Welcome Back, MIKE SQUATRITO of THE OVERLORDS Series!!!
Nonnie: Mike, please reacquaint yourself to my fans with a little information about you and where you are from.
Mike: Sure thing, Nonnie, but before I do I want to thank you for being the final stop on The Overlords Blog Tour and to say hi to all your fans! As for me, I live in Tiverton, RI with my wife Lea, and our children, Devin and Samantha. I currently have self-published the first three novels in my Overlords collection and I’m working on the fourth as we speak. The stories are epic fantasy, on the lines of The Lord of the Rings, written at a Harry Potter level, with the character set influenced by the original Star Wars cast. I know, a can’t miss, right?!?! The books are suitable for middle school on up and highly recommended for all.
Nonnie: How are sales with The Overlords?
Mike: Sales have been steady, but they could always be better! With Christmas coming, I’m hoping to pick up some new fans and sales along this blog tour (hint, hint!) I self-published Legend of the Treasure in 2006 followed by The Talisman of Unification in 2007. I released my third novel in the series, Journey to Salvation, in 2011 so it’s time for me to get another book out to my fans.
Nonnie: What or who inspired you to write The Overlords?
Mike: I had many inspirations, some obvious, some not so much. The obvious inspirations came from Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books, but my biggest influence was actually Star Wars. George Lucas created such a fantastic story line, universe, and mythology that still holds my attention even today. I’m also a huge fan of the X-Files and I loved the way Chris Carter held back on lots of the alien conspiracy theories that forced me to think about every episode and wonder if I had missed something. I can’t tell you how many times I watched the same episode over and over, looking for more clues!
The not so obvious influence are The Beatles. Their music to me is flawless and every time I would get a bout of writer’s block I’d listen to one of their albums and it would help me through my tough time (I’m listening to Paul McCartney’s New CD as I write this!). To think that these men created the amount and quality of music that they did, played concerts, starred in five movies, made countless appearances, etc. and did all that in a span of eight years is incredible. And they did all this while they were in their 20’s. I constantly tell myself you can do this, too. I’m older and wiser now!
Nonnie: Who are your favorite characters in your books?
Mike: Nonnie, that’s like asking me who’s my favorite child! I love them all! If I had to choose one it would be my main character, Harrison Cross. Harrison is a selfless, righteous warrior with an intense desire to do good at all times. He’s a bit undersized, but his drive to do good astounds and impresses all he meets. Harrison is the kind of person I’d really like to be I suppose!
However, I also like one of my lead bad guys, Lord Nigel Hammer, a lot too. He’s a smart and deceptive warrior who plays Harrison against his goodness every chance he can. He’s ruthless and merciless, though, and someone you would want to steer clear of. He also has a sense of humor, which is a nice contrast at times.
I also have to add our canine hero, Lance, to this list, too. Lance is a blink dog that can teleport 15 feet in any unobstructed direction and can also communicate with Harrison, his master. My inspiration for Lance was my yellow Lab, Junior. I can’t tell you how many times I talked to that dog as I wrestled through scenes. He was such a great listener!
Nonnie: Any upcoming projects we should now about?
Mike: I’m still working on the final book in my Overlords collection, aptly named Book Four at this time. I’m a ways away from completing that one but I have kept myself busy teaching and writing blog posts.
Nonnie: Can you talk a little bit about your school and library presentations? What are they all about?
Mike: I basically talk about “The Concepts of Writing and Publishing” at both school and library visits. At the schools, depending on the grade level of the students, I usually discuss the finer points of writing a great story followed by a monster creation session. Creating monsters allows those students that are not interested in writing books to participate, too by helping give the monster vital characteristics, provide artwork of the creature, present the drawings to the rest of the class, etc.
My library visits delve deeper into book creation, including creating characters, settings, plot points, and editing, as well as self-marketing, self-promotion, and social networking. I also hold workshops and seminars at local libraries that deal with adult writer’s workshops, children’s writer’s workshops, science fiction/fantasy workshops, social networking, etc. My intent is to try to help as many people as I possibly can.
Nonnie: What’s Self-Publishing Insight?
Mike: Self-Publishing Insight, or SPI, is the self-publishing consultancy I formed with a business partner of mine. Overlord Enterprises is the parent company that contains both SPI and The Overlords Book Series. SPI focuses on helping authors get their book into print by offering expert one-on-one consultations, self-publishing packages, editorial services, eBook creation, artwork by a Marvel/DC Comics artist, social networking, marketing, and promotional activities. School and library visits also fall under SPI and we partner with many organizations with similar interests to ours. Like I said before, I want to help as many people as I possibly can!
Nonnie: You’re a big advocate for mentoring and paying it forward. Can you describe what you would like to see from your fellow authors in this area?
Mike: We authors know so much more than we give ourselves credit for. I’ll be honest, what I’ve been able to accomplish is a bit overwhelming, but I’m still nowhere near a best-selling author. As a matter of fact, I’m an engineer by day! However, that doesn’t mean we should not help out our fellow authors. Everyone has unique skills that should be passed along, if to help just one more would-be novelist get to the next point on their project’s path.
I also believe in mentoring and I’ve mentored four high school seniors the past three years and I’m mentoring another one this year. It’s our responsibility to pass along our knowledge to the next generation and I challenge my fellow authors to do just that. Mentor today!
Nonnie: Mike, thanks for being a good sport! Is there anything you would like to leave my fans with?
Mike: Thank you again, Nonnie, for being the final stop on my Overlords Blog Tour. That said, I do have some shameless plugs to pass along! You can learn more about me and my project at www.the-overlords.com and you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see, I’m looking for other authors to guest blog on my site and if you’re interested please contact me. And yes, I am always open to mentoring!!!
You can purchase my books and eBooks on my website or if you have Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Noble (Nook) accounts, at the following:
Follow me on Twitter, @Overlords
Check out my Self-Publishing consultancy as well, Self Publishing Insight
Thanks, Mike for stopping by again! It’s always a pleasure to have you here with us. And for those of you who don’t typically read from this genre (like me), let me tell you, just a preview inside of one of Mike’s books had me so very interested. One of his books is on my TBR list for the holidays so I guess he’s converted me! So, before you think “no, that’s not my kind of read”, give it just a little try first!
Mike loves comments, so don’t forget to leave yours below before you leave!
- Mentoring the Next Great American Novelist by Mike Squatrito (nonniewrites.wordpress.com)