- a satirical fantasy author, and a fine example of a Canadian
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Michael Evan double majored in Psychology/English Literature at York University in Toronto. He ran a live event marketing and promotions company for 15 years. In 2018, he started the Fantasy/Sci-Fi Focus blog, and Facebook Community as well as the Books and Authors Fantasy Podcast alongside bestselling author Jamie Davis.
On a more fun fact, he has read Joyce’s Ulysses twice and champions Finnegan’s Wake as a worthy successor (but still has no idea what James was on about).
Michael is also a publicist for authors, and a publisher with Fallbrandt Press, He lives in Toronto, with his amazing wife, his two awesome kids, and a French Bulldog that could be mistaken for a football.
Michael, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
I’d say I already have him. My French Bulldog Preston. He’s just the goofiest little dude, and always makes me smile. Although a dragon would be badass, and if I couldn’t make that happen, I’d settle for a Wyvern. I think the only difference is number of feet, and I could probably get one at a discounted price.
There’s nothing like a sweet puppy — although, of course, dragons are pretty nifty.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I mainly write satirical fantasy. My co-writer is JMD Reid. He’s a prolific fantasy writer on his own and we collaborate on certain projects. The current release is The Cider & Ale Chronicles, which is an irreverent 6 book set about seals fighting walruses over beer, sidewinder snakes on a quest for a pandemic curing cider, and a platypus guitarist whose Australian winery tour is put on hold by box wine addicted zombies. I like how deadpan I made all that sound.
We also have another series launching in the spring set in the same world but not quite so foul-mouthed, about a 24-year-old dude that’s based on a grown-up version of my son, and his 450-pound talking panda. It’s kind of satirical GameLit written by a non-gamer, and takes place in my hometown of Toronto.
We also have a standalone coming out in time for Christmas called “A Portrait of Dirk”, which is actually a combination of epic fantasy and stream of consciousness personal memoir. It’s way different than the other books. Much more intense and serious, and not satirical. I’m referring to it as the ginger on the sushi boat if you will, kind of a palate cleanser in between two comedy series.
It sounds like you write stuff with a lot of voice.
What do you like to read?
My favorite all-time author is James Joyce. Ulysses is my favorite novel. I love his use of stream-of-consciousness prose and his amalgamation of various styles of prose. As for Fantasy, I’d say my favorite in the genre is my co-writer JMD Reid. He builds massive epic worlds and incorporates incredibly moving and emotional character moments. The truth is I rarely have enough time to read, and if someone asked me what I was currently reading my answer would usually be: “Whatever I’m editing at the moment.”
Awww! How great that you name your co-writer as your top for inspiration. That’s always promising.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
A better question is what advice do I follow? The one that stands out most for me is about self-editing. I’m an editor, and I’m cheap so I self edit all my books, which basically means 6 or 7 drafts and multiple delays because I always find something that’s not perfect.
A tricky thing to get right — editing your own works. I know it’s hard for me to stop editing and refining my own works.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
Don’t give up!
Seeing as I was only able to finish my first novel because I reached out to my now co-writer to help me choreograph a seal and walrus fight…an unorthodox move that led to an awesome writing partnership and ten books in one year, I have to say: don’t give up! Even if you need to shelve something for a while to clear your head, always try to find a way back to your writing. There just may be a solution that hits you when you least expect it…
I truly believe that persistence is the most important trait any writer can have.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Well, I do love to shamelessly self-promote so I’ll start by saying that if you enjoy funny and philosophical authors like Pratchett and Adam’s, and abstract modernists like James Joyce, Chuck Palahniuk, and David Foster Wallace, you just might dig our books. We try to bring a lot of warmth and heart to the proceedings, as well as a moral. They’re kind of modern-day fables.
Seals and walruses have never gotten along.
Now they’re going to war over the most precious commodity…
It’ll be up to JM and his father to rally the seals and save those they love from the deadly machination of the walrus gangsters. You won’t believe how crazy this story gets!
As they war, two sidewinders embark on a perilous quest!
A dangerous (and comical) journey for cider!
Mik’hai and Leth’al have to find the Cider of Legend to save their desert from a deadly plague. Accompanied by noble hawks, annoying snakes, and snarky lizards, they must find the mysterious cactus and brew the panacea.
If they don’t, everyone they love will die.
And in Australia, a platypus sets out to taste every wine he can and runs smack into a zombie apocalypse.