More about Mike:
Q: Where were you born?
A: I was born in 1970, in Portland, Maine.
Q: Did you read as a child?
A: I read magazines and newspapers far more than books. It wasn't until I got into my 30's did I realize the magic of books.
Q: What was your childhood like?
A: I grew up in a great neighborhood. There were always friends around that would play anything from street hockey to flashlight tag. One of the greatest gifts I got was being encouraged to use my imagination.
Q: When did you start writing?
A: I never liked writing as a kid. I did the assignments I had to do in school, but I did not enjoy it. I started writing my first book in 2012, and I had a great time. I think that is because I could do whatever I wanted to with it. I was able to set my own guidelines.
Q: Do you find writing difficult?
A: I do. Like most things, the more I write the easier it gets. I do many re-writes and then I release it to the editor. They do a great job getting it ready to be published.
Q: Are there other types of books you want to write?
A: I think I will always write for middle school aged children. The next few books will be in the To Fly on a Cloud series. After that I may get into stories about issues that middle school aged kids have to deal with
Q: Do you have any goals when you write a book?
A: On a larger scale I just hope that the final draft is going to be something that the reader enjoys, as well as teaching them something. I also want to make sure that I represent each state properly. I don't want to leave anything out. Each region of the state needs to be included, with locations, food, music etc.
Q: Did your family influence your writing?
A: I had the idea for the book 20 years ago, but when I actually started writing I had 4 children. They definitely influenced my writing. Everything from the age range of my audience to the characters personalities. Each one of my kids will be a main character in a book, so they think that is pretty cool. I also like it when the give me suggestions that I can incorporate into my writing.
Q: How did you get the idea to do an educational book series?
A: For a long time I had the idea to do an education/adventure series, but I did not have a direction. One day I was outside and looked up in the sky to see a lonely cloud floating into the distance. From there the idea rapidly expanded into what is the final edition.
Q: Do you have a certain writing process?
A: I guess so. I first have to decide what state I want to write about, and then I do months of research on every aspect of the state. From all of the research, I can plan out what path Bandit will take. I then will do numerous drafts where I will take out material that I don't like and add new items that pop into my head as I am writing. It is not too complicated but that is what works best for me.
Q: Any advice for future authors?
A: I do get asked this question a lot and it makes me chuckle. I chuckle because I have so much more to learn that I feel like I shouldn't be giving advice. What I tell people is that anyone can be a writer. Just get your ideas down on paper (or computer). From this point there are so many people that can help you achieve your final goal. There will certainly be a part of the process that you will need to ask for help from someone. Be persistent, work hard and have fun.