I recently sat down with Michael Phillip Cash and questioned him on some things including about his Darracia Series.
Favorite color? Very pale gray.
Favorite Author and Book? James Clavell- Shogun.
Do you prefer kindle or an actual book? Book.
Favorite place to read? I have an actual library in the house.
Favorite place to write? Anywhere my laptop is placed.
Is your writing desk kept tidy or is it organized chaos? Neat.
Favorite subject in school? English.
Do you listen to music while you write or have other distractions? Or do you write when everything is quiet around you?I have two children under six. Nothing disturbs me.
Advice to aspiring writers? Sit down and write. Don't over think it. Put it down, then when your reread it, you can edit. The characters drive the story.
What do you want readers to take away from your books? First is entertainment. I hope my books take them away from their worries to live in the excitement and wonder of the story. If they end up with an "ah ha" moment, then that's icing on the cake.
In regards to Darracia series:
Favorite character? I spent a lot of time thinking about this and can't pick a favorite character. Each one was fun. I loved V'sair's innocence, Tulani's courage, Reminda's wiseness. I enjoyed writing about Drakko and Reminda's affection. Zayden started out as a minor character, then grew. Hilde was playful. Each had special relationships. I even enjoyed the villain, Staf Nuen. I will say though that I liked Mori and Pacuto the least. They were so evil, morally bankrupt.
When you started writing the series, did you intend to mirror the problems in our society in the book, or did it just happen? I never know where a book will go when I begin it. Once the characters start to develop, the story takes off on its own. The book began in the "schoolroom" with V'sair's boredom with his lesson. I had no idea where that was going to take me. I didn't have plan, except for a hazy idea of an evil uncle. I had to come up with a reason for V'sair's unhappiness and the thought that he didn't fit in because he was a child of two very different types of parents in a intolerant society occurred.. That brought forth a whole lot of possibilities, social inequality, economic issues, prejudice, social unrest. The division of Darracia into several levels or castes that was brimming with revolution created all the turmoil I needed. Borrowing from headlines anywhere in the world gave me all the material to show the end result of intolerance and oppression.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when writing the series? Creating a whole new world filled with complex problems and relationships was the hardest part. The issues had to have developed over hundreds of years. I created a new religion, a history for this planet and worked very hard to sprinkle this into the story without boring people with a history lesson. I didn't want them as bored with the back story of this world as V'sair was in the first scene.
What is the biggest problem our world faces today? Take your pick. Intolerance, lack of morality, entitlement, the destruction of our home through pollution, inequality, the social, economic or religious issues tearing up any of the hot spots from the Ukraine, to the Middle East, to our own desperate situation fracturing the United States today.