Hey guys! I am bringing you another amazing author on our Author Interview session on the virtual The Nocturnal Fey lounge!
I am so excited to share with you my Q&A with this very talented author who has just debuted last April with his first novel, No One Dies in The Garden of Syn (click for full review). So without further ado, let’s now get to know, author Michael Seidelman.
* About the author *
When Michael Seidelman was growing up, his passions were reading, watching movies, enjoying nature and creative writing. Not much has changed since then.
Working in Online Marketing for over ten years, Michael felt it was time to pursue his passion as a career and wrote the first book in The Garden of Syn trilogy.
He is currently writing the second book in The Garden of Syn series and, beyond the trilogy, has many ideas plotted out that he looks forward to sharing with the world!
Michael was born in Vancouver, BC Canada where he continues to reside.
Social Media Links:
Erika: Greetings, Mr. Michael Seidelman! First of all, I’d like to thank you for doing this interview with me. I know that you are very busy writing the sequel of your book so I’m really thankful that you accepted my interview invitation. It’s really a great honor to have you on my blog.
Here are my questions for you…
- No One Dies in The Garden of Syn, your debut novel, is really unique and interesting. I really love new dimensions or other worlds, so I was really excited when I got to see The Garden of Syn. What or who inspired you to write this kind novel, and how did you come up with this idea?
First, I really appreciate your compliments on my book. My favorite stories growing up were about secrets worlds, like Alice in Wonderland and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Since I was in high school, I had wanted to write my own tale about a secret world. It took me many years before I came up with the right story – one that is inspired by the tales of Lewis Carroll, L. Frank Baum and C.S. Lewis, but at the same time is very different and geared towards an older audience. The ideas that triggered the story I ended up telling came to me when I immersed myself in nature and let the ideas flow. When I put my ideas on paper (or keyboard) I knew that I had the story I wanted to tell for so long!
- Honestly, I don’t know much about Cystic Fibrosis, so I researched about it while reading your book and I learned so much about it. I find it really amazing when there are medical related stuffs on a book I’m reading, because I know that the authors had to spend so much time researching about it as well. How much time did you spend researching about the illness, or was it from real experience, and why did you choose Cystic Fibrosis to be your subject?
I’ve known about cystic fibrosis since I was a little kid and saw a TV movie called “Alex: The Life of a Child”, which was the true story of an eight-year-old girl who died from CF. So much has changed in regards to available treatments since that movie came out. Before I began writing the book I dedicated a couple of weeks to do extensive research on CF, along with all the available treatments. I watched dozens of YouTube videos featuring teenagers suffering from CF talking about their daily routines and treatments. I also consulted with a physician to make sure my book accurately depicted the disease. Because I expect many readers may not know much about cystic fibrosis prior to reading my book, I felt a responsibility to accurately represent the symptoms and treatments. And as the next two books include other elements of CF, my research is far from over.
- How long did it take you to finish writing No One Dies in The Garden of Syn and what was the hardest part you’ve encountered or experienced while writing it?
My first draft, including the plotting out of each chapter to writing the manuscript, took about five months to write. However, I wrote many more drafts with extensive edits and that process carried on over a year before I had a draft I was happy with. The hardest part was the editing, making sure the dialogue felt real, that every word was just right and that there were no continuity issues. Being my first novel, I think my editing process wasn’t as structured as it could have been. As I moved through the editing process, I not only figured out better methods that will speed up and improve the task for the upcoming books but as I can clearly see the mistakes I made, I am able to avoid repeating many of them as I work on the manuscript for the second book in The Garden of Syn series.
- I believe that authors also have their favorite characters from their own books. So, among your characters (Syn’s counterparts included), who is your most favorite and why?
My favorite character in No One Dies in the Garden of Syn is the protagonist Synthia (Syn) Wade herself. The books are mostly written in first person so I really had to get inside her head, figure out who she is and what makes her tick. Because she is so central, I have created detailed aspects of her character and her past that will never make it into the books, just so I can really have the full picture of who she is as I write from her perspective. And because I know her so well and have spent so much time with her voice through me, she sort of feels like family. I really hope she resonates with readers and that they continue to root for her through the series.
- Can you give us your most favorite short line or quote from your book? And why did you choose that? Is there any significant meaning behind it or something?
That is a tough question because most of my favorite lines could be considered spoilerish or hint at something to come that I don’t want to bring attention to for those who haven’t yet read the book. So I’m going to go with a very simple line, one that comes quite early in the book. “Where am I?” It’s simple and I won’t pretend it’s original in any way. Every book where a character finds themselves in a new world either has that line or a similar variation. However, it’s extremely significant as it’s the backbone of the story. Every chapter in the book moves towards answering that one simple question. Unlike many books where that question is asked and it isn’t fully answered, it was very important to me to that I answer the question in a way that would satisfy the readers. Every mysterious encounter or odd occurrence in the book is not without reason and the question of “Where am I?” moves towards big revelations. Plus, it goes a little deeper. Where is Syn in her mindset? Because by the end of the book, with all she’s experienced and learned in the Garden, she’s not in the same place she was before she got there.
- I know that this may sound a little crazy considering that you’ve just published your debut novel last month. But after reading No One Dies in The Garden of Syn, I got a little desperate on looking up the 2nd book on Goodreads, but didn’t find it there yet. So can you give us a hint of the title or if you could at least share with us anything about the 2nd book (without spoiling the 1st book, of course)?
