The following is an interview with a really cool author, Michael Diack. I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing his "Super Spud Trilogy" and he's jovially agreed to answer a few questions. Thanks, Michael, and I look forward to more books from you!
What book are you reading now?
1Q84, I’ve literally just finished reading it. I’m a big fan of Murakami, although I’ll be honest and say this latest offering just wasn’t for me. It was too long, in places quite boring and I had to make myself finish it. I’ll still faithfully buy his next novel when it comes out because even at his best, he is still sublime and brilliant. Now I’m reading Crossing the Sands by Wilfred Thesiger, the first Westerner to cross Arabia. It’s a great read and I have the utmost respect for his accomplishments. I’ll read pretty much any genre, I’m not fussy.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing another set of Super Spud adventures. The first book was a trilogy in the sense it revolved around three adventures: Colin, Cougar and King Martin, but I never intended for the story to end as it did. I was told by my editor to shorten the story, so I took out the last three chapters, the ending was still the same, though, with G-Boa on the run and the story set up to be concluded. Truthfully, when it came to publishing the book, I didn’t know what to call it: The Super Spuds, The Super Spud Adventures, The Chronicles of the Super Spuds…The Super Spud Trilogy was a neat title and flowed off the tongue better – I didn’t mean to deceive anybody.
So yes, there will be another set of adventures that I’m writing now, bringing back characters who didn’t die (and some you thought did) as well as including a whole host of new flavour types. This will be the last set of adventures and the Super Spuds will conclude. After that I’ve got a few short stories and lots more ideas for novels. I’ll always write quirky fiction, I think, it’s just too enjoyable when writing and creating new things.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Obviously, my book is about magical crisp packets so there has to be a certain amount of disbelief, but I was always worried the reader wouldn’t be drawn in by the concept, or overly scrutinize a certain aspect of the magic rules. This was the biggest challenge for me, but once I had nailed down the strict rules and stipulations regarding the Super Spuds, the whole book was enjoyable to write. Another challenge was trying to find the balance between what I personally found funny. I enjoy the process of writing about Super Spuds so much, sometimes I’ll write something just for my own amusement, then go back, read it, and realise only I would laugh and promptly delete it. I’m sure now there are bits I wrote I didn’t mean to be funny, and other parts I wrote thinking it was funny but no-one cares. Feedback from the story would be great though, what readers liked and what they didn’t like, so I could make the next set of adventures even more fun.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
JRR Tolkien. I’ll regularly re-read The Hobbit every year, and for me The Silmarillion is his ultimate masterpiece. I just love how he manages to describe Middle Earth so realistically but doesn’t waffle on. I think other authors would take a thousand more pages to do what he did in a few hundred with The Hobbit. His passion for his work and his world that he has created just flows out of the text, and I’m always immediately drawn into his story.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy reading the story and it helps you to de-stress. I’ve been told it’s a good book to just pick-up and put down at leisure, and I’d love to hear your feedback or suggestions for new flavour personalities. I always told myself that if I made the reader laugh once then it was all worth doing.
Is there anything else you'd like the world to know?
Camels love cardboard. I work in the desert and regularly see camels choosing cardboard over vegetation…they absolutely love it. So there is a crazy piece of trivia for you.