FAITH: Proverbs 3:5,6

I was born and raised in a rural community in Southwestern Ohio where I spent most of my time running through the woods and streams and cornfields with my siblings and friends. Just after my sixteenth birthday my family moved to South Georgia where I am presently living and working today.

“The Following Is An Interview I Gave To Amazon WriteOn”

When did you first start writing?

I first started writing on Monday, April 14, 2014 at 9:48 AM.

I quite literally woke up one morning and decided I was going to write a fantasy novel series.

Now, here we are January of 2016 and I have two books completely drafted and outlining for a third, while writing the first book in an offshoot series.

What was your inspiration for The White Tower?

Believe it or not I had no inspiration for writing The White Tower, which is the first book in the The Aldoran Chronicles series. When I say I woke up and decided to start writing this saga, I literally woke up, sat down at my laptop, and started writing. To be fair, I did take ten to fifteen minutes of serious reflection, in which time I came up with two names I thought should be used as the main characters.

What is, now, chapter three are the first words I ever wrote in this book. There have obviously been quite a few revisions since then, but for the most part the majority of what I first typed is still there.

Who are your favorite authors?

I have a number of favorite authors, all of which hold places on my shelves or space on my Kindle. [The following list is not in the least wise extensive, and only in order of my chronology of reading]:Terry Brooks, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Terry Goodkind, Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, Robert J Crane, Mark Lawrence, Cameron Jace, Danielle L. Jensen, and James Maxwell.

Do you do a lot of research?

My world building for The Aldoran Chronicles has been very extensive. When I wrote the series I wanted it to have firm legs to stand on, which meant there needed to be a very believable world with a very definable past that has led to where our story begins. My original intent, and still is perhaps, was to be able to create, at the very least, three separate series from this main timeline, not including the offshoot series I’m working on now, which takes place within the same world.

Needless to say, because of this, there is quite a lot of research that I have had to do in order to make this story even remotely realistic. I have an entire folder system on my computer dedicated to research alone with over 37 individual folders holding over 500 documents on every kind of topic I can think of to use within my book – and more gets added every day.

The good thing is that its fantasy. Fantasy authors are generally given a little more leeway when it comes to realism since it is all make believe anyway. However, you’ll be surprised how many times your readers will call you out on the minutest inconsistencies like there wouldn’t be a lace collar on a woodsman’s jerkin, when at other times you could describe a flying car in a high-speed chase with a dragon rider and no one says a word. Not that I have I have flying cars in my book, or dragon riders.  hmmm?

Where do you write? place? laptop? computer? phone? pen and paper?

I do all my writing from home on my laptop. I don’t have internet at my house, so I find myself packing up my laptop quite a bit and taking off for the office when I need to do some more research.

The very idea of paper and pen gives me carpal tunnel just thinking about it.

What made you actually sit down and start writing your first story?

For three years prior to the decision of writing my own fantasy series, I had been working with a business partner on filming and pitching a new reality TV show to networks which unfortunately was never able to get off the ground. Putting the stress of television aside, I decided to put my time toward another endeavor, one that would still allow me to use my creativity and imagination.

I have always been a lover of fantasy ever since I first borrowed my father’s copy of Terry Brook’s Sword of Shannara. So it was no wonder that I made the decision to write in that specific genre.

Do you aim for a certain amount of words per day, or just write when you can?

I usually like to get in around 3K words a day as a benchmark. Some days I hit it. Some days I don’t. Some days I go over.

Both my first two books in the series so far have come out to roughly 200K words a piece, so even at 3K a day it still takes a while to draft. I know of other authors who are able to get 6K-10K a day. Who knows, maybe that will be possible some day for me, but right now I’m more worried about the quality of the words as opposed to the quantity.

Do you outline your plot ahead of time, or just sit down and write and see where the words take you?

With my first book I obviously didn’t outline. I had rough benchmark goals I wanted to see happen. I knew the ending, but I had no idea how I was going to get to it. I let the characters do the talking for me. The downside to doing this, especially as a first time author, is that in my case the first draft tended to be filled with too many day-to-day details and routines that didn’t move the story forward in a timely manner.

My second book I did more outlining, but still let my characters drive the story. I knew where I wanted them to end up, and let the creative process guide the way. I believe the first draft of my second book is much more fluid than the first. You learn and hopefully apply that knowledge from one book to the next.

With the first book in my offshoot series, I have relied on a heavier set of outlining, finding the overall arc and then breaking it down into three tiers. From there I decide how many chapters I’ll have in each and the main story arcs.

To sum it up: I am more of a pantser than a plotter, but without at least a basic plotting, I wouldn’t be able to do either.

Do you get writers block?

I don’t think I know of many, or any, authors who have not had this problem before. Typically this comes when I am trying to figure out the next plot point. My way around this problem is to step away from the computer, walk outside, and take a stroll around a forested pond. It clears my head. And when that doesn’t work, you’ll be surprised what a hot bubble bath can do.

Tell us something interesting about you!

Wow, this is probably the toughest question of all, much like a writer being forced to create his/her own back cover blurb.

I guess one interesting thing is that my entire family are black belts and we used to own and operate our own local dojo.

16 Comments

  1. David Johnson

    I normally don’t write reviews or comments, but I really enjoyed your books. I am currently at a hospital for a family member and just read Banished, Hurricane, and The White Tower in just a short couple of days. It really helped pass the time for me. I loved “The White Tower” especially. Great story and great characters. Can’t wait for the next book.

