- Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both, by the time I finally get to sit down and write, I have probably been thinking about the scene for a good chunk of the day. I don’t write regularly because I can’t unless I have a clear objective in mind. That being said, I get excited because I know that my idea is a good one, otherwise I wouldn’t have been thinking about it all day.
- What is your writing Kryptonite?
Silence. I need noise to be able to focus. I wrote my first book in a noisy airport, between flights, and I finished my book in 7 months. I worked there, so it was a matter of bringing my Ipad and writing while waiting for the next job. When I went on a writer’s retreat I didn’t get nearly as much done, even though I had nothing else to do but write. Too quiet.
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, it may sound selfish but I would like to be recognized. My last name is fairly unique and I want to use it to my advantage. When my name gets called somewhere public, I want people to know that it is indeed their “favourite author” and not a look alike. Dreams write?
- What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
A lot of the members of my writing group in Sherwood Park, Alberta, are friends of mine. The Writers Foundation of Strathcona County has several published authors within it’s organization. Many of which are also with the same local publishing company Dreamwrite Publishing. We share stories and read each other’s books and offer constructive feedback to one another on a regular basis. This helps greatly in developing our writing skills. It also encourages me to explore my craft and expand my horizons. It is because of their feedback on one of my stories that I will be branching out into the children’s book market in the next couple years.
- Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I have an eight and half book series in the works write now and plans for another series in the future. They may seem to be stand alone, but there are little “Easter eggs” that would suggest otherwise. I have a MSU. (Mike’s Stories Universe) If I reference a character with the same name from another story in my piece of writing, it’s the same character. In fact, in my current series, my main character will meet another main character from a future series at some point. Best bet is to read as much of my works as you can. You never know who will make an appearance or have a secret origin story revealed.
- What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I-pad. More compatible than a laptop by far
- What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
As a child grade four to be exact, I was asked a question, “If I could be anyone else for one day, who would I want to be and why?” I answered that I didn’t want to be anyone else but me, because I am comfortable with who I am. The teacher was shocked that a kid could write something like that. I still feel that way today.
- What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
I don’t know if it is under-appreciated or not, but Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn, is amazing. The Humans, by Matt Haig is my most recent obsession though. I enjoyed it so much, I bought most of his other books.
- As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’d choose a Sloth or a Bat. A Sloth, because I tend to do things slowly when it comes to writing and a Bat because my writing is mostly done at night.
- How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Six. Three children’s books unpublished. One romance thriller, Book one of a Trilogy/Quadrilogy and my third book in my Shadowsite Chronicles series. I am considering compiling my poems I have written and publishing a poetry book, but I am uncertain about that.
- What does literary success look like to you?
I want to have a complete series out and available to the public. Fame and fortune would be nice of course, but simply having a childhood dream come true would be enough for me. The renown is a side effect of the project.
- What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My research consists of me reading my age group books that I am writing for. I write fantasy mostly, so my research is limited, unless I need a real world situation, then it takes me as long as I need to find the answer.
- How many hours a day/week do you write?
What is this hours a “day”? hours per week is… a few. My Sloth tends to be a procrastinator when it comes to writing. I plan to change that though. Hopefully the Nanowrimo challenge will light a fire under my back end.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
Sometimes it’s a play on their abilities. Other times it’s people from real life. Mostly though, it is the first name that pops into my head. In the case of Bruce, from my Shadowsite Chronicles series, my sister had a spruce tree that she named “Bruce the Spruce” and it made me laugh. I wanted to use that in my writing, so I did.
- What was your hardest scene to write?
Fight scenes. Too many times, as a reader, I find myself disappointed with the climax of a conflict. I try to make my scenes exciting and satisfactory to read. There is nothing worse than having a amazing build up, followed by a lackluster fight scene. I want the readers to feel like the effort of reading was worth it in the end.
- Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I find Fantasy easiest to right. It’s what I read the most. I don’t balance, I write what my muses tell me to write. I believe that there is no bad story, there is just a inappropriate format. If I am having trouble telling a story, I might write it in a play or a poem instead. That’s the way I balance
- How long have you been writing?
Since I was in grade three technically, although I have only in the last five years tried to have a go at it professionally.
- What inspires you?
Life. My children’s story came to me when I was working at the airport, loading luggage under the plane. You never know when inspiration is going to hit. Anyone who is interested in writing needs to leave themselves open at all times. Step outside your comfort zone, listen to people talk, ask questions. Some of my best ideas came to me when I least expected them too.
- How do you find or make time to write?
I get a friend to tie me to a chair so I can’t move anything but my hands and neck and say, “no matter what you hear, don’t untie me…” Just kidding of course, I write when the mood strikes. I can’t write if I don’t have an idea in mind. Something I plan to work on in the future though.
- What projects are you working on at the present?
I am working on book three of my Shadowsite Chronicles series, writing song lyrics for a couple local artists and helping write stories for a new video game company called Bedlammage. I am hoping that project takes off so I can start writing perminantly, for a living.
- What do your plans for future projects include?
Finishing my Shadowsite Chronicles series starting my other series after that, hopefully acquiring more lyric writing opportunities, publishing my children’s books and writing for Bedlammage.
- Share a link to your author website.
http://www.mikederegowski.com or find me on facebook at Mike Deregowski – Author Page.
A playwright, novelist, poet, game writer and lyricist, Mike enjoys expanding his writing experience and hopefully inspiring others to follow their hobbies and dreams. Once he joined the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County, in Sherwood Park, Alberta, because of his friend Kelsey Hoople, he found support that he needed and started his journey to become a published author.