Monday, 11 March 2013

Interview with M.P.Ness

Interview with M.P.Ness


M.P. Ness - Author & Artist of the E.L.F. series. Book #1 "White Leaves" - FREE NOW @

HookedonBooks: Good evening M.P. Ness, thank you so much for the honor off letting us interview you.

Mike: Thank you for the opportunity. :)

H: What inspired you to write?

M: A combination of things inspired me to write, as with most, I'm sure. For me, I was motivated to play and create rpg games in my youth, and write stories by Terry Brooks' Shannara series. But as an adult, it was an old high-school literature teacher (who happened to look like a Mark Twain), a cousin of mine, and the voices of family who often said my late father should have been a writer in his time. So, that torch became mine in his absence, I suppose. Mostly though, I'm a daydreamer, and I am motivated to put my ideas down on paper in a variety of mediums.

H: I notice you are also an artist, is that something you have always done?

M: Well, ALWAYS is a strong word. But, for the most part, yeah. At a certain developmental stage, I became introverted and artistic. I taught myself to draw. It took about five years. At which time, I was never satisfied with my creations in visual arts, so I decided to go to college. I spent two years towards my yet-incomplete BA in animation arts. Most of that time I focused not on animating, but on finer endeavors (ie, painting, storytelling, screenwriting). Though, while I'm fairly accomplished, Visual Art is usually just a way to help me flesh out a written piece. :)
Much of my visual arts are hosted freely at

H: Would you ever write a different type of book?

M: Different type of book? As opposed to Fantasy? Well, yes. I'll write anything that appeals to me as a unique or particularly strong idea or concept. Genre is irrelevant. However, they say a writer can only write what he knows, and I know a great deal of Fantasy, again due to the daydreamer in me. I've written a variety of stories. "That Much Water"(yet unpublished) for example, is a stand alone, high-philosophical journey into the human animal psyche. Though, even that has a fictional spin on it. E.L.F. - White Leaves is just my Debut. 

H: What does E.L.F stand for?

M: E.L.F. is the acronym for the Pacific Northwest's (Washington, U.S.) own heirarchy-lacking eco-terrorist organization, Earth Liberation Front. They are all about protecting Washington's pristine natural beauty, though in my personal opinion, they're rather misguided in the means to their hopeful ends.
(to answer setting, yes, its where Twilight was set. Lol Yes, it rains, A LOT. And no, there aren't any vampires that I know of, -though most of us do hiss at first sight of sunlight since we see it so seldom. haha)

H: What five words would you use describe the E.L.F series?

M: That's a tough one. Original-Contemporary-Dystopian-Fairytale-Epic?

H: When naming your characters, do you give any thought to the actual meaning?

M: I prefer to give them meanings AFTER I give them names. Sometimes I'll pay attention to name-meanings prior, but mostly, I like to select a name that looks good on paper and can be pronounced neatly, then invent or attach a meaning afterward. I do this because I writer linearly. I discover the story as I go, because for me the magic comes as I am forced to invent by the ever-blank next page to be written. So for me, a new story is as fresh as it is for those who read it for the first time. 

H: how have your personal experiences affected your writing?

M: Oh, good question. They have invariably colored the type of story I like to write. I tend to be unforgiving to my poor characters. I tend to write darker plots, or at least tell them in a darker fashion, or with some magnitude of sharp, harsher attitude. I let the readers deduce what sort of upbringing I had based on the type of stories I tell. It wasn't all pleasant, but it wasn't all bad either. I learn the harsh lessons of life, just as anyone learns them -through time and experience. So, while they're mine to keep, they're really not off the table for conversation either -as we can only draw from experience to chat, write, create, etc.
H: Do you use real-life facts based on true stories?

M: Sometimes I'll use life-facts. E.L.F. is based on the life-fact/true story existence of the Earth Liberation Front in the Pacific Northwest, but...every bit of the story is fictional. It really depends on the story. But if its set on earth, in a relatively modern time, then YES, I would like to have real-life ties in the tale. The only danger with that, is you can't set dates, or else, well, the story becomes dated, or god forbid, a period piece (40 years from now). You ever watch a sci-fi/futuristic movie, and its set at a specific date that's already come and gone... and it reminds you we don't have a flying skateboard or car yet? yeah, I don't want to make something like that. hehe

H: Do you have any plan's for further books?

M: YES! Many!
H: oh, you will have to let us know more in the future. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

M: Dream Big. Write. Don't ever stop.

H: Top five authors/books?

M: Oh my...That's a tough one. There are too many great writers and books. There's also the pressure to pick great ones, literary masters, social relevance, etc.
I'll be honest, since the day I began writing, I really have a hard time sitting and reading the works of others.
I will say, the one I'm repeatedly drawn back to is Terry Brooks' Shannara series...because that's where I began as a young reader. I find he has a way of weaving a good story despite the limitations imposed upon him by the 'industry formulas'. I'd be very interested to see him publish something self-pub style, without the restrictions, but that's not likely to happen.
My favorites of his are Elfstones, Wishsong, and Armageddon's Children, but really, I like them all.
Anyway, for sake of NOT picking JUST big authors/stories that are my faves which we all know of...I'm going to switch it up on you and tell you who I've been following on JukePopSerials. Beth Raymond's "Secrets of the Conclave", Joey Cruz's "Gatewalker", Mike Rosenzweig's "The Metal Bodyguard", Catherine Kovach's "Anomalies" and Josh Thornbrugh's "The Sixth Seal".

H: Thank you so much for taking your time to answer. We can not wait for the next installment of the E.L.F.

M: Thank you! E.L.F. #2 "Blighted Leaves" is in the works. I may be releasing it late 2013 or early Next year.

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