Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on one of the Worcester Writers Collaborative authors who will be joining us on Small Business Saturday – Michael Bailey!
Thank you for joining us for an interview, Michael! Can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I’m a former reporter, blogger, and editor with the Falmouth Enterprise. I left the paper after fifteen years to focus on my creative and freelance writing career. I released my first book, the YA superhero adventure Action Figures, in September 2013. I’ve since released seven full-length novels and a short story collection. I’m also a former staff scriptwriter for the Connecticut Renaissance Faire and Pastimes Entertainment.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect?
My YA series, Action Figures, is a superhero adventure inspired by classic comics, while my fantasy novel series, The Adventures of Strongarm & Lightfoot, is an homage to and gentle mockery of the sword and sorcery genre. Both feature a lighter tone than you tend to find in most YA and fantasy novels, and I play around with a lot of the tropes of both genres.
My latest release, Assassins Brawl – book two in the Strongarm & Lightfoot series – riffs on fantasy stories heavy with political intrigue and gives it a humorous twist, but offers a fair amount of sincere drama and a lot of rollicking action.
What character did you love or hate the most while writing? And why?
I tend to enjoy writing all my characters, but for Assassins Brawl, I particularly liked writing Erika Racewind, one of the series’ heroes. In book one, Scratching a Lich, I set her up as a badass warrior woman archetype, and in Assassins Brawl I start to undermine the stereotype a little and take her in directions readers aren’t necessarily expecting.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
I could offer countless pieces of advice, but I’ll go with this: learn how to process criticism. Whether that criticism is from beta readers offering advice on how to improve your work-in-progress or from a reader dumping on your finished book for the simple sake of being a jerk, you need to know what is useful feedback and what is worthless, and how to respond to either.
In the case of a bad review, the proper response is no response. Trying to defend your work against an unkind critic is not only unprofessional behavior, it’s unproductive. Use that energy to make your next book better rather than on a pointless Internet fight.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
For Action Figures, New England in general and Massachusetts in particular figure heavily. The main setting, the fictional Massachusetts town of Kingsport, is based on my hometown of Falmouth. Worcester also gets a few mentions, most notably as the former home base for the super-team the Quantum Quintet, who were asked to leave after their team leader, Doc Quantum, accidently cause a citywide blackout with one of her experiments.
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Aside from more Action Figures and Strongarm & Lightfoot, I’m plotting out a planned urban fantasy trilogy currently going under the working title Women Behaving Badly, and an as-yet unnamed horror novel
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
Amazon, of course, and on my website, innsmouthlook.com.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
The aforementioned innsmouthlook.com, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Goodreads, Google+ , LinkedIn, and my Amazon Author Central page – all of which you can find links to on my main website.