Friday, December 9, 2016

Authors To Watch: Mike Hartner, author of 'I, Angus'

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike’s latest book is I, Angus (The Eternity Series Book 4).
For More Information

Title: I, Angus
Author: Mike Hartner
Publisher: Eternity 4 Popsicle Publishing
Pages: 260
Genre: Historical Fiction

During a time of civil strife and purging the North has lost more men to Wars then it ever did to Nature.

Angus has grown up learning that his life is better off with only him and a family. But is that really in the Grand Plan.

The North needs someone to build community.

But first, Angus needs to be forged... beaten, shaped, bolded and trained.

Watch as Angus hits both lows and highs across the lands of England, Scotland and France, before meeting a challenge of new land.


Tell us a little about yourself. 

My name is Mike Hartner. I’m in my early 50s, I live in Vancouver, BC, where my son goes to High School, and I’m very happily married to the same young woman who continues to take my breath away after more than 26 years of marriage. I misspent my youth working on computers of all types, and tutoring mathematics at all levels.  Now, I use writing as my release. 

When did you begin writing? 

I started writing poetry in my school days.  But, it would be the death of my grandfather in 2000, and the quest for genealogy, and then the birth of my son in 2001 that would spark my interest in writing.  In fact, it was a distant relative who asked me to write information done about my family genealogy that brought the writing bug.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write? 

I write late in the evenings and early in the mornings.  Writing is important to me, since today it is my release from the stresses of everyday life.  However, my family is much more important, and therefore the writing comes, usually, after everyone is taken care of and asleep.

 I’m a pantser.  By the end of the previous book, I have the character for the next book.  The pattern is that the eulogist in the first book is the main character in the second book…  But, other than the main character, and possibly one or two other characters, I know very little about the book.   Now, Book 5 is going to be an exception.  In book four, I, Angus, the eulogist was Angus’ sister … Alice.   So, Book 5 is I, Alice.  But, Alice was also the villainess in I, Mary ( Book Three)  so we have some timelines for her.  This is analogous to having a huge puzzle with much of the middle and a few of the corner edges already finished, but NO picture to go by. 

Can you tell us about your most recent release? 

2016 has been a productive summer. In June, I released I, Angus.  I, Angus is Book 4 in The Eternity Series, and tells the story of Angus Mackenzie.  He is a Scotsman who becomes a lay-priest, and an arbiter.  

Two months later, in August, I released A Quiver of Character.  Quiver is a book of short stories from the world of The Eternity Series.  A group of major-minor characters as I call them ( major supporting cast, but not books into themselves) have deigned it necessary to give us a glimpse of their worlds.

How did you get the idea for the book?   

The idea for I, Angus came from the pages of I, Mary.   In Mary, we found Angus as the priest that Mary confided in, and who helped her do many things.  It was he, then, that eulogized her passing. And that set Angus up for his story in book four.  

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?   

That’s a really tough question.  It’s analogous to asking a mother or father “Who is your favorite child?” Authors, like parents, are not supposed to pick their favorites.  Is Walter my favorite because he was my first?  Is Mary because she was the first time I’d written a female protagonist?  Was James my favorite, because of the fact that I gave him Rosalind, with a lot of parallels in their formative years? Or is Angus my favorite because of the way I threw a lot of adversity at him, and he never waivered?  I don’t know.   I love all my children equally. 

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

 The most challenging aspect of writing my book is listening to the characters and writing their actions without trying to be revisionist and telling them, “You can’t do that. No,no,no.  You must do it this way!”

Which authors have inspired your writing?

Chaucer, obviously.  But, I also have a lot of great historical fiction writers that I love.  Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Jeffrey Archer, Mark Twain, Pat Conroy are all among my favorites. 

What projects are you currently working on? 

Currently, I am working on Book 5… I, Alice.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors? 

Write what you know and love. Show your passion.  For if you can’t write with passion, you can’t convey it.  And without passion, reading is tedious. 

My final comment:  Thank you very much to Bookish Pleasures for their continued support and hosting of The Eternity Series.  And thank you to all my readers and fans who have read The Eternity Series and have posted reviews.  I am very thankful for all of your support.

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