Drawing on a 20-year career as a Navy physician, Mike J. Krentz writes military thrillers with a distinct human flavor. From real-life immersion with courageous yet sometimes flawed warriors in ships, air wings, and fleets deployed around the world, he portrays the personal and professional dramas that challenge military men and women — conflicts often more provocative than combat action. His last assignment as 7th Fleet Surgeon on board the flagship, USS BLUE RIDGE, became the inspiration for the FLAGSHIP! Series. The trilogy includes RIVEN DAWN, SOUTH CHINA SUNDOWN, and RISING SUN…MORNING STORM.
Mike holds a classical degree in English from the University of San Francisco, a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, and a Master of Public Health Degree from Johns Hopkins University.
Mike lives in Norfolk, VA with his wife and son. When not writing, he works as a public health consultant. He enjoys fine cuisine, wine and single malt scotch, and actively participates in running and bicycling.
What inspires you to write?
I have always enjoyed writing, even as a youth. I wrote my first fiction in high school, and chose to major in English in college — an unusual pathway to becoming a doctor. Pre-medical students usually concentrate on science disciplines, but I wanted to develop my creative side as well. When it came time to retire after a long medical career, I chose to pick up my writing interest to tell stories based on my experiences as a Navy doc. I first considered screenwriting, but my cousin by marriage, NYT best-selling romance author, Jayne Anne Krentz, encouraged me to write novels. I’ve loved every minute of it.
Fiction writing enables me not only to tell thrilling stories about courageous men and women, but also to explore the deeper aspects of personality, psychology and relationships.
I chose strong women for the protagonists in my FLAGSHIP! Series because I have met and admired a number of outstanding female Navy officers in my career, many of whom have faced additional challenges in their road to success. Their honor, courage and commitment are true inspirations.
Tell us about your writing process.
I spend a lot of time thinking about my next book before I write anything down. Once I have a fairly clear image of the story and characters in my mind, I develop a rough outline using the basic three-act structure pioneered by Syd Field. Then I devote more time to developing my characters, but I don’t do the full character interview that some other writers employ. Finally I start writing my first draft. I use Scrivener, which is a great program.
The story always changes as the characters interact during the draft writing, but i try to stay at least roughly within the structure. All my books have acts, plot points, pinches, mid-points and the other components of the structure — but not precisely at the prescribed location in the story line.
I do as many drafts as I need to feel confident that I’ve got the story right. Then I do the grammar and line editing, and submit the draft to my very competent publisher, Purple Papaya, who takes care of the uploading to the various e-tailer sites.
What advice would you give other writers?
Start writing now, and keep writing till it’s done. And then start the next one.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I pitched my first book, RIVEN DAWN, to traditional agents, but like many novice writers didn’t get much satisfaction from that process. Then Jayne convinced me to go the self-pub route, and that has been very rewarding. Another family member owns and operates easyepublishing.com, a very professional service that formats and uploads my books to a variety of e-book retailers.
Even with the explosion of the self-publishing industry, and the full involvement of established authors, we still see some bias implying that we’re not “real” authors until our books appear on the shelves at B & N or wherever. Seems like best case would be to do both.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Definitely digital and more interactive, but good old paper books will never go the way of vinyl records and CDs.
What genres do you write?
thrillers, military thrillers, war fiction, women’s fiction.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print