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Michael G. Brown: Author Interview
© Cheryl Lynne Bradley 2008

The Avatar and the God: The Summoning at Google Books

The Avatar and The God: The Tormented and the Prisoner also at Google Books

Michael G. Brown - I told you he was unique!


Michael G. Brown is a unique voice and irreverent young talent from the Ottawa area. He is the creative force behind The Avatar and God series of fantasy fiction books. Completed works and works in progress are:

The Avatar and the God: The Summoning (Book 1)
The Avatar and the God: The Tormented and The Prisoner (Book 2)
The Avatar and the God: Division (Book 3)
The Avatar and the God: The Summoner (Book 4)
The Butcher of Bainsville (Fantasy / Murder Mystery)
The Ruined City of Teradune (Fantasy)
The Seadeep War: Prisoner (Book 1 Fantasy)
The Seadeep War: Betrayal (Book 2 Fantasy)
The Seadeep War: Kingdom of Kulgan (Book 3 Fantasy)
The Ramblings of a Mad Man (Philosophy)
War of the New God series (Fantasy)
The Dulgan War series (Fantasy)
A Necromancer's Diary: A Dead Heart (Fantasy)
The Masters series (Fantasy)
The Elemental Wizard series (Fantasy)
Prophus: Resurrection (Fantasy)

*Some titles may be subject to change.

You can find Michael's books available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, Borders,, Elounge and other sites or stores. The Second Time Around Bookstore, located in Alexandria, Ontario carries Michael's books and is a strong supporter of his obvious talent.

Just follow the 34 (Main Street) North and pass the first set of lights. Pass the Alexandria restaurant, town hall, and you'll see the Bank of Montreal on the right. Just across from that parking lot, on the left, is the book store.


Cheryl: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Michael: A dear friend of mine, Henry Beissel, a fellow author, a poet, an ex-language professor, and an activist in almost every way about life, mainly for equality and liberty.


Cheryl: What book are you reading now?

Michael: Right now it would be the Wrath of a Mad God by Raymond E. Feist


Cheryl: What are your current projects?

Michael: Currently I am in the process of finishing The Avatar and The God: Division and dabbling into the fourth of the series, The Avatar and The God: The Summoner.


Cheryl: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Michael: Well, had it not been in the middle of a series, I would gladly give you some insight into the storyline, but I don't wish to ruin anything for my avid readers. I will say that the third book, T.A.A.T.G.: Division has a lot more battle scenes with sea serpents, satyrs, raiders on the open seas, dark elves, demons, ghosts, wizards and so on. I have been writing about a city of magicians and a haunted ghost town, filled with dark secrets.


Cheryl: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Michael: I would have to say that besides my family and my friends (whom I consider family) it would be Gale of the Second Time Around bookstore in Alexandria. She was very excited when she found out that I began publishing novels and helped by selling and advertising them in her store. She has encouraged me many of times by saying things like, "I can see you become a household name like Stephen King."


Cheryl: What does your family think of your writing?

Michael: Unfortunately, my father had passed away before it was published but he did say that he was very proud of me while I was reviewing the galleys and cover art proofs of my first book. My sister loves my work and promotes it to her friends and colleagues. My wife had read everything before anyone else and continues to encourage and inspire me in my work.


Cheryl: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Michael: To tell you the truth, I have very little time to write during the day. With the TV on, me doing house chores, yard work, and helping my wife with our son, there are plenty of distractions that prevent my mind from focusing on my work. I work seasonally at a local factory so my best time is during the winter when all is quiet and that's usually from 11:00 in the evening until around 4:00 at night. After each book is complete, I usually take the time to reread them and edit them accordingly before sending the material to my editors. The inside illustrations and photography for the cover are usually done whenever I have free time. I enjoy drawing and photo editing, but what had really got me excited was being able to pound out steel in my workshop to create props for the photos such as the full helmet displayed on the third book cover and the golden crown on the forth. I am hoping to one day build a smithing forge to create swords and armors.


