Monday, June 18, 2012

Author Spotlight: Interview with Michell Plested

1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Mik Murdoch, Boy Superhero is a YA Adventure that tells the story of an eight-year-old boy who one day decides that his destiny is to be a superhero.

2. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The intended audience is 9 - 15 year-old boys and girls who enjoy stories of adventure. The story is really one of self-actualization and gives young people a hero they can both relate to and look up to. Mik suffers many of the same problems as other kids: he is bullied and must make hard decisions about what is truly important.

3. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

The name Mik Murdoch just popped into my head one day. Maybe the alliteration spoke to me. I don't honestly know.

4. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Mik, most definitely. He is a normal kid in so many ways. He is uncertain and self-conscious and has to deal with the same problems other kids face. He has to wrestle with decisions that aren't true to his ultimate goal of being a hero and must chose to take the harder path.

5. How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

There are bullies in this story and they are my least favorite characters by far. I had to deal with bullies of my own when I was young and it was never pleasant. In order to make the experiences more true-to-life I had to make sure that the bullies in this story were not caricatures, but fully fleshed out characters with their own problems. It was both hard and therapeutic to inhabit their skins to write them.

6. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

I don't think I would change anything. The story is my first to be published and, as such, was a growing experience for me as a writer. There were times I wasn't sure it would ever be finished, but I am so proud of the finished product and know that all the work was worth it for this book and for any I write in the future.

7. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

Mik Murdoch is actually the second book I ever wrote. The first was a 90,000-word fantasy novel that took me seven-years to complete. A week later I started Mik Murdoch as part of my very first NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and wrote the entire 50,000-word book in 23-days. I have since written two more in the series, also during subsequent NaNoWriMo's.

8. What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

That's a hard question. I don't know of others that are similar to this because I haven't really read in the genre for a while (my kids are both older). Ramona the Pest is maybe one simply because the characters are both precocious and know what they want.

9. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

Unique? Hmm. I'm a Boy Scout leader (not that unique, I suppose). I podcast and I collect swords. Are those unique or just weird?

10. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

My website, is a good place to start. You can also listen to my writing podcast "Get Published" on iTunes. Just look up Michell Plested. Or email me at Or Twitter @mplested.

11. What can we expect from you in the future?

Lots more Mik Murdoch for starters. I'm also finishing the revision of my podcast novel "GalaxyBillies" which has been described as The Beverly Hillbillies meets Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I'm also co-editing an anthology titled "A Method to the Madness: A Guide to the Super Evil". I'm collaborating on a YA Steampunk Superhero mashup, too. Oh yeah, and I writing and podcasting "Boyscouts of the Apocalypse" as part of the Action Pack Podcast ( I'm sure there's more, but I've already put two people to sleep since I started. ;)

12. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

We are currently offering PDF versions of the Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for reviews. I'd love to send a copy to anyone willing/interested in helping.

13. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

Network, network, network. Don't be afraid to talk to people and tell them what you are working on (if they look interested, that is). The job of the author these days is to do much more than just write. Marketing and self-promotion are critical too. Take the time to get familiar with the networking tools out there (i.e. Twitter) and make use of them.

14. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Don't give up on your dream. If you want to get published, keep at it until you do. That's the only way to really make it happen. A long, slow, sometimes hard road but definitely worth it.

15. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

Over the next several days we explored Cranberry Flats, rescued cats (some of which Krypto had chased into trees) and searched the surrounding ponds and creeks for minnows and frogs. We even spent part of a day sitting on a hill watching the town hang glider club floating through a deep blue sky.

And we found a body.

We were near one of our favorite fishing and frogging spots when we found him. It was old Mr. McGrady who lived a few houses away from mine. He looked so peaceful leaned up against the tree you would hardly know he was dead.

Krypto went up to sniff at Mr. McGrady and I grabbed a stick. While Krypto smelled, I poked Mr. McGrady’s feet. Nothing happened. I walked a little closer and poked at his side. Still nothing.
I had never seen a dead person before and was curious. My only experience with death was the bugs I had accidentally cooked that time, and television. In the shows I watched, the dead person often came back to life.

That was biggest reason I poked Mr. McGrady. As a defender of Cranberry Flats, I had a duty to protect the town from all threats. That included the risen dead.

I wasn’t quite ready for what happened next.

When I poked him in the crotch the old man suddenly stopped being dead. As he jumped up bellowing and waving, he tripped over Krypto who yelped and bit his leg. I started to run.
Thank you Michell for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at


  1. Thank you for having me, Jenna.

    One thing I failed to mention was how to get an ARC if you are interested. To get one, please email and put "Mik Murdoch, ARC" in the Subject line.

  2. You're welcome Michell. Best of luck with your writing career :).

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