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Thank you David for reaching out. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying the stories, especially through hard times. The second book in the Aldoran Chronicles series is out with beta readers at present. During this time, I’ve hired a team of editors to go back over my published books, including The White Tower, and bring them up to the standards I’d like to see them at, something I didn’t have the budget to do when I first published. Very excited by the progress so far! I hope you continue to be entertained. If you haven’t done so already and wouldn’t mind, I’d appreciate a quick review on Amazon for the books. You could simply copy and paste what you wrote in your comment. Those reviews really do help. – Thanks!

      Reply
      • David Johnson

        Just posted some reviews on Amazon. Happy to help. I’m amazed you just started your writing career. You’re doing fantastic! I was a little leery of starting a new series that wasn’t established yet just from my experience with some series where the authors take several or more years to write the next book. lol, I’m just so impatient. I’m happy I took a chance on this series and recommended it to my brother as well. Can’t wait for the next books. Keep up the good work.

        Reply
        • Michael Wisehart

          Hi David. Thanks for the review! I’m glad you took the chance on the books. There will be many, many more to come. -Happy Reading!

          Reply
  2. Hans

    Excellent choice on Tim Gerard Reynolds to do narration on the audio book for The White Tower! I found the book on audible and almost didn’t get it because I hate starting book series that are incomplete. Pat Rothfuss has instilled in me a deep mistrust of fantasy authors. I hope he releases the 3rd Kingkiller Chronicles book some day but I’m not holding my breath. Having said that, I picked up this (audio)book because of the great reviews.

    Now that I’m on your site, I’m heartened to see that you actually update your readers on your progress, like Brandon Sanderson does. Good stuff!

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Hi Hans,

      I do understand the worry with an author never completing. I do my best to keep my readers informed. Currently, I’ve hired a full team of editors to go back over all my books and help me focus the writing and bring them out to second editions. The White Towers’ sequel is in the hands of my beta team at present. I love Tim. He does a phenomenal job in audio narration.

      I hope you enjoy the book.

      Reply
  3. Gale Osborne

    Just finished the White Tower and I have to say it is one of the best books I have ever had a chance to read.It has a great storyline with lots of great characters and it’s loaded with nail biting action from start to finish.The only problem I had with it was that it was so good I couldn’t put it down once I started reading.Thank you for writing such an enjoyable read. Buy the way I live in southeast Ohio and it’s good to have such a good auther from Ohio even if you don’t live here now . : )

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Hi Gale. Thank you so much for the kind praise and for reaching out. Yes, us southern Ohioans need to stick together. 🙂

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the story. I hope you had a chance to read the prequel, Shackled. If you haven’t already, and wouldn’t mind, it would be a great help to me if you could leave a quick review on Amazon for the book. If your not sure how, here’s a quick video from my blog: http://michaelwisehart.com/how-to-leave-a-book-review/ (You could actually just copy and paste what you wrote here in your comment.) Those reviews are really important.

      Thanks again for letting me know you enjoyed my writing. I’m busy working to get the next ones ready!

      Reply
  4. Shawn Doyle

    Michael,

    I picked up White Tower on amazon outstanding, I have been reading fantasy for years. I love Terry Brooks, Tolkien and many more. After finishing White Tower I went to look for volume 2 and OUCH no book. Are you working on book 2? I hope you I truly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading the entire series.

    Cheers,
    Shawn Doyle

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Hi Shawn, thanks for reaching out. It’s always good to hear readers are enjoying the work. I do have the first draft to the second book in the Aldoran Chronicles series complete, but before I finish I plan on releasing the first book in my offshoot series: Street Rats of Aramoor. It’s out with beta readers right now. If you’d like to keep up with the next books’ release dates, plus grab a free copy of the prequel “Shackled,” you can do so here: http://www.michaelwisehart.com/shackled-wt

      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
      • Sandra

        Was looking to pre order upcoming books. Is this possible?

        Reply
        • Michael Wisehart

          Hi Sandra. I don’t currently do pre-releases of my books since it has a tendency to mess with their Amazon ranking in an unfavorable way. The only pre-release I have at the moment is the audiobook for The White Tower, which you can find on Amazon.

          The prequel to the new offshoot series Street Rats of Aramoor will be launching on the 25th, with the first book in that series coming out the following month.

          The best way to keep informed would be to like my author page on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/MichaelWisehart.author

          Thanks for reaching out Sandra!

          Reply
  5. David M Carey

    Good morning,

    Just discovered your book on Amazon..checked out your website, joined the Council. downloaded the prequel and read your bio. I am from southeastern Ohio, lived in north Florida for a while and currently back in southeastern Ohio. Excited to have made this discovery this morning, am/was currently reading Anthony Ryan The Waking Fire, and honestly it is very confusing and I am not enjoying it at all, most likely will DNF it. (thats why I was browsing for something new) Read the sample of The White Tower, thought it was very good, as stated I am now reading the prequel and this is so much better than the Ryan book, am looking forward to The White Tower. Thank you, Kind regards.

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Hey David. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to reach out. I grew up in a small farming community about 15 minutes outside of Dayton. I do hope you enjoy the prequel, Shackled. It leads directly into The White Tower, which you stated you have already read the opening sample. You’ll have to let me know what you think. – Happy Reading and Merry Christmas!

      Reply
  6. Chester Hendrix

    Interesting interview. One theme seems to dominate – dedication to the project. It shows up not just in your creative work, but especially in your follow-up editing. As an author myself, I know how extremely difficult it is to go back to a manuscript and rewrite a scene that you thought was solid – only to have it picked apart by your beta readers, requiring a major overhaul. I’ve seen the results of this process in your work, and you have produced yeoman’s results.

    This from a rookie!

    Well done, sir. All your praise is richly deserved.

    Reply
    • Michael Wisehart

      Glowing praise indeed, stemming from one of those harsh beta readers who held my feet to the fire while blooding my nose when I deserved it 🙂

      My Beta Team deserves at least half the praise!

      Reply

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