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My interview from Rune S. Nielson | Author Mike Mollman
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You can find the interview here:

Author Interview: Mike Mollman

I was lucky to get an interview with Mike Mollman, the author of Becoming A Druid, one of this year’s #SPFBO9 entries.

Please, tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a chemist by day in Virginia. At night, I alternate between a headstrong druid apprentice, a diabolical mind-controlling mage and many other characters who are much more interesting than me.

Why should I buy your SPFBO9 entry?
If you like fantasy with a resilient protagonist who creates as many problems as he solves, this book is probably for you.

Subgenre: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 375
Self-published: 2021

What got you into writing? And how long have you been doing it?
I decided to be a writer in 2017. It wasn’t until a read a book and decided that I could do that if I put my mind to it. It took four years before I had anything worth publishing. Knowing what I know now, I wish I’d started a decade sooner.

Have you participated in the SPFBO before and where did you hear about the competition?
I just found the Booktube community last fall. There was so much discussion about SPFBO, that I knew I had to participate this year.

Why did you choose to write fantasy?
For those who know your Myers-Briggs personalities, I read a couple blog posts saying that INTJ, personalities (Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging) cannot be heroes, but they make for great villains. I’m very much an INTJ, so I decided to prove that assertion wrong. There were definitely some issues with being true to the personality type and pushing the character to the forefront, but I enjoyed the challenge. Whether I succeeded or not is ultimately up to the reader.

Which other author has had the biggest influence on your writing?
In my teens, I must have read 150 or more Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms books. I didn’t set out to pattern my book after those, but I can clearly see the resemblance.

If you were to win the SPFBO, what impact do you think this would have on your writing career?
This is silly talk. There are so many talented writers entered in SPFBO, that I can’t even imagine winning. If by some strange chain of events I did win, it would be the first step in my plan for world domination. It would culminate with having the Statue of Liberty recast in my own image, holding a quarterstaff and a book. As I said, silly talk.

What challenges did you face during the writing or publishing process, and how did you overcome them?
Imposter syndrome is real and pernicious. It is only after I received my hundredth review on Amazon that I had to stop pretending that I have no talent. This of course, just adds pressure to make the next book even better, but publishing novels is not for the faint of heart.

Do you have any tips or an author app, tool, or resource that you can really recommend we try?
I’ve found that it critical to always be moving forward. I don’t edit my first draft until it’s finished. Going backwards repeatedly to fix this one thing or another saps your momentum. Editing lasts a very long time. Trust that you’ll see the issue (better) once you’ve finished this current draft of the story.

And now it’s time to yank out your Palantir! Let’s talk about the future. What new projects are you working on?
What new projects are you working on? The Protectors of Pretanni is going to be a seven book series. Once that’s completed, I’m likely off to Iron Age Spain for another fantasy series. Or I could go to 23rd century Mars for a scifi series that’s been percolating for a while in my head.

Apps that are based on artificial intelligence (AI), such as ChatGTP and Midjourney, along with apps aimed specifically at authors, have caused quite a stir. Do you expect these new technologies will make your life as a self-published author easier or harder, and do you expect that they’ll mean you’ll earn more or less?
AI is certainly the boogieman of the day. In the end, it will be a tool. Just because the car replaced the horse-drawn carriage didn’t mean that people stopped traveling. Computers can emulate, but they can’t create. As long as writers have creative sparks, their stories will have audiences.

Do you have any dreams you’d like to share?
My series takes place in the United Kingdom (and Ireland) and I use real places in my story, just renamed with proto-Celtic verbiage. I would love to travel to the United Kingdom and visit the places that inspired my world. Also, I’d like to retire so I can write full-time. Both of these dreams are likely to occur in the same year not too far in the future.

Anything else you would like to say before we close?
I can’t very well end without giving a big thank you to Mark Lawrence, the SPFBO 9 judges and all the people who promote the competition. There is no other platform available for showcasing so much indie author talent. We are so very lucky that this exists.

That was some interesting answers. I wish you the very best in the SPFBO. I hope a lot of readers discover your writing. Thanks for doing the interview.