April 19, 2012

Interview with Michael K. Rose

Interview with Michael K. Rose

Michael K. Rose is an author of science/speculative fiction and an avid traveler. I was lucky enough, that he could spare some time for this interview and let me pick his brain for a bit.

HN: Before we begin could you tell the readers a little more about yourself?

MKR: Sure! I am a writer, mainly of science fiction. I began publishing in November of 2011 and since then my work has received nearly 40 4- and 5-star reviews. I've been absolutely overwhelmed by the positive response to my writing. I am currently writing the third and final book of Sullivan's War. It is the story of Rick Sullivan and his struggle to free his home planet of Edaline from its oppressive government. Along the way he must also fight a personal battle and reconcile the man he was with the man he has become. My next project is called Chrysopteron and concerns the events that happen aboard a generation ship and the consequences of those events for the descendants of the crew.

That is who I am as a writer. Who I am as a person is fairly complex. I love the arts in all their forms, I enjoy learning about the universe that surround us and I am a wine enthusiast. Traveling is a part of who I am. I hope to visit at least fifty other countries in my lifetime and I am more than halfway there. I would also like to visit all seven continents. I am fascinated by archaeology. In fact, I received my degree in anthropology. I am a lover of classical music and opera and I am, of course, an enthusiastic reader. I will read just about anything but what I am most drawn to are science fiction and the literature of the late Victorian Era and the Edwardian era.

HN: What has been your favorite Country to visit ?

MKR:  Well, I always love Europe. I really can't say I have a favorite part of Europe but I am fond of England, the Nordic countries and the Germanic countries. I know that covers a lot of territory, but there you go. My favorite place to visit outside of Europe is Egypt. I'm a sucker for ancient ruins and I can--and have--spent days poking around the ruins in and near Luxor.

HN: I have always wanted to visit England. 
Out of all your stories, which character do you relate to and like the most?; and why?

MKR: I'd say that the narrator of the short story "Inner Life," in the collection Inner Lives, is the character I most relate to and there is a very simple reason for that: he is me. Whenever I write in the first person a lot of myself ends up in the story. I think that's natural, of course. But in the case of "Inner Life" the narrator doesn't differ from me in the slightest, aside from the whole experiencing parallel universes thing. His thoughts, his feelings, are exactly the thoughts and feelings I would have in his situation.

In my current project, Sullivan's War, I actually relate to Frank Allen more than Rick Sullivan, even though Sullivan is the main protagonist. Allen is more like me and if I were to meet these characters I think I would get along with him better. I would respect Sullivan, even if I didn't agree with everything he does, but Allen is the one I would most likely consider a friend.

HN: I relate to Frank Allen as well. Like you I could see myself hanging and getting along with him. Sullivan is a great main character and I respect his motives and in the Sullivan's War books I'm on edge following him along the way, but I don't see myself hanging with him.

You mentioned in an article on your site how you were afraid that readers would think you copied the setting from the movie Avatar. I have to ask,what did you think of the movie. I found the story to be good and the technology used was excellent but the movie still fell flat for me.

MKR:  Well, Sullivan's War as a whole bears no resemblance to Avatar but the short novella Sergeant Riley's Account, which is the stand-alone prologue to Sullivan's War, has a few points that are similar. I actually wrote this story before Avatar came out but I hadn't done anything with it and after the huge success of that movie, I figuratively stuck it in a drawer for two years. Let me be clear: the story is different, the history of the planet is different, the aliens are different, but here's the rub: it involves an attempt to eradicate an alien species so humans can exploit the planet without having to worry about other political entities (namely, the Stellar Assembly) wanting to bring an end to that exploitation and development. I felt that even though this was written before Avatar, those who read it would think I had swiped the idea from the movie.

Now, I think the movie is no longer in the forefront of peoples' minds so the similarities will not be as apparent (until I go and tell everyone, that is!). Also, now that I look at it again, the story is different in enough ways--and, I think, it is a very good story--that it holds up on its own, even if a reader does see the similarities.

Regarding my thoughts on Avatar: when I saw it in the IMAX, in 3-D, I thought it was amazing. Interesting thing about me: I enjoy most movies right when I see them. But afterward, my opinion of them lessens as I go on to think about them. And, if I re-watch them, some movies fall very flat indeed. Most James Bond movies are like this for me. I love them in the theater but re-watching them doesn't grab me. Avatar does fall flat after the initial "holy crap, I've never seen anything like it!" response. The special effects are amazing, of course, but the story and the acting are really nothing to scream about. And until someone can explain the physics of the floating islands on a planet where the gravity seems otherwise normal, that part will always chafe for me. Oh, and unobtanium... the less said about that, the better.

HN:  Are you a Trekkie or Jedi? 
I never could get into the Star Wars movies but I loves watching Star Trek. TNG(The Next Generation) and Voyager being my favorites.

MKR: Star Wars is fun. I've watched the original movies probably four or five times each. But I don't obsess about them by any means and they are not the end all, be all of science fiction, by any means. I would, however, define myself as a Trekkie. I love the original series and The Next Generation. Deep Space Nine was good and Voyager and Enterprise had some great plots and ideas but were not as strong as the other series. What I always liked about Star Trek, from the very beginning, was the strong social messages that Gene Roddenberry inserted into the stories. He understood that science fiction was about ideas and as silly as some of the episodes were, there were others that were utterly profound. Think of an episode like "The City on the Edge of Forever,' written by science fiction great Harlan Ellison. There were very few shows at that time (or, even now) that are willing to grasp with ideas of right and wrong in that way. That episode is everything I love about science fiction. Also look at the TNG episode "The Inner Light" for an example of true cerebral science fiction as opposed to "exploding adventures in space" science fiction, which is fine but can't be all that one feeds one's mind on. For me, Star Trek has it all: intriguing technology, adventure, social messages, cerebral depth and from a television perspective strong stories, good special effects and some fantastic acting.
HN:  What's your favorite horror movie and science fiction movie? I thought the original Stargate was a good movie and as far as horror I have a lot of favorites but Night of the Living Dead (original and color version) always ends up on the top of the list.
MKR: My favorite movie is a science fiction movie: 2001: A Space Odyssey. My favorite horror movie is also science fiction: Aliens. I don't watch a lot of horror, actually, but if it's a good story I'll watch just about anything.
HN:  Alien is a great movie. Don't believe I have ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey though I have heard about it.
What are you currently reading ? Could you recommend one e-book that the readers should go out of their way to read?
MKR: I just finished an engaging paranormal thriller by Micheal Rivers called Verliege  and I've now started Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke. One of the most remarkable books I've read in the past few months has been Benjamin X. Wretlind's Castles: A Fictional Memoir of a Girl with Scissors. It is a tense, emotional and--at times--highly disturbing look at insanity. Or is it? There are so many layers to this book that one will be left wondering what was really going on.

HR: Are there any upcoming projects or anything else you would like to tell the readers?
MKR: Yes. I have just finished the third and final book of the Sullivan's War series, called Edaline's Dawn. This wraps up the present Rick Sullivan story line but Sullivan will return in Sullivan's Wrath, which I hope to release around Christmas. Before that, however, I have a novel called Chrysopteron that will see release this summer. Readers can stay updated by visiting my blog at http://myriadspheres.blogspot.com/. From there, one can also click on the book covers down the right side and link to my product pages at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Thank you for the interview!
HN: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule,also good luck on all your future projects. I'm eagerly awaiting Sullivan's Wrath and Chrysopteron

To see more of Michael K. Rose be sure to check out the following links :

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