Hello and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules! Since we are a book club, we had to offer something that included a book shelf. A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories. Here on this “SHELF,” we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask. We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but no one has dared to cover them. WE get personal! Because when you sit on the RRBC “SHELF,” YOU are an open book!
Today, I have with me on the “SHELF” our Current “SPOTLIGHT” Author, MICHAEL P. KING!
NJ: Before we get started, how does the “shelf” feel to you? Is it comfy?
Michael: This is by far the most comfortable shelf I’ve sat on. It’s definitely a five star shelf!
NJ: Let’s start by confirming whether or not your author name is your birth name or a pen name?
Michael: It’s my birth name.
NJ: Tell us where you were born? Do you still live there now? If not, what city and state are you calling home these days?
Michael: I was born in Peterborough, UK, but I’ve always been a US citizen. I currently live in Ames, IA.
NJ: Married or single?
Michael: Married for 32 years.
NJ: Well, let me congratulate you, Michael, that’s awesome! Do you love birds have any kids? If yes, how many? Sons or Daughters?
Michael: One daughter and one son.
NJ: Now, that’s when you know you can stop…when you have one of each, right? LOL. So, which is your favorite child (…and be honest…I’m sure they’re not reading this interview)…
Michael: My daughter is my favorite daughter and my son is my favorite son.
NJ: The most perfect response, my friend! Any pets? If so, what kind?
Michael: No pets.
NJ: Share with us your favorite food, please…
Michael: Home cooked food is my favorite food. I’d usually rather cook than go out.
NJ: Favorite color?
Michael: I don’t have a favorite color.
NJ: Well, Okie Dokie, then. What’s your favorite sport?
Michael: I don’t have a favorite sport.
(NJ: Say it again. I dare ya…)
NJ: I’m afraid to ask, but, what’s your favorite TV show?
Michael: Right at this moment? Indian Summers on PBS Masterpiece Theatre. Enjoying Homeland and waiting for Game of Thrones.
NJ: Favorite Actress/Actor…
Michael: Don’t have one…
(NJ: This kid ain’t that smart, now is he?)
BUT, George Clooney and Nicole Kidman would make a great pair to play my con artist couple, in The Travelers.
NJ: (Good thing he cleared that up quickly…) So, Michael, are you a couch potato or workout nut? Be honest.
Michael: I’m a gym rat. Four days in the gym most weeks.
NJ: Biggest pet peeve that makes you want to stomach-punch somebody? (For the record, NJ does not condone violence but she does believe in being honest so she has to admit that there are times when she feels like some friendly stomach-punching is a little necessary…for instance, during this interview her hands started to get a little itchy, if you know what I mean).
Michael: People who only remember “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” when they need forgiveness and not the other person.
NJ: WOW! That’s a good one. Are you neat or messy, Michael?
Michael: Neat except for my office.
NJ: See, that’s me. Although, my office is neat because it’s inside my home, but I do feel we all need “that” space where we can be messy (some of you feel that need every place in your life, but anyway…) it’s my car for me. It’s a tad messy at times, until I think about it, OR until one of my friends points it out to me, because they can’t fathom how my home looks the way that it does, yet my car can be a tad messy at times. Michael, tell us, do you fancy Facebook or Twitter?
Michael: Having only been on Facebook nine months and Twitter two and a half months, I don’t have an opinion yet.
NJ: Name two of the most supportive people you’ve met on either Facebook or Twitter? Hurry and tell us so we can become their friend.
Michael: Sue Hammond (Stella Marie Alden)—she reached out to me on Facebook and has been a friend, and Sara Hathaway—who helped me with my Pinterest. I’ll also add Sarah Stuart—who showed me a few things on Twitter the first day I was on.
NJ: Funny how he has no opinions or choices in anything, yet, ask him one question he likes, and he’s got TONS of responses. Hmmmph! Uh, Michael… Nonnie Jules or Wonderwoman? Be honest.
Michael: I thought Nonnie Jules was Wonderwoman.
NJ: (“Yep, but even that isn’t going to get you off my hook, buster!”) Everyone knows the names Mark Twain and Stephen King, but how about you give us two names of some INDIE authors that you favor.
Michael: I haven’t read enough indie to give an opinion.
(NJ: That’s it!!! This guy has forced me into this!!!…Man down, Man down, MAN DOWN!!!!)
NJ: (After she composes herself, she continues…) After you read books, do you post reviews?
