I’d like to introduce Michael Lorde, author of Blind Veil. Today, he discusses a little about himself and his book which is featured in the Holiday Sirens Event.
Can you tell us about yourself?
Well, my life is very busy. Between writing novels and screenplays, I’m a single parent to my daughter. I have three grown children as well. Two attend college, and one serves in the Military (I am currently working with other authors on a program that will be donating free e-books to the troops who are at the war zones this holiday. We are still looking for authors who want to be involved, so if any authors are reading this and would be interested in participating in this program, please message on my Facebook page.
My kids and I are also a family of dog lovers. My daughter and I have two. They’re short, yappy, and as hyper as the Tasmanian devil, but we love them to death.
As a retired investigator, writing is the only career that is as interesting to me as investigating. Both give the feeling that no work day is ever the same as the one before, and I like that feeling.
I’m a hands-on kind of person who likes to stay busy. Along with writing, I enjoy painting, woodworking, landscaping and various other ‘creative type’ projects. I’ve been known to fiddle with making fountain heads for ponds and a number of other things. Because of that, my yard boasts a back yard beach (no ocean involved) with a huge volcano fountain as well as a Tiki fountain head that stands nearly five feet tall. Since we don’t have a house on the beach, I brought one to us. That idea really defines how I think most of the time… that we can each have what we want. Sometimes it takes looking at something with different eyes to see you can actually get nearly everything you want.
In nice weather, it’s hard for me to stay inside. I really enjoy the outdoors. It’s a great stress reliever and just being out in it seems to clear my mind of any cobwebs that might be trying to settle there. I’m a woods person. I prefer the woods and mountains to the ocean any day.
It’s not unusual for me to stop and pick up interesting rocks when I’m out and about. I’ve collected them since I was a kid. I’ve even mined a few, but mainly I’ve just picked them up along the way (I was fortunate in that my family took a months long vacation when I was a kid and so I’ve got rocks from all across the country, and even a coprolite from Arizona, which is not all that common). I like them because no two are exactly the same.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer and published author?
As a kid, I walked around most of the time with my face in a book and usually polished off three or four per week. I even wrote and bound my own book about this cool fat bird when I was about ten. I have always had a strong appreciation for putting words to the page.
In the seventh grade my English teacher pulled me privately aside and told me, “You should really consider writing as a career.” At the time I couldn’t see it happening. Who became writers? No one in my family did. Though they encouraged us to enjoy them as hobbies, my parents were not big on having their children follow the arts as vocations; so pursuing a dream to be a writer seemed outlandish to me at the time. But each year my teachers told me the same thing and each year I ignored them, despite the fact that writing genuinely interested me.
I never stopped writing for enjoyment, but until now I didn’t pursue getting my work published. It had to happen, though. I could never shake the urge to do it and I finally woke up and just made that decision. I haven’t looked back since. I’ve never been as happy in any work I’ve ever done. Aside from having my kids, it’s one of the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever had the privilege of doing. So yeah, I’m really glad to be writing.
I would like to encourage others who’ve thought about writing and getting published. ‘Just start! You won’t regret a minute of the experience.’
Who is your favorite author?
There are entirely too many talented authors, with more up and coming each year for me to be able to answer that. I have many favorites and for very different reasons.
For example, Stephen King is one who really reaches deep into the absurd; but he has a way of doing it nonchalantly, as if it’s as normal as breathing in the air. To me, his writing is chocolate for the warped psyche. You’ve got to appreciate that about his work which, I’ve admired and followed for a really long time. I’m very glad he didn’t give u the dream, before success found him, and go back to teaching. We would have really missed out.
I also like J.R.R. Tolkien, and have since I was a kid. The ‘Lord of the Rings’ series is amazing. I will never tire of pulling those books off the shelf from time to time. They’re classic writings, the man had a mind boggling imagination, and his character work is incredible. One thing that draws me to a book is when I feel as though I’m walking beside the characters while I’m reading. His style of writing pulls me in like that.
I’m also a fan of David Baldacci. I appreciate a good conspiracy theory and David’s work is filled with that way of thinking. I’m sure his previous line of work has contributed to his writings because he’s so convincing in it… as if personal experience is somehow involved. His descriptions are terrific!
