Michael was one of the very first authors I met when I started my journey into publishing. He tells me I approached him timidly (I'm denying that--lol!), when I asked him if he might be interested in a gift copy of my Natalie's Edge Series. Over the course of a year, I have not only come to highly respect his writing, I have come to highly respect his opinions, advice, and guidance. I often call him my Obi Wan Kenobe--his knowledge is incomparable.
But really, beyond coming to depend on him for myriad weird questions and late-night worries, I have come to call him a friend: honest, smart, and kind. And now, you can get to know this Jedi master yourself, as he boldly answered my interview questions (which he wanted to change, by the way. I said, "No."). ENJOY!
What is your favorite word? Least favorite?
I don’t have a single favorite word, but I’m a sucker for two-dollar words used correctly. As a journalist and life-long writer, I’ve been exposed to a pretty broad vocabulary, and I live for the moments when I can drop in a word I noticed years ago but never had the opportunity to use.
If I know an obscure word that will work as well or better than a common one that needs a string of modifiers to say the same thing, you’d better believe I’ll use it. But I’ve found you have to let this happen naturally—going out of your way to use big words is just pretentious. I once read about an author (who I shall leave unnamed) who kept a list of big words he liked next to him as he wrote just so he would remember to use them the first moment he could. That to me is putting the cart before the horse.
As for least favorite, it might be a tie between rather and quite. Both words have their place, but they’ve been overused to the point of the sign of a lazy writer most of the time.
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
I like challenges. I have a habit of doing things just because I haven’t done them before, just to see what happens. Part of the reason I write in so many genres is that I feel like I’m in a rut if I keep doing the same thing. I like to break molds, to take conventions and twist them around into something else. Much of what I tried to do with my latest novel Spider is in that vein. I wanted to take the typical “abducted woman” fantasy—a genre that’s often replete with giggle-inducing elements—and turn it into a grittily realistic thriller without losing the erotic elements.
I love Roland in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. He’s the epitome of the guy who’s going to Finish What He Started no matter the obstacles fate throws in his way. He’s a damaged, flawed guy who’s made some mistakes and carries a basket of regrets, but at the same time he knows in his bones who he is and what he’s meant to do. He doesn’t make a big deal about it, he just goes out, gets the job done, and never, ever gives up.
Who is your favorite artist (writer, painter, musician, poet, etc.)?
I’ve always been fascinated by Leonardo da Vinci, which was one of the reasons I wrote him into a section of Vector. As iconic as he is, I still feel he’s unappreciated in many ways. You have to really think what it would have been like to be as brilliant and talented as he was, but hamstrung by the technologies and culture of his day. To have all these ideas and inventions in his head that were simply too far beyond the state of the art to achieve. Imagine what he would have been able to do today. I’m convinced he would have ended up as a billionaire visionary like Elon Musk or Steve Jobs, neither of whom is/was anywhere near the polymath that da Vinci was.
If you were reincarnated as some other plant or animal, what would it be?
If karma is a thing, and your next life is determined by the things you do and think about in this life, likely one of those Japanese Hentai tentacle beasts.
Thank Me you idiots didn’t elect Donald Trump!
A deeply jaded ex-CIA agent with a long-held grievance. A disillusioned politician's daughter, called to account for her father's sins. A teenage prostitute in a hopeless downward spiral.
San Diego lawyer Cassandra Dunne is trapped in a world she wants no part of, with a father whose career has controlled the entire trajectory of her life. But when she is yanked out of this existence by a dark man with a terrifying past, she must re-rexamine everything she thought she understood about herself and her father.
For the man holding her is no run-of-the-mill kidnapper. He was once of the CIA's most dangerous agents, a man whose moral compass has been destroyed by a decade of torture and murder—and the methods he honed at the behest of men like Cassandra's father he soon turns on Cassandra. Confined in a mysterious cell in an unknown location, tormented by a teenage girl whose behavior makes little sense, Cassandra can only survive by coming to understand the true meaning of freedom.
Redemption is there. If only she can take it.
Before even completely deciding to do it, she reached down and palmed the note as
she passed him. Still wondering what was going on, she went back into the service
area. Maybe he had some special request he didn’t want to say out loud. It happened
from time to time in First Class.
But it was something else entirely.
You can fool everyone else, but you can’t fool me. I know the things you think
about at night, the things you’ve never admitted to your husband or your
friends, the things you can scarcely admit to yourself. The needs that frighten
you even as they consume your thoughts.
