Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.


Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name.

Michael J. Schneider

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. I currently live in Arlington, Texas.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. At the age of 18, I was eligible to be drafted as the Vietnam War was at its peak. I chose instead to enlist in the U.S. Marines. I spent 14 and 1/2 months in Vietnam with the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division. Most of that time my duties were that of a clerk-typist; but I had a short period where I participated in long-range reconnaissance patrols.

In 1971 I enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and received a degree in Civil Engineering in May 1976. I worked for the Federal Government as an engineer from June 1976 until January 2008.

I got interested in writing and took two courses in writing for children and teenagers. My instructor assisted me in preparing Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam. This book is nonfiction targeted at the young adult audience.

My first book was The Secret of Sangre de Cristo, followed by Brendan of Kilrush. Both of these books were fictional stories intended for the young adult market. Both were self-published. I also published The Secret of Sangre de Cristo as an eBook on Amazon Kindle and at Smashwords. My book Brendan of Kilrush was published by atraditional publisher. The publisher is Ink Smith Publishing,

After taking a short course entitled: Writing the Romance Novel at the University of Iowa, I decided to try writing a historical romance. The result was Rebecca and the Renegade. This book is available as an eBook on Amazon Kindle.

I followed that with The Mystery of Skunk Hollow. This is a romance/mystery intended for an adult audience. It is also available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon Kindle.

My most recent book is From Omaha to Da Nang. This is a nonfiction memoir of my two years in the U.S. Marine Corps. It is also available as an eBook or paperback on Amazon Kindle. I wrote it with the idea that high school seniors might like to know what to expect if they enlist in the Marine Corps.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’ve started working on a novel about the Seven Years War.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My wife thought I might be good at writing children’s books. I responded to an advertisement from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I took two courses in writing for children and teenagers from them. My instructor assisted me in preparing Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam. This book is nonfiction targeted at the young adult audience.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After the sales of Swift, Silent and Deadly: Recon Marines in Vietnam passed the 200 copy mark.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was The Secret of Sangre de Cristo. I was inspired to write this young adult novel by a story that appeared in the newspaper in Alamosa, Colorado about some spelunkers discovering an old Spanish treasure in a mountain cave in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I don’t think I have a specific writing style. I’ not sure into what genre my fiction falls. I’ve developed a disdain for non-fiction because of all the citing of references and the obtaining of permissions involved.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The nonfiction works are completely factual. The Secret of Sangre de Cristo and Mystery of Skunk Hollow are strongly influenced by my personal experiences or me fantasizing about outcomes I would like to see.Brendan of Kilrush and Rebecca and the Renegade are made-up tales, although I did my best to research the settings for both books.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I would have liked to travel prior to writing Brendan of Kilrush and Rebecca and the Renegade, since I’ve never been to Ireland or Pennsylvania. I did spend time in Colorado and North Dakota before writing The Secret of Sangre de Cristo and Mystery of Skunk Hollow.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The cover forBrendan of Kilrush was the result of a compromise between the publisher and myself. The others I designed myself.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’m not big on messages. I think readers should enjoy the stories. I do, however believe in good conquering evil or the underdog triumphing.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

Much of what I’ve read recently I’ve done as research on my current project. My favourite writer is Ian Fleming as I love the James Bond novels.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Ink Smith Publishing

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I’m a retired civil engineer, but I like to think or writing as a second career.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?


Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned that my niece, who proof readFrom Omaha to Da Nang, did exceptionally well at that task.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

That’s a tough question because I’m not real familiar with current actors and actresses. Perhaps if I name an actor or actress of older acclaim you could suggest a suitable substitute. I do a table for my main fiction characters.

Book Main Character Actor/Actress
Mystery of Skunk Hollow Ralph Morgan Jack Nicholson
Rebecca and the Renegade Rebecca Walker Marcia Cross
The Secret of Sangre de Cristo Clifford Barnes Macaulay Culkin


Brendan of Kilrush Brendan Leonardo DiCaprio

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

For your story to be interesting to readers it has to be interesting to you.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I think you’ll enjoy my books.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Madame de Pompadour, Mistress of France by Christine PeavittAlgrant

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Fun with Dick & Jane?

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Bob Hope & Rodney Dangerfield

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Actually there are a lot, but since I’m restricted to one it would be Deborah Shaver, whom I went to high school with and who was the inspiration for the character of Darlene in The Secret of Sangre de Cristo.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Writing is my hobby.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I like NCIS, reruns of the West Wing and Law and Order. I like the old James Bond movies. The ones prior to the version of Casino Royale with James Craig. In the newer films so much attention is given to stunts that I lose track of the plot.

Fiona: Favourite foods, colors,  music?

My favourite foods are T-bone steak, baked potato, asparagus and pumpkin pie. My favourite color is green. I like most all kinds of music except rap which I can’t stand, but my favorite is classic rock.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I’m assuming I would be blind, so I have to tell stories verbally.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Just my name, date of birth and date of death. If I’m dead I really wouldn’t care.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Not at this time.

My Amazon author’s page is: www.amazon.com/Michael-Schneider/e/B0052G1BJ6/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0