Interview with Mikael Carlson

Is it hard to write about politics?
I choose to write stories that are appealing to everyone. Because of that, I don't discuss controversial issues in The Michael Bennit Series. In fact, I don't discuss issues at all. I want the reader to focus on the story, and glean a little understanding into our political process. There are some serious overtones to what I write, but it's the journey of the characters I want people to enjoy.
I have seen you listed in the Young Adult and Political Thriller genres. Which is it?
Both. The iCandidate and iCongressman are not your traditional YA works, but there is definitely a lot of appeal there because the staff running the campaign are high school students. In the sequel, some of them go to work in Washington, so you get to experience some of those first job jitters. At the same time, I find a lot of older readers really enjoy it as well. The Michael Bennit Series is really cross-genre and can be enjoyed by anyone aged 8 and up!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New Milford, Connecticut. It's a relatively small, typical New England town. Like most kids growing up, I thought it was boring and couldn't wait to leave. As I've gotten older, I have come to appreciate just how quaint and beautiful it was. Millfield, the fictional town in The iCandidate, is loosely based on it. I served as a substitute teacher in the high school there, and my day-to-day interactions with the students inspired me to write the novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating a story and characters that resonate with readers and brings them enjoyment. Like most writers, artists, musicians, and actors, I just want my work to bring enjoyment into people's lives!
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. Next question.
When did you first start writing?
I don't know, first grade? All kidding aside, I started writing screenplays back in 2006. The iCandidate was originally written as a screenplay that made it to the final round of the Page International Screenplay Competition in 2009. I finished three full-length feature screenplays before transitioning to novels. As much as I loved writing for movies, novels allow for a more intimate relationship between the character and the reader. That's the main reason why I write from multiple first-person points of view.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I belong to a bunch of free books sites including Book Bub, Awesome Gang, and Free Discounted Books. I also have my favorite authors that I follow on Goodreads and Shelfari and I will pay whatever they charge for their books. Free is good, but if you find an author you like, stick with them!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Honestly, I own a Kindle. I have nothing against Nook or any of the other ebook readers, but I love my Kindle Fire HD and don't go anywhere without it.
Describe your desk
My office is a cluttered mess because I have a lot of stuff to jam into a small space, but my desk is devoid of everything except a lamp and a few small items.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and am a big fan of Tom Clancy (RIP), Vince Flynn (RIP), Brad Thor, Brian Haig, Marc Cameron, and countless indie authors. Look me up on Goodreads to see what I am reading.
What are you working on next?
The third book in the Michael Bennit Series entitled The iSpeaker. This series will have four books in it, and then I have plans for two additional series and three stand-alone novels. That should keep me busy writing for a while.
Published 2014-03-28.
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