I’m delighted to welcome author, Mike Russell to have a chat about his books, writing life, and being an astronaut…maybe…one day! Over to Mike.
The Fun Stuff
What part of the world do you come from?
The south of England in the UK. I currently live in Brighton with my girlfriend and two cats.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
First an astronaut, then a pig-farmer, then a writer. I am very happy to be fulfilling the writing dream. I am now a vegetarian so I won’t be fulfilling the pig-farming dream any time soon, though a pet pig might be nice. As far as being an astronaut… there’s still time.
List three words to describe yourself.
Alive, creative, hopeful.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
Hmmm… I don’t know but it would have to be a comedy.
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Tea and toast.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
Used with caution.
The Sensible Side
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
When I was 12 years old I began writing a novel called ‘Imagine Infinity’. I designed the book cover and wrote about twenty pages before deciding that I needed more life experience and abandoned it. I thought this early attempt was lost until my parents found it in their loft a couple of years ago. I still like the title. Years later, I began writing again. Then one day a friend was putting together a spoken-word event. Knowing that I wrote things, she asked me to contribute. This led to many years of regularly performing my stories in clubs, bars, galleries and various other strange venues. Happily, I just kept being invited to do more. This proved to me that there was an audience for my writing. I then began publishing my stories.
Where did the inspiration for Nothing is Strange come from?
Inspiration for me is exactly that. I have moments of inspiration that come at odd times. It is always something new to me, giving a certain insight beyond what I already know and it comes with a small euphoria. Where it comes from is a mystery. I love inspiration. I love exploring the places that inspiration reveals to me and I have a huge desire to share what I discover. We are all mysteries surrounded by mystery and filled with mystery! I like to explore that mystery.
What do you like the most about writing short stories?
I like to be able to create many different, sometimes even contradictory, worlds. Short stories enable this. I see the nature of life as paradoxical. As soon as someone says ‘this is the way things are’ you can be sure that something will happen to prove them wrong. Writing stories can show that the truth can take many forms.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from Nothing is Strange?
From the short story ‘Dunce’ from ‘Nothing Is Strange’:
The lights dimmed to darkness. Kitty Malone, the beautiful star of the show, was stood centre stage. A shot was heard. Dunce jumped right out of his seat.
‘What was that?’ he said.
The lights came back on and Kitty was lying in a pool of blood. Dunce let out a scream then shouted:
‘Someone call for an ambulance! And the police!’
The audience thought that Dunce was an actor, that the play was being cleverly extended beyond the stage, questioning the boundaries of theatre.
‘What’s wrong with you?’ Dunce shouted at the audience. ‘How can you carry on as if nothing has happened?’
‘This is wonderful, just wonderful,’ I heard someone say behind me.
Kitty was stoically sticking to her role, thinking that the show must go on, but Dunce was clambering up onto the stage, crying, stroking Kitty’s hair and checking her pulse.
‘She’s alive!’ he shouted with relief.
‘No I’m not!’ Kitty hissed at him through clenched teeth.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
Discovering strange and magical things!
What can we expect from you in the future?
I currently have three books published, all available from Amazon (please see below for link). I am currently working on more stories and also novels, which will be published in good time. If you follow my website www.strangebooks.com you will receive an email when each new book is published.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Author Website: https://strangebooks.com
Amazon Author Page
Mike Russell was born in 1973. He grew up in the small village of Pulborough in the south of England. As a child, he enjoyed daydreaming, art and writing strange stories. As an adult, he enjoys daydreaming, art and writing strange stories.
‘Nothing Is Strange’ is a collection of 20 mind-expanding short stories.
“A unique collection of short stories that takes readers to bizarre places and lets them experience dreamlike situations that I have yet to read in other books.” Readers’ Favourite
Buy it HERE
‘Strange Medicine’ is a fantastic collection of extraordinary tales of transformation.
“Full of meaning and emotion, with an awesome front cover to go with it. Great Stuff.” Always Trust In Books
Buy it HERE
‘Strungballs’ is a surreal, science-fiction/fantasy novella.
“This is like nothing I have ever read before… a highly unique, weird and perhaps even mind-altering reading experience.” Fantasy Book Review
Buy it HERE
Mike Russell’s books have been described as Strange Fiction, Weird Fiction, Weird Lit, Surrealism, Fantasy Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Metaphysical Fiction… but we just like to call them StrangeBooks.
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