Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Michael Cantwell

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I have been a resident of South Florida for over thirty years after growing up in New Jersey and attending college in Philadelphia. My first novel was about a musician and written on a bet that I couldn’t write a best-selling novel. After writing my first story, I now realize it’s more difficult to sell a book than it is to write one. That’s not to say I don’t try to improve my skills with each novel, I do. But the marketing is a job all on its own. I made a decision to use my real name from the start after considering a few pen names. But I knew from marketing myself as a commercial real estate agent, branding is important. I didn’t want to have to brand multiple names. 

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

My past three novels are about a character named Caeles Novo. He believes his destiny was to remove the souls from people who no longer could appreciate all that was given to them. He was part of a group of soul stealers who had grown tired of stealing souls and wanted to be like many people with ambitions of being community and world leaders. Caeles tried to convince them to return to their original mission. Along the way, he met a series of people who have lost their way and Caeles had to decide if they deserved a second chance and redemption or lose their soul forever. He also met a few characters destined to help him, who themselves had major flaws, like a woman with multiple personalities and a doctor who wanted to cure cancer and in the process destroy Caeles.

Are you a parent?

I am a husband and father of three beautiful children. I have an older daughter and a boy and girl set of twins in college.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

It’s not as hard for me because my kids are older. Had I tried to write ten years ago, I would think my response would be different. I believe I was an active parent in coaching teams and attending games and doing other things busy parents do. Between working, being a parent, coaching teams, volunteering on committees, it would have been near impossible to have written ten years ago. Now I have more time.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

My first two novels, A Beautiful Song and Three Long Days have many stories based on things that have happened to me and characters I know in my life. In particular the second one, almost all the names expect for the main character are based on people from my past or current friends. The three soul books, many of the people who lose their souls are based on stories that were current events in the paper the day I wrote them. For example an athlete based in the Boston area charged with murder should be familiar to many Patriots fans, but I changed it to be the Bruins and changed some of the circumstances to make him a fictional character. But I use my life experiences or the news for much of my writing.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

All of my books are based on how far would you push your ethics to accomplish your goals. They also allow the reader to make their own choice as to what is right and what is wrong for them. I don’t attempt to push my values on anyone. But I might try to get the reader to think about their own choices and values.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

I tend to stay busy. I was a Junior Achievement volunteer for many years. I served on school committees, was the president of the local chamber of commerce as well as president of the local commercial real estate board. I have been coaching teams since I was in high school. In the past two years, I have started to unwind and devote more time to writing. I still coach one team, but even that is on a year to year basis. My hobby is photography. I photograph nature, spring training baseball, and volleyball among other subjects.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

My readers would likely pick Dylan James the guitar player from “A Beautiful Song” who does make an appearance in all my books. It would be difficult for me not to pick Dylan but I might pick Rose from “Soul Directive” and “Fortunate Soul”. The reason why is because she has three distinct personalities. I think we all have a little Rose in us. 

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?

I have started a new book that might turn into a series. It is the story about a young boy who speaks with dead presidents. They teach him history from their own successes and failures based on actual history. It will be written for a younger audience who might not like history. I am attempting to make it fun and not a pure history book. Wish me luck.

Soul Intentions
Leadership and Redemption
Book One
Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615725741

Number of pages: 292
Word Count: 95,068

Book Description:

Caeles Novo has lost count at how many times he has taken a soul. He now fears his actions are not saving his existence, but damaging it. It is a painful transition when you question if your life has been a lie

Soul Directive
Leadership and Redemption
Book Two
Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615838359

Number of pages: 302
Word Count: 87,067

Book Description:

Caeles Novo continues his journey of seeking broken souls that he started in “Soul Intentions”. Caeles is now the leader of his disciples and must discover the mystery as to why so few soul stealers remain on earth. He learns the high cost of both leadership and success. Caeles is assigned to remove the soul of an internet blogger who is spreading false information for the President of the United States, a man who trains fighting dogs and others. He meets up with a Doctor about to cure cancer and a woman with multiple personalities. He does all this while attempting to lead his people and be a good husband and father.

Fortunate Soul
Leadership and Redemption
Book Three
Michael Cantwell, CCIM

Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Publisher: KSM Publishing

ISBN: 978-0615937380

Number of pages: 328
Word Count: 90,620

Book Description:

In this third installment, Caeles Novo has been removed as leader of the Council. He now seeks revenge for those who have taken away his power to remove souls and is on a journey to return his disciples back to their original mission.

About the Author:

Michael Cantwell, CCIM (1958-present) is an author and commercial real estate agent in Florida as well as a published photographer. He was born in Ft. Campbell KY, raised in Trenton, NJ, graduated college at LaSalle University in Philadelphia, PA. He now resides in Palm Beach County, Florida. He is married with three children and one dog. He loves music and is a Miami Marlins, Dolphins, Panthers and Heat fan. He also enjoys strolling Florida with his camera at hand. He has served on many board of directors and volunteered many hours as a coach for baseball and basketball as well as for Junior Achievement in many schools around South Florida.

Web –

Twitter - @ksmmike

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1 comment:

Michael Cantwell said...

Thanks for the exposure Wenona. Good luck with your writing and your site.