Interview with YA author Michael Rothman

Today’s guest, Michael A. Rothman, is the author of two novels (so far) in the Prophecies series for young adults. The two titles are HEIRS OF PROPHECY, and TOOLS OF PROPHECY.

Michael
will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter during the
tour, so leave your e-mail address with a comment if you’d like to be entered. Also, you can follow Michael’s tour and comment at other stops – the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!
Welcome, Michael. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have always admired truly epic tales. You know
the ones I mean. The book you crack open, wander through and utterly get
immersed in. The story takes you on twists and turns you never expected, run
into dead-ends that make you wheel your arms backward to prevent you from
falling into an endless abyss. By the time you reach what you think is the end,
you’ve read hundreds of pages and realize the end is really only the beginning
of the story.

You close the book and wonder, ” Do I have the
next book? Is it out yet?”

My goal with HEIRS OF PROPHECY was to make a story
that would allow a younger audience access to such a tale. Since I despised
waiting forever for the next part of the story, I won’t leave readers suspended
for too long. The next book, TOOLS OF PROPHECY, will come out by the end of the
summer, 2012.  Oh, and if you liked the first book, the second book takes
the reader on much higher emotional roller coasters and has lots more fun and
surprising twists throughout. You will definitely get your fill of strongly
opinionated dwarves, the stoic but intense elves, and evil pervades in the
assassin world. The Rivertons have trained and evolved in the book as well. I
think readers will be pleased. Oh, and a few new talking pets that add lots of
comedy, but promise danger for the future.

I hope that leaves you with enough hints and
tidbits of what will happen in the future, and encourages you to become
embroiled in the world that is Trimoria.

Oh – one more thing. I will before the end of 2012,
be introducing a prequel to HEIRS OF PROPHECY which will use a very familiar
female main character. It is definitely geared toward attracting new female
readers, but I promise the male readers – PRINCESS INTERRUPTED, will have lots
of excitement and entertainment for you guys as well.

Please
tell us about your current release.
HEIRS OF PROPHECY is the first in a series of
books that center around the Riverton family. I’ve seen many reviews of the
book, and one that I thing properly captures things in a nutshell is that it is
a story about a Modern day family that falls down the veritable rabbit hole
into a new world very much akin to a Lord of the Rings Middle Earth.
The back cover text does cover the story nicely
though:
The Riverton family
had been enjoying a simple summer vacation when, through a fluke of nature,
they found themselves in a strange new land.
The Riverton brothers
quickly realize that in this world, they have gained unusual powers. Powers
that their parents fear will attract the attention of Azazel himself – the
merciless wizard who brutally controls this world.
The two brothers soon
learn that an ancient prophecy has finally been initiated by their arrival in
Trimoria. As the heirs of this prophecy, they are destined to lead the armies
of men, dwarves, elves, and even a misfit ogre against the prophesied demon
horde.
Only one thing stands
in their way.
The evil wizard who
has learned of their presence, and has sent assassins to wipe them from
existence.
What
inspired you to write this book?
My
children inspired my writing. My first novel stems directly from a bed time
tale I would tell my children that over time evolved and got more elaborate. So
instead of making things up on-the-fly, I decided to write the outline for what
ended up being HEIRS OF PROPHECY, TOOLS OF PROPHECY, and a yet-to-be-named book
to follow (though I am partial to LORDS OF PROPHECY).
Excerpt:
When the family first encounters some
wildlife that is clearly not from their world…
Looking to
the top of the hill to the west, Aaron spotted a single four-legged figure
outlined against the darkening sky. He raised his arm to point it out to his
family, but before he could say anything, the animal vanished. Confused, Aaron
lowered his arm.“Huh?” he said.
Just as the
sound escaped his lips, the creature returned, closer this time. Aaron was
alerted to its presence by a loud popping sound. Startled, he turned toward the
animal, finding it standing a mere twenty feet away. From this distance, he
could tell that it was a wolf-like creature. Its fur was matted and its face
crusted with dirt. The wolf looked the family over in turn, an unnerving
intelligence behind those yellow eyes.
Dad calmly
motioned everyone behind him. “Don’t make any sudden moves…”
The creature
sniffed once at the air, growled, and then blinked out of sight with another
sharp popping sound. The sound echoed in Aaron’s head as he pondered in awe
what he had just seen.“It just…It just…,” he stammered. “It just disappeared.”
“Where did it
go?” Mom asked, her voice quavering.
Dad shrugged.
“Your guess is as good as mine.”
“What the
heck was that, Jared?” Mom growled, sounding fearfully angry. “Tell me you’re
going to explain where in the world you’ve seen what we’ve just seen.”
Dad strode
forward and crouched where the wolf had been. He seemed to study the ground for
a time before breaking into a heavy sigh. “I’m sorry, but I can’t explain any
of this. What we just saw shouldn’t be possible.”
“Maybe he
didn’t disappear,” Ryan offered. “Maybe he just camouflaged himself. You
know…like a lizard.”
Dad shook his
head. “No, I see his paw prints here and nowhere else. It’s like he teleported
away.”
“Teleporting
wolves, giant cats, and I’m sparking everywhere on demand.”
“Yeah,” Aaron
chimed in, “and hollow rocks.”
“Dad, are we
even in our world anymore?”
Aaron
couldn’t help but note how at a loss his father seemed.

