1. What books/authors have influenced you and why? I am a recovering literary horror addict. I breathe King and Koontz among dozens of others. I also adore smart, psychological thrillers—Sandra Brown, Gillian Flynn, while having a definite soft spot for dark, speculative futurism—Neal Stephenson, Charlie Brooker, and I’m still getting through all of Heinland. I’m a sucker for series once I get hooked—Orson Scott Card, Jim Butcher. I’ve been influenced by classic sci-fi—Herbert and Asimov, as well as classic literary. However; I’ve found some of the most undeniable stories when sifting through indie authors. One great sci-fi series I’ve been following is Ember War by Richard Fox.
2. Tell me about your antagonist. What's your favorite trait in an antagonist? Let me start by saying my favorite antagonist of all time—hands down—is Achilles from the Ender’s Shadow series: namely because he seemed to have no Achilles’’ heel, and the protagonist along with the reader really had to up their intelligence game in order to take him down. Indestructible monsters who disappear every 35 years or Big-Bad’s who eventually reveal their kryptonite, that’s all fun and cozy, but villains who are so smart I’m forced to admire them for it? Yes!
In my upcoming series, I aim to take a slightly different approach, to incorporate atypical antagonism in line with the metaphysical air of the series’ dark setting.
3. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be? A younger me was a quiet me, an insecure me and an uncomfortable in most situations me. At the time it was because everyone was secretly out to get me—waiting with bated breath and interlaced fingers for me to do or say the wrong thing. I’ve since learned that, in actuality, I’d simply fallen prey to people-pleasing, living the life I felt others expected of me and feeling like an impostor whenever I did something that actually made me feel confident. My advice to my younger me would be to think for myself. To listen to the voice in my head that says, “this is what YOU want” “this is what makes YOU proud” and follow it. I do it far more often today—as a major songwriter and as a published novelist—and it feels undoubtedly amazing! I imagine how life would be now, if I’d been so unfettered in my formative years.
4. What does literary success look like to you? I read somewhere that only 20% of writers who complete a manuscript ever publish it. Those odds really aren’t that daunting (though I believe it included self-publishing). The truly daunting statistic I found was that only 3% of writers actually finish their manuscript in the first place! So 97% of books written never see a “The End.” In light of this, I believe that completing that story, getting it out from one’s internal space and out onto the canvas the universe, that is the real success. Writing a manuscript can take anywhere from several months to a decade with editing and tweaking taking twice the amount of time. Finally stamping down that seal of approval? That right there is the real success.
What will matter in 10,000 years when the hybrid human-bot-aliens dig up a manuscript to analyze 21st century civilization—whether the story was published or what happens at the end?
5. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you? (website, blog, social media?) Readers can find me on all social media. I bandy about on instagram and twitter regularly at @mlachiauthor. I am on facebook at the same handle, and on my website, www.mlachi.com, readers can find my blog and email me directly.
Interestingly enough, as a topline composer for a major music publishing company (@lachimusic), I tend to remain a bit aloof, as is the norm in that industry. But anyone can come to my literary side of life and tweet back-and-forth with me on the interpretation of a Space Balls quote for days! I love having an outlet where I get to be my corny, nerdy self. Please, come bug me!