Rachel stared at the note, blinking in disbelief. Being a Ilight attendant, let alone an
attractive blonde, meant getting hit on from time to time. Especially in First Class,
there was a certain breed of men who thought her attentions came along with the
Most of the time, she politely deIlected the overtures. Avoiding a passenger was not
usually difIicult, since they were supposed to remain seated. If they were persistent
about it, there were ways of escalating the situation, such as turning on the Fasten
Seatbelts sign to get everyone locked down. If it was bad enough, she could call the
pilot back. And, of course, the nuclear option was diverting the Ilight on a “disruptive
passenger” call and turning him over to the police. She’d never had to do it herself,
though she knew FAs who had.
But in ten years, Rachel had never gotten something like this.
She should have ignored it. She should have avoided him as best she could until they
landed in an hour. Except for one thing.
He had read her.
He couldn’t have known all the things in the dark shadows of her mind, couldn’t have
known about the stories Iilling her iPad that she kept hidden from everyone, the
things she had barely discussed with Steve after he had laughed in her face the few
times she had half-heartedly brought them up.
It might have been nothing but a guess. Maybe he was just a pervert who did this to
random women hoping to get lucky.
She slowly peered around the corner of the service area back into First Class. He was
reading his magazine again, but his eyes came up after a moment or two. Boring into
her. She stood there frozen. He held her gaze for long seconds before looking down
When he released her, Rachel rolled back around the corner, leaning against the wall,
and tried to catch her breath. An embarrassed Ilush spread over her body.
Who was he?
Rachel didn’t know how, but he knew. He hadn’t hit her up randomly. Somehow he
could see it in her.
Something she barely knew herself. But he saw it.
The Ilush intensiIied. She felt her nipples hardening, felt herself growing wet even as
she tried to Iight it.
She was on duty. This was insane. She had to get control of herself and get back to
But when she looked around the corner again, he was watching for her. Those eyes
locked onto her once more. She suddenly felt like a child, staring up at her gruff,
Marine ofIicer father in shame after he caught her misbehaving.
When he let her go, Rachel fell back into the service area. She looked down at the
note, still in her hand, re-reading it a few times.
She thought of the book she was in the middle of reading, a dark, deeply twisted
story about a woman who sold herself to her boss to pay off a debt.
She thought of the one time she tried to role-play something like that with Steve. He
had tried, but his lack of seriousness, his fucking amusement with her, had ruined it.
She could try to ignore this. Or she could let it happen.
The plane shook as it went through an air pocket, jerking her out of her reverie. Not
fully believing what she was doing, Rachel found a napkin, pulled a pen out of her
blazer, and wrote a reply.
What do you want?
She folded it in half and went back into the cabin, working her way down, asking if
anyone needed anything. 2B said nothing, but his eyes looked down as she discreetly
dropped the napkin in his lap.
She went back to Economy, found Kelly, made some small talk for a minute or two.
They would need to start prepping for landing soon. She had to Iinish this, whatever
When she returned up front, there was another folded note on his tray. She took it
without looking at him as she went past. Only when she was back in the service area
did she look at it.
Take your panties off and bring them to me.
Rachel’s heart thumped in her chest. If she did something like this and got caught,
she would get suspended at the very least.
She stared at the bulkhead in front of her, breathing hard. Then she looked back into
the cabin. 2B was not looking at her. Kelly and Doris were in the rear.
Body shaking in agitation, Rachel went as far into the service area as she could get,
leaning against the outside bulkhead where no one could see her. Then she pulled
her skirt up an inch or two, and wriggled out of her thong as quickly as she could.
The moment when she had to step out of her underwear—when it would be obvious
what she was doing if Kelly came up—sent her heart into a staccato beat of terror.
But it took her only a moment or two to retrieve the thong from around her ankles
and wad it up in her Iist.
She had to gather her courage for a few moments, feeling like she had fallen into an
insane parallel universe. Then she stepped back into the cabin, and as she had done
with the note, carefully dropped the damp little wad of cotton into 2B’s lap.
Kelly was coming up the aisle. It was time to prepare for landing. For a minute or
two, Rachel occupied herself with getting the seat backs up and laptops put away,
trying to ignore the draft between her legs. But she saw 2B writing another note.
When she came back to his aisle, she took it without looking at him.
It was a few more minutes before she could look at the note in privacy.
Those were awfully wet. I’ll be waiting outside the gate.