I was introduced to this blog tour by Maureen Francisco, award-winning author of It Takes Moxie: Off The Boat, or Out Of School, To Making it You Way in America. The book is about living your potential and achieving your dreams.www.maureenfrancisco.com
The following are my responses to four questions each author will address during the “Blog Tour.”
1) Beyond the Black Stump was completed in October of 2015.
As you will see on our company website Let Kids Be Kids , the Book link, I have written three books to share the challenges, the people, the humanity, solutions to many ongoing challenges in our community.
Encouraged by the process and reception of my first book “View from the Tent” I was inspired to write “Ice” about people I have interacted with since 1989 who are fighting terminal disease. That led to writing “Trust Kids” which is the core of our belief that good things happen when we listen, honor and incorporate the ideas of young people.
I am constantly adding to the three books with articles, blog entries, public speaking. Due to the ease of updating “E Books’ I am considering adding chapters to the three books.
I am working on a fourth book addressing the the theme of loneliness to be called “Still Swinging.”
I just completed my fifth novel, “Beyond the Black Stump” telling further tales of three men I have had adventures with over the years. This story takes place in Northern Ireland after an alert is circulated about a possible attack on the royal family.
The novels are subtitled “Life in the Shadows” as we all had more than one “boss” while we lived in Eastern Europe, Europe and Australia. As I told a friend who lives in Guatemala the action in “A Day Without Stars” happened, but it didn’t happen in Guatemala. My target is those who were there with hopes that others will enjoy the adventure and uniqueness of locations and characters.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The trilogy of books “Trust Kids”, “Ice”, and “View from the Tent” are unique in style, presentation, reflection of the actual people living the stories. They are more than a narrative drawing the reader into the feelings of those experiencing homelessness, poverty, HIV/AIDS and trying to have a voice as a young person, when the paradigm rarely allows a young person the ability to create change. I have been very pleased by their acceptance and use in a number of schools as sources into the reality of those dealing with situations many of us don’t face on a regular basis.
The novels are our stories. Unique to our experiences, travels, loves, losses, mixed with a sense of adventure, humor and dedication to “doing the right” thing-
3) Why do I write what I do?
The trilogy of books were written to share, educate, illuminate the ongoing challenges many face in all of our communities. When I wrote “View from the Tent” I was fund raising to buy 100 cots to allow people living in a tent city the option to sleep on a cot versus a inverted milk crate. In order to solicit funds I told stories of people I met, interacted with, in communities that some are uncomfortable dealing with. I met a man who reluctantly began to interact with me by handing me notes. One thing led to another and I shared his story. It has helped many people see the humanity of many they pass by on the streets.
“Ice” is my tribute to many people I have met and dealt with who are in the fight of their lives. Many people don’t understand the obstacles, courage, grief, loss, loneliness, isolation and abandonment so many feel everyday. The book has helped educate people who may not be aware of the reality of many who are terminal. One Dr. told his class, in front of me, that he never knew the depth of what many people go through as they seek help with HIV/AIDS and other terminal disease.
“Trust Kids” is what i’ve been promoting since I was a kid. I’ve taught college, middle school, mentored, hired, organized “Kids” in ways that have allowed them to grow and find a strategy that gives them a true voice. These stories promote acceptance and a change in how most young people are dealt with in many communities.
4) How does your writing process work?
I find that I can only write early in the morning.
I let an idea rumble around in my head until it calls out to be written down. I make notes in a notebook that is always with me, as the mulling process advances. Once I know the theme i.e. poverty/homelessness book “View from the Tent” I allowed the interaction of the two main characters to tell the story of Atreus.
In the novels I tell the stories as I think my friends would like them told if we were all sitting together over a few jars. I have travelled and lived in many of the places I write about so my travel notes have helped. In “Under the Spider Tree” I wrote a lot about the Aboriginal community, the Cape York Peninsula, the critters, the land and the personal story of Jack and his family. These are all real people, so when I get into the personal stuff, I always check with them on the accuracy of those references and stories.
Contact me: email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Mike, you’ve always had great stories to tell and compassion for those who need a voice. Your books are a wonderful vehicle for those voices. Keep writing.
Thanks for the kind words…