The wait is finally over! Our highly anticipated FIRST MALE INTERVIEW is moments away. The dynamic duo nabbed author Mike Duran (poor soul) to discuss his debut novel The Resurrection and discover if good can conquer evil. Sit back, relax and enjoy as Amber and I unravel the mysteries of the opposite sex.
California. Old Church. 2 Sheep and 1 Reverend meet.
Katie: Thanks Mike for sitting down with us today. What does it feel like to be the first male ever to interview with us?
MIKE: Pure exhilaration! I feel like Columbus discovering the New World, Armstrong setting foot on the moon, Edmund Hillary scaling Mt. Everest. Someone pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming!
Katie: LOL Right off the bat I can tell this is going to be fun. And yes we are that awesome sometimes it feels like a dream. Lol
Amber: Now that’s the kind of enthusiasm I like to hear! Lol
Amber: Now in your book, Ruby is your average wife and mother. But she has a few tricks up her sleeve, tell us a little about her and how you came up with her character.
MIKE: Unless you girls possess superpowers like telekinesis or invisibility, I think most of us can relate to “average.” And “average” is the operative word for Ruby. She’s a rather simple woman, with simple faith, who gets stuck in the middle of some very complicated things. Anyway, I’ve often pondered how God puts average people in crazy situations. Ruby is kind of like a case study in what might happen if an average woman was temporarily given miraculous power.
Katie: There is a ton of intriguing information that fills your story's pages, how much research did you have to do in preparation for this book?
MIKE: As you mentioned, the story revolves around an old church, a conflicted minister, and the nefarious doings of some townsfolk. Most of the research for the book actually came from my own experiences (not that I know anything about “nefarious doings”). For instance, when I was in high school, I knew a warlock who spent lots of time dabbling with incantations and esoterica. And like most kids, I experimented with Ouija boards and mysticism. Well, when I became a minister, I learned that those things did not go away. There’s all kinds of crazy beliefs and wild experiences out there. One time I visited a woman who claimed to have multiple demons that she wanted exorcised. Another time, a couple approached me about evicting a ghost from their house. So all that to say, most of the “research” for the book was “hands on.”
Katie: Well now you've opened a can of worms Mike. Lol. Did you get the ghost out of the house? And did you exorcize the demon?
Amber: So did you ever get any mystical answers with your Ouija board?
MIKE: The Ouija board was a dead end. There’s a lot better ways to acquire info than consulting deceased relatives (and some living ones for that matter). As far as the other two incidents, the demonized woman had an extensive occult background and did not want to relinquish all her ‘spirit” friends. Regarding the ghost: I did my best Father Merrin impersonation, walked through the house praying, and they had no problem after that. Go figger.
Amber: In The Resurrection, you write from both the male and female perspective. Was that a challenge for you?
MIKE: Half of it was. Really, my critique group at the time was mostly girls and they would always say things like, “A woman wouldn’t say that, Mike” and “A woman wouldn’t do that.” It was very helpful, and actually scored me some points with my wife!
Katie: Ruby's husband, Jack, is her rock throughout the story. Was he based on anyone from your own life or an actor perhaps? And if you do know this man, where is he and is he single? lol
MIKE: Jack was one of my favorite characters in the story because he exemplified the average guy. Pragmatic. Skeptical. Foul. I work in construction and Jack was a composite of a lot of my buddies – calloused, crude, hard-working, and very down-to-earth. My only beef with Jack was that he rooted for NoCal sports teams. Boo!
Katie: I thought his absolute support of Ruby was great, he was there for her even if he did not agree. And on the sports note all I can say is….Norcal! Woot woot! Jack knows what’s up! Hahaha
Amber: This is one of my favorite questions to ask, I am always curious to know the answer. lol What was your favorite series to read as a kid?
MIKE: Marvel Comics. Elastic women, tentacled beasties, guys in tights, and psycho scientists – it’s a young boy’s dream!
Amber: Excellent answer! Katie is more into the comics than I am, but I definitely enjoy the movies that have been made about these Marvel characters. I mean, who doesn’t love Wolverine??
Katie: That's what I'm talkin about..mmmm…Wolverine….*sigh*
Katie: What can we look forward to in your next novel?
MIKE: The tagline goes like this: A disfigured modern-day prophet must overcome his own despair in time to seal one of the nine mythical gates of hell. And, no, it’s not about our government’s lame attempts to close our massive federal deficit.
Katie: Should we insert a rim shot here? Lol. But really it sounds like another winner coming down the pipes. Do you know a release date?
MIKE: No release date available yet, Katie.
Amber: What are the three things you need before you can sit down to write/type?
MIKE: (1) I need to know my destination. It’s that map fetish that most guys have. I cannot sit down and just start writing without having an idea where I want to go. (2) I need to have a conducive setting for writing: peace, quiet, and coffee. (3) I need to have a deadline. Man, I hate to say it, but if I don’t have a timeline, I will edit ad nauseam.
