Interview with Michael John Weber

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Goodness, I have not thought of that story in thirty years... From what I can remember, it was a short fantasy-adventure - knights and wizards and all that. The plot escapes me, though I do recall some bit about testing a new recruit into the party with a basic math question... 'What's 11 + 2?' 'Thirteen?' 'Alright, you're in.'
What is your writing process?
I am used to designing adventures for role-playing games - Dungeons&Dragons, et al. - so the story I tell is developed in that way. I write pages of bullet form notes, essays, timelines, charts, equations, maps, et cetera, and define the 'key' events of the story long before I begin to weave the tale. Characters are grown as I encounter them, and they really do write what occurs between the key events on their own (assuming I know them well enough). Plus, the universe in which my tale(s) take place has been in development for 30yrs, so I've got a lot to work with.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yeah, book #10 of the Fighting Fantasy series, by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone - Talisman of Death it was called... It was one of the things that introduced me to the concepts of 'gaming' - y'know, dice, character sheets, dungeon crawls to slay dragons and steal their treasure. I quickly 'borrowed' the books mechanical systems, and began to write games of my own, which grew and changed over the years. Eventually, that book was the lever that moved me to start writing.
When did you first start writing?
When I was ten, I began work on a fantasy-set role-playing game (ala D&D), which I never stopped writing. All the stories I tell are events that have occurred within that Universe, a great many of which were enacted by the players around the gaming table over these past three decades.
What are you working on next?
The storyline that's rattling around within my brain encompases about 2500yrs; my first book is a glimps into a few days of that overall arc. So, I shall continue weaving out that narrative - I don't know if that'll take one more book, or eighty...
Who are your favorite authors?
Goodness, um... well, Dante Alighieri, and Aldus Huxley. Douglas Adams for sure, and Robert Jordan, as well. Last, but no least, Jules Verne. Yeah... that's about right.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I spend a great deal of time in the quiet and solitude of the forest. Also, I gather every story I can - be it movie, book, anything - as fodder for future story writing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love to tell stories, and share them. Also, it keeps me from fretting so much, for my mind is elsewhere when I write - a strange joy comes from that.
What do you read for pleasure?
Non-fiction; mostly philosophy, mysticism, religion, so on and such like.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I cannot answer this question. But, I keep on doing it, so I must have a reason...
Published 2015-07-21.
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Books by This Author

Tristitia
You set the price! Words: 93,380. Language: English. Published: July 20, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
A strange tale of woe, rife with lengthy alliterations, bad puns, and self-indulgent prose, which examines the concept of the "perfect society".