1. Tell us about your latest book: One of my favorite themes in science fiction, and stories in general, is the small group of people who are lost, alone, or on a long journey and have to make the best of the situation that they are in. When I wrote Outsystem I knew that the next step of Tanis and the crew’s journey would be a long trip through the dark between the stars. This makes for the perfect setting to show the characters doing the best they can with limited resources and having nothing but time to spend with one another.
2. Who and What inspire you to write? Reading is my main inspiration for writing, nothing gets my creative juices flowing more than reading a good story with some interesting characters. As a certified nerd, reading about some new technology or discovery can also get me thinking about how people will interact with that technology and how it will change our social norms.
3. Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing? My journey with writing began what I imagine is the standard way. I finished a story (Lord of the Rings in my case) and really wanted more. I started writing fantasy—I have a ream of unfinished stories I intend to finish someday—and after watching Firefly decided I wanted to try my hand at writing fantasy. The rest is history.
4. What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected downfall? I really did not expect the high you get from completing a first draft, or re-reading a passage and thinking, “wow, I really nailed this!” On the flip side, the unexpected downside is how many drafts I have to go through before I’m finally satisfied. It still pays off in the end, but the first draft is not more than the first step.
5. Do you have any writing rituals? Gotta have the music, and do my best work laying on the sofa. It’s my go-to place.
6. Do you write your books in order? I had every intention of writing this series in order, but after writing what I thought was the first book, I realized I needed to know more backstory. I wrote Outsystem, then Path in the Darkness. Initially, I thought these two books would be all the prequels I would need to write, but led me down a different… path… and a third prequel is in the works. It is titled Building Victoria. Once it is out I’m back to the story that started it all, Destiny Lost. There’s one more prequel floating around in my mind, but I might write and release it after the main tale is told.
7. What is on your writing playlist for this book? I have a pretty varied taste in music. Much of this book was written to Devin Townsend Project’s Addicted and Epicloud albums. His music is often described as a wall of sound, but once you lose yourself in it, you’ll be swept away.
8. Any favorite writing snacks? I mostly write at night, after my wife goes to bed. As a result coffee, coffee and more coffee keeps me going.
9. What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published? Get the rough draft completed at all costs. Don’t re-read or re-write until it’s done.
10. Are you working on anything new? Book three, Building Victoria, is nearly complete! It wraps up the first part of the tale following Tanis Richards and her journey on the Intrepid.
11. Who is your favorite character in your current book? Tanis is probably my favorite character, but Jessica snuck up on me and will take a larger role in the story than I’d originally thought.
12. What is your favorite book of all time? I don’t tend to pick favorites often, but Taliesin, a book about Merlin’s father by Stephen R. Lawhead holds a special place in my heart. The ending still makes me cry each time I read it.
13. Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book: Follow Tanis Richards as she works to save the Intrepid and learn more about herself and the reason for the long journey between the stars.
The ship’s AI has lost control of the engines and core systems. Battling a saboteur who strives to isolate him, his last act is to wake Colonel Tanis Richards from stasis.
Tanis finds herself alone on a dying ship, unable to contact the AI. She must discover what has happened and save the Intrepid from burning up in the star’s angry red light.
Even if she is successful, the journey to the colony world of New Eden is just beginning. With decades of travel ahead, she will have to find a path in the darkness.
Michael Cooper has been writing since the day he closed Return of the King and wanted more. He's written a lot of fantasy that he never tried to get published, but one day decided to try his hand at science fiction, of which he has published one book (Outsystem) and is working on the sequel, A Path in the Darkness.
Michael is a software engineer at a company which builds sites and services around the open-source CMS named Drupal and enjoys the creativity involved in building web applications.
When not writing stories or code Michael is spending time with his wife and daughter, or doing carpentry--a hobby which he has been growing over the years.
His other interests include astronomy, cars and racing, blacksmithing, movies, and just about any creative work one can do.