MIKE JANSEN: WE HAVE A SCI-FI AND FANTASY RENAISSANCE IN THE NETHERLANDS
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Mike Jansen is one of the most talented authors in Netherlands. He won many awards and recently published his novel The Failing God: The First Chronicle of Cranborn (Chronicles of Cranborn Book 1). Let’s enjoy the next portion of interesting Q&A.
– What is your last book The Failing God: The First Chronicle of Cranborn (Chronicles of Cranborn Book 1) about?
– The Failing God is the first part in five volume epic dark fantasy series. It deals with the affairs of several characters from various factions in the rich and detailed world of Cranborn, during a time of conflict and change. Driving it all is a number of prophecies, but one could ask which prophecy is telling the truth…
– How did you decide to write the story?
– This story has evolved in my mind over a period of twenty years, with one of the first chapters written almost twenty years ago.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– As the tale grows bigger and more convoluted, it becomes important to keep all the story lines and events in sync. Although I know what the targets are and what the end-results will be, there is a lot happening in between that needs proper care.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Actually there are three main characters in the story, two mercenaries and an assassin, who form some kind of bond early on due to a common enemy. However, overcoming that enemy unleashes events that place them in a pivotal role during the major upheavals that occur because they vanquished their enemy. Of course there are other characters in the book, some equally important, that observe events from a completely different point of view. Their views combined give the reader a complete image of the world and its events.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– Because I had lots of preparation time, the actual book took a little over 8 weeks for 125k words. I already had an interested publisher, so once I delivered the manuscript, it was published within weeks. The second book took 14 weeks, the third book isn’t even finished yet, but I’ve upped the tempo on that one and it should be finished by years end (end of 2014).
– Who are you?
– My name is Mike Jansen, I live in Hilversum, in The Netherlands. I have a wife and three kids and I work as CTO for an internationally oriented IT company. I’m an avid reader of science-fiction, fantasy and horror. Since I started writing I’ve won several writing awards in The Netherlands and I’m currently trying to get stories translated to many of the world’s languages (because it’s possible)
– What are your writing habits?
– When it’s quiet in my house, usually around 22:00, I sit down and just write for two hours straight. That allows me to produce some two to three thousand words when I’m working on a novel. The word count for short stories is usually less. Other spare time I usually devote to translating, editing, cover design and other writing related stuff like interviews and such.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book and do you plan another one?
– Never! It can always be better. That said, I just like writing and I write the stuff that I like to read myself, so I will always be writing a ‘next novel’ or a ‘next story’
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Ah, yes, marketing… I work with my publishers to actively promote my books in the US and The Netherlands. Activities vary from using Twitter and Facebook to doing Goodreads giveaways, arranging interviews and book-reviews, organizing readings, visiting conventions and whatever else may get my books in the hands of readers.
– What may you say about your debut book Ophelia In My Arms?
– Ophelia was actually the idea of my US publisher, JWKfiction (www.jwkfiction.com), who felt I could bundle a number of my stories as an anthology. Apart from writing books I write many short stories, a few dozen every year at least. The nice thing was that my Dutch publisher opted right away to do a Dutch version of that anthology. The book contains SF/F/H stories, ranging from Lovecraftian horror to hard core scifi and cyberpunk. I expect more anthologies will appear in the coming years.
– You have big experience in short stories. Why you started to write full novels so late?
– Well, most stories I have written, as well as the novels, were written in the past three years. Before that I wrote sporadically as my time was limited because of family, work and a busy social life. Right now I write about one novel and two or three dozen short stories a year, time permitting.
– As a Netherlands resident, how do you rate the current love of reading of the Holland’s young generation?
– Actually, it looks like we’re going through a bit of a scifi/fantasy renaissance over here. The past few years have seen a big influx in new Dutch authors, there are numerous contests and the number of publications has tripled or quadrupled. I keep track of these developments, as well as the greater European fantastica movement (http://scifiportal.eu/), to see if we can help authors reach higher levels of maturity and larger markets for their publications.
– Ask yourself a question (And don’t forget to reply)
– How many books do you want to write in the coming years? For me this is an important question as it directly relates to the amount of time I need to devote to writing. Right now I’m aiming for one big or two smaller novels per year and some short stories. But honestly I would like to try and write three or four novels a year.
Check out more about Mike at his web page
Take a look at his books
Ophelia In My Arms
The Failing God: The First Chronicle of Cranborn (Chronicles of Cranborn) (Volume 1)