TITLE : The Price Of Power (The Price of Power #1)
AUTHOR : Michale Michel
GENRE : Epic/Dark Fantasy, Grimdark
INTENTED AGE GROUP : Adult
DATE OF PUBLISHING : February 6, 2023
PUBLISHER : Self Published
The Price Of Power is a debut epic/dark/grimdark fantasy from Michael Michel. I was fortunate enough to receive the ARC of this book and had a great time with it. Highly recommend checking it out. I already have a review up for you to check it out on my website.
Want to know more about The Price Of Power? Check out my review – CLICK HERE
I am really appreciative for the opportunity to interview Michael Michel. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a couple of my questions, Michael. I really appreciate it
Prince Barodane could not hold back the darkness. Not even in himself. He laid an innocent city in its grave and then died a hero.
In his absence, war whispers across the land.
Power-hungry Highborn dispatch spies and assassins to the shadows as they maneuver for the throne, while an even greater threat rises in the South. Monsters and cultists flock to the banners of a mad prophet determined to control reality…and then shatter it.
Destiny stalks three to the brink of oblivion.
A dead prince that isn’t actually dead. Barodane buried his shameful past in a stupor of drugs, drink, and crime, and now, he’d rather watch the world fall apart than wear a crown again.
An orphan with hero’s blood who is forced to make a harrowing choice: betray her country or sacrifice her first love.
And a powerful seer who has no choice at all–her grandson must die.
If any of them fails to pay the price…
The cost will be the world’s complete annihilation.
1. Hi Michael. Hope you are doing good. Why don’t tell us a little about yourself and your journey as an author?
I’m an epic fantasy author, corporate coach, and family man hailing from the lovely state of Oregon, US. I love books, movies, shows–anything with a story gets me going- -and I enjoy the outdoors. I’ve played pretty much every sport that exists and even coached a handful of them, but table tennis is my jam. My debut novel, “The Price of Power,” just came out!
2. What was your inspiration for writing The Price Of Power?
Honestly, I was just bored. Back in the day when there weren’t earbuds and podcasts and all that stuff, I just had my thoughts when I was doing things like mowing a lawn…and that’s exactly what I was doing in 7th grade when I thought up this book series. Boredom is crucial to creativity.
3. What are some of the books that have inspired you and shaped you as an author in your writing journey?
Game of Thrones was a massive inspiration for me as a writer. GRRM is a master craftsman and his attention to detail is unparalleled. I also LOVE morally gray characters and well-developed side-characters, which he does brilliantly. My favorite book is A Canticle for Lebowitz. It’s a masterpiece. A few others I feel have impacted me in positive ways are: the Belgariad, The Prince of Nothing Series, and the Riftwar Saga.
4. Can you tell us about the writing process and what the research process was like for this book and the upcoming books?
No research really. I just dance around building the world, building the characters, connecting the two in the best way possible, and then keep whatever’s exciting. Whatever isn’t, I cut. I flow with the energy. If I’m into Barodane, I write him. If I’m into Ishoa, I go there. Chances are my best writing happens when I do this rather than forcing things. Also, I constantly have to give myself permission to write bad stuff and trust that it will get taken care of in future rewrites.
5. I really enjoyed the introduction of the world and the different races, political factions and the magic system you introduced in this book. So how did you come up with the world and magic system for this series? Also can you tell us more about the magic, world, and the different races you have created in this world?
I like LOTS of possibilities, so when I couldn’t settle on a magic system, I decided I wanted something that allowed me to essentially have X-Men in a Game of Thrones-type world. There’s a second magic system too, but that’ll come through in later books. My personal spiritual journey and training as a coach and counselor really gave me the inspiration for the magic system. I love history too, so a lot of the races are mash-ups of real life. But because it’s a fantasy world, the world tends to change these races in unforeseen and original ways even I didn’t predict.
6. So we have 4 main POVs we get to read about in the book. Which one was your favorite and which character gave you the hardest time?
My favorite character of the 4 POVs…I actually really enjoyed writing Akyris’s Grandmother. She’s a tough old nut carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. I think Barodane is my actual favorite person though. He’s funny. I’m funny. We’d get along…to a point. Ishoa was TOUGH to write. I’m not a 14-year-old girl. I have one, but I’m not one. They’re not easy to understand and I wanted her to feel real to those readers who’ve been in her shoes, so I took the care necessary to try to get it right.
7. What do you love the most to write and hate to write in your stories(tropes & themes)?
Love to write: high emotional scenes. Gritty death scenes and fights. Anything Garlenna does pretty much, she’s such a badass.
Hate to write: about myself and ad copy. Yuck.
8. So what kind of a writer are you, a plotter or pantser? Also was there any moment in the book that went in a completely unexpected direction?
I happen to be neither. I’m a dancer. I flow with the energy; sometimes that’s pantsing, sometimes that’s sitting down and plotting for a couple of weeks. I constantly dance between the two. I was not expecting to include the Trials or the Scarborn. All of that really blossomed around Ishoa’s storyline and the Scarborn are so cool as a people.
9. How has your journey of book publishing been like and what were some of the roadblocks you had to face and overcome?
I’m still overcoming them. I just got a shipment of hardbacks and a quarter of them are dented at the corners. Marketing is really difficult. Getting traction, no matter how good the book or how well it is received, is difficult. I’ll have to win a competition or something to gain some real momentum. While I feel I’m doing a decent job of marketing, I’m still just breaking even on the investment.