The second book is titled “Everyone Dies in the Garden of Syn” and will be released in September 2017. While the first book has Syn discovering a new world and trying to solve the mysteries around it, the second book finds her back in the Garden a year later on a rescue mission she knows very well she will likely not return from. But the Garden is a lot different than it was when she left, with many new challenges for Syn to face. She knows the odds are against her and has brought friends to help her. We were only introduced to Ebby and Jon in the first book but they are strong supporting characters this time around. With a darker story, I think they add a nice balance of humor to the adventure. The second book has more of an epic feel to it than the first but like that one, there are more odd occurrences and mysteries to solve and some major twists I don’t think anyone will see coming.
Erika: This just made me a lot more excited for the sequel!!
- Is The Garden of Syn series only compose of 3 books or can it be more than that?
The Garden of Syn series is a complete story told in three distinct parts, with Syn facing a different threat in each book. The story I begin to tell in the first book will conclude in the third, in a way that I think will be very satisfying for fans. The story is all mapped out so there won’t be any surprise fourth installment. I certainly won’t be rewriting the story from a different character’s perspective. That said, I’m completely open to telling other stories that take place in the world I’ve introduced or that follow characters in completely new adventures outside the Garden. In fact, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some ideas I’m quite excited about. However, if any short stories or spin-offs come up, they will stand on their own so fans of the trilogy shouldn’t feel like they have to read anything else when they have completed the trilogy.
- My last questions are questions that I always ask my guest authors. If you’re given the chance to collaborate with another author/s, who would it be and why? You can choose up to three authors. 🙂
I hope this isn’t cheating but I’m going to go with some authors that are no longer with us. I grew up reading Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton. Their imaginations and their ability to tell gripping stories for kids that were full of adventure and whimsy was phenomenal. Though it may not be obvious, their manner of storytelling were inspirations for No One Dies in the Garden of Syn. They are known mostly for their middle grade fiction but in a world where we could collaborate with those who are no longer with us, I would love to work on a Young Adult book with either or both of these skilled master storytellers. Not only do I think we could come up with something amazing together but there is so much I could learn from both of them. Also, I am a big fan of a well-crafted mystery. The book I hope to follow The Garden of Syn trilogy with is a standalone young adult mystery-thriller. And there is no author who has mastered the mystery like Agatha Christie. I’ve learned much from her already just by reading her books but meeting with her, collaborating and learning the craft directly from the master herself would be an honor and a privilege.
- What are your top 3 favorite genres and can you name your favorite book under those genres?
I cheated, providing two picks for each genre. Even narrowing them down to two was difficult. Sorry! 🙂
Young Adult Fantasy – The Maze Runner by James Dashner / The Giver by Lois Lowry
Mystery/Thriller – No Second Chance by Harlen Coben / And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Horror – Funhouse by Dean Koontz / Carrie by Stephen King
Erika: Oh, it’s okay. I totally understand! I have tons of favorite myself. lol
Before finally ending this interview, do you have any message for your readers and your future readers?
Just a quick thank you to everyone who takes the time to read this book and my upcoming novels. Writing is a passion and I love sharing my stories with other people. I know there are so many books to choose from and I really appreciate each person who takes a chance on mine and hope they get as much enjoyment reading them as I do writing them.
And there you have it! I couldn’t stop smiling while I go through Mr. Seidelman’s answers. You can really see how passionate he is with writing.
Before totally ending this post, Mr. Michael and I have a little something for you…
IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!!!
Get a chance to win a PAPERBACK COPY of No One Dies in The Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman by entering on the Rafflecopter below.
This is open INTERNATIONAL!
* If the winner is from US/CA, your copy will be signed.
* Failure to comply with the rules on the Rafflecopter will be disqualified. We’re going to check your entries. 🙂
Title: No One Dies in The Garden of Syn (The Garden of Syn #1)
Author: Michael Seidelman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Publisher: Chewed Pencil Press
Synthia (Syn) Wade is a teenage girl who struggles with cystic fibrosis, an incurable life-threatening disease. One day she is pushed into a pond by an unseen figure and wakes up in a new world – a mysterious garden where illness and death don’t exist.
Welcomed by the garden’s residents and now free of her symptoms, Syn decides to stay. But, before long, she realizes that this apparent utopia holds many dangers and dark secrets.
Surrounding the garden is a fog that Syn is warned never to enter. She encounters bizarre creatures that defy reason. And always lurking in the shadows is a masked woman – a woman who may have a connection to the disappearance of Syn’s parents many years ago. A woman whom no one will speak of, but whom everyone fears.
While No One Dies in the Garden of Syn, Syn will soon discover that some fates are worse than death.
I’d like to thank you, Mr. Michael Seidelman, once again for this wonderful opportunity and for lending us a bit of your time for this interview. I hope to have another interview with you in the future. I’d totally love to have you back after the release of the sequel, I hope you do too. Good luck! 🙂
Erika is a freelance content writer and illustrator from the Philippines. She used to hate writing in high school, but later discovered that it is something that she’d enjoy doing. Asides from books. she also enjoys the presence of few art materials, camera for bookstagram, and other bookish merchandise, on her own fantasy realm.