Born in Brooklyn and raised in Staten Island, NY. Mike has a BS in Business Admin from Wagner College and an MBA from SDSU. A retired US Navy Lieutenant Commander, Supply Corps (Logistics), a former small business owner, and part-time substitute teacher. he's visited 6 continents and 36 countries, speak Spanish, some German, a little Italian and a little less French. He currently lives in Chula Vista, CA with his wife Chris.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised on the other side of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in Staten Island. SI is more diverse today but even when I went to high school I had friends who were Italian, Irish, Polish, Russian, Norwegians, Germans, Swedes, Syria, Greek, Korean, and elsewhere. There were Catholics and Jews and Protestants, Whites, Latinos, African-Americans, a few Asians, Arabs. In other words people with roots from all over. I started studying Spanish in middle school and continued in high school where I met the teacher who really expanded my horizons and world view, Eleanor Rosenbaum. She was born in India to German-Jewish refugees who fled the Nazis during WWII. She was my Spanish teacher and my German teacher. I also took Italian (different teacher). I also grew up in a family that was more Irish that anything else, we even had a NYPD cop in the family. We're also an extended family where I have relatives who are at least part Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, German, Italian, African-American, Armenian and Dutch. And then there was the military factor. Almost all my aunts and uncles were in one service or another, and both my mother and father were in the Navy. After college I joined the navy as a supply corps officer (Logistics). Oh, and I spend a semester at a satellite campus in Austria and traveled all over Europe. In the navy I got to go 20+ more countries on 6 continents. So the result of all that is that to me having an international group of characters in my books is not simply something to make the story more interesting to a wider audience but a natural inclination to recognize the courage and fears and the strengths and weaknesses of people from all over including some who we may consider adversaries today but may be close allies someday in the not too distant future.
When did you first start writing?
About six years ago. I wrote a few stories, more as practice and an experiment to see if I could do it. I never finished them but I learned a lot from them. I began working on the current series of books about five years ago, at first just working out the basic plot and story lines in my head.
The Fierce Girls At War Series
‘The Fierce Girls At War series features a majority cast of smart, capable, competent and confident women around whom most of the events and actions are centered. Many but not all are in positions of authority, and some are related to others by ties of blood, marriage or trial by fire. Many have ties to the leading male protagonist Commander Rick (O'Brien) Cassidy, to whom he is either son, brother, father or friend but he is by no means The Main Character nor is he involved in all of the events which occur. These women are warriors, leaders, students and most importantly equals if not superiors to the males they have to deal with. Key characters among them are members of three generations in the extended Cassidy/O'Brien clan.
Set just over one hundred years in the future when many of today's problems still exist, new problems have developed and new technologies have created both new challenges and new opportunities. Earth has reached out to the stars and is developing its first colony on another world and an international coalition of countries and corporations are sharing the cost of developing it.
“I love being a Marine but there are days…We may have a lot of the same problems in 2122 that we had a hundred years ago but back then the Gul brothers weren’t paying lots to see my head on a spike! So I’m a pretty good shot and Rick is even better. Did I ask Hassan Gul and his boys to go on a rampage? No, I didn’t! But do you think they care? Hell no!"
- Staff Sergeant Susan ‘Molly’ Bennett, USMC