The Author

Michael Corney is a fan of the creative experience and his passion has taken him in many interesting directions. He has worked oversees as an English Teacher, opened several businesses, been the Executive Director of a large youth camp, developed custom software and recently launched a high ropes and zip line park. However his greatest adventure has always been with his wonderful family.

Michael lives in Prince Edward Island with his wife and two children. He recently launched a board game called Raceroony, is developing a puppet production called the Bawesome Bunch, is at work on his new novel and draws inspiration by owning/operating his adventure park on the Island. He loves to paddle, play ball and travel.

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Timeline

I first had the idea for this book back in 2003. I remember being on a long road trip and telling Janice all about it. I didn't actually put pen to paper until 2006 and we didn't send it to the printers until 2011. It took about five years of very part-time writing to complete. I didn't expect it to take so long but that's what happens when you aren't a paid writer and have another job. We had to overcome a lot of obstacles and unexpected road blocks to get this thing done, but we are really happy to be able to share this story with anyone who chooses to read it.

Self-Published

This is an in-house, self-published book developed by myself with the help of my family and friends. I never pursued a publisher. It was not something I wanted to do for a couple of reasons. First, the odds of getting published are astronomically small as there are so many great writers out there. Secondly, and more importantly, I wanted to learn the process of bringing a book from an idea to actual form. That included writing, editing, cover design, printing, promotion, ISBN, copyright, distribution, cataloging and so forth. The book would likely have been more polished and released quicker with professional help (had anyone even wanted to publish it) but I've enjoyed the process immensely. I look at a project like this as an educational experience. Since it's doubtful I'll ever make money as an author, I might as well learn something while enjoying the creative outlet.

My Editors

I had several people help me in the editing process, but if you find mistakes don't blame them. I felt this was important because a creator is often too close to their work to examine it objectively. My wife Janice was my main editor, she has read this book more times than I care to count. Each time she finds mistakes and suggests improvements. My brother Kevin helped edit the first half of the book early on and several of my friends and family read it and gave me constructive feedback. I'm lucky to have skilled friends and family. When I felt it was in reasonably good shape I gave it to Leslie MacDonald to edit it a little more professionally. She helped out immensely and I'm grateful for her help.

The Inspiration

Basically the ideas for this book are a culmination of several of my childhood daydreams. As a kid, and even today, I want to be prepared if a genie ever pops up and offers me three wishes. So I have carefully considered what those wishes would be and the gifts are essentially the sum of those potential asks. There are a lot more to the gifts than meet the eyes and we'll learn more about them in the next couple of books. I can't wait to write more about them.

I set this book in Prince Edward Island as that's where I live and to quote Lucy Maud Montgomery, "You should write about things you know." Most of the other major locations are places I've had the privilege of visiting. Janice and I spent a year teaching English overseas and I draw on those experiences throughout.

Most of the characters in my book are the sum parts of actual people I've met. When I write about a character their actions and reactions are based on how I feel those actual people would react in similar circumstances.

Next Book

I am currently working on my new book, but it takes a long time to get it from a concept to a finished production so I've given up on estimating publication dates. I think it will take about six books to tell this whole story properly.

Writing Style

I only write when I know I have at least two consecutive days available to work because it takes about a day to get into a good groove and then another to take advantage of that groove. I love writing into the wee hours of the morning. I don't know why but it seems to be common joy amongst authors. Maybe its the stillness and quietness.

Over the years I've read all kinds of "how-to writing" articles and am fascinated that so many of them contradict each other. One says "never know your ending, always work towards it" while another says you should "always know your ending and work back from there." Personally I just daydream all the time. I currently have about four series of books that I would love to write. I like to think about stories, characters and incidents that would make for interesting reads. When I do write, I like to get it all out on the pages in rough form and then go back and clean it up later.

One of the main things I've learned is that everyone's style is different and you just have to do what works for you.

Favourite Authors

I love to read fiction, especially stories that move which is mainly action/adventure, spy, thrillers, murder mystery that sort of thing. Robert Ludlum is an author I would like to emulate. I like the way he develops his characters and sets his stage. I am a big fan of JK Rowling for a number of reason, one being that I actually got paid to read her first two books in prep for an English class I was teaching while living in Taiwan. I recently read the Hunger Games by Susanne Collins and could not put the first two books down. The third one was a little harder to get through as the scope of the story seemed to be bigger than her fist-person narrative but I enjoyed it none the less. I read a lot of mainstream authors like Dan Brown, John Grisham, Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler and John Steinback (although I find his books hard to finish). Of course I've read Lucy Maud Montgomery and am amazed at how many books she has sold.

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