Cheryl: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Michael: Much like a mystery novelist, I enjoy twisting the storyline in an almost unpredictable manner, but I do give hints as to what I am about to do, so that when the plot takes an unexpected turn, the reader can truly say, "Oh! That's what that was." I try to keep the hints directly related to what I am about to do, but at the same time, leave it open to other possibilities. My most predominant quirk would be exploiting the unfairness of reality. An example: A loving husband and father of three, with one more on the way, may save the lives of two complete strangers before making his way home, but ends up being killed randomly just as an introduction to the scene where a few of the main characters come in fighting. It's cruel and unfair, but it's life. Not every hero lives to tell his tale.


Cheryl: Do you have a specific writing style?

Michael: The genre of writing will always be fiction whether it's fantasy, crime novels (as in The Butcher of Bainsville) or short stories. In each novel, I try to add mystery and suspense, while educating the readers about the dark ages and the methods one would have used to accomplish different tasks such as smithing, fletching, tanning, etc. When it comes to the conversations and interactions between main characters and those I refer to as NPCs, I try to keep it real. The banter between characters is much the same as the banter between myself and my friends. The though processes and rationalizing has been limited to that of those living in the dark ages.


Cheryl: When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Michael: My first book, The Avatar and The God: The Summoning was written when I was 26 which was in the winter of 2006/2007.


Cheryl: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Michael: Truth be told, When I was 23, I began to reading Raymond E. Feist, author of the Riftwar Saga, and then I jumped onto Stephen King and his Dark Tower saga. I was impressed with both of their story telling abilities and when I finished reading The Dark Tower I decided that if a man with such a rambling style of writing like King could do it, so could I. That was when I began to write.


Cheryl: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Michael: Well, besides being in the company of my wife, son and friends, I enjoy playing RPG computer games (a rare commodity lately), wood working, carpentry, learning mechanics, drawing, repairing other peoples computers and watching movies.


Cheryl: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Michael: One of the most surprising things wasn't with the actual writing but the publishing. I have been trying to find a good literary agent that will promote my book and find a larger publisher, but the ones that I ran into wanted to edit my work, transforming it into something I didn't recognize for an absurd amount of money. Two NYC publishers were interested but it wasn't my work so I dropped out of it. If another publisher wants to pick up my work, it will be mine, not a twisted unrecognizable version of it. What I really learned was how hard it is to get published and advertised and how many scam artists are waiting for gullible writers that they can promise fame to simply steal their money. Ever since the 5 year energy price protections plan scams had started, I've been watching out for other scams. To all writers out there, I must say, "read the fine print first."


Cheryl: How did you come up with the title?

Michael: The Avatar and The God series title was something I debated on for a long time, but to give the reason for my decision might give away the main plot. The titles of the four books were quite simple really. The Summoning was simply because of the king's summoning of talent to his court that started off the whole story. The Tormented and The Prisoner was decided upon because there are two evil beings in the book, one who was tormented with a broken heart and another who was a prisoner for eons. Division was not so symbolic. It was so named because of an event and a spell. The fourth book was named The Summoner because of the king. To say anymore would be to give away more storyline. Sorry.


Cheryl: Who designed the covers?

Michael: I actually designed the covers by using props and computer editing I was able to make my face appear to be that of an undead for the first cover and using some condiments from the fridge and some color varying was able to make my hand appear full of blood on the second cover. The other hand simply had a chain around the wrist to symbolize imprisonment. I will give away my secret though. I used three programs to edit the photos, Microsoft Paint, Irfan View and Gimp for Linux. On the second cover, I simply placed my hands over a black cookie sheet to easily black out the background and avoid spilling the syrup mixture (blood) on the kitchen table.

Covers of The Summoning and The Tormented and The Prisoner

Cheryl: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Michael: The hardest part would definitely be the forcing myself to write the connectors, the paragraphs that simply advanced the storyline but wasn't very exciting to write. I often found myself skipping ahead to write something else that was phenomenally more enticing and challenging.


Cheryl: What do you see as the influences on your writing?

Michael: Movies and interesting research on the internet. When I watch movies like Troy or Braveheart, I think to myself, "I have to write about those sorts of equipment that they used back then or about those building structures."Pirates of the Caribbean helped my with much of the seafarer's lingo in the third book but also inspired me to learn about pirates, their customs and their ships. Those war movies and especially 300 made me want to write the battle scenes in a way that one could picture the book as a movie.


