About Michael Taggart:
I wanted to be a writer for sooooooo long. I’d read a great book and feel so inspired. Or I’d read a book that just missed the mark, and think that I could do so much better. What stopped me was transferring what was in my head to what was on paper. In your head, the story is perfect! Once it starts to get on paper, it gets smaller somehow. All that possibility is exchanged for one clear path. Those big moments have to be supported by ramping up, creating tension, saying the right thing, creating all the mechanics for magic that make it work.
So I read a lot! I started with Westerns, went through thrillers and spy novels, loved Science Fiction, went into High Fantasy, then Urban Fantasy. That seemed to stick. I finally had a book idea that just wouldn’t let go. It took 4.5 years to write my first book, Misfit Mage.
In real life I became an engineer, a game designer (Hostile Takeover 1 and 2), web and database developer, fell in love, got married and adopted some cats that are way cuter than me.
All that came together in the characters in the books as well as all the action. I couldn’t have written this series 20 years ago. (Fledgling God)
I’m in a good space and I’m enjoying writing. Finally!
What inspires you to write?
The characters and the world. The characters can’t live unless I write them. They whisper to me at night. I think about them during the day. I write down ideas and snippets of action and words. The magic is grounded. I have pages of history, how the world developed, how power changed and grew over time. Misfit Mage and Melee Mage feel real to me – and it pulls me on to making the next in the series.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I’d have to start with Brandon Sanderson. He does so many different worlds and characters that are so creative! I would love to make worlds like he does!
Tell us about your writing process.
I start out with a list of exciting scenes. These are places where the MC grows, changes or gets more powerful. I love finding out more about the world so I include those too. Also I add in fun lines I want my MC to say or maybe new characters I want to introduce. That’s what a good book is – lots of fun scenes put together.
From there I put them in a good order that seems to flow in the book. Right away, I usually see some scenes that just won’t fit – so I put them in at the end in case things change. Then I start writing, and the book changes even more. There is a flow that happens when you write that you just can’t capture with an outline. The book really grows, more scenes are added, some scenes fall off and all that history and underlying work shows up and makes the world seem more real.
This seems to work well. The Scenes make sure the book starts with fun and excitement. The outline means I won’t get lost in the middle. The writing makes sure the book flows and feels real.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh yes! I listen to my characters a lot. When I’m in the flow, what the characters do and say have to feel real to them. This is what makes the world feel real.
When I’m reading a book – and the MC does something out of character to advance the plot – it just messes up the whole story.
What advice would you give other writers?
Create a writing routine that helps you ease into writing. My routine starts with doing something productive. It could be as simple as putting away the dishes and taking out the trash. Then I write how I’m feeling in the moment. All my hopes and fears. It could be just a few sentences. I could be a whole page. It just gets the gunk out of my head. I always delete this so I have the freedom to write whatever I want.
After that, I read my page of affirmations. These change over time. They are just positive thoughts that remind me why I write, and that I can write.
After that, I open up my document and start writing! By that time it feels easy to get into the flow. It doesn’t take long to get in the mood, but it sure helps.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always knew I would self publish. No publishing house is going to take a chance on a gay MC with a detailed magic world. That is a mix that is a bit different for most people. Usually gay MC books are all about romance. It’s rare to have an Urban Fantasy with a fully realized magic world with real rules. So Misfit Mage and the Fledgling God series is different enough that a traditional publishing house wouldn’t touch it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It's exciting! Self publishing has allowed whole new genres to show up. Like litRPG.
What genres do you write?: fantasy,urban fantasy,magic,gay,lgbt
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.