Michael was born and raised in the Philadelphia area.
A graduate of Delaware County Community College (A.A.S. Electronics) and Widener University (B.S. Technical and Industrial Administration), Michael served in the Pa. Air National Guard as a weapons crew chief for 22 years participating in several Middle East tours before retiring.
Michael enjoys science fiction and old-time horror films.
When not working as a controls technician at a nearby power plant, he enjoys writing his screenplays and novels, while listening to various types of music.
Halloween is his favorite holiday and the fall is his favorite time of the year.
It goes way back to first grade in Catholic school. I had a nun who kept giving out writing assignments and challenged us to come up with interesting topics. Mine always tended to revolve around outer space and prehistoric monsters. I always wrote well but I got away from it in fourth grade. Much of my writing after that was technical due to the nature of my career. Then, while on a tour of duty in the Middle East, I was critiquing some books that a friend had. He suggested rather cynically that I should write my own story and see how well I do. Something about the darkness in the desert at night rekindled that fear of the unknown. That led me to write my first novel, Fractured Time.
What would you say is your interesting writing habit?
I seem to find interesting female characters for my stories. In Dark Horizon, Billy Brock becomes involved with a Goth type chic with an attitude. In The Eye of Icarus, Shanna is a sassy vixen who excels in throwing knives and making love. In Night Creeps, there’s Suzie, a hybrid mutant who seduces a variety of characters from hookers to federal agents. She creates her own inner circle of power from this pool of characters while she connives a plan to take over the world beginning with her own little town.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book(s)?
While doing an interview with Mona Miller on her radio show in LA, she pointed out to me that The Eye of Icarus from my Space Frontiers series really touches on morality and teens in a very effective manner. She felt it was the type of story that effectively brings awareness of consequences to teens in believable and compelling situations. I didn’t realize I went down that road when I wrote this (Space Frontiers) series. The lead characters, Will and Shanna who are 18 and 16, develop a hot romance that results in Shanna’s becoming pregnant. For two teens who are into wild adventures while racing about the universe, this presents quite a complication for them. The two are forced to mature much faster than they’d like as their responsibilities increase with each exciting mission.
What do you think makes a compelling story?
You need an interesting plot and characters that the readers can relate to. People read fiction for escapism and it’s up to us as readers to give them a ride they won’t forget. I want readers to love and hate my characters as well as to need to find out what happens to them. In The Eye of Icarus, Shanna is the young vixen that every guy dreams about. Will on the other hand, knows how to make things exciting. They have an inspiring and entertaining effect on their older friends.
Where did you get the idea for your Night Creeps story?
Oh, this was an interesting one. It actually came about as I spoke with friends and fans at the bars over several conventions. I always hear stories about how exes hate their formers and how rotten they are. One day, while speaking to an elderly man in Chicago, I heard the words that made the story click. “When I married my wife, she was an angel. Somewhere along the line she became a monster.” That set the wheels in motion for a bizarre story about disgruntled women and neglectful men. The story isn’t based toward either sex so anyone can get a thrill out of the characters.
What is the hardest part of writing?
I find that if I want to write effectively, I have to clear my mind of distractions and get into that “zone”. There’s no sense in writing if I’m not there because it’ll wind up getting erased. Once I get into that zone, I can go on forever. Everything flows naturally at that point.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
I would want to be either Billy Brock in the Fractured Time Trilogy or Will Saris in Space Frontiers. These two characters go through heaven and hell and they thrive on it.
What are you working on next?
I’m actively working on a revision to the Night Creeps screenplay which I’m excited about. I’m also outlining a potential sequel to the Night Creeps novel as well.
What author(s) have had an impact on your writing?
Laurel K. Hamilton and her Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.
Storm Constantine and her Wraetthu series.
Ms. Hamilton really knows how to give a character “arc”. After reading several of the books in her series, I really understood what it meant for a character to “develop” in a story.
Storm Constantine has a deep dark imagination for her characters and she’s very good at injecting any emotion into her characters at any time.
What other projects do you have going on?
What is the hardest obstacle you face as a writer today?
I find that it’s very difficult to build a fan base without spending lots of money on a good publicist. Even with a big publisher, it’s hard for a new writer to attract readers. I’ve been very effective to a point by attending conventions and I have developed a good fan base but it’s nowhere near what I want it to be.
What is the toughest thing that you’ve ever been told about your books?
Oddly enough, “I thought this book was great!” Just about everyone who reads my books swears by them. If I could bottle up that feeling and advertise it to other readers, I’d be the number one selling author in the world.
Do you write screenplays for all your books?
Thus far, I have. The Fractured Time Trilogy is my most interesting project for screenplays. There is a screenplay and a thirteen episode TV series for books one and two and a wild finally of a script for book three.
I think The Eye of Icarus is a great Star Trek type script but it would require a significant budget to make.
Night Creeps is the most promising because it can be done on a small budget. Perhaps that will open the door for the others.