Romelia: WHAT IS A SIGNIFICANT WAY YOUR BOOK HAS CHANGED SINCE THE FIRST DRAFT?
Michael Ross: It hasn’t changed. I am a pantser. I don’t really do drafts. I may alter things grammatical, or the run inn a paragraph to make a little more sense. But after 17 books, some best sellers, I have never been involved in a re-write. I type straight into my formatted document and that is it. It’s because I am a pantser and I am telling a story.
Romelia: WHAT PERSPECTIVES OR BELIEFS HAVE YOU CHALLENGED WITH THIS WORK?
Michael Ross: Well, I went into detail with Elves. I wanted them to be believable but different at the same time. For example, my Elves have a different culture. The men are hermaphroditic and have children and the women are the thinkers. As a long standing method actor, I wanted the elves to be absolutely believable.
Romelia: WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA FOR YOUR BOOK?
Michael Ross: My life as a boy of six where my head was in this imaginary cloud. I have always read fantasy, and I sometimes may get ideas of sorts from film of this nature. But again, I want elves to be as real as possible.
Romelia: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BOOK’S IDEAL READER?
Michael Ross: Oh? I don’t write my books for readers, I write them for myself. If my readers like them, all well and good. That way I don’t pander to the likes and dislikes of someone else. That to me, spoils the creativeness.
Romelia: HOW MUCH RESEARCH DID YOU NEED TO DO FOR YOUR BOOK?
Michael Ross: Not a lot at all. All the ideas come out of my head, There are occasions I may want to emphasize the problems humans are causing the planet with global warming, so in this case, asked a climate change expert what would Earth look like in 2082 which is the timeline initially that my book is set.
Romelia: HOW IMPORTANT WAS PROFESSIONAL EDITING TO YOUR BOOK’S DEVELOPMENT?
Michael Ross: All depends on my budget. At the lowest side of things I use Grammarly professional, but if possible I use a professional editor, and it can make a huge difference.
Romelia: WHAT WAS YOUR HARDEST SCENE TO WRITE, AND WHY?
Michael Ross: For me (spoiler alert would be the final book of the series. A favorite character (an Elf) dies, but towards the end, I have a very touching scene where her hybrid human/elf daughter is able to bring her back for her daughter to spend one last day with. I had the idea from the film ‘A.I.’ You would need a box of tissues.
Romelia: WHAT CHARACTERS IN YOUR BOOK ARE MOST SIMILAR TO YOU OR TO PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
Michael Ross: Well of course, there are parts of me in some characters (the good ones lol) then some of the horrible characters are based upon fools I have come across in my life.
Romelia: HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THIS BOOK?
Michael Ross: Approx. 2 months. From start to finish. Once I get going I don’t stop.
Romelia: HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR YOUR BOOK?
Michael Ross: It features a wand, not your piddly harry Potter type, but Elvina is the most powerful wand in all the cosmos. The user doesn’t just hold it, the wand infuses into the body of the user, so the user becomes the wand.
Romelia: WOULD YOU AND YOUR MAIN CHARACTER GET ALONG?
Michael Ross: I have two main characters, a human General called Hugo, and I admire him a lot. Good looking and very clever and competent, so yes I would get along with him, but would also get along with Sallana Yana-Ash, the main female Elf. OMG I fancy the pants off her, but unfortunately, she and Hugo fall in love… Damn!
Romelia: IF YOU COULD MEET YOUR CHARACTERS, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THEM?
Michael Ross: I would say to Hugo, don’t overthink things. Slow down and listen to his little Chinese advisor who is called Ding Ling. Dingy brings humor into the darkest situation and is always quoting Confucius. Is there is an instance when Hugo was considering doing two things at once which could spell disaster, so Ding Ling quoted a Confucius to him, “Master, Think about it? You don’t take a sleeping pill if you have already taken a pill to help constipation.”
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS LIKE? ARE YOU MORE OF A PLOTTER OR A PANTSER?
