Wednesday, August 4, 2010

AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch


by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch

It's a week of American Midnight! The latest release from the brilliant Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch.


Friday you will see my review of this action-packed, suspense novel. But first up, I asked some questions of the two authors. I tried to make the questions unique and the two authors gave outstanding, inspiring answers. . .see what you think: Here is my with Mike Lynch:

Mike Lynch

KM: Hello, Mike, and thank you for coming by!
What books have most influenced your life most?

ML: First and foremost, I would say it would have to be the Bible. You have everything there--love, betrayal, redemption, and the triumph of God's love over mankind's rejection of Him and how He wooed us back through His Son, Jesus. In terms of your more traditional fare, the book that I have probably thought about more than any other after reading it would be Stephen King's, The Stand. I am especially drawn to those parts of the story where the followers of Randall Flagg know exactly who he is, and yet they still choose to follow him.

KM: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

ML: The writer that I most identify with is Rod Serling. He was an amazing story teller who wasn't afraid to tackle some tough issues in the early years of television when he produced his landmark series, The Twilight Zone. He often took a close look at the human condition to see how it would play itself out as the story unfolded. His characters were usually ordinary people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. When it seemed that everything was going to work itself out, he would often turn the story on its head and shock the audience with a twist ending, the most famous of which was at the end of the movie he wrote the screenplay for, Planet of the Apes. Whether conscious or unconscious, I find that many of my stories follow a similar pattern of a person of common means who is forced into a situation that affects the lives of other people. There are often no clear cut answers, and so the hero must rely on his inner resolve and belief in himself to arrive at the correct solution.

KM: What book are you reading now?

ML: I'm currently reading two books. The first one is a non-fiction book entitled, The Brendan Voyage. It is a story about a man who recreates the voyage of Saint Brendan, who is said to have sailed from Ireland to North America in the 7th century. The other book I am reading is Maximal Reserve. It is an adventure story about a group of scientists who find the largest oil reserve ever recorded at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, and the race is on to see who be the first to lay claim to it.

KM: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

ML: I spend most of my time writing, working, or being with my family. I just don't have much of an opportunity to see what other writers are doing these days.

KM: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

ML: Having Brandon as a co-author goes beyond working with a writing partner. He and I have become good friends. Also, knowing that there is someone in my corner who is just as passionate about a story I am writing inspires me to do the best job possible. Even though it is not very pleasant hearing about areas of my writing that fall short, his comments and criticisms have brought me further along as a writer far more quickly than I would have on my own. It's always the story that matters, and his commitment to excellence has really helped me be the writer I am today. I owe him a lot.

KM: What inspired American Midnight?

ML: American Midnight is a cautionary tale about a fictional political party that claims to have the people's best interests in mind, but the leadership of this party has a wholly other agenda: power and control over people. Unfortunately, Brandon and I see things like that happening in society today, much of it aimed at the church. In time, he and I believe society's annoyance and dislike for the church will turn more hostile as it continues to pull away from God and His teachings. Jesus said those who follow Him become an enemy of the world. For the last 30-40 years, there has been a Cold War of sorts between the church and society, but we are beginning to see signs that this is changing, and not for the better. The persecution faced by the characters in American Midnight because of their faith is something that is a very real possibility for all of us in the not so distant future. Should that ever happen, wouldn't you want to be ready for it? It is our hope that the book will get people to start thinking about this.

KM: What was the hardest part of writing American Midnight?

ML:There is a difficult scene in the story when Tania Peters, the main character, is sent to a prison camp filled with a lot of despicable people. If she does not recant her faith in God, she could be killed. The person who holds her life in his hands takes great delight in her suffering. We considered toning down that particular scene, but Brandon and I agreed that if we wanted to convey to the reader there are very real consequences for believers facing persecution, then we couldn’t hold back. With that said, we do not portray anything graphic in the story, but the psychological weapons used by the antagonist could be considered unsettling by some. It wasn't fun writing that scene in the book, but it is needed to give the story credibility and weight.

KM: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

ML: I would like to thank those who have offered their words of support and encouragement to Brandon and me. Writing is often a lonely endeavor, and you try to create the best story possible. When someone tells you how much they like your work, it makes it all worthwhile. I especially appreciate the comments made by those who have already read American Midnight. It seems that they have really enjoyed what we wrote, which could not please me more.

KM: What is up next for Mike Lynch and Brandon Barr?

ML: Brandon and I have taken something of a break in terms of working on our collaborative effort. For some time he's been tinkering with a story entitled Mind Riders, but did not feel comfortable enough as a writer to do it on his own. Now that we've written three novels together, he feels like he can finally tackle that story. I was recently contacted by an author I know in the Lost Genre Guild who has written a book. He feels it is a good story, but it needed work, and he offered a co-authorship deal for anyone who agreed to edit the manuscript. After several phone conversations and some follow-up e-mails, I agreed to come on board, and have been doing what I can to get The Crystal Portal into publishable shape. The good news is that when Brandon and I are finished with our personal writing projects we plan on reforming our writing partnership and finishing the sequel to When the Sky Fell.

And I can't wait for these projects, Mike! Thanks for your beautiful answers! I am a big fan of you and Brandon.

Stay tuned. Friday I will post the review of AMERICAN MIDNIGHT by Brandon Barr and Mike Lynch!


Lori Lundquist said...

LOVE hearing the perspective of other authors. THANKS, KM, for posting this interview. Just reading it makes me feel more a part of a greater community with a common goal. Great stuff! Happy Wednesday!

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks, Lori, for stopping by. I appreciate all of KM's support as well.