Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Interview with Mike Hartner, Author of I, James

Mike Hartner was born in Miami in 1965. He’s traveled much of the continental United States. He has several years post secondary education, and experience teaching and tutoring young adults. Hartner has owned and run a computer firm for more than twenty-five years. He now lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, with his wife and child. They share the neighborhood and their son with his maternal grandparents.
Mike won first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Chaucer Award for Historical Fiction and first place blue ribbon for the 2013 Dante Rosetti Award in the YA category for I, Walter.
His latest book is the historical fiction/romance, I, James.
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Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m nearing 50, I’m in a long, secure marriage; I love my wife dearly, and our son.  Writing is a pastime to help me relax, and I love historical fiction.

Where did you grow up?

My father moved to Regina, Sask., Canada (about 90 minutes north of the Montana border on the eastern side) when I was 11. So much of my youth was spent in Canada

What is your fondest childhood memory?

My father’s cooking. On Friday nights, he’d pull his cookbooks out and make a list for the grocery store. On Saturday morning, he was up and out early to the local Safeway. When he came home, there was fresh coffee for mom and then breakfast for everyone. It was either pancakes, or waffles, or German Quiche (with bacon or ham, peppers, tomato, egg, hash browns, and cheese). It also signaled that he would spend the rest of the day in the kitchen.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was in elementary. But my first published writings were stories about my family in the early 2000s.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

Usually whenever I can sneak in a few moments… but that is mostly at night, after the rest of the family has gone to sleep.

What is this book about?

I, James is the second book in The Eternity Series. It’s historical fiction, romance, coming of age, and memoir all rolled into one. I think I took my cue from Chaucer, since he was responsible for writing stories about every different character on his crusade. Though I’m not as baudy. My books can be ready by anyone over the age of 10.

What inspired you to write it?

When I finished with Book One, (I, Walter), I knew I had to write Book Two. James was beating down the door of my muse to tell his story.

Who is your biggest supporter?

My biggest supporter is, and always has been, my wife.

Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?

No. I have a very small circle, including my editor who helps me with content and editing.

Who is your favorite author?

I love historical fiction. My top authors include Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, and Jules Verne. However, in present day authors, I love: Charity Langley ( Wicked Intentions ); Jesikah Sundin (Legay -The Biodome Chronicles Book One); Selah TaySong ( Dreams of a Vast Blue Canvern -- Dreams of QaiMaj, Book One); Rachel Thompson (gritty, award winning. Broken Pieces); Bernadette Pajer – The Professor Bradshaw Mysteries; Janet Shawgo for her historical romances; and a few more.

Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?

I don’t have one, and I have decided that right now, I just don’t need one.

Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?

It was a bumpy ride because I wasn’t experienced doing this.

If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?

There are always things that are worth doing differently. But, to be honest, the First book, I, Walter was a learning curve. I learned things that worked and things that didn’t, and now I get to apply them to I, James.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon is the best place right now to buy the book. Before Christmas, Audible will have a copy in their store; CreateSpace is already set up for paperback; and I’m in process of getting into the B&N system. So please ask the CSMs for I, James.

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

Readers can find the video trailer for both books at on my channel:

What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?

Blog tours.

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

Write what you believe in, and what you love.

What is up next for you?

Book three, of course.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Just a very big shout out of thanks to Robert L Bacon at for his editing; to Brian Schwartz ( for all his formatting help; to Luna Casnaghi, a fantastic graphics artist; to the large community of authors on FaceBook who have befriended me and who are amazing; and to the readers who amaze me everyday by being passionate enough to not just read, but to review my writings. Thanks to each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

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