Pull up a chair beautiful people and join us for a chat with the illustrious 80smetalman!
Michael, you’ve written two books (Rock and Roll Children followed by He Was Weird) and have a third in progress. The subject matters are distinct. Do you write what you’re most passionate about or does something else motivate you?
The first two books were definitely born out of passion. When I wrote Rock and Roll Children, I wanted people to know that the 1980s was the golden age of heavy metal. He Was Weird was inspired by the three years of bullying hell I suffered between the ages of 10 and 13. The new book is inspired by perceptions of law and crime in the media.
How long did you spend researching before writing Rock and Roll Children?
I wrote from my own memories and experiences. However, I wanted to maintain historical accuracy so I made sure that albums and certain events corresponded to the time frame in the story. Looking back, while I still believe that historical accuracy is very important, I wouldn’t be so anal about it and use a bit more creative license.
Does He Was Weird have connections to Rock and Roll Children?
He Was Weird is about a boy who gets so badly bullied that he responds in a very American way. The only link to metal is that after the boy shoots up his school some people try to blame Marilyn Manson and music.
How did you cope during the years you were bullied?
I became more withdrawn and began creating more and more fantasy worlds. The concept of reality was becoming blurred and if I hadn’t moved out of that town when I did, I don’t know what might have happened.
Has your experience being bullied influenced who you are as an adult?
I think it does for most people. Every time I read about a school shooting, the first thought that pops into my head is “This could have been me.”
Have you discovered anything about yourself as a result of writing your books?
Writing them helped me to get my past into perspective and move on. I feel that writing my first two books were a big release.
What is your third book about (your work-in-progress)?
People who are let down by the justice system go out and form a vigilante group.
What is the biggest challenge you currently face writing your third book?
Like with all my books, keeping focused. One thing that is different and keeps me going is I publish parts of the new book as short stories on my page on the Author’s Den website.
Does being a teacher make you a better writer?
Yes and no. Being a teacher means that I have had the rules of writing pounded into my head, and I have also pounded those rules into the heads of younger minds. Sometimes when writing, you have to bend the rules a little and as a teacher, that’s sometimes difficult to remember.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
It’s a cliché but it’s true, don’t give up! Whatever you write doesn’t have to be good in the eyes of the world, it just has to be in yours.
You’re also an active blogger. What do you like best about blogging?
Getting my thoughts and experiences out for all to see and the fact that there are many more people like me than I originally thought. I see that the rock/heavy metal bloggers have become a community and that’s a good thing. Now I have become a part of a much wider community which includes yourself and I like that.
What advice do you have for new and experienced bloggers?
Keep at it. If you are new, there’s someone who will eventually read your posts and for the experienced bloggers, some people will actually miss you if you stop posting.