Today I am trying something new – an interview. I would like to introduce a dear friend of mine, Michael Anthony, who will be releasing his debut novel My Best Friend, Death this Sunday, June 8th. It will be available on Amazon.com.
Mike has a wonderful talent to spin a story filled with colorful characters and an intricate plot that will take you on an amazing journey where you can never be sure where you will end up, and never wanting to get off. I’m honored he has agreed to allow me to showcase his story today.
Please see the book blurb following this interview for a peek inside the world of My Best Friend Death.
Let’s start with what inspired you to write this story. Where did you get your idea for MBFD?
This story was inspired by a short (short) story written by a good friend of mine. It was a single scene describing a cloak-and-scythe Death walking into the woods. He was depressed and brooding, so he sat on a rock, hoping the sounds of the forest would lift his spirits. Instead, out of fear of capturing is attention, all the woodland creatures fell silent.
That’s where the story ended.
It doesn’t sound like much of a read, but the language he used painted such an amazing picture, and it truly captured the way people misunderstand Death. His story stayed with me for a long, long time, and My Best Friend Death grew from the way his story made me feel.
As for where I get my ideas—Everywhere. To share a novel next in my queue, the idea for Black Market Baby came from a conversation with a co-worker about the cost of babies on the black market. Around the same time, Edward Snowden leaked the NSA documents (which I perused), thus a story about a baby sold on the black market and raised as a torturess was born.
What is your (least) favorite scene in MBFD?
My favorite scene would have to be the mudball fight between my main character and two supporting characters. That was by far the best scene to write. Having never been in a mudball fight personally, it was great to live out that experience with imaginary friends characters in my story.
Yes, all writers are a tad insane, but you already knew that.
I can’t really get into my least favorite scene to write because that would spoil it for my readers. Between you and me, it was the turning point for Josh. That’s all I’m saying.
MBFD isn’t the first story you’ve written. I’ve been fortunate to work with you on other projects and notice most of them have a dark or sad overtone. But your actual personality is nothing like that. In fact I would say it’s quite the opposite, so where does all this character angst and suffering stem from?
To answer truthfully, my life hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Though I’m young, I’ve walked through storms that would bring stronger men to their knees. But what I’ve learned over time is that strength, much like happiness, is a choice.
I write a lot of dark/sad novels so I can better portray the choice that every man, woman, and child must make—will I be strong and happy, or weak and miserable. I write novels that explore both paths in attempt to persuade the reader, through moral integrity and impropriety, that strength and happiness is paramount to leading a life worth living.
That’s a great approach to life. So if you were swept back in time and sitting in front of your computer ready to type the first words to MBFD, would you change anything that might have been too difficult to alter once finished with your MS? If so, what?
I don’t think I would change a thing. My Best Friend Death was 100% pantsed, yet it managed to come together in a way that surprised even me. I think that even the slightest change to the timeline would cause the story to spin off in such a manner that the ending wouldn’t be anywhere near as satisfying.
What do you want your readers to get from reading your books?
I want my readers to forget a meeting or train stop. I want them to put off something important so they can read just one more chapter, to stay lost in the worlds that I create. I want them to see the world as I see it—a great big beautiful place where magic and awe is just around the corner.
All in all, I want my reader to gain a sense of stillness peace in a world that can be so fast pace and erratic. If there is anything I want my books to do for reader, it’s that.
How did you get started in writing?
In high school, I had a crush on a budding novelist. I thought that if we shared the same interest, I’d have a better shot at wooing her. I didn’t get the girl, but I found my passion.
What other projects do you have in the works you would like to mention?
At the present moment, I’m working on an Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves retelling. It’s tentatively titled, The Thieves Guild. My goal is to publish it in the fall of 2014, but we’ll see how that goes. I’m also toying with the idea of publishing a post-apocalyptic series of short stories.
Thank you for taking some time out of your schedule. I know you’re very busy this time of year and congratulations on your release.
My Best Friend Death Blurb:
Damien Crown devotes his life to being his brother’s superman. Like all heroes, he’s locked in a deadly war with a formidable foe—his brother’s depression. Instead of perishing in a climactic battle as comics suggest, he dies at the screech of tires and the blare of a car horn. But in those last precious moments, he regrets not taking off the cape and living his own life.
But those regrets don’t last long when Death becomes his life-coach.
Given a new body and one more year to live, Damien seizes the opportunity to reinvent himself. Forbidden by Death from making contact with his old family, he knows the trek will be hard, but he’s happy to leave behind the pressures of his old life.
Until his brother attempts suicide.
Now, the only way to save his brother is to break Death’s rules. But with a life any kid would kill for, Damien finds himself stuck between who he was, and who he wants to be. He can don his cape and die for his brother, or hang it up and finally live for himself.
To find out more about Mike and his works please check out his social media sites:
Michael Anthony grew up in the suburbs of Virginia. As the middle child, everything requiring electricity or batteries was either hogged by the oldest or begged for by the youngest. All too familiar with boredom spawned from idle thumbs, he found adventure in the plethora of novels, encyclopedias, and maps found on the bookshelf. It was during his journey through those shelves that he discovered The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and The Giver by Lois Lowry.
From that day to this, Michael has had a love for great stories, fascinating characters, and travel. He hopes to see every corner of the world someday, and when he’s finished down here, he has his eyes set on the moon. He is currently studying history at a local college while he chases his dream of becoming one of the greatest writers of his age.