Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview with Michael Hicks

Tell us about your book Season of the Harvest:
Season of the Harvest is a thriller with a bit of science fiction and horror mixed in. The premise of the book is focused on the genetically engineered foods that are becoming more and more prevalent in our food supply: what if humans aren't really behind these genetically modified organisms? What if they're part of a carefully contrived plan to exterminate humanity?
The plot of the book follows FBI special agent Jack Dawson as he investigates the gruesome murder of his best friend and fellow agent who had been pursuing a group of suspected eco-terrorists. The group's leader, Naomi Perrault, is a beautiful geneticist who Jack believes conspired to kill his friend, and is claiming that a major international conglomerate specializing in genetically modified organisms is plotting a sinister transformation of our world that will lead humanity to extinction.
As he pursues the truth, Jack is drawn into a quietly raging war that suddenly explodes onto the front pages of the news, and discovers that Naomi's claims may not be so outrageous after all. Together, the two of them must battle a horror Jack could never have imagined as he learns the terrifying truth behind the old adage that "you are what you eat..."

Where is your book available?
Season of the Harvest is available as an ebook through all the major retailers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, etc.), and the print version is available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble on-line.

Where did you get the idea for your book?
Well, a few years ago I was faced with some health issues that forced me to either change my ways or die. Period. I started exercising regularly and had to start eating right. In the process of learning what was good for me to eat, my wife and I ran smack into the whole GMO (genetically modified organisms) thing.
Most people have absolutely no idea what GMOs are or how prevalent GMOs are in what we eat. If you're not eating all-organic foods, you're almost certainly eating genetically engineered food: corn, soy, wheat, and more and more vegetables. And you don't know you're eating them, because in the U.S. the food manufacturers are specifically prohibited by our labeling laws from identifying any ingredients as containing GMOs. And the more we learned, the scarier it became.
Then, one day after we'd gone to a "green technology" expo here in Maryland, we were at a gas station filling up. In the lot next to us was a local farmer selling produce, and it suddenly struck me: what if genetically engineered food had a darker purpose...
And that's how Season of the Harvest was born.

How did you come up with the title?
I was originally thinking of calling it "Genetically Modified Organism," but settled on "Season of the Harvest" because that's really what the story is about: the harvesting of humanity.

Who designed the cover?
Yours truly. For better or worse, I've done all the cover designs thus far, although I'm hoping to find a professional artist to start taking over that particular task.

Who was your inspiration for writing?
I can't really say that anyone in particular inspired me to write. It was sort of a case of needing some therapy, as I was going through a rather tough time when I started writing my first book, In Her Name. I was also frustrated by some of the novels I had been reading at the time. The last one, I remember throwing at the wall when I got to the end, it was so bad. "I can write something *that* good!" I told myself, and so I sat down and started writing.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written seven books so far, although one of them, the omnibus edition of In Her Name, is a compilation of three of the other books in the series. I'd say my favorite thus far is In Her Name: Empire, but I'll caveat that by saying that I think my favorite book has yet to be written. There are a lot queued up in my mind!

Do you have to travel a lot for your books?
Traveling to research the In Her Name books would be a tad difficult, seeing as how they take place mostly in other star systems! But this summer we did do a tour of New England and eastern Canada in our RV that served as an excellent idea generator for some of the other stories I've had in mind.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started writing In Her Name in 1991, which made me 28 at the time. I finished it in 1994, 325,000 words later, but didn't publish it until 2008 when I discovered Kindle publishing.

Do you think your book has the potential for a good movie?
I think, and have been told by numerous readers, that both In Her Name and Season of the Harvest would make great movies. In fact, part of my strategic plan next year is to get screenplays done for Harvest and In Her Name: Empire and start shopping them around Hollywood.

Do you have any suggestions for me on how to become a better writer?
I've got tons of information on my web site, and am also coming out with a book to help authors. It's called "The Path to Self-Publishing Success," and lays out what I've learned over the past few years in hopes of helping other folks avoid some of the mistakes I made, and the things I did that helped me make it as a full-time self-published author. That should be out at the end of July or early August.

About Michael Hicks:
The best place to find out more about me is probably the "about" page on my blog at http://authormichaelhicks.com/michael-r-hicks-bio/.

Season of the Harvest Kindle:http://www.amazon.com/Season-Of-The-Harvest-ebook/dp/B004MME1RU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1311559553&sr=1-1

Season of the Harvest nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/season-of-the-harvest-michael-r-hicks/1030288425?ean=2940011205354&itm=1&usri=season%2bof%2bthe%2bharvest

Michael's cover for Season of the Harvest

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