10. If you couldn’t write in the genre you write in, which genre would you prefer to write in? Also which genre would be the most challenging for you to write in and why?
I think I’d be amazing at Romance, actually. I can come up with those Hallmark plotlines in about 2 minutes. I spin stories out loud as a joke for my mom all the time. She loves it. Also, I would LOVE to write westerns…oh wait…I have a secret project that’s a western steampunk fantasy. Someday you might see it. The most challenging genre would also be romance, simply because it’s not complex enough to keep me engaged.
11. The themes and the magic system all are deeply rooted in psychological and spiritual aspects and I would love to know your process of creating them and also about the idea behind Unturrus.
Unturrus came about because every great fantasy has a “hinge” piece. Hogwarts for Harry Potter, the iron throne for GOT, etc. I never liked how Harry Potter just got powers. He didn’t work for it or anything. If you’re going to be better than everyone, you’d better be willing to risk it all. Not only that, but I think truly successful people get there in one of two ways:
1) cheating their way to the top motivated by their own ego (Ruptured)
2) Truly facing their deepest pains so they can be unencumbered by their past (Awakened).
When I create Awakened and Ruptured, I think of an intriguing backstory and give them a little dose of suffering (dead parent, rejection, etc.). Then I think of how a unique power might manifest as a result of that. Usually not something direct, eg, my parents are dead and now I can revive the dead. But, you know, something creative.
12. The second epilogue wasn’t present in the ARC and so what made you write an additional epilogue?
I actually had 3 epilogues during beta. One got pulled over to book 2, then I decided to stick another in there as a prologue, but then I reworked the whole thing and stuck two of the originals back in there. It’s fun and interesting and I feel that it leads people to book 2.
13. You have a fantastic battle and fight sequence in the book. How do you go about writing them and how hard is it to choreograph a fight scene for a book?
I might sound like a psycho here, but I actually think about fighting a lot. I think about how I would defend myself in various situations, or defend other people, or kill a wild animal that attacks me. So when I write fight scenes, I have a pretty visceral foundation for summoning up some wild shit. I’m also an athlete who’s played a dozen or more sports (including martial arts), so my understanding of combat is decent. I think writing scenes that are tactical or strategic come easily and naturally for me–most personality tests skew high in these areas and I have played tabletop strategy games since I was eight. Additionally, I don’t like redundancy. A lot of books get stale with the same style of fights on repeat, so I’m constantly looking for ways to make a fight, battle, etc. unique. I love them, so I take great care to make them cool.
14. You have an interesting cast of characters and a few unique side characters. Which side character scenes were the most fun to write?
Most people could probably guess the answer to this one. The Madness. The Omenfaen twins are two characters I’m very proud of as well. They came to me in a flash and a lot of color to Ishoa‘s storyline.
15. How many books have you planned for the series and are we going to get to see more of the world and explore other cultures and traditions in the upcoming books?
It’s currently slated and outlined for five books. Haha, that makes it sound like it’s more done than it is. Totally will be once I get the time to do it faster. In book 2 we’ll be exploring two more countries and subcultures within Namarr. I have a process by which I present pieces of the world character-by-character and book-by-book to keep everything fresh. See? Strategic.
16. Are there any other works in progress that you would like to share with us?
I’ve actually been writing a separate series in parallel with The Price of Power series, but I won’t be putting it out there until I’m done with book two at least. I’ve also got a short story anthology coming out called, “Sing No Suns, Sing the Night,” and a novelette prequel that brings us right up flush with the prologue in book one of PoP.
17. You recently did a Kickstarter for the book and what was that experience like?
The Kickstarter was awesome. Still fulfilling orders and working on it. It’s a TON of work. I do wonder what might have happened if I’d focused fully on Amazon instead. Kian Ardalan had a lot of success doing it that way. It certainly builds more momentum and gives you a better slice of that algorithm, so maybe it’s better for longevity to skip the KS. Not sure.
18. What advice would you like to give to new authors in the Indie/self-pub community?
Trust yourself. Never read a first draft or let anyone see it–it’s bad, everybody’s is. Rewrite at least once before getting feedback. And when you think you’re finally done, go back and cut 10%. Yeah, that sucks, but do it. You’ll be happy later. Cut the boring shit!
19. If you had to pick one book to read for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
The Game of Thrones books probably wouldn’t ever get old. It’s so complex and well done. I always find new favorite parts upon rereading.
20. Your favorite underhyped books you want more people to read.
Besides mine? Haha…but seriously, in addition to “The Price of Power,” I’d say Ted Chiang doesn’t get enough mainstream attention. He’s the most skilled author in SFF right now and he has the awards to back it up. Richard K. Morgan has crushed in Scifi, but he’s also got some great fantasy chops too. Very dark though. Lord of Light, Light (by M. John Harrison), and A Canticle for Lebowitz are also highly underrated.
MICHAEL MICHEL :
Michael Michel lives in Bend, Oregon with the love of his life and their two children. When he isn’t obsessively writing, editing, or doing publishing work, he can be found coaching leaders in the corporate world, exercising, and dancing his butt off at festivals like Burning Man. His favorite TV shows are Dark, The Wire, Arcane, and Arrested Development. He loves nature and deep conversations with (anyone really), and few things bring him more joy than a couple of hours playing table tennis.