Interview with Mike Lord

1. What was your work before you started writing?
I worked as a consultant in projects that were planned to alleviate poverty for poor and disadvantaged farmers and more recently how to develop their sustainable livelihoods. These farmers often lived in remote and even mountainous areas. In Asia I worked in the Swat valley in Pakistan, in the north west of Sri Lanka, and now in several provinces in Vietnam, and before that I worked in sub-Saharan Africa.
2. What prompted you to start writing?
I wanted to read the history of those countries in which I was working, and often that written history was difficult to find. But, along the way I came across many anomalies, such as the English medical doctor in Afghanistan who in the 19th century wrote a textbook on their language, Pashto, which is spoken across a lot in Afghanistan and across the north west of Pakistan even today.
3. So how did your stories emanate?
I found that the history was always very interesting, especially if it had been written at the time, but it usually only referred to the rulers, the Kings and Rajahs. In Sri Lanka, for instance, I went to see the frescoes at a place called Singiria, which must have been painted over 1500 years ago. I began to imagine who these ladies might have been, and then wondered what were their roles, and their names, within the palace, and even the identity of the artists who painted the frescoes. I had to make up names, as they weren’t recorded, and also added some additional characters to make the story more interesting, but not to change the history or the outcome of the events that must have taken place.
4. So have you lived in all the places that you write about?
Well, not in the palaces, but in the locality and usually nearby for several years at a time, which enabled me to learn from local residents their own views, and their theories that might have been.... It was also interesting to meet visitors, like tourists, who often developed their own theories based on what they had seen.
5. What are you writing now?
Well, I’ve now lived with my family and worked in Vietnam for many years, and found a lot of recorded history there, sometimes conflicting. I have almost completed a draft about the Emperor Quang Trung, and in particular about his beautiful wife, Le Ngoc Han, at the end of the eighteenth century. With any luck I will complete this manuscript early in 2014.
6. What else have you written?
I’ve also written my autobiography, which is really a light hearted look at my life. Although there have been some horrific or terrible things that have happened in the places where I have lived, there is also a lot of humour. It is called ‘There’s Fungus in the Mushrooms’, and has a sub-heading ‘If something cam go wrong it will’. I am hoping that this can be published in 2014.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, the frescoes at Singiriya in Sri Lanka puzzled me, and several ladies asked me 'what were their names?'. That prompted me to write Sinagiri (the original name) back in 1996, and I carried it around with me in the printed form for years. I tried to Scan the Manuscript but there were many errors, which I am still finding.
Published 2014-05-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Chocolates and Cyanide
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 25,050. Language: English. Published: February 26, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » International crime, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
Cyanide is generally regarded as a poison, but in fact it does occur in very small quantities in many foods that people eat every day, like apples, but definitely not in a box of chocolates.
The Body in the Laboratory
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,010. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction
A body of a young scientist is found in a Top Secret laboratory, and the Police investigation is hampered by the cloak of secrecy – until an unexpected stroke of luck comes their way, but nobody expected the international ramifications that followed.
Quang Trung
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 19,900. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
The story of the Emperor Quang Trung and the role played by his wife Princess Le Ngoc Han. The military expert defeated two invaders, and united the country, but died too soon – as his wife lamented and wrote some of the most stirring poetry in Vietnam.
There's Fungus on the Mushrooms - or if something can go wrong it will
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 36,050. Language: British English. Published: February 23, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Adventurers & explorers
There’s Fungus on the Mushrooms – or, if something can go wrong it will! The autobiography of a man who lived through turbulent times in Asia, Africa and then back to Asia. There’s horror, humour and excitement and most of all enjoyment all in one package!
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 20,520. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: December 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Prizewinning Adventure Novel! Robert Knox’s escape from Ceylon in 1679. The captain and crew of a sailing ship are tricked and then held captive for 20 years, until three of them escape, and write their story. In 1681 his original book may have been the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe written ten years later.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 57,590. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: November 25, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Medieval, Fiction » Romance » Historical
SINAGIRI the castle built on the top of a rock probably in the 6th century – the origin of the ladies and the Frescoes painted on the rock face of the Hall of Mirrors at Singiriya in Sri Lanka. A history story with an exciting addition – the 4th wife of the Rajah!