TBM: How do you imagine the ideal reader of your book?
MM: Honestly, I can't say there is an "ideal" reader. I think its better to look at this question as who do I think would have the greatest chance of 'getting' my writing and my stories - as no two readers are exactly alike. Those readers, to me, would be anyone who is looking for an escape. The individual who sees the potential for the impossible within the seemingly mundane. And those who are willing to lose themselves fully within the pages of a story. If you're ready for the unexpected, and to feel, then my book is for you.
TBM: How was the writer inside of you born?
MM: The writer inside of me was born a long time ago on a ranch in the middle of what most would think was nowhere. It was there that I heard my first splotches of what is called cowboy poetry - the depictions of the harsh, and not so harsh, realities of life through the eyes of old, grizzled men. I fell in love with those stories. Those first moments inspired me to think that one day I'd like to be able to do the same; although I doubted my ability to do it as well as those old men could. My first stories were written after that, and already they showed the first traces for my loves: folklore and heartache.
TBM: What genres do you work with and why are you attracted to these forms of writing?
MM: I am attracted to writing within the genre of dark fantasy. There is so much potential there. Not only am I free to tell a story that is free from the confines of the "norm", but I am also free to tread into areas that other authors might be afraid to enter. In that way, I can tell the story exactly as my characters tell me it happens, without having to be too concerned about what people think. If its "dark", most people already understand that things are probably not going to happen as a perfectly wrapped package with a pretty bow tied on top. Which is never how life is anyway.
TBM: As a reader, what elements of a story do you love, or do you hate?
MM: I love a story with characters so vivid and alive that to me, even after the story is long over, those characters are still alive and well somewhere out in this vast world of ours. Well executed characters are what really make a story memorable. On the flip side, I find it extremely difficult to get into a story with characters that are one-dimensional or unrelateable. Characters are key for me, I suppose.
TBM: What inspired you to write BORN OF OAK AND SILVER and what do you hope your readers will take away from this book?
MM: The story for "Born of Oak and Silver" came to me in parts. I wrote the first chapter after seeing the headstone of my great-great-great grandfather in a small town in Mississippi. The story line after that, however, was a set of events I never expected to happen. In that way, it was an adventure. I never knew just quite to expect next, and after I had written it, frequently looked back and thought, "Did I seriously just write that?" In good and bad ways. In that, it became a journey into seeing if I could be true not only to myself, but to the characters. I think in a strange way it would be awesome if a reader was to read my book and on some level feel encouraged to always be themselves despite the circumstances they are put into.
TBM: How long did it take you to write this book and what did you do the day that you finished it?
MM: Writing "Born of Oak and Silver" took around eight months. When it was finished, I called everyone I knew and told them the good news. However, the real celebration came in the form of a massive plate of nachos to enjoy. There may have also been some happy dancing involved in there too.
TBM: What would you like to say to your readers?
MM: To my readers, I want to say THANK YOU for all the shout outs of encouragement, the reviews (good and bad), and for supporting me. It has been quite a journey, one that has been made better by meeting so many of you and becoming friends. Thank you!!!
TBM: What projects are you currently working on?
MM: THE CARADOC CHRONICLES are still well underway. In addition to "Born of Oak and Silver", I have also released a novella, "Once Within," and the sequel to the novel, "Born of Ash and Iron." There will also be another novella coming out next spring, and the final installment of the trilogy that will be released October 2015. Oh, but that's not all, I've also got a YA paranormal fantasy/horror that is going to be released February 2015, called "Stone Faced Angel". In other words, there is a lot going on.
MM: BORN OF OAK AND SILVER is a story that will push your limits, make you feel things that you might not expect, and will take you on a journey that isn't what you thought. But like all things, it is worth it. And . . . even better, it is an adventure that grabs you and refuses to let go.