Interviews – A few weeks ago I read and then wrote a review of the science fiction thriller “Primordial Threat”. After my review, I was able to contact the author, Michael A. Rothman, and arrange an interview with him
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Myself: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
Rothman: I was a reluctant writer. It started with my kids. I used to tell them stories at night, mostly made up epic fantasy stories and to keep things straight, I began writing the ideas down so I could read it the next day, week, month. Eventually, that turned into entire books.
Myself: What is the first piece that you remember writing?
Rothman: The first stories turned into the “Prophecies Series” and it was well received by others. I’d note that the two kids in those stories are named Ryan and Aaron. It isn’t a coincidence that those are the names of my kids.
Myself: I am sure that they have been thrilled with being the ‘stars’ in that series. What is your academic and work background?
Rothman: I have advanced degrees in STEM disciplines. I’m not publicly specific about which disciplines, because nowadays, what I write is deeply technical, but written so as to make science approachable by all. And if I were to say I’m a botanist, or biologist or whatever – that in some people’s minds would lend credibility in one discipline but take away from others.
Let’s just say I’m an expert on the sciences and have friends in academia. I always vet the science I write about, whether it’s by my own knowledge/research or others.
Myself: I am glad to hear that you too come from a STEM background. What part of the world do you currently live in?
Rothman: Pacific Northwest of the US. I have lived in many parts of the US and world.
Myself: How do you relax? What are your hobbies?
Rothman: Cooking and hanging out with my family.
Myself: What else would you like to share about yourself?
Rothman: In my younger days, I used to compete at table tennis (ping pong). Yes, even played at the US open eons ago.
Myself: That is an interesting tidbit about yourself. What’s the first book you remember reading for yourself?
Rothman: The Hobbit
Myself: You set the bar high with your first read. Did you read much growing up?
Rothman: All the time
Myself: What have you read recently?
Rothman: I rarely read for pleasure nowadays, but more for research. I’ve been reading a lot of Child, Cussler, and recently got turned onto a fun series called the Bobiverse.
Myself: What is your favorite genre? book? character? author?
Rothman: As a child, epic fantasy and science fiction. Nowadays, I read SF and thrillers. Tolkien, of course, was one of my formative authors, as was Asimov. Now, I really enjoy Baldacci, Child, and Cussler.
Myself: Where is your favorite place to read?
Rothman: Nowadays, I “read” during my commute. Which means audiobooks are my friends.
Myself: Do you strictly listen to audiobooks now? Do you read books on paper or eBooks?
Rothman: Audiobooks all the way. Otherwise, I do have a weak spot for paperbacks.
Myself: What makes you sit down and want to share your stories?
Rothman: I’ve always had an abundance of ideas, which usually leaks out in my work. I’ve simply added other venues for the ideas, such as writing.
Myself: What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Rothman: Dominate the world?
In all seriousness, to be read by as many as possible – and to make reading enjoyable for more people. I want to have science be approachable and interesting to those who might not otherwise find it interesting.
One of the best compliment I ever received was, “I felt like I’d learned things after reading Primordial Threat.”
Myself: Bringing a better understanding of science to readers is both a worthy goal and admirable accomplishment. Is there anyone who has influenced your writing?
Rothman: I’m sure there is, but I don’t try to emulate anyone. I’m sort of a good idea thief. If I like certain approaches or ideas in a book I’m reading, I’ll almost certainly adopt it for my own purposes.
I suppose I’m a reflection of my reading, as are many authors.
Myself: How did you pick the genres for your stories?
Rothman: I write mostly SF and thrillers today. I enjoy those tales because it allows me to mix action/adventure with technology.
Myself: Where do your story ideas come from?
Rothman: An abundance of God-given creativity.
Myself: Do you work to an outline or plot, or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Rothman: Rough outline and then pantsing from there on in.
Myself: What is your schedule like when you are writing?
Rothman: Usually awake at 5am write for two hours and then head to work. And weekends a bit more time. That usually allows me to create/edit two full-sized novels a year.
Myself: Completing two novels per year is an impressive writing regimen. About how long does it take you to complete a first draft? How long do your revisions take?
Rothman: First draft two months. Revisions four months.
Myself: How much research do you put into a novel?
Rothman: A LOT.
Myself: What tools (software?) do you use in your writing?
Rothman: Microsoft word.
Myself: What are the hardest and easiest things about writing?
Rothman: Starting and ending a writing session. Both are the hardest and easiest.
Myself: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
Rothman: You’ll write a million words before you start to be good. Get started, and don’t give up.
Myself: What novels/works have you published?
Rothman: I have seven books published, though anyone looking will only find two under M.A. Rothman, since my focus is thriller and SF.
I wrote under my full name Michael A. Rothman a series of YA novels that are epic fantasy for my kids to enjoy.
Myself: What are you currently working on?
Rothman: Working on a book for the second half of 2019.
I will release one SF/technothriller and one mainstream thriller a year. I’ve already completed the book coming out in the first half of 2019, it’s a medical thriller known as “Darwin’s Cipher”.
Myself: How should your fans follow you or get in touch?
Rothman: They should contact me through my website http://www.michaelarothman.com/contact-me/