Blog Days of Summer Interview with Mike Lynch
By KM Wilsher, Blog Days of Summer,
August 4, 2010
KM: Hello, Mike, and thank you
for coming by! What books have most influenced your life most?
ML: First and foremost, I would say it would have to be the Bible. You
have everything there--love, betrayal, redemption, and the triumph of
God's love over mankind's rejection of Him and how He wooed us back
through His Son, Jesus. In terms of your more traditional fare, the book
that I have probably thought about more than any other after reading it
would be Stephen King's, The Stand. I am especially drawn to those parts
of the story where the followers of Randall Flagg know exactly who he is,
and yet they still choose to follow him.
KM: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
ML: The writer that I most identify with is Rod Serling. He was an amazing
story teller who wasn't afraid to tackle some tough issues in the early
years of television when he produced his landmark series, The Twilight
Zone. He often took a close look at the human condition to see how it
would play itself out as the story unfolded. His characters were usually
ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. When it seemed
that everything was going to work itself out, he would often turn the
story on its head and shock the audience with a twist ending, the most
famous of which was at the end of the movie he wrote the screenplay for,
Planet of the Apes. Whether conscious or unconscious, I find that many of
my stories follow a similar pattern of a person of common means who is
forced into a situation that affects the lives of other people. There are
often no clear cut answers, and so the hero must rely on his inner resolve
and belief in himself to arrive at the correct solution.
KM: What book are you reading now?
ML: I'm currently reading two books. The first one is a non-fiction book
entitled, The Brendan Voyage. It is a story about a man who recreates the
voyage of Saint Brendan, who is said to have sailed from Ireland to North
America in the 7th century. The other book I am reading is Maximal
Reserve. It is an adventure story about a group of scientists who find the
largest oil reserve ever recorded at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, and
the race is on to see who be the first to lay claim to it.
KM: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
ML: I spend most of my time writing, working, or being with my family. I
just don't have much of an opportunity to see what other writers are doing
KM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
ML: Having Brandon as a co-author goes beyond working with a writing
partner. He and I have become good friends. Also, knowing that there is
someone in my corner who is just as passionate about a story I am writing
inspires me to do the best job possible. Even though it is not very
pleasant hearing about areas of my writing that fall short, his comments
and criticisms have brought me further along as a writer far more quickly
than I would have on my own. It's always the story that matters, and his
commitment to excellence has really helped me be the writer I am today. I
owe him a lot.
KM: What inspired American Midnight?
ML: American Midnight is a cautionary tale about a fictional political
party that claims to have the people's best interests in mind, but the
leadership of this party has a wholly other agenda: power and control over
people. Unfortunately, Brandon and I see things like that happening in
society today, much of it aimed at the church. In time, he and I believe
society's annoyance and dislike for the church will turn more hostile as
it continues to pull away from God and His teachings. Jesus said those who
follow Him become an enemy of the world. For the last 30-40 years, there
has been a Cold War of sorts between the church and society, but we are
beginning to see signs that this is changing, and not for the better. The
persecution faced by the characters in American Midnight because of their
faith is something that is a very real possibility for all of us in the
not so distant future. Should that ever happen, wouldn't you want to be
ready for it? It is our hope that the book will get people to start
thinking about this.
KM: What was the hardest part of writing American Midnight?
ML: There is a difficult scene in the story when Tania Peters, the main
character, is sent to a prison camp filled with a lot of despicable
people. If she does not recant her faith in God, she could be killed. The
person who holds her life in his hands takes great delight in her
suffering. We considered toning down that particular scene, but Brandon
and I agreed that if we wanted to convey to the reader there are very real
consequences for believers facing persecution, then we couldn’t hold back.
With that said, we do not portray anything graphic in the story, but the
psychological weapons used by the antagonist could be considered
unsettling by some. It wasn't fun writing that scene in the book, but it
is needed to give the story credibility and weight.
KM: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
ML: I would like to thank those who have offered their words of support
and encouragement to Brandon and me. Writing is often a lonely endeavor,
and you try to create the best story possible. When someone tells you how
much they like your work, it makes it all worthwhile. I especially
appreciate the comments made by those who have already read American
Midnight. It seems that they have really enjoyed what we wrote, which
could not please me more.
KM: What is up next for Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr?
ML: Brandon and I have taken something of a break in terms of working on
our collaborative effort. For some time he's been tinkering with a story
entitled Mind Riders, but did not feel comfortable enough as a writer to
do it on his own. Now that we've written three novels together, he feels
like he can finally tackle that story. I was recently contacted by an
author I know in the Lost Genre Guild who has written a book. He feels it
is a good story, but it needed work, and he offered a co-authorship deal
for anyone who agreed to edit the manuscript. After several phone
conversations and some follow-up e-mails, I agreed to come on board, and
have been doing what I can to get The Crystal Portal into publishable
shape. The good news is that when Brandon and I are finished with our
personal writing projects we plan on reforming our writing partnership and
finishing the sequel to When the Sky Fell.
KM: And I can't wait for these projects, Mike! Thanks for your beautiful
answers! I am a big fan of you and Brandon.
Stay tuned. Friday I will post the review of AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon
Barr and Mike Lynch!