Friday, October 23, 2009

Interview + Contest: Mike Wilks

Today, I 'm thrilled to welcome Mike Wilks - Artist, illustrator and author of nine books including the global bestseller The Ultimate Alphabet. Mirroscape was released in the U.S October 13, 2009.

What was your inspiration behind Mirrorscape?
What must have set the whole thing off was when, as a child, I came face to face with great paintings in the National Gallery in London. In particular the Flemish renaissance pictures were so finely painted and lifelike that it was easy to believe that I could step inside them and experience the worlds depicted by the artists. That experience eventually led me to study art, become an artist and, more recently, to write the Mirrorscape books.

How may books can we expect in this series?
I have written three books in this series so far. The first, Mirrorscape, tells the story of how Melkin Womper comes to the city of Vlam as an apprentice to the great master Ambrosius Blenk. Later, he discovers the secret of how to enter the world depicted in his master’s paintings – the Mirrorscape, a world full of wonders and terrors. He finds that the Mirrorscape is another universe created by many great artists before his master and he can travel from one painting to another.

Back in Vlam, the Fifth Mystery, the rich and all-powerful guild that governs the sense of sight, is trying to quell a rebellion stirred up by escaped prisoners from the Mystery’s pigment mines on the island of Kig. They are known as the Rainbow Rebels on account of their skin stained bright colours by their toil in the mines. When the Fifth Mystery kidnaps Ambrosius Blenk Mel, together with his friends Ludo and Wren, must ally themselves to the rebels and brave the dangers of the Mirrorscape to rescue him. Along the way they meet a walking, talking house, a many-faced butler and a couple of angels who enjoy nothing more than a spot of devilry.

In the following books, Mirrorstorm and Mirrorshade, Mel, Ludo and Wren become even more entangled in the strange world of the Mirrorscape where they meet wonderful new friends and make deadly new enemies.

If readers enjoy the first three Mirrorscape books there could be more in the future.

What’s the hardest part about writing your books?
Being a visual artist I have mental images in the most precise detail of everything in the Seven Kingdoms and the Mirrorscape. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of conveying these worlds in words rather than pictures is that I constantly have to pare down my descriptions to be able to fit within the confines of a book. I am always striving to express my vision while driving the story onwards.

Which author(s) have influenced your writing?
There are many writers that I admire and I dream of being able to write as well as Philip Pullman or Robert Louis Stevenson. Perhaps the writer that I admire most is Mervyn Peake. He was a superb artist who went on to write the Gormenghast trilogy (Titus Groan, Gormenghast, Titus Alone), one of the greatest works of fantasy literature ever.

But it is also artists that have inspired me. The character of Mel’s master, Ambrosius Blenk, was inspired by the great Flemish artist Hieronymus Bosch. If I have learnt anything from these writers and artists and their unique voices it is that I should never attempt to imitate anyone else.

What is the best compliment a reader has said about your books?
Some readers have told me that they have become as lost in the world of the Mirrorscape as I was when I wrote it. The greatest compliment must be that they are able to see with their mind’s eye exactly what I saw with mine when I wrote it.

What’s next for you? Are you working on any other projects?
As I have only recently finished the three Mirrorscape books I am back working on my drawings and paintings for a spell but I have a wealth of other stories that I intend to write.

Is there any additional info you would like to share with the readers?
I really hope that they enjoy Mirrorscape and its sequels. But more than that, I hope that it inspires them to seek out great works of art and to experience a little of the thrill that I feel when I look at them.

And please let me know what you think of Mirrorscape.

http://www.mike-wilks.com/

http://www.mirrorscape.co.uk/



Thanks Mike!

For more information about Mike Wilks and his books, please visit his website above.



********************Contest Closed********************


I have a copy of Mirrorscape (ARC) for a giveaway.

Rules: 1 Winner

Comment on Interview +1
Comment on Review here + 1
Link to blog: +1
Follow me on Twitter +1
Follower : +2
Total = 6 entries

Contest ends @ midnight (CST) November 5, 2009. U.S. and Canada Residents Only (Sorry!)

19 comments:

  1. Thanks - I loved hearing all about his ideas and writing. And woohoo for Robert Louis Stevenson! I think it takes extra awesome people to enjoy him.
    Comment on Interview +1
    Follower : +2
    rae_sunshine4(at)yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would LOVE to win this!
    Thankyou! :D:D:D

    2+ follower

    -Lindsay

    lindsay15photo@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to enter!

