Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Author Interview: Michael Diamond author of Agents of the Beyond

Michael Diamond, author of Agents of the Beyond, stopped by today for an interview.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I live and work in the Northern Illinois area, where I spend nights in my basement writing den, dreaming up the next book idea and pounding the keys on my keyboard until I'm happy. I'm an avid reader and gamer, binge Netflix watcher, and documentary fan. I've always had a love of history, and I've dovetailed that into the writing of my first two books, Origins of the Black Idol and Shattered Gods, which take place in the 1920's.

What do you do when you're not writing?

Spend time with family and friends, my dog Zelda, plus various other household projects. I've taken up a strict exercise regiment to work myself into a shape other than round.

When did you first start writing?

Around the age of 13 I began a story based on one of my Shadowrun characters, a Rigger who could control vehicles with his mind through heavy cybernetic implants. I put down about 30,000 words in a blue spiral notebook Freshman year in high school, but the spiral got lost or was stolen the last day of school. I was so crushed I never went back to rewrite it. Years passed before I got serious about writing again.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I have so many influences, but growing up I read Tolkien, Michael Stackpole, Timothy Zahn, William Gibson, F Scott Fitzgerald to name a few. I grew up in a house with a lot of books, but by 13 I owned more than my parents did.

What inspired you to write this particular book?

With the release of Numenera in 2013 I was overwhelmed by the possibilities for storytelling in the setting, not just as a game master, but as a writer. To my surprise, Monte Cook Games allowed their setting material to be licensed in a limited way, giving creators like me an opportunity to add to what they created, but with my own perspective on the Ninth World.

When I received the approval email back from Charles Ryan on the Limited License product, it was an affirmation to start down the path which led me to writing Agents. Pitching in months later at Gen Con 2014 for MCG, I saw a community eager for more of what Monte and Shanna put in their hands. Getting a chance to meet Tammie Ryan and talk with her while I worked the floor only reinforced my first impressions of MCG. I promised her the next time I saw her, I'd place my Numenera novel in her hands.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In one particular chapter, the main characters are camping in a valley, with a clear night sky overhead. They watch as a group of floating whales pass over their heads, unaffected by the chaos around them. It gives the characters a chance to dream of what that kind of life would be like, as their current situation isn't very stable.

What is best writing advice you can give?

Write something everyday, even if you hate it afterwards. Writing is something you have to do if you've fallen in love with it. Write. Just write.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Agents of the Beyond is set a billion years in the future, after the rise and fall of eight great civilizations. It's far beyond anything we could imagine in the present day, but somehow a form of humanity still exists. It's a wild adventure for three different people, who come together to ride out the changing political and religious landscape around them.

About the book:

One billion years has passed and the earth still turns in the blackness of space, its surface changed by eight great civilizations which rose and fell. Visitants from far flung planets mix with the remnants of our human genetic code, all in a desperate attempt to survive on a world which they do not fully understand.

Wonder and danger can be found around each edge of the known world, with the great nations of the Steadfast united against a perceived threat to the north, under a forceful flag from the Amber Pope. The message spreads like wildfire, carried on the wings of the once intellectual Order of Truth, now plying their community respect to beat the drums of war.
Across the Black Riage Mountain, far from the troubles in the Steadfast, a wild journey takes three travelers from their simple lives to the sparkling gem of the Beyond. The Lambent Fields hold an untold number of secrets beneath their glitter dusted rocks, beckoning to smugglers and merchants alike, all eager to line their pockets with the valuable mechanical gadgets found there.

Aramon’del Windrunner and his partner Grom, a pair of scavengers turned scouts, must guide their enigmatic charge Syills through the wilds of the Beyond in an effort to reach their southern destination. A powerful king awaits her arrival as his prize, but a mad man stands in the way, convinced the pale skinned woman they travel with is the key to unlocking a powerful machine long since forgotten.

About the author:

Michael A. Diamond is an author from northern Illinois, where he lives with his dog Zelda.

Michael grew up in the Rockford area, reading comics and sitting at his first gaming table in his young teen years.

Character histories and backstories were always a particular interest, filling out every inch of the character sheet to flesh out more of the character during play.

“Tales of Greatness” began in 2011 as a gaming blog. It evolved into a series of short stories based around characters who unearthed items of amazing power.

These tales led to the creation of Origins of The Black Idol, the first book in the “Mythos Division” series of novels.

The follow up book, Shattered Gods released in late 2014, continues the journey of Julius Godom as his world unravels.

His blog can be found at http://www.thediamondwriting.com/


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