The Questioning is where everything gets upside down. Every month I invite one author and one blogger, who showed me great support during my blogging life. Then I push them waaaaay out of their comfort zones. Authors has become interrogators and Bloggers get interrogated. Rest assured, no one gets hurt (much) and everyone has fun (eventually).
Michael R. Fletcher is a science fiction and fantasy author, a grilled cheese aficionado, and a whiskey-swilling reprobate. He spends his days choreographing his forklift musical (titled “Get Forked”), and using caffeine as a substitute for sanity. Any suggestions that he is actually Dyrk Ashton in disguise are all lies.
It’s a common saying in the film industry that reviews tell you more about the reviewer than they do about the film. Is this true of books? And if it is, what have we learned about you from your reviews? And if it isn’t, what’s your favourite grilled cheese sandwich recipe?
I think to a degree, it’s true. We all like (and dislike) different things, we have different interests which whether we want it or not will come through our reviews. I also think that our personalities do come through as well – which, if you ask me is cool, I don’t like reading bland reviews which try to be 100% objective (not that such thing exists, but you know). What you have learned about me is that 1) my English sucks, 2) I love music, 3) I’m into folklore/mythology/historical stuff, 4) I try not to swear too much while trying to appear as professional as possible, 5) I prefer my books to be character-driven, and 6) I just can’t shut up when it comes to reviews and I swear I try not to have such wordy reviews…
I… uh… I don’t have any recipes, I’m sorry.
What is the single “most metal” book you have ever read?
The first book that comes to mind as “most metal” is We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix. I mean, it’s about a metal band, so duh.
I’ve heard rumours that you don’t think Dyrk Ashton is real. Please lay out your case so we may judge its worth.
If Dyrk Ashton is not real, then whom I met in Dublin at WorldCon?! Come to think of it, between you, Dyrk and Rob, the only person I didn’t yet meet is you, so… Are YOU real?
What is the ONE SONG which absolutely crushes you?
I swear I had the perfect answer to this question a few weeks back but of course I don’t remember now, so *gets her player out for browsing*. Honestly, this is a hard question, because I probably could pick at least 5 such songs and most likely more. HOW CAN YOU MAKE ME ONLY PICK ONE?!
After a long and bloody fight with myself, I’m going to choose a song from my favorite band, because, well, they are my favorite for a reason.
I read maybe three or four books a year and still write absolute crap reviews. HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THIS?!
I HAVE NO IDEA! If that makes you feel better, I always think my reviews are crap, so there is that. In fact, I don’t even like writing reviews, and I still somehow end up with 1K long monsters, lol. I also honestly don’t spend as much time with them as some others do – I mean, yeah, sure, it takes a few hours to write them, but that’s because I keep distracting myself with everything else. Mostly because I have no idea what I want to write. By the time I finish, I’m so done with it that I just hit publish. Maybe read it once to catch typos and grammar stuff if I’m really feeling fancy. On the bright side, I’m not worried anymore about my English. I was when I started blogging. Well, that and that I have nothing interesting to say.
Who is your favourite book-blogger on the planet and why?
You are putting me into a really tricky position, I hope you know that! So, let me start by saying that I love everyone who works with me closely – Arina and Jen who are part of my staff; Belle, Nick and Peter who are part of my SPFBO team along with Jen. But if I had to name one person as my favorite book-blogger, then I would say my partner in crime and sister from another mister, Justine Bergman. She is just the best. She is taking absolutely awesome bookstagram pictures, she writes great reviews and we share a passion for indie books which resulted in Storytellers On Tour. I’m generally not a team player type of person and I couldn’t imagine anyone else I could work with so well. It helps that we have a similar sense of humor too.
Why is Piece of Mind the greatest Iron Maiden album of all time?
Um… because you say so?
Social media is, quite frankly, a fucking dumpster fire. How do you stay sane? How do you maintain a positive outlook on humanity and the fate of the species? Is twitter the answer to the Fermi Paradox?
Who told you I’m sane and that I have a positive outlook on humanity to begin with?
But to try and answer your question: I quite frankly am very picky at who I’m following which gives me better control over what I’m seeing on my feed. The mute button is definitely a godsend. I also generally keep away from forming opinions publicly or even jumping on conversations. I don’t like conflicts and I long learned that idiots can’t be reasoned with anyway. That being said, I believe in people talking out their problems with each other in private. In my 2,5 years since I’m on Twitter, I’ve been part of only one drama back at the beginning of summer. And that was enough for a while. I don’t like drama and I think many people create them purposefully and I don’t want any part in that.
Everyone seems to have an opinion but not many have the will to even try and listen to the other side. Social media makes nuanced conversation hard to happen because people like to hear their own voice and shout their own version of events or form opinions about something they only have half-information of. Personally I believe in the listen to both sides and form my own opinion and keep it to myself approach and so far that worked out for me. I might appear quiet and nice but believe me, I have opinions and ones not many people would like if I gave them a voice. But why create drama? I just stay out of the way of people I don’t want to interact with. No one forces me to talk to people I don’t want to, or to follow them or agree with them. You can choose to just keep quiet and walk away which saves you some stress.
Oops, this had become a long rant, sorry. What was the question?
Everyone has that one book that they absolutely loved and can’t get anyone else to read. What’s yours?
Heh, there are probably many as I tend to love different things than everyone else. But the first book that comes to mind is Windcatcher by A.J. Norfield. The series currently has 3 books out and it gets darker and darker as books go. It has pretty much everything you might want: intelligent and super cute dragons, great characters, bonds, a sadistic villain, epic stakes. Seriously, everyone should give it a go – it recently was re-edited too by the awesome A J Spedding.
If you could study one branch of magic (wizardry, sorcery, elementalism, shamanism, necromancy, etc) which would it be, and why?
I’d go with shamanism. There is something fascinating about it. They way they communicate the spirit world and connect with nature. Which is funny as I don’t think of myself as a naturalist person or a spiritualist, I’m more of a city girl. But still. Maybe it’s because the first “religion” of the nomadic Hungarians was a kind of shamanism. It’s something I’d like to research at one point and write a story with it in the center. Plus, learning shamanism sounds like a more fun experience than sitting in a study muttering spells and learning gestures. Or getting death things back to life. *shudders*
If you’d like to get in contact with Michael R. Fletcher, you can find him on social media:
If you are in the mood of some grimdark mindfuckery, then Michael R. Fletcher‘s work is definitely one you should check out. My recommendation would be Black Stone Heart (Book 1 of The Obsidian Path series) and Smoke and Stone (Book 1 of the City of Sacrifice series):