Back to the grind

Today after a long weekend I’ve got the nose to the old grindstone.

I say that, but I do love my job. Obviously my dream job would be to sit around all day writing the words I want to write instead of the ones that make me money, but I still love my job. Writing code is still a creative outlet. Writing documentation and requirements, well, I can do it even if it’s dull work. At least I’m sitting inside on the computer and I can get up and grab something from the fridge when I want it.

Do you want to know what my favorite part of this weekend was? I’m sure you do. It was taking a picture of couple of ducks.

NO! Wait.It was my favorite daughter learning to ride a bike. Mostly riding a bike.

When I was a kid and I wanted to go somewhere, I didn’t ask Mom or Dad “Hey, can you take me over there?” They had their own things to do and as a boy I was left to my own devices if I wanted to go somewhere. If I walked it could take a painfully long time to get from point A to point B. So if I didn’t want to walk somewhere, I had to learn how to ride a bike. It was a powerful motivator for me. Living in the sticks like I did meant everything was a good distance away and to get there took a good deal of time on foot. So I learned how to ride a bike.

My favorite daughter never had that motivation because we drove her to school, drove her to her friend’s parties or she got picked up. We live in the city and even though it’d be a short bike ride, it’s in the city. I’m not a fan of my favorite daughter out there on the road where some driver not paying attention could run her down. Call me over protective, but I’ve seen too many bad drivers.

It wasn’t from lack of trying. We used to spend a lot more time camping and she did have a bike with training wheels, but where we camped it was just as easy to bike as it was to walk. Again, not a lot of motivation.

This weekend was different. We’d bought her the bike some time ago and she’d been on it a couple of times, but never for very long and she never really got the hang of it. So I took her out bike riding and had her run with her legs down and balance. Then put one foot on the pedals. Then two feet. Just coasting, not pedaling. She knew she had to pedal so she started doing that on her own. Sure it took the better part of a day and we started and stopped many times, but she got the hang of it enough that the next time her friends said “Hey! Let’s go ride bikes” She was able to go with.

It was a proud dad moment, that’s for sure.

In other news, I’ll be writing like a madman again this week.

In even more news, I interviewed Mike Plested about his book, Mik Murdoch. Check out the interview here.

I’m off to go find more pictures of ducks.

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!

Daily Update: I won a book!

Every once in a while (probably more than I know) Tor.com gives away books. Entry is usually quite simple. Email them your address, they’ll mail you a book. I’m not a lucky person so I do the steps needed and never think about it again.

Well, this time Mr. Murdock was lucky! I went here: http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/04/broken-universe-sweepstakes, and I’ll be getting a copy of the book before it goes on sale! Yesterday I talked about waiting for stuff to show up in the mail. Well, here’s something else in the mail for me. WOO WOO! Excitement is mine.

If you haven’t already done so, Nightshade books is having a half off sale. They’ve got a TON of books out there. I met them at WFC2011 and they’ve got a great collection of books, authors, and anthologies. I mean, come on, 50% off! How often do you see that happen? Plus, if you buy four books you’ll be entered into a drawing. What are you waiting for? GO!

Ok, you can finish reading this first.

Yesterday I was on FIRE! Maybe not litereally, but I got my blog post out and I hit my word count goal (now for fiction only). I put down around 2500 words. Hopefully I’ll do the same thing again today. We’ll see how it goes. My favorite daughter wants to go see her friend run in a track meet and then she has practice. I’d like to get a little walking in again today.

Did I mention I’m walking again? Not as fast and furious as last time, but I am walking and it feels great. My brain wants to run, but I know if I do I’ll end up hurt once again. Don’t need that happening. Slow and steady until I’m ready.

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences is dropping stories. Be sure you’re subscribed over at http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/ and check amazon on occasion. I will try to drop links where I can.

Like this

http://www.cynicalwoman.com/2012/04/19/published-hanumans-gift-by-helen-e-h-madden/

And this

http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/

So go buy a story, enjoy. And don’t worry, I’ll let you know when mine is out there. I’m excited to know what Tee does for a cover. He’s been doing all these covers and they all look great. I’ll just have to wait and see.

I’m waffling. I haven’t waffled in a long time. I know I want to write Of Gnomes and Dwarves. But I’d also like to do the sequel to V&A Shipping. I’m torn. I love both universes. I think I’ll be putting To Fall From the Sky in a desk drawer somewhere and revisit it later. Of course I need to finish My Teacher is a Werewolf first and get that one out there into the wilds of the world. I think I’m driving myself nuts with so many writing projects. Changing my daily goal to be a fiction goal really lit a fire under me to start producing more fiction. I want to get back into my two favorite universes and the only thing stopping me is me.

I also need to get Jack Kane over to my co-author Mike Plested. Oh, and I need to write up a guest post for him. He’s got a book coming out and I’ll post all over about that as soon as it arrives. I mean, it’s Mik Murdoch (with an h, not a k so he’s not related to me so stop asking).

This post was a very random collection of thoughts. Gee, I should write stuff down. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is how my mind works. 🙂

Until Tomorrow!

WOO WOO!