Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Meet Myke Cole


Hello Good People (and a hearty 'what's up?' to the bad ones),

I'd like to introduce to you a good friend of mine who has a book -- his debut! -- coming out in February.

I met Myke a few years back at a World Fantasy convention and immediately took a liking to the guy. The first time you see him, you can tell that he’s military in all the best ways. He’s clean-cut (on the surface), in great shape, and exactly the kind of person you can imagine charging an enemy position without regard for his own safety.


On top of that, he’s a writer. And a fantasy writer! Does it get any better than that? You decide as I grill him with a few questions.


Howdy, Myke. Would you tell us a little bit about your background?

I'm a classic nerd. I grew up playing D&D and hanging out in comic book shops, and quickly graduated to tearing through every wire-rack fantasy paperback I could get my hands on. The never shook that bug. My parents said I'd grow out of it, but I never did. Things changed for me when my mom took me to the Arms & Armor hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, when I meshed that with D&D, I became obsessed with the idea that, using fantasy, I could reinvent myself as a fighting man. It took a while, but I pulled it off eventually. The merger of my career in the military and my love of fantasy resulted in my writing CONTROL POINT, which I think is a pretty solid blend of the two.


Your novel, Shadow Ops: Control Point, comes out in February. What’s it about?

I won't repeat the back-of-the-jacket copy here. You can see that on amazon. I will say that CONTROL POINT is a book happening on 2 levels. On the "awesome" level, it's squeeing out about how cool it would be if special operations units could fly or summon lightning. It lets the reader watch an Apache helicopter gunship go up against a Roc. On the "issues" level, it explores how rigid bureaucracies (like the military) handle strange and wild new phenomena, and how their innate conservatism clashes with their promise to do right by their people.


Is it true that you based the series on your own exploits in the secret magical war the U.S. is currently fighting with Lithuania?

Tango 3, tango 3. This is Whiskey-1. He knows. MGRS coordinates inbound. Get fire on this target stat.


*wink* Okay, then how did you get the idea for the story?

I got it while I was working in the Pentagon. You deal with this incredibly precise bureaucracy that lives and dies by its rules. I kept asking myself, "what if there was an elf wandering the halls? Or what if there was sorcery department? How would that work?" After I did my first tour in Iraq, the idea began to really crystallize.


When did you start writing fiction? And what drew you to fantasy?

I wrote my first "book" when I was a little kid. It consisted of transcribing the vinyl recording of Ralph Bakshi's old Lord of the Rings animated film. I never stopped writing from that point on, and it was always fantasy. I couldn't honestly say what drew me to it, other than the standard troubled childhood that makes many of us nerds. I do remember the moment when I committed though. It was gazing at the image of the Horned King on the cover of Lloyd Alexander's Book of Three, that I got from the Scholastic catalog that I brought home from school. That image transfixed me. I know that this was going to be a lifelong passion from that moment on.


The cover art for Control Point is phenomenal. Who did it?

Michael Komarck, who is without a doubt my favorite fantasy artist. You can check out his website at http://www.komarckart.com/. He's done a lot of fantasy book covers (including great ones for these books Shadow's Son and Shadow's Lure), and he also did several of the covers for George R.R. Martin's Wildcards series.


What’s your favorite species of undead and why?

I'm a big fan of undead goblins. You'll want to read CONTROL POINT to find out why :)


Any advice for other writers?

Yes. Join the reserve military branch of your choice. I'm not kidding. I wrote a blog post explaining precisely why here - http://johnmierau.wordpress.com/2011/07/11/want-to-be-a-pro-writer-soldier-up/


Thanks to Myke for stopping by our little blog today. Now everyone go check out this book! Here's the Amazon link.




3 comments:

Paul Weimer said...

Hi Myke. Glad to see you here!

I would serve, and had considered it at one point (my father served, and my older brother served) but physically, I probably would not have qualified (a bad hip, and possibly my eyesight would have disqualified as well).

An elf wandering the halls of the Pentagon is just one of those images that begs to be used somewhere as a seed. And it seems you are the guy to do it!

Looking forward to the book.

Stefan Fergus said...

You should totally write a short story about an elf infiltrating the Pentagon...

Jon Sprunk said...

I forgot to include his bio!

Here it is:

"As a secu­rity con­tractor, gov­ern­ment civilian and mil­i­tary officer, Myke Cole’s career has run the gamut from Coun­tert­er­rorism to Cyber War­fare to Fed­eral Law Enforce­ment. He’s done three tours in Iraq and was recalled to serve during the Deep­water Horizon oil spill. All that con­flict can wear a guy out. Thank good­ness for fan­tasy novels, comic books, late night games of Dun­geons and Dragons and lots of angst fueled writing."