Interview with Michael Ross
It was a clairvoyant that suggested Michael write a book, he did and hasn't looked back.
Although an established multi-genre author, with best-selling children's books, comedies, and a true life story called 'Just Five More Minutes' , which he wrote and narrated. (This book went on to win the 2019 Independent Audio Book awards.)
Michael has always had a voracious appetite for Si Fi and fantasy, but in particular, epic fantasy.
The four books of his Wand Chronicles series is an amalgamation of his creative ideas, imagination, thoughts, and experiences. As a hook, he also created and developed a game board to accompany the books which went on to be voted in the top 10 of best new board games for 2019 in the UK.
He is being recognized as a challenger to Tolkien and George R.R. Martin, but with less darkness and drama, and a little more humor.
Coming from an acting background, he has always strived to make his performances believable, and so it is with his characters he creates for his books.
He is currently writing a series called 'The Big Fairy Adventures.'
What did the clairvoyant say to you?
I went to see this clairvoyant because 3 months earlier my wife had been attacked and murdered. I was left with our two boys who were 4 and 6 at the time.
The clairvoyant gave me a great reading about that, told me things that lifted a huge weight off my shoulders, but then completely out of the blue, during the last 15 minutes of the session, she said you need to write. She was almost grabbing me by the lapels and insisting I write. She told me it was inside me and I needed to let it out.
I wasn't sure what she meant, but I almost had to promise her that I would.
It was probably a 'man' thing, but I thought she was talking about spiritual writing. So I would sit down when I was quiet with a candle and put pen on paper and just let my pen write what it wanted. After a few days of writing gibberish, I gave up.
That very week I went to my local supermarket and decided to have a coffee that overlooks the shop floor. When I sat down, I noticed every other table had a single person sitting just watching the shoppers below. They all had sad, glum faces, so there and then (excuse my French) I decided to call it the S.B.C.
The Sad Bastards cafe. And something happened on the shop floor, that I found funny and wrote it into my Facebook. This happened regularly every week, and then people started to say how they enjoyed my short articles, so then I found out about Amazon KDP and put them all together in a book. A comedy and I called it 'Memoirs from the SBC. That is how it all started. I haven't looked back.
Do you prefer to write adult fiction as opposed to children's books?
Hmmm. I enjoy both, but for different reasons. I guess though that adult fiction wins by a nose. You see my children's books have moral issues, and children will soak up anything you tell them especially 3 to 6-year-olds. My adult fiction should be called child fiction. I still believe part of my mind is that of a 6-year-old boy.
What sort of acting did you do?
All sorts. Started off 17 years in theatre, then into TV, all the soaps then into big films. The last one was The Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Junior. But also got into modelling. traveled the world. It was great. It was acting without a script. I was also successful as a look-a-like of Tony Blair one of our prime ministers. I did the whole thing, opened supermarkets, kissed babies, the whole politician thing.
I also trained to be a hairdresser to keep some money coming in during the early days, and also developed a fitness system called KETTFusion. Reached up to the top three in popularity in the UK and is established in 4 European countries. I have over 3,000 instructors and that is still going strong.
I was offered a presenter's position on daytime TV which I did for a while, but don't do acting anymore. prefer to write. But it wouldn't phase me in the slightest to stand in front of 4,000 people and ad-lib on a subject.
When you started writing The Wand Chronicles, did you intend for it to become a series?
Yes. definitely. I'm a pantser. Tried all the traditional supposedly only way to plan and write books, but it quashed my creativeness. And I knew I had a lot to say with the trilogy. Books 2,3, and 4 are around 110,000 words each. But I also wanted original quotes for each chapter and illustrations. Wanted a proper glossary and they even have a helpful phonetic guide for some of the more complicated names and places. To me, it is my greatest work to date.
What do you like most about elves?
Their complexity, even though initially they do look very like humans. ok a little taller, and pointy ears..but then in my books, we as humans have been around for 3.5 million years, the elves for 6.5 million years.
That's a lot of evolutionary changes They are obviously more intelligent. They have two hearts. They communicate by telepathy. In the elvish culture, the men have babies. So under the skin, they are very different. Now, my acting comes into the books. I'm a method actor. So with the heroine, Allana Yana-Ash, I now know her inside out, her likes, dislikes, what she likes to eat, what annoys her, and many other things. But they generally have wonderful morals. So they are a very intelligent, thoughtful, spiritual race
What was the hardest scene to write?
The last chapter of the last book in the series is called Eternity. We have the elvish female heroine, who we all love for many reasons. She sustains a horrific injury and she dies. With all the technology the elves had it can't save her. She has a daughter, half-human/ half-elf called Kia. Kia finds a very advanced race who has been known to help and revive beings from death, but this elf is too far gone. They did say to Kia, that using some of her DNA, they can bring her back to life but only for one day. So Kia said she wanted that. She was warned not to mention this to her Mother, it could frighten her. She had the most glorious and wonderful day with her Mother, laughing, painting, making cakes, etc but then it came time in the evening and she needed to go to sleep. So they said their goodbyes, and Kia's Mother went to sleep never to awake again. I defy anyone to read that last chapter and not grab a box of tissues. I do finish right at the end on a positive note. I will always do that.
Did you do any research for your series?
Not a lot. For things like the formation of humans, star systems. But I'm a pantser, so it all came pouring out of my head. I deliberately didn't read any other fantasy authors. I didn't want ideas from anyone else coming into my books.
Will there be a book 5?
No. I've said what I wanted to say. I know the principle characters so very well, so one, possibly two, will come over into my new series called The Big Fairy Adventures.
In this, we have humans, orcs, and of course fairies. The heroine is a rather overweight fairy called Tinker Tanker. She has a heart of gold and also very brave. She is covered in little bruises because she keeps bumping into walls or other objects as she is buzzing along. You can always hear her coming because she comes out with "Damn" or Hells bells" or "Blood & sand".
It is slightly more comedic because I believe even in the deepest moments of life, there can be humor if you look closely enough.
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