Smooth voiced author gives an extensive insight into his life
Michael Carroll is one of those authors who seems to have very little online presence beyond his own website, which is astonishing considering both how much he has done and how much he loves to talk about it.
The latter point, while seemingly negative, is an incredibly good thing, especially when interviewing him, which I had the incredible good fortune to do a few days ago. It was also the first time I attempted an interview over the internet. While the full effect is dampened slightly by my lack of external microphone, Michaels lack of webcamera, and a technical problem that set us back by nearly an hourI think it went very well. The full (and unedited) hangout can be viewed here.
So who is Michael, and what pearls of wisdom did we gain in the nearly 2 hour long interview with him? To summarize the former question – he is “47 and 6 days old (or there abouts)”, a full time writer of 14 years, currently working on the Judge Dredd and Jennifer Blood series. He is also a highly established author, writing The New Heroes Series (or Quantum Prophecy Series depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on). He is also Irish, which made for fantastic listening, especially for one viewer who said “He is sososo nice… Best voice ever toooo”.
During the time I had with him, our conversation took a relaxed and meandering path through a number of different topics. On the list was is the 12,000 strong book collection, 12,0000 strong comic collection, 800 CD’s, his huge film collection, and his political opinions.
Of course we did discuss more art related things too. For example, I was unaware that there were authors out there who never actually write their own books. Michael claims it is common practice that authors actually pay other writers a one time fee to pen a book, and then all the credit and proceeding royalties are ceded to the named author. I was personally shocked that this practice existed, and while I appreciate that in one sense it can be good practice for authors who are nervous or unwilling to put their name on their work, I feel it undermines reputability and also creates a situation where people are being undeservedly praised.
The matter of e-books were also discussed. Michael threw in the opinion that the market, while being more receptive to e-books then previously, will never completely undermine the physical book market. This builds nicely on an investigative piece produced by one of the Arts Award Voice readers, which I highly encourage you to read!
It it at this juncture I realise I am trying to struggling to summarize the salient points of an interview which mixed discussions of relevance with general chit chat niceties. Conversation flowed so naturally that at times it felt like I had known Michael for years, and that is reflective of his overall demeanor, he is just a nice bloke. And he likes Batman.
It was also apparent in our discussion that Michael was very moralistic. While I will not draw upon specific examples, he holds strong views on certain “actors”. More importantly, he see’s everybody as equal, classing them as friends over their race, creed, religion or any other distinguishing trait of that individual. While it is a generally accepted thing, it is nice to hear it confirmed and actively pushed by somebody who has influence on the next generation of adults, hopefully aiding the inevitable and long overdue irradiation of prejudice.
We discussed the publishing process, and how it can be incredibly hindering to an author. Explicitly, how some books are held back for nearly a year due to the publics apparent perception of authors being seasonal. The next of the Quantum Prophecy series is essentially finished, but won’t be released until 2014 where it can enjoy a sumer launch. This is something else I don’t understand in the industry. While I can appreciate wanting an optimum launch time, withholding the sale of a book due to some misguided belief we will only read a book if it comes out in a certain month. Maybe I’m wrong, and do feel free to correct me, but if I am enjoying a series, I want the next book as soon as possible.
As I mentioned, I’m struggling to really condense the interview, so I really urge you to just download the podcast, or listen online, the links to both of which are available below.