Michael: I have always had the desire to write, but didn’t think it was something I would pursue professionally until very recently. When my children were young, I would read to them every day. Some of the great stories we read inspired us greatly. And now, through my writing, I want to be able to inspire children (and adults) to continue to read, write and become anything they desire.
Michael: The ideas for books come from everyday experiences. An idea can come from a short observation or a quick encounter. Then a whole story comes alive in my head. I make sure to take lots of notes so I don’t forget things.
Interviewer: What do you think makes a good story?
Michael: Since I love writing children’s books, I feel a good children’s story has to be fun not only for the child but also for the adult who is reading to or with the child. This way their time together is engaging and conversational. In addition to being entertaining, a good story should also teach valuable life lessons.
Interviewer: Do you prefer to create books for children or adults?
Michael: I prefer to write for children because of the joy it brings me to see a young child enthralled or be inspired by something I’ve written.
Interviewer: What values/lessons did you want Benjamin Birdie to convey?
Michael: The story of Benjamin Birdie conveys many lessons:
- with love, friends and support you can accomplish anything
- one who is surrounded by great friends, no matter what their characteristics or nationalities, can achieve success and peace
- working together helps one accomplish their goals
- small, partial victories together can help achieve an ultimate goal
- honesty can result in hugs and love even when one makes a mistake
- children should listen to their parents, as they have the most valuable advice for them