Okay, everyone. We’re in for a forum treat today, because Mike Bailey is about to share his unique opinions about all things literature. He’s also going to be talking about his first novel What Have We Done? The Dragon Chronicles.
Tim Greaton: Well, let’s get right into it, Mike. You have one of the most unique childhood stories of any author I know. Could you explain to our readers what I mean?
Mike Bailey: I ran away from home as a young teenager, stylizing myself after the main character from a book I had read called My Side Of The Mountain. For several years I lived “off the land” in a very small town surrounded by many miles of dairy farms. I had complete and total freedom and learned many life lessons, often the hard way. During this time I managed to stay in school. While I did not finish high school at the time, I did go back and continued on to obtain a college degree as well. Many years later, I re-read that book and found that while my experiences were not much like those in the book, the lessons learned were very similar.
Tim Greaton: Other than your writing, you have an impressive list of hobbies that actually generate income. How does that work?
Mike Bailey: (he smiles) I do have many hobbies. I am a spray paint artist (not a tagger) and often do live shows and exhibits where I paint in front of people. Generally, artists in this genre paint on posterboard, but I have been known to paint everything from bedroom ceilings and walls, to cars, to snow boards, to motorcycle helmets to…well anything I can get my hands on.
I’m a tattoo artist and body piercer with over 25 years’ experience, and I specialize in custom fantasy style pieces. I particularly love doing steampunk inspired pieces.
My wife and I collect (and sell) all manner of ‘silent’ or bladed weaponry. We currently have a collection of several hundred knives, swords, daggers, whips, axes, spears, etc.
I have also recently begun to delve into airbrush painting although this is a brand new hobby for me.
Tim Greaton: Whew! It’s amazing that you find any time to write. What kinds of books do you read?
Mike Bailey: I haven’t had much time to read the last few years but typically I stick to the fantasy and sci-fi genres. Isaac Asimov and Edgar Rice Burrows are my favorite authors.
Tim Greaton: It’s not surprising that with you being an artist people would find your writing visual, but your readers say it goes beyond that. Could you explain what I mean?
Mike Bailey: I often hear that my writing is progressive and enticing, almost erotic. I think I have heard so many similar comments because I do include rather stimulating descriptions of romantic interactions between characters in all of my writings. I’m a guy, what can I say? I write what I like. I do try to make it non-offensive but I’m often told the scenes of that nature are so realistically described that the reader can almost see it in front of them.
Tim Greaton: A lot of us occasionally retrieve past works and try to fix them. You have a different take on that, don’t you?
Mike Bailey: I doubt any of my old projects will see the light of day in their current forms. However, I do refer back to them from time to time to steal ideas for current projects.
Tim Greaton: I’m a huge animal lover and find each of my pets has his or her own personality. You had a dog named Gigabyte who was especially memorable. Could you share a little about him?
Mike Bailey: Gigabyte is no longer with me, but he was so full of character that you couldn’t help but love him instantly. He was a miniature teacup Chihuahua that weighed 3.1 pounds, full grown, and thought he was a pit bull. That might be because he was raised with a pit bull. In my first novel, What Have We Done? The Dragon Chronicles, I used Gigabyte as inspiration for a character named Cujo (yes, I know I stole the name from Steven King but I just loved the irony).
Tim Greaton: Mike, is there a book that impacted your life in a HUGE way?
Mike Bailey: Yes, several in fact. The Martian Tales of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Snowcrash and The Cat Who Walked Through Walls. All amazing books that will work readers’ imaginations in ways one cannot even dream.
Tim Greaton: Do you have a lot of help in prepping your books for an audience?
Mike Bailey: Many of my family/friends read my manuscripts before publishing, and some of them help with editing suggestions, but mostly I rely on my own instincts. I have studied grammar, layout, etc… in detail and always edit and re-edit many times before publishing.
Tim Greaton: Rather than looking to books, you actually take inspiration from another medium. Could you tell us what that is?
Mike Bailey: I try to model my writing after the great sci-fi movies: Resident Evil, Jurassic Park, Reign of Fire, Alien, Starship Troopers, and such.
Tim Greaton: I definitely loved Reign of Fire. Matthew McConaughey and Christian Bale both did a great job. Regarding your writing, what would you consider to be your literary brand?
Mike Bailey: I am definitely a sci-fi/horror/fantasy writer, but I try to be more open-minded than that. I write what I like: a little blood/guts, suspension of disbelief, some eroticism. I try to include all of these things, even though some of the content might traditionally be seen as offensive.
Tim Greaton: Given your movie influences, could you make us a pitch for your latest book?
Mike Bailey: What Have We Done? The Dragon Chronicles—think Resident Evil meets Reign of Fire with a little Jurassic Park thrown in for spice. Basically, there is a secret underground lab operated by a collaboration of shadow governments from all over the world. The purpose is to create a creature from scratch that can live and travel in outer space without the aid of a spaceship. The idea is for these creatures to explore space for us. The project seems to be going well, friendships are built, loves are grown, results are achieved, but how many times have seen what happens when mankind’s arrogance goes unchecked? Have you ever looked into the eyes of a caged wild animal? What about when that animal escapes? What would you see in its eyes then?
Tim Greaton: Sounds like a high concept that really would appeal to a movie studio. Will there be sequels?
Mike Bailey: Yes, absolutely! I am currently working on book two titled, Dragon Bound: The Dragon Chronicles, and I ultimately envision it as a trilogy. I’m not ready to say too much, but be ready for dragon riders!
Tim Greaton: If James Cameron went ahead with the series, what kind of a monster would be in the film, and who would take the starring roles?
Mike Bailey: A dragon would be center screen, along with the only two actresses on the planet, if the decisions were mine. Angelina Jolie would take the role of Misha and Allison Scagliotti (of Warehouse 13 fame) would be SyAnne. Anyone familiar with these two beautiful women will understand why they would be so good together, especially considering the character’s love interest in the book.
Tim Greaton: So if James Cameron opened his impressive purse strings for your novel’s advertising budget, how would you get the word out?
Mike Bailey: Sky writing in rainbow colors above every major city, three times a day for a month.
Tim Greaton: I probably don’t have to ask this, but if any of your characters could appear right now in your world, who would it be?
Mike Bailey: Misha and SyAnne, definitely! As for why (he grins) read the book and you’ll understand.
Tim Greaton: It would be great if you could share your website/blogsite and links to where our audience could directly communicate with you and purchase your stories.
Tim Greaton: Thanks for sharing some of your incredibly busy life with us—okay, I’m using your real name now—Tiny. I always try to get everyone used to the full name on my friend’s book covers, but if I shouted “Mike!” in a crowd, you wouldn’t even turn around, would you? Anyway, regardless of which name we use, I suspect lots of fingers will be punching keyboards to find What Have We Done? The Dragon Chronicles in just a few minutesJ
Mike “Tiny” Bailey: Tim, thank you for doing this interview. Also, thank you, readers, for your time and interest. You are the people that drive Tim and me to entertain.
It’s been a joy interacting with everyone!
Mike "Tiny" BaileyTwitter - @Bconsortium
Facebook Fanpages - TnBCreations (spray paint art)
- TattooedWhiteTrash (Tattoo Artists and Body Piercers)
- AuthorMikeBailey (Science Fiction Author)
(Writing On The Wild Side)