Michael Carney has been writing professionally since he was 17, which was a long time ago in a galaxy not so far away. He began his writing career straight from high school, writing radio advertisements for a bright and shiny new radio station in the glorious South Island of New Zealand (only a few hours drive from that wonderful scenery made famous by Sir Peter Jackson in ‘Lord of the Rings’ and, latterly, ‘The Hobbit’).
In the decades since, Michael has carved out a career in advertising and marketing, as a copywriter, Media Director, Strategic Planning Director and Online Marketing specialist. These days he writes and administers online training courses covering a range of Social Media Marketing and eCommerce topics at http://NetmarketingCourses.com.
In addition to writing a towering inferno of newsletters, reports and presentations Michael is the author of “Trade Me Success Secrets” (first and second editions), the top-selling book about NZ’s online auction site Trade Me. In his spare time, Michael has also written (and mostly directed) a number of well-received stage plays over the years, some aimed at children and young adults, others produced for Christian audiences. Michael has been planning out the exploits of the OUTCAST ANGELS for many years.
Q&A with the Author:
1. What inspired your book?
In the early nineties I wrote the script for a church Christmas musical about a group of young angels who were supposed to organise accommodation in Bethlehem for Joseph and Mary (spoiler: they didn’t have much luck trying to get a booking at the Bethlehem Hilton). I liked the concept of angel adventures but (since this at the time when my wife was somewhat pregnant and I had decided to quit the theatre) thought I’d write a series of books instead. Only problem was that, though at the time I dreamed up the backstory (focus on angels who were exiled from Heaven at the time of the Great Rebellion but chose not to go with Lucifer), I had no idea what the front story would be.
I played with the idea over the next twenty years, but didn’t really get anywhere until I came across the real-life story of “The New Chronicles”, written in the fourteenth century (in the midst of the Black Plague) by a Florentine citizen named Giovanni Villani. I figured out how to incorporate his story into mine, and began to write what was supposed to be the first novel featuring my Outcast Angels.
Got about a third of the way through and then changed direction and decided to write a series of novellas instead, to take advantage of the way that Amazon works when it comes to ebooks. Parked the novel in the meantime.
What did I know? The first novella (planned for around 40,000 words) blew up into ACADEMY OF SECRETS, a full-fledged novel of some 115,000 words (first edition), trimmed back to 100,000 words for the second edition.
2. How do you spend your free time
Watch Netflix and YouTube and re-watch my favorite flicks on DVD. Occasionally go to blockbuster movies with my two (now all grown up) sons
Connect with the Author here:
Do You Love Epic Fantasy Tales of Angels and Demons, Laced With A Hint of Alchemy? Then Check Out ACADEMY OF SECRETS!
It’s the year 1610. The world is in grave danger if a long-missing artifact falls into the hands of the Academy of Secrets, a group whose members have gained unnatural powers through alchemy. And Chrymos, a young woman with a mysterious past, may hold the key.
For Chrymos, scrabbling out a wretched living on the streets of Renaissance Naples, the Academy represents a chance to gain special powers and make a difference in the world. But can she leave behind all the people that she cares about?
And what about the OUTCAST ANGELS, a ragtag group of former angels exiled from Heaven at the time of the Great Rebellion, who are desperately trying to stop the Academy? They face an uphill battle against alchemy-enhanced humans who can become invisible, cast illusions and create storms and tornadoes.
Will the Academy recover the missing artifact? What part will Chrymos play? And will the prophecies of the demon Nekhbet — that the artifact’s recovery will trigger the Lost War — come true? Find out in this fast-paced historical fantasy thriller set in Late Renaissance Italy.
ACADEMY OF SECRETS is the first novel in the LOST WAR Chronicles, part of the OUTCAST ANGELS book series by MICHAEL CARNEY.
For those who love Christian fantasy, historical fantasy adventure, epic fantasy, sword & sorcery, tales of great battles and continuing warfare between angels and demons.
Top Ten List:
1 I’m from New Zealand, the country whose landscape graces Sir Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” and “Hobbit” trilogies. And no, I don’t live in Mordor but in the country’s biggest city, Auckland
2 I’ve been a Marvel comics fan since I bought my first Marvel comic in May 1964 (Daredevil Vol 1 No 28, “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Planet!”, since you asked)
3 “My” Doctor is the first doctor, whom I first encountered when the series was first launched in the early sixties
4 I’ve been a writer since I was a teenager, and first started getting paid for my writing at the tender age of 17, working at my local radio station for $30 a week as an advertising copywriter
5 I write virtually every day – but, usually, what I’m writing is training courses (I have my own business offering online courses in digital marketing). To find time to write my “Academy of Secrets” book meant getting up at 3 and 4 o’clockin the morning for a couple of months, writing for several hours and then switching to paid work.
6 I used to write (and direct) stage plays, but deliberately/sadly retired from the theatre when my first child arrived (in 1991) – theatre is just too time-consuming to be a parent as well
7 I wrote my first actual book in 2005 – a “how to” non-fiction book about our local eBay equivalent, Trade Me. It was very successful, selling out in six weeks (in the days when we only had physical books to play with) and spawning a reprint and a revised second edition.
8 I first went online in 1987, paying US$2 a minute to access the Internet via CompuServe. In those pre-world-wide-web days, we could access a staggering 700 newspaper and magazine databases, typically paying anywhere from $1 to $25 per article (on top of the per-minute charges) to download content.
9 The first real fantasy book I read was “The Fellowship of the Ring”, which I discovered in our local library when I was about 12.
10 I’ve been a science fiction fan forever, growing up with Heinlein, Asimov, Pohl and other greats. My preference has always been hard scifi.
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