I also admire J.K. Rowlings for a number of reasons. Her ‘Harry Potter’ series is marvelous. I’m glad to see that what some likely once viewed as a simple children’s book, has taken over book stores, amusement parks, and movie screens worldwide and grown in the great beast that it is… and for us adults as well as for the kids. Her writing is FUN to read! Another reason I’m a fan of hers is that I’m always rooting for the underdog and I celebrate with them when it’s finally the time for the heroes and heroines to shine.
The fact that she was a single mom trying to make it on her own when she started her writing career, makes her success something we should all feel good about. I find it brave of her, that she knew what she was meant to do, and went for it. I respect that. I’ve seen a lot of articles on her helping those who are in need, something she apparently does regularly. I think that says a lot about her too.
So in regard to your question about who my favorite author might be… I could never say that any one writer is the most ‘talented of all time’, or ‘writes the absolute best’. I admire anyone who followed through and gotten their work published, but I make my reading decisions based on more than that alone. To me it’s the little things that the authors do that we notice in their work, and every one of us is different. I can’t compare them to each other because I believe it’s the presentation of the ideas in the writer’s mind that makes for an appealing read; not so much a learned skill, or any other quality.
For example, you can have an author who is not necessarily the best technical writer, but man oh man the author gets your attention and when their stories comes pouring out on paper, no reader can deny them. You know how it feels… unless the earth is coming apart at the seams around you, literally, you are going to sit there and read that book until the last page has been turned. So authors whose stories have the ‘IT’ factor are the authors I like to read.
I could go on for days on this, but some names on my bookshelves are Koontz, Clancy, Grisham, Crichton, Ludlum, Goldman, and Cussler.
What is your writing routine like? Do you like to listen to music? Work in complete silence?
I write best when I am working in total silence. I tend to be a bit ADD to begin with so any distraction from the ideas pouring into my head can cause a whirlwind for me and then it’s more difficult to focus on what I’m writing. I have friends who MUST listen to music when they write, but that’s just not me.
I also don’t read other’s book when I’m hot and heavy into my own plot. I keep all influences from other authors work away from and widely separate from my own. I’m very firm on that when I’m writing. Everything on my pages is a world all in its own. I’ve found that if I avoid reading a novel while I’m writing, then I can avoid picking up another author’s writing style, use of words, perceptions, or any other influences that might bleed out into my own books. It’s not that I don’t admire them. I just want my pages to be full of and reflect only that which develops on its own through my own ideas and writing style. I’m very visual, so when I’m writing, it’s almost as if I’m watching a film. I try to depict that in my books.
My writing time revolves greatly around the fact that I am a single parent. My daughter is a ten year old singing, dancing, talking, musical kid. Her oozing energy could light up a town, and could give the energizer bunny a run for his money. Needless to say I don’t’ get much writing done when she’s home. I do write while she’s at school and after she goes to sleep, or when she’s outside with her friends.
I do bounce kid friendly sentences and ideas off of her once in a while. She loves to be involved in the creative process. I also include her in things like picking out music for my videos, and Webpages design and things like that. I like that she feels involved with my work, so that she stays supportive of my time when I am writing. All writers know how all-consuming writing can become if we let it (did you ever see the beginning of the movie ‘romancing the stone’?). To me it’s important that I keep that from happening around my daughter, so I’m cognizant of her time around my work and try to ensure that it leaves her with a good feeling.
I’m a night owl, so it’s not uncommon for me to be up until three in the morning writing. Sometimes I’ll even pull an ‘all nighter’, but that usually occurs only when my characters are ‘bothering’ me. And yes, when I’m knee deep in a plot, they can get pretty demanding; sometimes more demanding than any real person you could ever meet.
It’s often impossible for me not to finish at least the chapter I start because it’s already in my head before I begin to type and my fingers can’t keep up with what’s pouring into my head, even though I’m a speedy typist. Sometimes, if my daughter isn’t home, I can finish chapter after chapter after chapter in one sitting. On occasion I’ve had to remind myself that ‘Hey! It’s time to eat!’, or ‘When’s the last time you got a drink of water today? Aren’t you thirsty?’ Yeah, I’m a writer and so sometimes it’s like living in an alternate universe when I’m in the pages and everything in the real world shrinks away for a little while. For me, it’s a very similar feeling to having my nose buried deep into a book; only with writing; it feels more like a ‘need’… as if I don’t get the story down I’m going to explode.
What’s your book about?
