Michael Lacey Interview

Michael Lacey has never really fit in anywhere. His unique perspectives separate him from most groups of people, but he works to maintain healthy relationships regardless.

What inspired you to write?
My mom and teachers in youth. In later years, beautiful language and life-changing stories whether from movies, songs, articles, or books.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
I’d say it was in the crock pot for years. I would write some things occasionally, but always thought I’d write later in life. Being a songwriter for ten years, I’ve studied words, beauty, and story in depth. But it wasn’t until the last year or two that I got serious. My mother was in the middle of her battle with cancer, my first child was on the way, and I’d just turned 30. So much life change pushed me into writing because it’s something I plan to do for the rest of my life, and it has no shelf life, like my other endeavors.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
For both my nonfiction and fiction books, I started with brainstorming/mind-mapping, and then outlined what I could. As I wrote, the outline evolved, but I wouldn’t have finished either of them without an outline.

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
I worked alone until I knew there were creatives all around me. Once I connected to them, we were drawn to each other. I believe we need to see others move in passion to help inspire us, even if it’s unrelated.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
For the nonfiction book, I wrote it in 30 days. So staying consistent, not breaking the chain, was tough, especially with a crying 4-month-old and over 3 simultaneous jobs.
For the fiction book, the hardest part was getting all of the parts of the story to fall into place logically. It’s like a 3-D puzzle that needs 3 hands to assemble, and I’ve never seen the picture on the box.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
Like going to the gym, I loved having written for the day. It feels productive in many ways, even if the writing part was grueling, like the gym! This grew my anticipation to get back to the stories and messages the next day.

After the book was published, were you changed?
Not as I expected. I assumed I’d feel accomplished, complete. Instead, I felt insecure and inept. Though it was a Best Seller in 8 categories the first week, the subsequent decline took my heart down with it. However, it did help me to redefine my definition of success, so yes, it changed me immensely.

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
I’ve only published the nonfiction book so far, and besides topping the charts in 8 of its 10 categories, it hasn’t won any awards.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
Of course, several! Particularly a fiction book that follows two young people into an underground world where they see things they’d thought impossible. Their adventure puts them in a place where they will either save an entire people group, or be trapped there forever, maybe worse.

Do you have any book giveaways, contests, or events coming up?
I do occasional giveaways and events, but the only way to know is by joining my mailing list at aswefightbook.com/subscribe.

What gets in the way of your creativity?
My creativity gets in its own way. I have many passionate pursuits. Trying to juggle all of them is maddening. Basically, distraction is my biggest enemy.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I try to understand why the person has that point of view. Often, it’s a personal hurt and I work to help them to see that, regardless of its effect on my book review. Other times, I lean on quotes from great authors that say such things as “you aren’t a real writer until you’ve had a negative review.” If someone doesn’t like my stuff, that means I’ve succeeded in getting it outside of my circle of influence, and that’s a good thing. There are always naysayers if you look far enough. If not, then you’ve created some strange image of yourself that scares people out of their honesty.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
Favorite: Maybe biking with my parents, brother, and cousin along a wide nature trail on vacation in Maine, or somewhere along the east coast.
Worst: The day I lost my eye when I was 11. I remember a strange feeling just hours before, and I’ve grown to trust that instinct.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Einstein, “God doesn’t play dice.”

What is your favorite show on TV?
This may be cliche for an author, but Sherlock is amazing!

Favorite movie?
O Brother Where Art Thou

Favorite book?
Ocean at the End of the Lane
A Monster Calls

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Someone from the future! If that’s not in the rules, then probably Einstein.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
More of an attribute: charisma, the kind that causes people to want to follow you. Talent: drawing, specifically automotive and motorcycle design.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I ride a Harley, and I only have one eye (alluded to that earlier though).

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Honest, creative, perfectionist