Michael Ross: Out and out pantser. I did try the trad. way, but nothing worked. It completely decimated my creative process. I began to get worried. Was my writing any good? It was only when amazing reviews came in, and I started to receive awards, I knew being a pantser was right for me.
Romelia: WHAT DO YOU NEED IN YOUR WRITING SPACE TO HELP YOU STAY FOCUSED?
Michael Ross: Just my brain and a nice coffee from my new Nespresso machine. I think about ideas, and then I start typing and the plot opens up before me.
Romelia: IF YOU WERE TO WRITE A SPIN-OFF ABOUT A SIDE CHARACTER, WHICH WOULD YOU PICK?
Michael Ross: I love humor. And you can find humor in the darkest of places. My wife was murdered a while ago leaving me with my 4 and 6 year old boys. I wrote an award winning true life story that has traveled the world. But there are snatches of humor in there and they are so important to help you trawl through. So, which character? It has to be Ding Ling and his humor. In fact Ding Ling and a fairy called Tinker tanker (She is a little overweight-likes her nectar too much) I brought into my latest series, The Big Fairy Adventures. Tinker tanker has slimmed down a bit now, she was once called Tinker Supertanker!
Romelia: IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANOTHER POPULAR AUTHOR, WHOM WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Michael Ross: There is an author out there called Alan Hesse. He is a climate change expert, but he writes comic books about climate change for children. They are lovely books with humor and so informative, and he is a wealth of knowledge. It is strange he doesn’t write in any of the genres I do, but is very interesting to listen to.
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR SCHEDULE LIKE WHEN YOU’RE WRITING A BOOK?
Michael Ross: Oh I have a type of very loosely structured day. I have a little exercise, then I go to my man cave writing den, which serves as my audio booth which I use to record audio books, and write till I have had enough. So some days it could be an hour, others 6 hours and occasionally no writing on a day. We all lead busy lives don’t we?
Romelia: HAVE YOU EVER TRAVELED AS RESEARCH FOR YOUR BOOK?
Michael Ross: No I haven’t. What research I have done, has been by the internet, either on YouTube, or speaking to an author etc.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WRITING SNACK OR DRINK?
Michael Ross: Black coffee, occasionally with milk if I feel naughty. I never eat when writing, I keep eating in a separate bubble with relaxing.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE WHEN YOU FINISH YOUR BOOK?
Michael Ross: I run naked through the streets. Doesn’t everyone do that?? Only joking, I have my moment where I caress that book, and have been known to kiss it, then blast it all over my social platforms.
Romelia: WHAT RISKS HAVE YOU TAKEN WITH YOUR WRITING THAT HAVE PAID OFF?
Michael Ross: It has to be being a pantser. To write a book, not bother with drafts, and not formally plot out storylines and characters and rely on all that sort of stuff coming into my head, was enough to give me panic attacks at the beginning.
Romelia: WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU GOOGLED YOURSELF AND WHAT DID YOU FIND?
Michael Ross: Ha ha ha Sorry, The first ‘Michael Ross’ that came up was one of America’s foremost prolific serial killers.
Romelia: WHAT IS YOUR KRYPTONITE AS A WRITER?
Michael Ross: Annoying sales phone calls from hoover salesmen. I don’t answer calls when working now.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY FROM YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Michael Ross: I am an established actor. I once went to an audition for a lead role in a British medical series called Medics. I got the brief, but there was a typo on the call sheet. I thought it said ‘Farmer’ So I wore wellingtons, had hay sticking out of my pockets, wore a flat cap and a tweed jacket.
When I stood in front of the casting directors and said my piece with a very farmer accent. They just laughed and told me they were looking for a ‘Father’.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Michael Ross: I created a fitness brand called KETTFusion. It went on to be in the top three best brands in the UK. I had awards as best presenter, then had to have two new hips! So when they were done I celebrated, musch to the angst of my consultant by learning to hang glide and becoming a ski instructor!
I hate the way people are now, all over the world. What with Brexit, and Europe and now trump and all those problems. Everyone need to wake up, not blame everyone for all their problems and work together. There are lots of kind generous people in the world, we just need more.