Interview with Mike Phillips, author of 'The World Below'


The World BelowABOUT THE WORLD BELOW

In ancient times, magical creatures inhabited the earth. They lived on mountaintops, in trees, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. Those few that remain fear being stretched out on an examination table in some secret, governmental facility. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below. Mitch Hardy is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined. Purchase at: amazonbn

 Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Mike.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Thank you for having me. It’s great to be with you and have an opportunity to talk to your readers about my new book, The World Below. My experiences growing up seem far removed from what life in modern society is like now. I was raised on a small farm in west Michigan. As a child, my family and I grew our own fruits and vegetables and meat. We heated our house with wood. We even made most of our own furniture. During the summer, my father turned off “The Idiot Box” and took us to the library. When not pulling weeds, repairing fences, tending animals, or just goofing off, I spent my summers reading books. That’s where my love of a good story came from. When I went off to college, I chose a career in engineering. My first real job, however, bored me to no end. Before the year was out, I started writing short stories as something to occupy myself. I had no intention of trying to make a career out of writing. Nothing was further from my mind. One story led to the next and I enjoyed the process so much that I thought I might try a novel. That’s a huge undertaking and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I loved every minute of it. That first novel is still tucked safely away on my hard drive, never to be seen, but it did light a fire in my heart. Reign of the Nightmare Prince was completed the following year and was my first published novel. Now I have two published novels with a third on the way and a ton of short stories that have appeared everywhere in print and online.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Whenever I think about the planning The World Below, it makes me smile. What a wild, funny, scary, crazy, mess I’ve created. I wanted to do something where I could throw out all the rules, and press the limits of my creativity. The result was a world within a world, a place where magic works in strange and unpredictable ways. The premise is that in ancient times, all the magical creatures of legend really did exist. They lived on mountaintops, in trees, at the bottom of lakes and rivers. But that was long ago, before the human race declared war on the creatures they feared and hated. Now the enchanted peoples are all but gone. Those few that remain fear being stretched out on an examination table in some secret, governmental facility. The only place they can hide from the ever increasing number of satellites and smart phones is in the World Below. Into this world comes Mitch Hardy. He is going through a hard time in his life. In his early twenties, he was working his way through college when he suffered an accident that left him flat broke and physically deformed. When Mitch decides to make a fresh start in a new town, things start looking up. He finds a place to live, a decent job, good friends. He even meets a nice girl. Unknown to Mitch, his new girlfriend is one of the Elder Race, what some call the Faerie Folk. Mitch doesn’t know that Elizabeth is looking for a father she never knew. The key to finding him is somehow tied up with the mysterious Blade of Caro. Desperate, she steals the Blade from its protector, the despotic ruler of the World Below, the Dragon of Worms, Baron Finkbeiner. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by the Baron, Mitch is pulled into a world or magic and monsters he never imagined.


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:     Writing about magic, for many authors, becomes a sort of pseudo-science. They have a system of words or gestures or have some complicated media by which the enchantment always works. The biggest challenge in writing The World Below was to break out of that mold. I wanted my world to be filled with wonder and unpredictability. I wanted magic to be magical again.

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it?

A:     A press kit with basic information about the book and an interview are available upon request at my website. What might be interesting to your readers, however, is the short trailer that we put together. It can be found at: http://youtu.be/k8o6lq1ieLk

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A:     The folks at Triangle Radio were generous enough to have me as a guest on Sci-Fi night the week after the book was released. Since then, I’ve done mostly written interviews and blog posts. We are, however, putting together a schedule for author events this fall and winter. Anyone with a reading group is welcome to shoot me an email. If I can’t be there in person, I’d be happy to phone in, say hello, and read a few of my favorite parts from the book.

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:     Unfortunately, I’ve never had much luck with agents. After trying a few, my disappointment led me to strike out on my own. Interestingly enough, I found success not long thereafter. That, I think, is the life of a beginning author. Until a writer finds an audience, it’s hard for an agent to invest all the time and effort representing and author takes. Perhaps now my writing career is at a point where an agent would be helpful.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: Absolutely, I have a lot of projects in the works. Dawn of Ages, a speculative fiction novel, is coming out in November of 2013. I’m constantly writing short stories, and plan to be putting together a collection of my best stories soon. The World Below was such a fun project that I couldn’t wait to dive into a sequel. With the characters and situations already established, I found the business of writing much more enjoyable. The sequel is proving to be even better than the first. The final draft should be finished by the end of the year. In recent talks with the publisher, look for something in 2014. That’s a lot, I’m sorry, but your readers can keep up with everything by visiting the notice board section of my website: mikephillipsfantasy.com. While you’re there, shoot me a note and tell me what you thought about the book.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, mike.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A:     Thanks for having me. This was a lot of fun. My website is: mikephillipsfantasy.com. Your readers can find my books in all the usual places, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. As a special gift for your readers, if they go to DamnationBooks.com and enter the code 50worldbelow, they can get the book for half price. Enjoy and take care, Mike Phillips.

Mike PhillipsABOUT MIKE PHILLIPS

Mike Phillips is author of The World Below and Reign of the Nightmare Prince. His short stories have appeared in ParAbnormal Digest, Cemetery Moon, Sinister Tales, Beyond Centauri, the World of Myth, Mystic Signals and many others. Online, his work has appeared in Lorelei Signal, Kzine, Bewildering Stories, Midnight Times, and Fringe. He is best known for his Crow Witch and Patrick Donegal series. Please visit Mike at mikephillipsfantasy.com.
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Pump Up Your Book and Mike Phillips are teaming up to give you two chances to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from August 5 - October 25. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on October 26, 2013. Each blogger who participates in the The World Below virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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The World Below Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

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Monday, August 5 - Book featured on My Devotional Thoughts
Tuesday, August 6 - Guest blogging at Book Marketing Buzz
Wednesday, August 7 - 1st chapter reveal at As the Pages Turn
Friday, August 9 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Tuesday, August 13 - Interviewed at Pump Up Your Book
Thursday, August 15 - Guest blogging at The Self Taught Cook
Monday, August 19 - Book featured at Far From Reality
Tuesday, August 20 - Book reviewed at Must Read Faster
Wednesday, August 21 - Book featured at Authors and Readers Book Corner
Thursday, August 22 - 1st chapter reveal at Far From Reality
Friday, August 23 - Book featured at Between the Covers
Monday, August 26 - Guest blogging at Janna Shay
Wednesday, August 28 - Book featured at Literal Exposure
Thursday, August 29 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Friday, August 30 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Friday, September 6 - Book featured at Review From Here
Monday, September 9Book featured at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, September 11 - Interviewed at The Writer's Life
Monday, September 16 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Tuesday, September 17 - Book featured at Beyond the Books
Friday, September 20 - Interviewed at Examiner
Wednesday, September 25 - Guest blogging at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, September 26 - Interviewed at Between the Covers
Monday, September 30 - 1st chapter reveal at Literary Winner
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