Meet Our Author: Mike Nelson
At Glass Spider Publishing, we’re proud to have worked with a variety of talented authors in an impressive spectrum of book genres. We figured what better way to show them off than by spotlighting them here on our blog? This month, we’re starting a new series to introduce our finest, called Meet Our Author.
We’d like to start with an interview with our newest published author, Mike Nelson.
Mike is a retired accountant from Brigham City, a father of six, and an avid outdoorsman. We love this guy because he’s full of great stories, both true and fictional. He’s a skilled and dedicated writer with a headful of stories who creates thrilling suspense and adventure novels full of mystery, action, and intrigue.
Mike’s newest work, Thorns of Avarice, was released this fall and is available in paperback and Kindle e-book on Amazon. You can also find the paperback on the shelves of local independent Ogden-area bookstores. Mike has also written a short story, “Mountain Man,” which is also available on Amazon.
Read our chat with Mike, then head over to his Facebook page and say hello. Tell him we sent you! And if you like suspense, action-adventure, and thrills, Mike already has several other books in the works, so watch for this guy!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up on a small farm in Northern Utah. I learned to work hard. I grew up before video games, the computer, and the internet, so I turned to my imagination for entertainment. I captained sea-faring vessels from the top of our straw stack; I roamed the dense jungles of Africa in our cornfield; I swam in muddy, piranha-infested waters of our irrigation canal. That imagination served me well. When I was young, I would use daydreams to imagine every sort of adventure that I had neither the means nor the skills to do in reality. Those daydreams, and a good grasp of the English language, eventually led me to put my thoughts on paper.
I love the outdoors, and everything that you can find out there. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time hunting, fishing, backpacking, camping, dirt biking, and just exploring nature.
I married young—eighteen—and soon after joined the United States Air Force, where I spent four years in communications intelligence, primarily overseas in Turkey. We had two children by the time I got out in 1974. I jumped right into college, working part-time in a gas station where I drove a wrecker and learned to fix cars.
I graduated with a B.S. in accounting in the spring of 1978. By that time, I had been working full-time for an aerospace firm for nearly two years. I finished my senior year at night. I continued to use the expertise I gained working in an auto garage to work on friends’ and neighbors’ cars for a few extra bucks in my spare time. In retrospect, I should have spent that time writing, but like they say, “money talks” and I had a big family to raise.
I retired in 2014 after thirty-eight years with Thiokol (ATK), and at that point got busy doing the things I didn’t have the time for while I was working full-time and raising a family of six kids.
When did you first start writing?
My first interest in writing came when I was nineteen and in my first quarter of college at Weber State University. I had a freshman composition class, taught by Douglas Spainhower. I did really well with an assigned short story and learned that it was a lot of fun to jot down my imaginings on paper.
I wrote my first novel when I was overseas, using an old Remington manual typewriter and scrap paper. After that, I wrote several novels throughout the years, but never pursued publishing them. When I retired, I found, much to my dismay, that many of my stories were lost when the media I’d saved them on became outdated or corrupted. Rather than revisit them all, I picked up where I could, with five of the later novels I’d completed.
What kinds of books inspired you as a reader, and as a writer?
When I was young, I loved adventure novels like Black Beauty and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. When I was in high school, I read a lot of “assigned” novels, but a couple of stories that stand out in my mind are The Pearl, The Old Man and the Sea, and Make Room! Make Room! (which was later turned into the movie Soylent Green). In recent years, I’ve enjoyed a number of Stephen King novels, the Harry Potter series, and the Divergent series.
What inspired you to write Thorns of Avarice?
Like I’ve already indicated, I love daydreaming. Who hasn’t dreamed about winning the lottery, or finding a treasure of some sort? With all the talk about stolen identities filling up the media in the last few years, I came up with an idea: What if someone stole your identity and you could “get even” with the dirtbag who did it? Thus, the story behind Thorns of Avarice.
Can you give us a basic idea of what your book is about?
Thorns is about a newlywed middle-aged couple, Bob and Liz Checketts. She was widowed after twenty happy years of marriage. Bob is divorced and has brought a heavy financial burden with him from his former marriage. Bob and Liz have only been married six months when Liz gets a letter from the IRS. The letter indicates that she may owe a significant amount of income tax on some financial holdings that her deceased husband, Stan, appears to have hidden from her. Giddy with excitement over the financial prospects, yet confused and hesitant, they set off on a journey of discovery, hoping to lay claim to Stan’s bank accounts. They soon find what appears to be a case of stolen identity, where the now-deceased crook, Marc Belmont, had a seriously shady reputation—including drug dealing and murder-for-hire. The lure of his wealth, and the seeming ease of laying claim to those holdings, draws them on until they become irreversibly caught in a web of wealth, murder, and intrigue.
What’s something unique about your story?
It’s not unique in that it involves the lure of greed. It is unique in that it uses a twist on identity theft as the major premise.
How did you connect with Glass Spider Publishing?
I read an article in the February, 2016 Standard Examiner about this guy, Vince Font, who had built a business around helping new authors like me “Get My Story Published.” We exchanged e-mails and phone calls. Those communications drew me in, and now I’m hooked. The process, although long and frustrating in my case, was fun because of the person that Vince is.
Can we expect more books from you in the future?
I hope so! I have five more completed novels lying in the wings, waiting for a chance to see the light of day, and I’m heavily involved in a sixth. I refuse to quit daydreaming, even if my stories go no further than my own file cabinet.
Glass Spider Publishing is a hybrid micropublisher that offers editing, design, publication, and marketing services. Unlike traditional publishers, Glass Spider pays its authors a 90 percent royalty and holds no claim to the copyrighted works published. Go here to contact us about getting your story published.