This week we caught up with inspiring and prolific author Michael Elia, writer of the Marion Westburg series, Dave Bradley Series and a collection of animal-thriller-fantasy novels. We find out what makes his perspective unique as well as what keeps him focused on his upcoming projects...
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Michael Elia, I have autism and Tourette's Syndrome and I am fifty-two years old. I like walking, and working at Oxfam in Caversham, Berkshire. I live in Maidenhead, in accommodation for people with autism. I was educated at Eynsham School in Oxfordshire, lived with my family in Eynsham, then lived for five years in Gloucestershire, and the last twenty-three years in Berkshire.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I was inspired to start writing due to my fascination for history and geography, before turning my interest to nature. My first few books were wooden in quality, but my first really good book was Nature's Revenge, which I wrote during 1996 and 1997.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I first had A Trio of Cartels and Web of Crime published by Rosedog Books in America, a company I discovered by accident. Then I found two new publishers in England and Wales, Grosvenor House and Rowanvale Books, and I chose Rowanvale because they gave a better standard of service and would cooperate alongside me in marketing and advertising my books.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
When I am not writing, I am either reading factual books, my favourite being a cookery book, or I am reading parts of previous novella I wrote. I like reading about other countries.
Which work are you most proud of?
I prefer the five Dave Bradley novels I have written to the animal fantasy novels, and the book I am most proud of is The New England Net, which I wrote in 2009 after writing A Trio of Cartels, Web of Crime and Trouble Near Timlook. After Trouble Near Timlook has been published, I have yet to publish The New England Net, and then I will publish Bent on Justice.
I am planning two more Dave Bradley novels, No Greater Evil and The Pursuit. These last two will give me as much pride as The New England Net.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
My best advice for handling writer's block is to take a few weeks or a few months break from your writing, focus on hobbies you enjoy, and then your mind will be refreshed.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
One thing I always have with me when I am writing is my laptop computer. The next essential thing is my printer.
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
If I was stuck on a desert island, the one book I would take with me is Trouble Near Timlook, partly because it is the longest Dave Bradley novel I wrote after Web of Crime, and partly because I am fascinated by the Amish and the Pennsylvania countryside. It is good escapism.
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
The best part about being an independently publsihed author is that I can create original, positive stories with original characters, whether it be American cops, dangerous animals led by noble sorcerers, or fictional themes set in countries in Europe with animal characters, one book being The Merciless Mountains.
What’s next for you?
After Trouble Near Timlook, the next book I will get published is The New Endland Net, my favourite novel. The latest Dave Bradley novel I have written is Bent on Justice, and my next work is No Greater Evil.
I may write a fifth Marion Weisberg novel or five novellas about her before writing the last two Dave Bradley novels. That will be seven Dave Bradley novels over-all, but I will give my writing a rest and start the Marion Weisberg novel in November.