This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael Jordan will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
What are some great books you’ve read recently?
Boys in the Boat and All the Light We Cannot See
What are you working on now? Any chance of a sequel?
Many readers have requested one, and my wife wants a sequel, so there will be a sequel! I have another courtroom thriller in mind and think that John Coleman, the protagonist in The Company of Demons, would be the one to tell it! It would be fun to see what other trouble John can get himself into—and, hopefully, out of! Before I begin the sequel, however, I’m going to complete a WWII thriller that I’m currently working on.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Marjorie Rawling’s The Yearling.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Given that I bear the same name as one of the most popular athletes in the world, yes. But it is my name, and I was named after my grandfather. I just couldn’t part with it.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Begin earlier. When you’re young, it seems that there is always plenty of time. But, someday, reality slaps all of us we realize that there is a limited number of tomorrows. Don’t wait. Learn how to write really, really well and start that novel now!
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Hiring an editor. A good editor will make a world of difference on many levels.
What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?
I owe them the entire book. Without being able to draw on real people and their experiences, I could not have crafted raw, honest, and true characters in my book. One in particular must be singled out. The real-life John Coleman, a great guy not at all like his troubled namesake in my book, worked to help me create a Roman Catholic Irish-American from a certain part of town in Cleveland. John opened his life to me and made that character work. Sadly, John died in a tragic accident only six months after The Company of Demons was released.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I read non-fiction books about the topic I’m working on, and also general newspapers and periodicals of the time so that I can understand what people were experiencing then. What books were popular? What international events were occurring? Sports teams? Movie stars? I also think it is important to try and capture the atmosphere of the book’s setting. For example, my second novel is set in New Mexico during the closing days of WWII. I’ve made five trips there to, for example, accurately describe flora and fauna at different elevations.
Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Yes, Stephen King’s book On Writing made me understand the importance of focusing on the characters. If readers don’t care about your characters, they won’t care about your book. Make sure that the characters drive the plot, not the other way around.
Does your family support your career as a writer?
Yes, my wife is a professional artist and we are mutually supportive of our careers.
Enjoy an Excerpt:
There was never any trouble at the Tam O’Shanter, even on a rocking weekend night, even when one of the Tribe smacked a homer for a go-ahead run. Tim and Karen ran a tight joint, the perfect hideaway to lounge beneath faded posters of ‘70s rock bands and sip a cold one. So when Karen screamed from the seedy alley behind the bar, our little oasis was shattered. Tim bolted for the back door.
I rushed after him and squinted in the bright sunlight. Tim was cradling his wife in his arms. She stared at me vacantly, then broke away and retched. Huddled over the rough asphalt, in her thin T-shirt and faded jeans, Karen reminded me of a fragile little girl. The wastebasket she’d intended to empty lay near her, paper napkins and discarded receipts fluttering in the humid breeze. Tim waved a hand toward a Dumpster, its lid flung open, wedged tight against the crumbling brick wall. “Don’t look.”
But I did.
The sight of a naked body, sprawled across plastic, garbage bags, was impossible to miss. Or part of a body, really, because the head was gone. So was everything below the waist. The hairy torso had been split down the middle, and I didn’t need to be a pathologist to know that someone had scooped out the guts and the lungs and the heart. Flies droned incessantly and, in the summer heat, the stench of rancid meat wafted to me. I backed away.
About the Author:
An avid traveler, Michael has climbed Mt. Fuji, swam in The Devil’s Pool on the cusp of Victoria Falls, trekked a glacier in Patagonia, and visited numerous other countries. Yes—an international thriller lies in the future! He has also acted in several theatrical productions and his experience on stage is helpful in creating characters for his novels. He is currently working on his next book, a thriller set during the closing stages of WWII.
A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Michael and his wife, Linda Gross Brown, a soft pastel artist, divide their time between homes in Rocky River, Ohio, and Longboat Key, Florida. They enjoy traveling, pleasure boating, and very cold martinis.
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