How can an incident that occurred forty years ago, and across the country, affects the life of a New York City Cop today? That’s the question that this book answers. The situations the main character Simms finds himself in are terrifying, eerie and traumatizing.
Blind Veil is about an average guy named Simms (who also just happens to be a former Marine turned New York City Cop), but is doesn’t start there. The story begins in the 1960’s, when a crime goes unreported due to social turmoil at the time. Decades later, in the here and now, Simms must look to the past for his answers.
In today’s world, he is a level headed, well respected, and decent guy; basically, the kind of cop all good cops strive to be. He’s happy and is pretty much where he wants to be in life; but of course that’s before he meets a certain ‘Doctor’.
What he hears, changes everything in his life and his thoughts begin to take on a life of their own. He is suddenly and through no control of his own thrust into the realization that he is either losing his mind, or that a much bigger problem exists. But which is it? That’s what he moves toward figuring out in Blind Veil. The whole while he is continually unnerved because of disturbing situations that now seem to follow him everywhere he goes. Is he slowly going mad? What happens when he can’t trust his own thoughts?
The plot is complex and action packed. There are romantic elements in the book as well, but I wouldn’t call it a ‘romance novel’ because most of it is really about what’s going on in his mind. It’s a Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Action, and there are elements of Science Fiction as well.
It’s an actual thriller, so I’m not kidding when I say ‘Blind Veil…NOT your grandmother’s fairy tale.’ It’s not a light-hearted book, but it is suspenseful, exciting and a fast read.
I would not compare my writing technique or style to Stephen King’s because he’s a master at it and our styles are completely different. However, because of the oddities in Blind Veil, anyone who likes Stephen King’s work (or other authors whose stories contain disturbing elements) will likely enjoy Blind Veil.
Part of the ride for the reader is to go along for the trip. They too will be deciding whether or not Simms is losing his grip on reality and there are many twists and turns to make before making a conclusion.
If you had to pick a theme song for your book, what would it be?
Blind Veil’s theme song should be ‘Golden Slumbers Lullaby’- not the Beatles version, but rather the original lullaby version.
I actually used that song on one of Blind Veil’s YouTube videos. To me, it depicts how any of us would feel given Simms circumstances, so it suits the book perfectly but in an unsettling way. I think it fits really well with the plot, though I would change the word ‘maiden’, to the word ‘darling’, so that it’s more gender appropriate. Really though, it doesn’t matter and maiden works just fine. People will understand why I chose that song, and how the lyrics are applicable, once they’ve read Blind Veil.
What was your inspiration for your book?
There’s a strange story behind the plot to this book. I hadn’t seen my sister in a few years and we went to her home just outside of Atlanta Georgia. I was standing in her back yard, in front of her pool and the entire storyline came to me in an instant. It was pretty awesome to have the whole thing at once. It felt like I’d just unwrapped an unexpected present. I went inside and told her “I have this book in my head and I need to start writing.” She just nodded. I don’t think she believed me at the time, but she does now.
As far as true inspiration (and this applies to everything I do)… it mainly comes from my kids, thoughts of my kids, family, friends, and my pets. I’ll steal a quote from John Lennon here and say ‘All you need is love’. No truer words have ever been spoken and there’s no better motivator for me.
Which character in your novel do you relate most with?
I would have to say that I can relate to Simms. He’s pretty level headed and strong minded, but in one split moment he is thrust into an unusual and unbelievable situation that would blow anyone’s mind. I’d probably react closely to how he does.
There are things I really love about all of my characters. One of my readers wrote to say “…well developed characters that you love to love, and love to hate!” I was flattered and humbled to hear that great compliment. I hope every one of my readers feels that way when they’ve read this book. Each character in Blind Veil is completely different from the others. It’s important to me that each of my characters be clearly defined, so I really hope my readers enjoy them as much as I do!
Thank you! I really appreciate your time Emerald.
It was a pleasure having you today!
Below are the links to be in contact and interact with Michael.
MY SON IS AT THE WAR AND SO THIS PROJECT IS IMPORTANT TO ME TO GET THE WORD OUT- SUPPORT THE TROOPS EBOOK PROJECT: http://authorssupportourtroops.blogspot.com/
Where to buy Blind Veil:
Stop by the Holiday Sirens event for more interviews and books to choose from for the holidays! Load up that new Kindle, and have a very “Siren-y” Christmas!