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. What is your age?
My name is Mike Ennenbach, but I shorten it to M. Ennenbach for writing. I am 43.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from Illinois but now take up residence in Dallas Texas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
High School graduate, spent some time taking philosophy courses only to use the new knowledge I had gained to question the point. Left that and began a career fixing electronics in bars and now repair mailing machines. I have the two greatest kids in the world, Maia and Dax.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
This is my first year as a published writer. My first collection, Notches came out in March. I’ve had two poems published as well. Dig 2 Graves vol. 2 has a short I wrote and there is another anthology coming hopefully this year with my take on my favorite Grimm’s fairy tale. Next year I have a secret project with Death’s Head Press coming. As well as hoping to see my novel and first collection of poetry hit the market.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began in high school writing terrible poetry. Then I stopped for a few years (20ish). In 2016 I started a blog to detail dating in the modern age but that quickly derailed into poetry and short stories. I’ve always battled depression and I found that through words I could give voice to the voiceless sense of dread and anxiety.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure I do yet. Not really. But in November of 2016 I wrote a twelve thousand words poem based on Persephone (included in Notches). When that was done I realized I wanted to give being a real writer a chance.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote a small story, maybe a thousand words as a way to vent an idea. I went back to it and realized there was something to it. I fleshed it out and over a long month wrote my first novel. The collection of shorts was actually pushed by Patrick at Death’s Head. He said to throw something together and he would look it over. A month later I had a contract.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For the collection, I was clueless. Too many different tales to have a common theme. Then I thought of the saying, another notch on the bedpost. I liked it and used it temporarily and it stuck. For the novel, the main character is named Arthur Hardly so I chose to use Hardly Fair as a play on that. The sequel I am writing is going under the working title of Hardly Ready.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My shorts and poetry have been described as raw and naked. I bare my soul on the page. It isn’t challenging as much as painful. I just let the words fall as they choose and color them with my personality. The humor, the pain, the love; they are all me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In Notches, there is a lot of me and my life in the darker pieces. The rest are influenced by day to day and exaggerated.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. The stories are already alive inside. I do a lot of research though. I get inspired the more I know about a subject.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The amazing Don Noble made the cover for Notches. I was asked what I wanted and all I knew was a pomegranate. He blew my mind with what he came up with.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We all suffer from feeling like we aren’t enough. But there is strength in knowing you are not alone in that feeling. And it is okay to laugh about it.
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?
My favorite author is China Mieville. He is brilliant and insane. The way he tells a story and never slows down , just forces the reader to keep up and use their imagination is amazing. I am a big fan of Chris Miller and Kenzie Jennings. They have books out on DHP as well and they are wonderful.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The guys at Death’s Head. I cannot stress enough that they had my back the entire time. They saw something in me I didn’t see. They gave a no name a chance to shine.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope so. It is all I want to do. I write on my phone and every chance I get I am doing it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
That no matter how you think a story is going, it will surprise you and veer off where it wants.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The main character, Arthur, is based on me so clearly Hollywood needs to either sign me or find my doppleganger. Hahahaha. Arthur is a smartass and has a faux bravado to him that Chris Pratt could embody for sure.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Listen to your gut. Let the words speak as well to you. Like the old saying, be like the willow not like the oak. And enjoy yourself when you write and what enjoy what you write. I like to be surprised as much as the reader.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for all the support in my new career. It just gets bigger and better from here on.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Catfish in the Cradle by Wile E. Young and I always have something by Bukowski open.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not the first one, no. But 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was the first one that blew me away and made me a lifelong reader.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids. They are a constant source of wonder to me. My friends as well. And any video on YouTube with someone overcoming adversity will sick me in the tear ducts.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to sit and have a bottle of wine with Charles Bukowski because he is one of my all time favorites. A bottle of Scotch with Hunter S Thompson as well.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I am an avid video game player. I sketch as well. Cooking is always a good time when I can force myself into the kitchen.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Mindhunter. Fringe. Deadwood. I like anything with deep story telling that pushes the boundaries.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Purple is my favourite color. Any punk, hip hop or outlaw country works for me. And Ryo Fukui is my go to jams while writing. Being from Chicagoland, I never can say no to a good pizza.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Try and be the best father possible and slowly go insane as the words rattle around in my skull.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Gather my loved ones and laugh. Lots of laughter, cuddles and stories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He tried his best. Failed a lot, but always tried.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
https://mennenbach.com/ for daily poetry and news about future stories.
Notches: A Collection USA https://www.amazon.com/dp/1950259102/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_FNysDb6F6RFTC