Sunday, August 21, 2011

Michael R. Hicks

Michael R. Hicks was destined to become a genre writer. Born in 1963 Hicks spent his youth in Scottsdale Arizona where he was a voracious reader throughout elementary and high school, to the point that he was often admonished by his teachers to get his nose out of those books. He was also an avid fan of classic science fiction movies and television. His weekends were often spent with his grandparents where he would stay up until the wee hours, consuming the likes of The Abominable Doctor Phibes, The Blob, and Forbidden Planet. The youth filled his brain with images of aliens and spaceships until it could take no more. Then he began to write.

Mike drafted his In Her Name series (Empire, Confederation, and Final Battle) which at that time was actually a single work between 1991 and 1994. "The omnibus draft sat under my desk until 2008, when I took advantage of the eBook revolution and published it on the Amazon Kindle, receiving a delightful shock when people not only began buying it, but actually liked it." He calls writing his "enjoyable compulsion" and says that "hearing that readers enjoy what I write has been a true and treasured gift."

Mike spends as much time as he can traveling across the country with his wife and two stepsons, and writing.

Now Robby, do you understand the mechanism?

6 Questions with Michael R. Hicks:

1. What are your favorite and your least favorite words?
  "My favorite would probably be "australopithecus," and my least favorite is "but." I love australopithecus because when the boys were little and curious about learning new words, I used to try and get them to say that, and we'd all have a good laugh at the results. "But" is probably my least favorite because I tend to over-use it in my writing and it's been a hard habit to break."

2. What turns you on creatively, spiritually, emotionally?
  "Creative and, um, other turn-ons. Well, creatively speaking it would have to be red wine and dark chocolate. That gets my muse fired up, although she doesn't really understand why she can't have wine first thing in the morning. So we make do on that score with the chocolate. Spiritually, I don't know if it's a turn-on, but just the fact that my family and I have been so incredibly blessed in so many ways. We've got good health, great kids, and God saw fit to give me a gift of writing through which we're now making our financial way in the world. Sorta hard to beat that. And my emotional turn-ons, well, I'll keep those to myself!"

3. What turns you off creatively, spiritually, emotionally?
 "Creative turn-offs. Hmm. The biggest one is probably distraction, writ large. The muse gets very peeved if she can't concentrate (I'm just along for the ride). Spiritually, I'd say the biggest turn-off is hypocrisy, particularly people who wear their religion on their sleeves, but whose actions and words show something altogether different. Emotionally. Hmmm. I'll probably keep that to myself, too."

4. What is the closest you have ever come to giving up your craft?
  "I gave up on writing after finishing the draft of IN HER NAME back in 1994 and receiving the typical rejection notices. At the time, the only other publishing venue available was vanity press, where you have to pay someone to print your books (which then sit in your garage). So I didn't do anything more until 2007 when I learned about Kindle publishing and got the book ready, sending it out into the Kindle store in 2008. So that was a long, 14 year dry spell."

5. What is the strangest thing you have ever done while creating?
  "I'm not really sure I've done anything terribly strange. Maybe the closest is that I "spin" the story in my head just before I go to sleep. It's like watching a movie: I rewind a bit into what I've already written, then start playing it forward. I usually don't get to see much new stuff before I fall asleep, but in the morning my muse picks up the thread and off we go, writing again."

6. Assuming heaven exists, what would you like to hear God (or Allah or Yahweh or Odin. Generally the Supreme Being of your choice.) say when you check in at the pearly gates?
  "Someone else asked me this not long ago, and I'll give the same answer: "Welcome home, son!" 

Thanks Ryan! Hope you and the family are having a fantastic time right now, in what ever part of the country you're in! If you'd like to know more about Michael R. Hicks you can try his website, follow him on Twitter or check out some of his work over at Amazon.

Thanks for reading! Next time? How about comic artist extraordinaire Ryan Stegman!

Until then: PEACE!


  1. Great interview! Fascinating story, Michael :-)

  2. Thanks! and yes, Michael does have a fascinating story. One I would very much like to emulate!