Cheryl: What books have most influenced your life most?

Michael: I think Lord of the Rings and that sort have influenced me drastically. I am in love with those eras that they are based off of. The days when men were men and honor meant more to one than luxuries and gold. The days where no one whined about what their neighbor was doing. I would give anything to wash away the "unnecessities" of our time and go back to innocence, living off the land and working not to make someone else richer, but to provide and protect one's own family. Unfortunately since I have not the means to rid the world of governments and greed, I will live in it with my set of morals and code of honor as so conveyed through these books. I have no love for the money I earn nor for the things I possess. They are simply toys.


Cheryl: How has your environment/upbringing coloured your writing?

Michael: Definitely. I try to write about and impart certain lessons that I had learned when I was young and hopefully others will grasp as they read. So many different aspects of my upbringing has been put into my novels, such as my fathers teachings and the tainted lies that I had to endure in school. In one part I had described how in some parts of my world, healers would charge insane amounts of money to cure someone of their ailments after making them wait for hours while the healers sat together and gossiped. This was based on every single time I went to the hospitals in my area. There are so many things wrong with the world we live in, I decided to exploit them in my books and hopefully inspire others to help make changes.


Cheryl: Do you see writing as a career?

Michael: I want to. I will struggle to make it and fight my way into the market, to entertain and educate. I hope that one day I can write as a famous author and hear how my words had affected someone's life in a good way. I have become very tired of working in places where common sense is unheard off. I want to be able to be my own boss doing what I love to do, entertain.


Cheryl: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Michael: Nothing. When I write, I see the movie in my head and I describe it as best I can so that the reader can see it too. If there was an uncaught spelling mistake, I would have it corrected, but nothing else. :)


Cheryl: What genre are you most comfortable writing?

Michael: Fantasy fiction. Immerse me in the world I have created or in the world of Blizzard's Diablo, D&D, or Feist and I will leave you all until I can no longer hold my feet upon the blood soaked battlefields or on the floors of some dark demon-filled labyrinth lost and forgotten. Let me run my hands across the lush green grass in the fields outside of Neverwinter or let me sally forth into the awaiting army hordes with my fellow warriors beside me to welcome death with the ring of my sword in a Forgotten Realms story. May I stand in awe as a flight of dragons soar across the sky overhead or stand in shock as an army of orcs run through my village, pillaging and burning it to the ground. These are the moments I yearn for. This is what I write about.


Cheryl: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Michael: Many, but some may cause them to hate and despise me. Foremost, live your life with honor as your guide. Vengeance and spite may become an obsession; let it go. Vanity is a sin. Ignorance is bliss. I could go on forever. Though some may be subtle, the messages are there, either as an example that the reader must learn from or a one line phrase, find them.


Cheryl: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Michael: Lots. I avoid exploiting the tragedies of others but my own are up for grabs. Some of the jokes and banter in the books are based off the conversations or experiences that I have shared with my friends or wife. The best ideas start from home.


Cheryl: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Michael: Well, other than learning different techniques or words that help me to better present my story, I would have to say that the research was very interesting. I think that I have learned almost every single torture method used throughout history, some by the catholics during the witch trials and inquisition, others by the romans, greeks, and so on. I even learned the different methods of turning skin to rawhide or to leather, fighting techniques, combat strategies, the biology of the human body, etc...Researching facts to better describe the story was a great learning experience and I am still researching as I write.


Cheryl: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Michael: Start small and write about what interests you he most, not what you think will sell. If you get stuck, move on. You can always go back later and continue or rewrite. Take your time and do the research. One can't write about something they know nothing about.


Cheryl: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Michael: Enjoy. There is a lot more to come. Spread the word and hopefully others will enjoy my work just as much. If nothing, I have at least had the opportunity to realize a dream and I thank you all for helping me do so, with your support.


Cheryl: Tell us your latest news

Michael: I have no concrete news as of yet, but I am going to say that the third book of the series, The Avatar and The God: Division, should be out during this summer (2008). Enjoy.

You can also download and read the first draft of The Avatar and the God: The Summoning in pdf format by clicking Here (9.34 MB).



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