Author Michael Krog lives and works in Memphis, TN. His story in A Tall Ship is titled, Fireflies on the Water. It is his first published work.
1) Why did you decide to write about pirates?
That was what the story call was for. “Fireflies” was an idea I had had for a while and was, in my mind, already in that era anyway. Changing it to be more pirate oriented was no problem at all.
2) Why do you write at all? What made want to spend your life on work to which a smaller and smaller percentage of Western culture is receptive every year and for which most folks doing it receive very little monetary remuneration?
Hmmm, maybe I should not be
getting into this field, after all.
That is an important question. As a culture we do not read and that is a tragedy. I guess I am just doing my little bit to hold back the onrushing tide of barbarism.
3) What, in your humble opinion, is the attraction of pirates in literature?
Pirates are adventure, men on the open seas, raiding, drinking rum, hiding from the law... they are the Hells Angels of old.
4) Do you have a favorite historical pirate, if so, who is it and why?
Not anyone in particular, no. I always found the concept, the idea of pirates more fascinating than any one of them. Pirates throughout history have actually had a fairly short life span, unless they were acting as privateers.
5) Without spoiling the plot, what inspired you to write your story for A Tall Ship, a Star, and Plunder?
Like a lot of ideas it grew out of a single idea, a line from a movie, a really bad movie actually, one of those snake movies, “Anaconda” I think. The bad guy in the movie has a really cool line about fireflies on the water and how they mate for life and that sparked something in my mind and the story just grew from there.
6) So, pirates in general, are they lovable rouges, just misunderstood, adventurers, romantic rebels, or are they just bandits on the sea, thieves, and murderers?
Pirates are just people, depending on their choices they can be any of those choices.
7) Who is your favorite author? Why?
I am not sure I have a quote, favorite author. One writer that I really admire is James Ellroy. He guts the language and strips it down, just telling the story in a real bare bones style, nothing flashy, no extraneous words, just story telling. I appreciate that.
8) What is your favorite book? Why?
My favorite book is “A History of Venice” by John Julius Norwich. I covers the entire history of Venice from the early 400s up to Napoleon's conquest of the city. Venice had the longest stretch of self rule of any city in the world and I find it fascinating.
9) What is the best constructive criticism you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
The best advice I have heard is to “just write, write every day.”
10) Is there a book you read again and again? Why?
“The Screwtape Letters.” That is one book whose advice I can always benefit from.
11) What is your opinion of the classics in the genre in which you generally write?
That is, do they deserve to be classics? I am honestly not sure what my genre even is yet. I am still working on defining what my style is, much less my genre.
12) How much do you read?
Not nearly as much as I would like to.
13) Where did you get your start in writing?
In high school. I wrote some really bad poetry back then.
14) What is your most current project that is close to publication?
Nothing that is close. I am starting a story to submit to Amazing Stories, so I guess that would be the one.
15) Do you have a routine for writing and, if so, what is it?
I hate to write when I am alone. Not that I really want people around talking to me, but I like to be around other people. I have found that I can write at Barnes and Noble, I take my laptop with me and get a coffee and go sit in one their big comfortable chairs and write all day if I have the time.
16) Do you like to read your own work out loud to an audience?
Mr. Krog, thank you for stopping by.