    For My Comment on Interview +1
    For My Comment on Review + 1
    I follow you on Twitter +1 (@Lauren817)
    I'm already a Follower +2

    Lauren
    laurenscrammedbookshelf@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. I hope that Mike will write more than 3!

    +1 commented on review

    +1 Commented on interview

    +2 follower

    Thanks!

    tlgbrs@gmail.com if it is easier

    I am DYING to read this one! thanks
    Dave

    ReplyDelete
  5. Glad to hear that this will be a trilogy, as I'm never satisfied with just one book when it's that good. Please enter me!

    Commented on Interview +1
    Commented on Review + 1
    Follow on Twitter +1
    Follower +2

    Thanks!

    alexia561@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have been eyeing this one for a while. Please enter me.

    Link to blog: +1
    neverendingshelf.blogspot.com
    Follow me on Twitter +1
    Follower : +2

    neverendingshelf@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great interview! This book sounds amazing. I'm not an artist, but I have a great appreciation and curiosity about art. I love the idea of being able to enter into a picture... I wish I could do that in some Renaissance paintings... to be able to see what is happening past what the painting shows.

    +1 interview comment
    +1 review comment
    +1 linked to sidebar @ http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com
    +1 Twitter follower (@thehidingspot)
    +2 blog follower

    Thanks!
    grochowskis@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I believe art is very important to children. I enjoyed it myself while in school and it saddens me that our local schools aren't offering it.

    Comment on Interview +1
    Comment on Review + 1
    Follow on Twitter +1 @ddurance
    Follower +2

    Deidre
    deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great interview! This book sounds really interesting and I am glad to here it is part of a series.

    +1 Commented on Interview

    +1 Commented on Review

    +1 Follow on twitter @throuthehaze

    +2 Follower

    Raelena
    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  10. Would love to read this novel!

    I am a follower of your blog and twitter!

    faked_sugartone at hotmail

    ReplyDelete
  11. Nice giveaway!

    +1 Comment on Interview: Nice interview, he seems like a cool guy!
    + 1 I Commented on your awesome review
    +1 Already follow u on Twitter (@lafemmereaders)
    +2 I'm an old Follower

    Thanks!
    -Eleni
    lafemmereaders@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I didn't know this was part of a trilogy. Glad to hear it!
    Great interview. It's cool to find out he drawns and paints.

    +1 commented on review
    +1 follow on twitter (juskeepreading)
    +2 follower
    +1 commented on interview

    foltzsfantasticbooks at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Link to blog: +1

    Follower : +2

    Sarah
    two_of_hearts_101 at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. i'm a follower!
    i'm also going to follow on twitter!

    thanks!

    stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

    ReplyDelete
  15. So after the review I wanted to read this; now I am DYING to read this! It looks amazing! I love the authors that he was influenced by, and I love the idea of getting lost in the world he has created. Sounds like my favorite kind of book!
    +1 comment on interview
    +1 comment on review
    +1 contest in my sidebar (http://brizmusblogsbooks.blogspot.com)
    +1 follow you on twitter (@brimzus)
    +2 follower

    yay!
    zedster.tbb(at)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I am ashamed to say, I've never before heard of Mr. Wilks before but the book sounds interesting.
    I'm not exactly sure how can I enter to win a book - do I have to amass the numbers or can I just say I'm interested and hope for the best? :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This sounds like an absolutely awesome book! Please enter me.

    +1 I became a twitter follower (a few days ago)! (Twitter Display Name: Shadowofwonder)

    +1 Posted about this contest with a link on my sidebar at
    http://gimmethatbookbeforeipunchyou.blogspot.com/

    +2 blogger follower!

    Shadowofwonder47[at]yahoo[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Enter me please! It's amazing how one little incident in your life can change your life so much!

    +1 Commented on Interview
    +1 Commented on Review
    +1 Follow on twitter @naggy8
    +2 Follower

    lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  19. The premise of Mirrorscape is fascinating! It sounds like a book that I really want to read!

    Comment on Interview +1
    Comment on Review + 1
    Link to blog (sidebar - http://paradoxrevealed.blogspot.com/): +1
    I Follow you on Twitter (@ParadoxRevealed) +1
    Follower : +2

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

    ReplyDelete

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