Katie: Where can fans find you in the near future? Any book tours or signings coming up?
MIKE: I’ll be doing a lot of online promotions and giveaways, interviews like this, and guest blogs. As far as local book signings, I’ll probably do one near my hometown and play the rest by ear.
Katie: And for those who don’t know, that will be in and around the southern California area correct?
Amber: What was your favorite food growing up? What was your least favorite?
MIKE: Favorite: Mike Duds. Least Favorite: Tomatoes (especially the mushy kind that ooze juice. Blech!).
Katie: Alright Mike answer me this, in the nursery rhyme knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone, why did the old man ALWAYS come rolling home? [slight scuffling sounds erupt] Amber! Please stop trying to cover my mouth, I want to know what he has to say! lol
Amber: You don't have to answer this one Mike if you don't want to. Katie is a little off her rocker you could say. lol [pats Katie on the head]
MIKE: Tell you the truth, I don’t care why the old man came rolling home. I wanna know what a “paddy whack” is so I can start giving them out!
Katie: I suggest we research the paddy whack Mike, some people just wont understand. Lol [looks at Amber]
Amber: When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? Or have you always wanted to be an author?
MIKE: I once told a high school teacher I wanted to be a con man when I grew up. I suppose becoming a fiction author is the next best thing. Really, I was pretty lost as a kid so just growing up was an accomplishment.
Amber: Lol. A con man is a good choice. I’m sure your teacher watched you diligently after that! Lol.
Katie: And now good sir we move on to the ever popular *in game show host voice* Rapid Fire Round! Clear your mind and give us the first answer that pops up. Ready?……..annnnnnd……..Go!
Katie: Beer or Wine
MIKE: Beer! Preferably the dark stuff.
Amber: Hardcover or Paperback
Katie: Goblin or Leprechaun
MIKE: Goblin. Leprechauns seem strangely androgynous.
Amber: Swimming pool or Ocean
MIKE: Ocean. Preferably calm, with a secluded white sandy beach, a palm thatched cabana containing chilled adult beverages, and my “therapist.”
Katie: Unicorn or Dragon
MIKE: Dragon! Any guy who chooses a unicorn over a dragon should have his man-card revoked.
Katie: [was taking a drink of Coke as Mike gave his answer, liquid cola shot across the room!]
Amber: Coke or Pepsi
MIKE: Sorry, Katie. Pepsi!
Katie: NOOOOOOOO!!!!! [Falls to knees dramatically. Raises hands to the sky] Why!!!!!!!!
Amber: YESSSSS!!!! Mike you have made my day! [Doing a happy dance, arms raising the roof style. Lol] Katie did you hear that or should I repeat it for you?? PEPSI!!
Katie: Enjoy these SMALL victories Amber, in the long run Coke WILL be the winner.
Katie: Jog or Speed walk
MIKE: Speed walking is for leprechauns.
Amber: Space Travel or Time Travel
Katie: The final frontier these are the voyages of the Star-- *clears throat* sorry. haha
Katie: Chips or Fries
MIKE: Fries, the chili-cheese variety
Amber: Colour or Color
MIKE: Colour is for unicorns.
Katie: Forward or Back
Katie: *jeopardy theme music plays from Katie's phone*
Amber: Star Wars or Star Trek
MIKE: Star Trek.
Katie: To boldly go where no one has gone before! haha Oh sorry, I will try to control the Trekie in me.
Katie: Xfiles or Ghost Hunters
MIKE: X Files.
Katie: Same here. Great show.
Amber: Law and Order or CSI
MIKE: Fringe (it’s sci-fi CSI).
Amber: I love that show! Good choice
Katie: Jabba the Hut or The Rancor
MIKE: Who would ever chose a big slug over a lean, drooling, carnivorous dinosaur? The Rancor!
Amber: Thank you so much for taking the time to sit down with us Mike, you have won over the ladies of I Smell Sheep. We look forward to reading more of your stories and wish you all the best! Any closing thoughts?
MIKE: Thanks so much for inviting me! It was lots of fun. And in honor of I Smell Sheep, I’m celebrating with brazed lamb chops for dinner. Bon Appetite!
Katie: I just wanted to add that aside from choosing my mortal enemy. Pepsi. *gag* I think you’re awesome and I really appreciate you stepping up to this interview. I hope this will open the door for other male authors.
Enjoy the lamb Mike! The Resurrection will be in stores and online February 1st 2011. Make sure to pre-order your copy today!
Let the prize giveaway begin! In the comments below please make sure to enter two things to qualify for the Mike Duran Prize pack including a signed copy of his book!
1. Your Email address
2. If you saw a ghost floating around would you run screaming your head off or befriend it?
Contest ends January 5th, 2011.