It’s been a while since the last 10 Questions, and let’s get back into it with the author of a book I really enjoyed and reviewed earlier this year, In Her Name: First Contact by Michael R. Hicks. Of course, I interviewed him, not the book. So, let’s let him introduce himself.
Born in 1963, Michael Hicks grew up in the age of the Apollo program and spent his youth glued to the television watching the original Star Trek series and other science fiction movies, which continue to be a source of entertainment and inspiration. Having spent the majority of his life as a voracious reader, he has been heavily influenced by writers ranging from Robert Heinlein to Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven, and David Weber to S.M. Stirling.
You can follow him here:
1. What’s your favourite colour?
I guess it would have to be green. Don’t ask me why.
2. What’s your favourite food? Do you like Marmite?
Indian is probably my favorite, although I’m also partial to Mexican. I have no idea what Marmite is, but it sounds more like a furry animal than something to eat!
3. Which country would you most like to visit?
That’s a tough one! We have in mind to get ourselves an expedition vehicle in the not too distant future to poke around in as many countries as we can. But if I had to pick only one…I’d say it would most likely be India.
4. What genres do you like to read?
The books I most typically read are techno-thrillers, science fiction, and fantasy (a la George R.R. Martin). Unfortunately, I don’t read nearly as much as I should, and I’m currently going back through the Game of Thrones series right now.
5. If you were going to write a book outside your genre(s), which genre would you choose?
Wow. That’s a hard question! Probably horror.
6. Describe your writing environment, including room, desk, sounds, etc.
My writing environment is variable, because it’s really just about anywhere that I happen to be with my laptop. Sometimes I’m at the kitchen table, other times I’m in a chair in the bedroom or at the table on our pool deck. If we’re traveling, I’m usually camped out at the dining table in the RV or outside on the picnic table. And sometimes I’ll hike down to the mall and hang out in the food court. The only thing that’s fairly constant (at least when we’re in the house or RV) is that there’s at least one feline editor in attendance, making sure I’m doing it right.
7. If you could have dinner with any character from your books, who would it be?
I’d probably have dinner with Tesh-Dar, a warrior priestess who shows up quite a bit in my In Her Name series, because she’s just a total badass. I likely wouldn’t survive the meal, but it would be interesting for as long as it lasted!
8. Do you draw maps when planning your books?
Usually not, but I’ll confess to some geographic doodling. However, I will say that for the Harvest trilogy, which is set in the current day, Google Earth proved to be an absolutely awesome tool that was totally indispensable in writing the books.
9. Do you ever read self-published books?
Yes, I read self-published works. I don’t really draw a distinction anymore: if I like a book’s blurb and it has some decent reviews I’ll at least be willing to check out the sample. If it draws me in, I’ll buy it.
10. I’m interested in fantasy, science fiction, history, and classics. Which author’s books would you recommend to me?
Yikes! That could go on and on. But one set of terribly underrated books that I highly recommend is Scott G. Gier’s Genellan series. Those are among my favorites, and the battered paperbacks survived our final culling of our print books, as all we read now are ebooks. The Mote In God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is another one of my all-time faves (another one that survived the print purge). I didn’t like the other books of the same theme that came later, but that one was smashing. Those are just a couple examples, but I’m going to cut it off there or I’ll never shut up.
Thanks for your answers, Michael. It was great to have you oblige with this interview. And just so you know, Marmite is a yeast extract spread from England, and the taste is pretty salty. It’s an acquired taste, and you either love it or hate it. I personally love it on toast with some butter.
If you have any comments for Michael, you can post a comment here, or go to his website or talk to him on Twitter or Facebook.