Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW w/ C. Michael Lorion, Writer of the TOTEM Series!!!

Please welcome C. Michael Lorion! He is the author of the brand new TOTEM series and has agreed to be interviewed by yours truly! So without further ado...

Q.  So SCARS, the first book in your debut TOTEM series, is considered to be a novel of Horror. Is Horror your favorite genre?
A.  You know, this whole genre thing confuses me sometimes. There are elements of horror in Scars, and in the whole Totem series, but I don't know if I would consider it straight-up horror. To answer your questions, yes, horror is probably my favorite genre--think Stephen King, Peter Straub, Christopher Golden, Robert McCammon, and some of Dean Koontz's stuff.

Q.  How did the idea of this trilogy come to you?
A.  Oh, man. Do you have an hour? Short answer (which may not be too short) is this: one day I was walking with one of my sons who at the time was around 5 or 6 years old. We live on busy street in a small town, and as a car came around the corner I wondered (don't ask me where this thought came from) what would happen if the car veered toward us and, by some terrible circumstance, I couldn't get both me and my son out of the way and my son died as a result. What would I as a parent go through for the rest of my life with that on my conscience? That got me thinking about how a parent who--either directly or indirectly--was responsible for his son's death would handle it. I started writing the story, scraped it after about nine months because it was boring, brought in a supernatural element to it along with Native American mythology, and three years later here is Totem (Book 1: Scars).

Q. What do you think inspired you to be a writer?
A.  I've loved reading my entire life. I grew up on King and Straub and Koontz and Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy and others. I tried my hand at a number of short stories while in junior high and high school. I've had, for decades, the desire to write a novel. I guess all of this together inspired me somehow. I think reading a novel that scared me and also gave me hope made me think, "Hey, I think I could write something like this." Then the right idea came along, and here we are.

Q.  There is a lot of talk right now about the changing face of self-publishing. How do you feel about it?
A.  The only thing I can say about it is that I'm learning so much as I go. I knew next to nothing about self-publishing when I started writing the Totem series. In fact, I was planning on submitting it to traditional publishers. But then the whole self-publishing thing started taking off, I started reading up on it and researching it, and, although sales of my book have not been where I'd like them to be, I have to say I am enjoying the ride. Self-publishing has opened the door for those of us who want to write for a living, and for that I'm grateful. I'm not making a living on my writing--yet--but I'm working hard on getting there, and so I'm all for the self-publishing movement. I'll add this--a lot has been said and written about the quality of self-publishing, and a lot of what's been said and written is legitimate, but I think as it goes on that the quality writing will continue to rise to the top and squeeze out the lesser quality writing. Readers will keep reading the good stuff.

Q. Who would you say your favorite authors are right now? Do you have a favorite book or series?
A.  Stephen King (mostly his older stuff, some of his newer), Christopher Golden (anyone reading this interview, if you're not reading this guy, what are you WAITING for??), Robert McCammon (Boy's Life, Stinger, The Five, need I say more?), Brandon Sanderson (The Mistoborn series is simply one of the best fantasy epics EVER), Patrick Rothfuss. Favorite books--Watchers by Dean Koontz, It by Stephen King, Boy's Life by Robert McCammon, Strangewood by Christopher Golden, and Shadowland by Peter Straub.

Q.  What are some of your hobbies? Favorite things to do when you're not writing?
A.  Reading, reading, reading. Playing with my kids. I used to draw a lot when I has in junior high, would like to get back into that hobby as I think it would be relaxing. Someday...

Q.  As a father of 7 children, I have to ask. When do you find the time to write?? =D
A.  I work a part-time job delivering the early morning paper, which means I wake up between 1:30 and 2:00 in the morning and I'm done my route by 6 in the morning. I spend time with the family until 9 a.m., then I write from 9 until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, then spend the rest of the day with the family. My wife homeschools our children (6 live with us, the oldest who is 23 is on his own with his wife and children). So, it's not as difficult as it sounds. I have a little side room off our dining room, I put my headphones on and crank up the music (Rush, Kansas, Styx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Led Zeppelin, and any other rock groups from the 70s and 80s), and that's how I write. For the most part, the kids let me write and then let me know when it's time for a break. So far, it works for us.

Q.  Can you tell us a little bit about Book 2 in the TOTEM series? What can we expect from the second installment?
A.  The second book is titled Totem (Book 2: Ashes). It will pick up later in the same year, 1978, on the fourth of July. There will be some backstory told so that questions from the first book (believe me, I know I left a lot of questions hanging at the end, and I'm sorry about that...for the most part) will be answered, but also there will be more questions raised that will be answered in the third installment. The second book won't focus on as many characters as the first one did, so that will be a change of pace for a lot of readers. I'm looking forward to working with a smaller cast of characters and developing them more. The secret of the Totem (what it is and what power it holds) will start to be revealed, though not completely. That won't happen until book three.

Q. Can you tell us what other projects you have in the pipeline?
A.  After Totem (Book 2: Ashes) there will be Totem (Book 3: Spirits). After the Totem series, I may start writing a YA thriller/supernatural/dark fantasy series. It's percolating inside my head right now, so we'll have to wait and see what happens with it. I also have two short stories in my drawer I need to clean up and get out in print somehow, along with numerous ideas for more short stories/novellas.

Q.  I know you're a busy man (especially as a dad to 7 kidlets!), so I'll close this interview with one last question. Vampires, werewolves, or witches? Aliens, robots, or zombies? Lethal viruses or nanos gone wild? 
A.  Vampires (read The Keep by F. Paul Wilson or They Thirst by Robert McCammon to see how vampires used to be written about, aliens (Alien the movie), lethal viruses (Stephen King's The Stand).

Great interview, Rebecca. These questions were fun to answer. I know book bloggers are pressed for time to read and review all the books that are sent to them, so thanks a bunch for taking the time to write these interview questions and to post it on your blog. I wish you all the success, and I'll keep spreading the word about the work you're doing on behalf of readers everywhere and us authors striving to please our readers. Thanks!

--Thank you, so much for sharing with us! And to my readers, check back here tomorrow for my review of TOTEM, Book: 1. You won't want to miss it!

Check out the Totem Series on GOODREADS | Buy Book 1 at AMAZON


  1. Rebecca (got it right this time!), this interview was fun thank you for allowing me the opportunity!

    1. The pleasure was all mine! Thank you so much for sharing!!