Friday, February 21, 2014

Mike Hartner, I, Walter

AUTHOR:  Mike Hartner
GENRE: Historical Fiction, Romance, Adventure
PUBLISHER: Eternity4Popsicle Publishing

Please tell us about yourself.

I’m in my late 40s. I’m a husband, father, geek (retired), and patriot.  I’m a cheerleader to all my son’s activities, and I do my best as a support mechanism for my family.

Please tell us your latest news.

My latest news: On November 1&2, I, Walter hit #1 on Amazon Romance, #2 On Historical Romance, #2 on Teen&YoungAdult and #3 on Action&Adventure.  It is currently a Finalist in CBR Awards for Historical Fiction and Historical Romance.   And Book Two in the series is currently in edit.

Are you a full-time writer or part-time, and how do you organize your writing time?  

I am a part-time writer and full-time husband and father.  I do any writing I can late at night when others are asleep or when my responsibilities are finished.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing very young, using poetry and diary entries to verbalize my emotions.  In the 00s, I used writing to create Hartners in America a series dealing with my family.   Today, I write fiction.

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book,  From the Heart was a book of poetry, prayers and love letters surrounding the birth of my child.  It was part of the Hartners in America series.  

I, Walter is the first FICTION book I’ve written.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?

Life.  Everything else. 

What are your thoughts about promotion?

Promotion is essential for the success of any endeavour.

What was the toughest criticism given to you? What was the biggest compliment?

The biggest compliment came from a sister of mine who read the book and told me it was the only chance she had to escape what was happening in her life.  And she loved it.
I have yet to receive a tough criticism about the book.

Did those change how or what you did in your next novel?

So far, I’m still writing and editing book two, but NO. It hasn’t changed how I’ve done Book Two.

Do you ever have writer’s block? If so, how do you get through it?

Writer’s block occurs regularly for all writers.  I view it as time for me to learn about some aspect that is stopping things from going forward. 

Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?

I learned many things about human character, and continue to learn things as my books are going forward.  Before I, Walter I had never encountered humans with the character of Gerald.  I knew of them, but always discounted their existence.   Now, I know better.

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?

My publisher is Eternity4Popsicle Publishing.  They are a self-pub company. I, Walter and the full Eternity series is its mandate.

What is your marketing plan?

My marketing plan includes blog tours; being at book shows, kindle free days, and lots of signings in bookstores all over North America.

What are your current projects?

Book Two in the Eternity series is my current project with books three and four on the back burner anxiously awaiting their turn to come forward

What do you plan for the future?

I don’t.  I write for the moment.  At the end of each book (or close to it) I learn of the key character for the next book (sometimes two books) and wait until they’re ready to tell their story.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?

website:, book site: Fb MHartnerAuthor, Twitter: @MHartnerAuthor

What genre do you write in? 

Historical Fiction, Romance, YA

Tell us about the current book you’re promoting.

I, Walter is the life story of Walter Crofter, a man born at the End of Elizabeth I, who ran away at the beginning of King James’ rule.  It is the story of what happened in his life.

What gave you the idea for this particular book?

My muse brought Walter Crofter to me, and he narrated his story.

Do you outline before you write?  If not, what’s your initial process?

No, I bounce a few ideas and write them down on a white board.  Then, I let them spend a few days percolating before I write.

What comes first: the plot or characters?

Character.  Always.

Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?

Of them, I think Gerald.  He seemed to relish going into the underworld, and that is difficult for me to deal with.

Do writing violent or highly sexual scenes bother you?  Why or why not?

Writing for the young adult crowd, I never get to graphic.  But, I find that the reader’s mind imagines much more detail than any author is willing to use.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Getting the full story.

How long does it take to write a book, and what is your process?

I, Walter took ten months to write and edit.   To start the story, my muse introduced me to the main character.  A few days a week, I would stand at a whiteboard and write down what I thought was coming forward.   And then a few hours or days later, I would write.  And so it went.  Some days, I’d write new material, others I’d expand on what was already written.

What are your current books out right now, and what are the books coming up for release?

The Hartners in America series is genealogical information about my family, and there are three books in it.

The Eternity series has one book I, Walter to start it, and I’m currently working on Book Two, with books three and four in queue.

What advice would you give a new writer starting out?

To write what they know about.  And to write a complete first draft before worrying about editing.  NaNoWriMo is fantastic for getting people to focus on the writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing? 

Everything.  I’m the family chauffeur, I’m the cheering squad for my son’s sports teams, I’m the grocer, and the gopher for the family.

What do you look for in a book when you sit down to read for fun?

Authors.  I have read a diverse set of books over the past few years, in part because I’ve been able to get to know the authors.

What, if anything, bugs you when you read a novel?

Incomplete endings.  I’m not talking about books that begin series.  They have an ending but leave questions for the next book and are satisfying anyway.  i’m referring to books where the ending seems to be slapped on after running out of steam.

What books have most influenced your life?

Victor Hugo’s books, the Three Musketeers, Citizen Kane, Count of Monte Cristo, all Shakespeare’s plays, and Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales.

What seven words would you use to describe yourself?

supportive, independent, father, husband, geek, patriot, Samaritan

Describe your writing space.

Comfortable seating, blankets and covers, pillows for back support, internet connection, light switch

What has been your favorite part of being an author? What has been your least favorite?

The most favorite part has been reading and listening to reviews.  The least favorite part has been all of the marketing and promo work.  But, I have done it.

About I, Walter:
Walter Crofter was born into Elizabethan England. In a country and a time where favor and politics were both deadly, can an honest boy stay true to himself? Especially given his family background? I, Walter is the first in a series of books in a saga which will span continents and time to arrive in present day North America. Each in the series will be connected, though that connection may not be obvious for several more books. It’s almost like looking at a menorah (sic).. Many lines, seemingly individual, connect to center at different points.

About Mike Hartner:
Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.

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