(Speaking in a very shaky voice, almost a whisper, and a pork chop covering his bloodied eye)… I used to only post reviews if I really liked a book, but now I post whenever I read an RRBC member’s book.
NJ: What do you think readers should base their reviews on?
Michael: The criteria for the genre. Each genre has it’s own criteria for what actions are included in the plot, how they are described, and how the plot arc should work. For example, I don’t think it’s fair to fault an erotic novel if it contains explicit sex. That’s just part of the erotic genre. If you don’t like sex in stories, don’t read erotica. So I don’t review Romance books because I’m not familiar enough with the specific criteria to fairly judge a particular book. I do review mystery, thriller, historical, literary, science fiction, and fantasy, on the other hand, because I understand how those genres work.
NJ: Well, I will disagree with you here. And here’s something for everyone to think about…who established those criteria for the genres? Another writer? A reader? Who says that we should follow their lead? I’m just curious. But, I firmly believe that a book should be judged first and foremost, on the writing. I’ve read under some genres which I clearly had no clue about, such as Paranormal/Sci-Fi, etc., but as an avid reader and connoisseur of the written word, I knew enough to know whether or not the writing was good. Now, that’s just my opinion but all of my reviews are based on that criteria, which I established, along with some other greats (not saying that I’m great, but I’m merely pointing out that there are some great authors who agree with me). Are you one of those who are afraid to be honest in their reviews lest the author gets upset with you, or is honesty your best policy, especially in reviews?
Michael: It can be hard at times, but honesty is the best policy. Readers need to know that they can trust me as a reviewer. Am I always going to write something that they will agree with? No. But everyone needs to remember that a review is just an opinion. And as writers, we have to accept that readers are going to make judgments about our work.
NJ: Read any poorly written books lately?
Michael: Unfortunately, yes.
NJ: Where’s your review so I can go and check it out? LOL. No, seriously.
Michael: No writer likes getting a bad review, and I’m not going to rub it in. It’s just my opinion, after all.
NJ: Michael, I’m just teasing. I don’t have time to read my own reviews, let alone some that others have written. Just good clean fun! Are you an author?
NJ: How long have you been writing?
Michael: About 35 years.
NJ: What books have you written?
Michael: There’s only one that anyone would be able to find: The Traveling Man
NJ: Do you have a blog or website?
Michael: Yes. https://michaelpking.org
NJ: Name three great online resources or organizations that every author should belong to…
Michael: As I’ve mentioned, I’m relatively new to social media, but I don’t see how anyone can get along without at least Facebook and Twitter. WordPress, or another such place to set up a website, is obviously important. And I’d have to add RRBC.
NJ: Which online resource or organization has helped you as an author the most?
Michael: In terms of building up my author skills, I’d have to say RRBC.
NJ: How were you helped by them?
Michael: In two and a half months, by example, the club helped me set up my Twitter presence and showed me how to write tweets, showed me what a blog tour looked like, got me to focus more on my reviewing skills, got me to think more about my brand and refocus my bio, and got me to think about interview components.
NJ: WOW! Seems you’ve been very blessed by the RRBC Fairies! Good for you! Michael, since you’re sitting on the SHELF, you’re obviously a Rave Reviews Book Club member, so what do you really think of the club?
Michael: It’s been a great experience for me. You get back what you put in, which is the way it should be.
NJ: Very well said! Have you come across any other online entities like it?
Michael: Yes, but they didn’t seem as highly organized, and seemed to rely on people being willing to do the right thing rather than having ways to evaluate participation.
NJ: Really? Well, let me tell you you’re the first as we don’t know of anyone out there who we could be compared to. And yes, RRBC is all about organization. No Mom & Pop shop here! Would you recommend RRBC to your friends and family?
NJ: Good to hear! This shelf is getting hard on my hiney, so we’re going to wrap this interview up. Any final words?
Michael: Thanks for the opportunity. It’s been a pleasure. Look for the second Travelers novel, The Computer Heist, early next year.
NJ: Michael, thank you so much for joining me on the shelf! To my guests, please support Michael by picking up a copy of his book above. You can also support by visiting his blog stops on his tour which ends on Saturday. You can find the tour line up here.
Have you joined Rave Reviews Book Club yet? Well, here’s your chance! And since Michael was on the “SHELF” today, tell them he sent you. We’ll see you next time, right here on the shelf, with another AMAZING RRBC member! Take care, everybody and have a safe and joyous Thanksgiving Holiday!