Interview with Michael S. Lachance

Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein, was the first story I read and I loved it. I believe there's been some debate over whether the relationship was a positive one and I feel that it was positive. In the story, the tree cared deeply about the boy and sought to offer what it could to aid him in life. Family, we all do what we can to help the people we love.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design, Ebooklaunch did my first and my second book cover; I'm very happy with all of it. I went through a number of standard covers first and then got to a point of "what feels good." It took some time and a couple of demos, but I felt my heart in a good way when I saw the right cover. For each writer, you know what you like. I know what has appeal--colors, lettering, font, etc. But, there's the story behind the cover. Fire engine red and a hot looking guy on the front tells one thing vs. a lime green cover and a kid with snot all over his face tells us something else; I want something that catches a persons eye and gives them some idea of the story through the cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Okay, this is a good question--favorite books & why.

My favorite books are: While England Sleeps by David Leavitt. I think it perfectly relayed a historical story of life and love--reality and practicality where love is concerned vs. the time that they lived in. The Boys in the Brownstone by Kevin Scott was moving to me with a lot of characters all trying to make their way in life while at the piano or in some part of the bar. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst has a setting in 1983 (the year I graduated hs!) which is just before I left for the military; it also hit home that while I was in the Air Force, Regan was President and there was no way a man on active duty could be anything more than just a man, a straight man. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller was a triumph and, I felt, uniquely told about the years of Achilles and Patroclus; I love the story of The Iliad and felt that this novel added some spice.
What do you read for pleasure?
For pleasure, I read short fiction stories that are adventuresome and/or historical. I'm reading Game of Thrones, Ocean of Storms, and Gone. It's a lot, but I like diversity.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
B & N e reader. I haven't quite hooked into reading on tablets. I prefer the feel of paper and the weight of the book in my hands. I feel a connection to the story in some way by holding the book as I read.
Describe your desk
My desk is neat and tidy. If there's more than three pieces of anything sitting anywhere--time to clean up!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and it had some influence on my writing, childhood pranks, accidents and incidents, and high school. My favorite class in high school was Greek mythology and Shakespeare.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing stories in 1984. I wrote about some of the adventures of military life and life in the different places that I lived. There were always interesting characters at every stop.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my latest book, The Treaty of Versailles, The Power of Love, involved a trip to Stutthof Prison Camp in Poland. I'd already done a great deal of research into the Holocaust and was put off by how the homosexual prisoners were treated even after the Allied armies arrived; where other prisoners were released, homosexuals were kept at the camps as they were considered criminals. My lead character, Erich Schmidt, had an idea about Hitler ideology and where it would lead Germany. So, he fled Germany with his lover, Nikki, but Nikki returned and was taken to Sachsenhausen. Erich would not let the man he loved languish in a concentration camp or, worse, be executed; so, he made a plan to rescue Nikki and to do so he had to become the one thing he hated most, a Nazi. My story is about Erich risking everything to save his love or be killed with him.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
To become an indie author, isn't that what life is in the US? We're all raised to do it, do it ourselves! So, that's what I'm doing as I take the "bull by the horns" and make my own way.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords, when I found out about Mark Coker and his website, took me to places I hadn't imagined. It gave me the power and the opportunity to publish my work, guide my hands to produce a finished product (Smashwords Style Guide! Smashwords Marketing), and the hard reality that my work may be great and not sell a single copy. Mr. Coker's put together everything an indie author needs to make it work. If my book gets bad reviews, there's a reminder to realize that I may have screwed up and to read reviews for what they are, a step to better my skills. If I wrote it right and people love it, then rock & roll! It's all been made possible with Smashwords, the good, the bad and the ugly for whatever comes, I get to be the driving force.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy of writing is when I read a what my character said or did and can feel what they feel in that scene
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans, I should be so lucky. Fans to me are the make or break me club, so it comes down to respect. I read a horrid thing that an author (no way I'm naming "it") read a review and responded in a very rude way to the reviewer! Of course, other reviewers of "its" book were very unhappy about "its" comment and then took to blogs, etc., to lambast that author. I will respect reviews.

My book is personal to me; my heart and soul went on a journey when I wrote it, so un-flattering reviews hurt, but I understand that every single one of us will take something different from my novels.

So, fans are important to me. I hope to nurture and build a lasting friendship with them by writing good stories.
What are you working on next?
My next project is Skipper Pete, YA fiction, The Adventures of Skipper Pete which will have four books; the adventures take place in North America. A young boy, Skipper Pete, crosses a bridge ruled by the beast called, "Creek Monster" The story is steeped in Native American mythology and North American mythological creatures. Book I, II, and III are done and out for edit. Book IV, "War" - I'm working on the outline and look forward to writing it this spring/summer of 2018/2019.
Published 2018-06-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Long Short
Price: $2.99 $1.02 USD. (66% off until Jan. 18!) Words: 47,480. Language: English. Published: September 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Travel
Bill and Claire can't stand each other and are stuck on an island in the Atlantic after their plane crashed. Claire wants to be rescued. Bill wants to look for treasure. One of them will get to their goal at the expense of the other's.
The Camera
Price: $2.39 $1.00 USD. (58% off until Jan. 18!) Words: 28,690. Language: American English. Published: August 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical, Fiction » Historical » General
World War One, Father Michael Leauvin must go to the front for a rotation in Verdun, France. His odd hobby of taking pictures takes a turn from photos of nature to photos of the wounded, the dying and the dead. During his time at the front, he does not question his faith; it's his love that he fights with, a love for Christ and a love for a woman.
McKinney Sweetlock and The Revolt against the New World Soldier
Price: Free! Words: 58,880. Language: American English. Published: April 30, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action
A young man saves a boy that holds the key to reverse the nuclear devastation from the world war.
Treaty of Versailles, The Power of Love
Price: $3.99 $1.00 USD. (75% off until Jan. 18!) Words: 94,840. Language: American English. Published: June 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Gay, Fiction » Romance » General
Erich would not let the man he loved languish in a concentration camp. To save Nikki, he had to become the one thing he hated most, a Nazi.