Today we're talking with Michael Dadich, author of The Silver Sphere: Book I of The Kin Chronicles
FQ: The first question is something everyone will ask: Are you a Harry Potter fan; a lover of the fantasy adventure?
Harry Potter is beloved to me. That little boy under the stairs shows what a strong will and companions can accomplish, no matter your upbringing, and yes I love Fantasy adventures, as well as sci fi, mysteries, history, horror, things that go bump in the night. C.S Lewis was a huge influence on me as a child and he brought me the priceless gift of the joy of reading.
FQ: I read that you began writing, or at least dreaming about this book and concept when you were only 8 years-old. What made you decide to finally release this series?
When I was 8, I started to write short stories. I lived in a busy urban neighborhood, and enjoyed the escape. I created a large map of Azimuth as well. I also wrote, among others, a short, titled Wolver-Mutants, about wolverines exposed to radiation that stalked a small town and a local detective working on the case. I continued to write in college, and had the support of my professor in his creative writing classes; we still keep in contact today. When I graduated, I left his work study to head to Wall St. in a competitive industry to pay the rent. My professors words haunted me when I left, he wanted me to work on the craft and was disappointed. After advancing in my career, and starting a family, I found a dossier from college filled with stories from my creative writing classes, and also my map I made at 8, and my old steno pad I started writing in back then. So I began writing again, inspired by that 8 year old boy that wanted to be an author. Life and its responsibilities and demands can get in the way of your passions sometimes. I learned to listen to that enthusiastic little boy again. I often thought of the story over the years and where I would go with it. After I completed the rough draft, a close friend who is a major publicist was given the manuscript from my wife, and after reading it he encouraged me to pursue my writing, and not to consider it just as a hobby.
FQ: All of the myths and legends you play upon would lead readers to believe that ancient history and cultures are something you study. Are you a researcher? A librarian at heart, perhaps?
Yes, I love researching when I develop my outlines, and history in general. I believe we are not alone in this universe, and that good and evil does exist, and not just on the mortal plane. I also believe that there is a strong possibility, in the billions of years the Earth has existed, that we were not the first advanced civilization that existed here. So I read a lot, not just fiction for pleasure, but on history and theories that revolve around it. I recently finished some books on Machu Picchu, the Canary Islands, the map of Piri Reis and the Mayans. I find it fascinating.
FQ: There certainly is the factor of the celestial heaven and hell versus the mortal world in your novel. Having said that, what are your thoughts about the YA genre now turning more toward the ‘angel’ and further away from the vampire/werewolf topic?
I loved vampires as a kid (Salem's Lot was one of my favorites) and the supernatural. The genre has been obviously a little bloated of late, both in books and film but I still enjoy it if its a fresh twist. While I was growing up, I would spend summers with my grandparents in eastern Europe. My grandmother was full of tales of witches and ghosts from the old country, and I ate them up. The setting of her village was very old, and had a Transylvania type feel to it.
Angels, yes. I hear they have been trending. The Truth Seekers, many consider as angels. I don't think, regardless of what faith you follow, that life ends when we pass. I believe that quite possible there may be the ultimate battle ahead of us, and there is a struggle between good and evil, and we will all be needed when we are ready. The sequence involving Lucas Denon came to me from a dream I had after a near death experience, involving John Lennon. The dream came when I was hanging on to life. Or just maybe it wasn't a dream, but a journey. It shook me to the core when I awoke. I saw something.
I fully recovered from my ordeal, but what I saw did inspire me in developing the celestial backdrop and the world of Azimuth.
I would, however, never attempt to chase a trend, I write what comes to me through the story and my experiences and research. I like to think a lot, and study, before I write, and let it marinate before it all pours out.
FQ: Mr. Dempsey, the librarian in your novel, is a great guy. As an author who most likely loves the ‘smell of the new book,’ how do you feel about the overwhelming eBook Age? Do you feel it’s a benefit to the YA’s, or a negative in the fact that ‘real’ books may be on their way out and replaced by only electronics?
I think print will always have its place, and yes I love a hardcover. Libraries will always exist (I pray) but, as a matter of convenience and cost, I find myself reading on my kindle app on the Ipad more and more. I used to have a heavy knapsack full of print books when I traveled; it is nice to have it in one place, and no night light needed. I do think, for better or worse, that digital will continue to increase in market share going forward but I don't see this as a negative. Words are words. They can entertain you and teach you in more formats now is the only difference, and it is green. When I read a ebook I really like, I go ahead and get the hardcover for my shelf. I do worry about the distractions that young adults face today, with social media, video games and all, I just hope they find the time to read a good book and discover that passion while young as I did.
FQ: The pictures offered in the book: Were you the illustrator?
I am blessed, I feel, to be working with Mallory Rock, who did the illustrations, the cover, assisted on my website, and the book trailers for the Silver Sphere. She is hands on, and we have become good friends in the process. I think she is incredibly talented, and a big part of my support group and process.
FQ: It must be a very humble feeling to see this project you’ve worked on for so long finally come to fruition. Do you know how many books will comprise this series before all is said and done?
To see the project come to fruition...I was speechless, and I am still overjoyed with the process so far. The Tannenbaum company, a successful Los Angeles production company, loved the screenplay I co-wrote with an industry veteran, and they have recently signed a shop agreement for the movie rights. I had to pinch myself when they called.
My wife, god bless her, was always in my corner, and in the end I developed a strong support group around me. I have a serious day job, and have been involved heavily in my community as a youth coach and fundraiser, so it is important to have that support when I need to lock myself in a room for days when I'm in mode.
To read the positive reviews and receive some of the awards recently garnered; it really moves me emotionally. I always get butterflies when I read a good review, and I am always humbled and thankful when I receive one like yours.
This set of Kin will go through a trilogy, and then my plans are for a prequel revolving around the first great war on Azimuth, and Hideux's rise.
FQ: And one last question for the fans: Which of these amazing characters do you identify with the most, and why?
There is always a piece of me or a friend in my characters, however Nick Casey really resonates. I lived his transition to a Truth Seeker partly in a dream, and believe many of his actions would come naturally to me. I wrote his character thinking what I would do under the circumstances he faced.
FQ: Thank you for you time, and a great read. I look forward to Book II.