What
exciting story are you working on next?
I
am currently working on a prequel to the first book, HEIRS OF PROPHECY – this
one is titled, PRINCESS INTERRUPTED.
  I
can give you a sneak peek into some possible back-cover text to describe that
prequel (also gives away who the Princess in the title is)

Arabelle, the daughter of a merchant king in the
land of Trimoria  finds her normally simple life interrupted by events far
beyond her  control. Her life of leisure is shattered.

Arabelle must learn to resist the monstrous foes that threaten her  people
and the ones she loves.

She must do this while keeping a dark secret that only she can bear.

When
did you first consider yourself a writer?
I
have for a long time been a writer of graduate level material for the technical
world. So at the very least, I knew I was capable of stringing a sentence
together, but the thing that might not have been clear was whether or not I was
able to sustain a reader’s attention through my creative writing and story
telling. I am lucky enough to have a few friends who are NYT bestselling
authors who after a draft of my first novel early last year were able to give
me some critique which pointed out some things that helped me improve the focus
on my writing.


So to answer the question specifically about creative writing, I guess I can
answer it this way: I first felt confident that I had decent creative writing
skills sometimes in 2011, and I suppose my (and my publisher’s) personal goal
at some point would be to show commercial success through that writing.
Commercial success in my mind being defined as breaking into some of the top-X
lists such as USA Today, NYT, etc.
Do
you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like?
  If not, what do you do other than write and
how do you find time to write?
I
do have a day-job, as many otherwise successful authors do who are “breaking
into the business.”

Suffice
it to say I am in the technology field. If you hunt hard enough you might
figure out where and who I am there by the judicious use of Google and Amazon.

How
to find time is a very common question I get. In truth, it is very easy to find
time and make decent progress if you are consistent. I oftentimes wake up at
5am, write for a couple hours, and then get the rest of my day started. You’d
be surprised how much progress one can make when you are consistently putting
some time in.
What
would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Okay
– one writing quirk is less a writing quirk but a writing environment
affectation. I eat lots of junk food while I am writing. I seem to be partial
to Good & Plenty (don’t ask me why) and chocolate covered raspberry gel
sticks. I know – bizarre, but it has developed into my “thing”. My wife knows
when I am planning on doing a marathon weekend writing stint when I stock up on
some of that.
As
a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I
was always aimed toward technology either in the computer field or medicine.
Oddly enough, I ended up steered toward the computer field and never looked
back. I grew up somewhat at the dawn of the PC, and was lucky enough to work
with some of the pioneers of what would become the modern PC. I was also
somewhat responsible for some of the operating systems that people had grown up
with prior to the coming of Windows.


For those of you who were wondering, “What about writing?” My English teachers
in high school would be shocked to learn that the guy who groaned through their
class was now writing books, though that might have been somewhat due to their
teaching ability versus mine. I did take one, I repeat, ONE creative writing
class in college and I was the teacher’s prodigy. I personally thought she was
nuts for liking my writing, but for all I know – maybe she was seeing something
in me all those years ago that I still wonder about at times.
Anything
additional you want to share with the readers?
I
am still seeking the perfect cheese Danish that doesn’t skimp on the cheese and
gives me wonderfully buttery and flakey crust. I remember those from my youth
in Brooklyn, but since then – I’ve been deprived.

Thanks for stopping by and talking with us a bit today, Michael. Readers, don’t forget about the Amazon gift card that is up for grabs! Just leave your name with a comment to be entered.


8 thoughts on “Interview with YA author Michael Rothman

  1. Catherine Lee says:

    I, too, love chocolate covered jelly candies–especially raspberry. YUM. BUT Good & Plenty? I was never a big fan.
    In my community college library, we have a YA collection that's about 3 years old. I'm often on the lookout for titles that will appeal to our reluctant male readers. Any series that might hook them is a good purchase for us.
    Happy July 4th…
    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  2. Anonymous says:

    I always thought a good tech writer would do well in sci-fi…that whole ability to make complex concepts clear is tailored for that.

    eai(at)stanfordalumni(dot)org

  3. Mary Preston says:

    There is nothing better than getting lost in an epic tale. I absolutely love them.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  4. Lyra L7 says:

    I agree with MomJane, usually there are only the kids, so it's nice that in your book the whole family in engaged in the adventure.

    lyra.lucky7ATgmail(dot)com

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