Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Sir Michael Spotlight

As a male, Sir Michael is a stranger in the strange land of romance publishing, but has that stopped him? Absolutely not. He began writing what he thought was a short story back in 2000 and ended up with a full-length novel, Butterfly Passions, coming from Mardi Gras Publishing on September 30. Drawing on his Scandinavian ancestry, he has woven a tale about a Norse prince and a Celtic peasant girl. Read on if you'd like to find out more about one of the few male romance writers today.

Share with me how you came up with the ideas for Butterfly Passions.

Well for one, I'm of Swedish and Irish decent. So when I decided to write it, I wanted to blend both of my ancestries together. I've always been somewhat of a romantic man. I truly have a great respect for women and I enjoy making them feel special in whatever way I can.

Which authors have influenced you?

This is a tough one. Before I wrote Butterfly Passions, I had never read a single romance. I wanted everything [in my book] to be my own ideas and style and didn't want to try and imitate another author. I enjoy reading Tom Clancy. I think I took some influence from him in creating the conflict between the hero and heroine. In one of his books, Without Remorse, the hero is an ex-Navy SEAL. He is very loving and tender with the woman he loves and is equally ruthless with those trying to hurt her.

I notice your book involves Norse mythology, a subject which fascinated me when I was a teen. What drew you to this? Are you Norwegian?

Actually Swede. My great-grandmother immigrated to the United States from Sweden.

What has been the most difficult part of writing for you?

Trying to come up with ideas to keep it moving. There's nothing I hate worse than a book that drags in places. Also, trying to research the traditions of the time. Some information was fairly easy to find, some things weren't. There were a few times I took some poetic license and used things I knew were innacurate for the sake of the story, nothing major that had any overall affect though.

I hear that you’re a romantic man. What is the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?

Yes I am. As I said, I truly enjoy making a woman feel special. Once, not long after we were married, I set something up for my wife. When she opened the door, there was a trail of red rose petals leading from the front door to the bathroom. I had a warm bubble bath drawn, a glass of wine and some candles. I bathed her while she sipped on the wine and relaxed. She was in heaven. When she pulled back the blankets on the bed (right after the bath) the mattress was covered in red rose petals as well. Beyond that...use your imagination.

Sir Michael is obviously a pen name. What is the meaning behind it?

I'm a member of group of romance writers group called RomanceDivas. All the ladies in the group have various "diva" names, but the few men are just "diva-dudes." I said I wanted to be a diva knight or something, so they made me Sir Michael, Knighted Diva Dude of the Romance Table. When my publisher heard about it, she thought it would make a great pen name, so I decided to go with it. Thus far, the response has been VERY positive.

If you were a car, what would you be? Why?

Hmmm... probably a race car on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit. I love stock car racing. Drive fast, turn left... I made a deal with my wife that if I sell enough books, I can go through the Richard Petty Driving Experience and drive an actual Cup car on one of the same tracks they race one. It costs about $1,000 so I need to sell a LOT of books!!

I know you love to cook like I do. Share a simple recipe with us.

One of my favorites, and one I can truly call my own, is for my chili. Everyone makes it a little different, here is how I do mine.

2-12 oz. cans of beer
2 lbs. (+/-) roast
5 cans chili beans- I usually use Bush's (NOT kidney beans- chili beans)
3 can diced tomatoes (standard size cans, not the big ones)
1 lg. white or yellow onion, diced
2 small cans diced green chilis
about 1/2 cup chili powder (just plain chili powder, not "chili seasoning mix")
optional- jalapeno peppers to taste.

Pour 1 can of beer into a large pot, big enough to hold everything.
gradually pour the 2nd beer into the cook during the preparation process
Cut the roast into 1 inch cubes. cut away as much fat as possible. Brown in a skillet, just long enough to sear the meat. You may need to add a little oil to keep it from sticking. I like using olive oil for this. Put the meat, along with all the other ingredients into the pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for at least an hour.
Finish the beer.. grab another if you want.

What would your “I’d rather be…” bumper sticker say?

Either "driving a race car" or "jumping out of an airplane." Both are things I'd love to do.

Tell me about your work-in-progress.

I have two rough drafts completed, Love's Redemption and Red River Romance. Plus, I have another one I'm just starting on, currently just called WIP4

Love's Redemption begins in the 9th century. A group of Vikings are spending the summer raiding villages, killing, raping and plundering. The entire crew is killed by a Celtic spirit, with the exception of Arne, their leader, who is stranded on a deserted island. A curse is placed on him causing him to lose the sense of smell, touch, and taste. He is made immortal and has 1,000 years to break the curse. To break it, he must find a woman that is a descendant of the last village he raided, win her love, and marry she must be a virgin when they marry.

In Red River Romance, Bruce is a pro-football player who graduated from Oklahoma. In the off season, he is also a nurse. Samantha is an orthpaedic resident that graduated from Texas, the arch rival of Oklahoma. Fate continues to bring these two together, in spite of their efforts to stay apart. Fate eventually wins out as the two rivals become lovers.

I'd like to thank Sir Michael for agreeing to be in my spotlight and I hope he enjoyed himself. You can find out more about him and his books at his website, or join his Yahoo group. Oh, and buy his book when it comes out on September 30th!


Blogger Kristen Painter said...

Very cool interview!

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Toni Sue said...

Yay Sir Michael! I know that I speak for most of the divas when I say how very proud we are of you!

11:54 AM  

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