Name: Michael Wessels
Where are you from: Born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Currently living in Kelowna, BC, Canada
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I was born in South Africa and spent the first seven years of my life there. My family moved to England for a couple years, before finally settling in the prairies in Canada. Growing up I was always surrounded by creativity because my dad is an artist. I was always encouraged to do whatever I found interesting and to research and learn as much as I could. In my early life I didn’t have much of a formal education because of moving around, but my parents fostered a curiosity that is still with me today.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
The latest news with me is that I just finished my second last semester or university. I have one more left and then I graduate this summer with a mechanical engineering degree.
The latest news with the book is that I finished the first rough draft of book two and am starting the first edit in the next couple weeks.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I am not sure of an exact date, but I remember the basic story. It couldn’t have been earlier than when I was around 8 years old. The story was called The Wickedest High school, because I thought there was nothing cooler than being in high school. It was all of 3 pages long, but I remember printing it out with a title page and stapling it together and how cool it felt to have written all those words.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t know if I do consider myself a writer even now. I feel like there must be something more to being a writer than what I have done. All I did was write down words that popped into my head for months on end and then edited it. It sounds too simple.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I don’t think there was any one thing that inspired me, but instead a few little things. I came up with the idea when I was in grade ten and it bounced around in my head for a few years before I tried writing anything down. Then the actual process or writing was seeded from having a job I didn’t like and looking for anything else I could do that might let me not have to work somewhere I didn’t want to.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would definitely say my style is very casual and conversational. I usually imagine I am telling someone the story and I write down the words as I tell it in my head.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title was something I played with for a while. It was originally just called Singularity, but there are tons of books with that title and I felt it would just get washed away and not sound interesting. So I looked at the main concept of the book and came up with The Singular Illusion.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the main ideas that I really wanted to show in the trilogy is that there is no obviously good or evil side, very much like real life. Everyone has a reason they make their decisions and it is up to the main character, Matt, to decide who he agrees with.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I tried to keep any part that isn’t related to the fantasy side, IE telepathy or telekinesis, as real as possible. I put a lot of effort into deciding on governing laws to their abilities so that it wouldn’t get out of hand. There isn’t going to be some crazy ability that suddenly pops up that allows the user to be invincible. Everyone has the same chances.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is definitely part of me in the book. I like to think that the main character is an exaggerated version of me with regards to some of his traits, and then a polar opposite on others.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I don’t think anyone who writes in this genre can ignore Harry Potter. It has become a staple of the fantasy world. Other books have also been really influential as well. Kenneth Oppel’s Airborne series, Game of Thrones, Eragon, there are lots and still more that drive me to write in the style and genre that I do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At this moment I am reading a non-fiction book about the Curiosity Mars Rover and how it was developed. I am reading it because I read The Martian by Andy Weir, which was an absolutely stunning book about mars.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not so new, but a less well known author, Ashley Felde who really helped me finish my first book by telling me about National Novel Writing Month. Her books are very elaborate and have more characters than I can count.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently I am working on book two of the series. I also just started to write down a few ideas for a saga that I might start in the future. It is still really early, but has some interesting ideas that I want to explore.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I have a great group of friends who helped me edit and review my book. I also had a family friend who gave me some amazing feedback and really helped me see what was missing in the books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to write as a career. If it were possible I would say yes, but we will see where things go. I have other plans as well and can always write in my spare time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
It’s hard to say. Even while I was writing the book there were things I wanted to change or add in, but everything that is in there is essential to the story and I think it is well represented.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am currently working on the second book of the trilogy as well as some other ideas, but those are still very new and more for fun than anything else.,
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest part about writing for me is the first draft. I have to make a mental effort to try and just write and not focus on trying to word everything perfectly. It is important to me that the story is interesting from a writing stand point as well as from the story.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Right now, I would say Andy Weir. His book The Martian was the first book I have read in a long time that I could not put down. The amount of detail and research he put into the book to make sure it is accurate, while still being fiction, is inspiring.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover of my book was designed by my dad who, I mentioned before, is an artist. I told him what I had in mind and gave him a written description of what I wanted. Then we went back and forth until we were both happy with it.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you want to be a writer and you want to try and write a book, it is simple. All you have to do is find something you think is interesting and invent a character. Then put that character into a situation and see how they get out. It’s not easy, but it is simple.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I have plenty of hobbies. I almost collect hobbies in a way. I love to build things with my hands. I was very into lego when I was young. I also enjoy playing video games. I do sports. I like to rock climb, but don’t do it very often. I also draw, and design random contraptions. I like to make videos and take pictures. That is about it, but I’m sure I am forgetting a few.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a Facebook page where I post updates regarding my writing. It can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MichaelWesselsAuthor
You can purchase the book in the following forms:
Soft cover Amazon ($15.19) http://t.co/0xiMrTTF3l
Soft cover Createspace ($15.99)http://tinyurl.com/mog48xq
Soft cover Barnes and Noble (15.99)http://tinyurl.com/mq7856a
Ebook on Kindle. ($6.02) http://tinyurl.com/p44zw89
Ebook on Nook by Barnes and Noble $5.99http://tinyurl.com/mq7856a
Ebook on Ibooks ( Apple ) $5.99 Found on the iBookstore!
Ebook (ePub) ($5.99) http://tinyurl.com/nq4ckfw