Meet Michel R. Vaillancourt!
I was born just after man landed on the moon. I grew up with New Wave and Friday Night Videos as the soundtrack to my teen years. My first computer was a Commodore 64 that I bought with money I earned from Sea Cadet camp. I was a geek when it wasn’t cool, tapped into an international FidoNet and an Internet no one knew about at 1200 baud.
My Mom was a Navy Wife; my Dad was an Officer and a gentleman. I stole my Dad’s National Geographic and Popular Science magazines. My Mom gave me her wisdom, patience and and enough rope.
The Berlin Wall fell during my first try at University. I served during the Persian Gulf War as the first shocks of the New World Order started rippling outwards.
I was married, had a wonderful son, and divorced. I’ve gotten remarried, to an amazing friend and bright light in my world.
I’m into Steampunk, the Society for Creative Anachronism, table-top Role-Playing Games, and MMORPG gaming. Hal-Con, WolfCon, NovaCon, ConSeption, DraCONis, Steamcon.
I’ve been around the world in 180 days. I’m thinking about building an Earthship. I still fight with swords.
I’m a bit complicated, a bit hard-nosed and a bit soft-hearted. My friends are my awesome.
Hello! What’s your name?
Michel R Vaillancourt
What do you write and why?
I write because I have questions that bother me, and then once I figure out the answers, I start wondering about the people that would have those answers. So, for example, my upcoming novel, “The Sauder Diaries” really answers the question of “what would a world with airship pirates look like”.
Do you read the same genre that you write? Why or why not?
I’ve been reading since I was a toddler. As a result, I have read a lot of different genres. In this case, however, I have not actually read a lot of Steampunk fiction. I fall in love with richly described worlds and there are some real masters out there right now. So, I wanted to be sure that my vision of what I wanted to bring forward stayed my vision.
I have a stack of Steampunk books at home that I am going to dive into as soon as my current project is finished. I can’t wait!
What is the title you are promoting right now?
It is my first release, “The Sauder Diaries”.
What is it about?
It is a story about the shattering of a sheltered young man’s notions and his coming of age in a world that turns out to be very different than he though it was.
Hans Sauder, the son of an Industrialist, is aboard a passenger ship heading for Stockholm when the ship is attacked and boarded by pirates. The infamous pirate captain makes Hans an offer he cannot refuse.
Thus begins the “diaries”, detailing his travels — the reader is treated to Han’s impressions of events and then gets to see what really happened.
Hans and his new cast of friends are hunted by the airship navies of Allied Europe, chased into hiding in Egypt, board merchant ships over Germany, and visit hidden blackmarket trade centers. Things really get rough when they are hired to under take a dangerous mission in the skies of the Russian Empire.
What makes this book different from others in your genre?
**laughs** I don’t know. I haven’t had the chance to read them.
What I am hoping is different is that what I have done is spent a lot of time researching the Steampunk community and tuning in on what themes seem to resonate within it. This is a book for Steampunks, by a new member of the group.
What’s the story behind the story?
As I say in a blog post, it started with a complaint, an argument and two pretty girls. In a conversation in the fall of 2010, a good friend of mine said she was having a problems finding good Steampunk fiction. She wanted pirates, airships, pretty costumes, and fabulous locations that saw more of the world than just London.
That led to a discussion between my wife and I about how airship piracy would actually work. By the time we were done talking, I had three pages of notes that said how it would work and what the world would be like.
From there, the idea of writing a story that explored that world and the people in it hit me like a tree trunk.
What is your goal as an author?
I’m a story teller. I do spoken word presentations as part of a medieval recreation group I am a part of. My goal as a story teller is to sweep the audience along. I want to know that when either I am done talking, or they are done reading, that they have felt something.
Are you working on anything new? Give us a preview of what’s to come!
I’m already working on the second book of “The Sauder Diaries”, tentatively titled “A Bloodier Rose”. Depending on sales and reviews, I would love to do a third. There an awful lot of stories that bunch of pirates have left in them.
Who is your favorite author and what is your favorite book?
Double answer; Anne McCaffery’s “Dragon Riders of Pern” and Robert A. Heinlein’s “Have Spacesuit, Will Travel”.
Where can readers find you and your work?
It will be on Amazon and B/N via Trestle Press in mid-December in eBook format. From there, we hope to have wide distribution paperback.
What’s your view on the self-publishing/traditional publishing thing? Ideally, which one would you prefer and why?
I am a product of my age on this topic. While I know that all the tools are there to self-publish effectively and I know some authors being very successful doing it, I personally feel more credible as a starting author going the more traditional route. That said, I went with a small press publisher.
Do you have a favorite quote?
One of my favorites is: “Common Sense is Genius dressed up in work clothes” – Unknown
… my wife is a good example of that.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
I really hope that if you are looking for a rollicking Steampunk airship pirate adventure that you’ll give “The Sauder Diaries” a read. If you do, I really hope you let me what you think!
Awesome, thanks for allowing me to interview you!
Thank-you! I appreciate the opportunity to talk to your readers a whole lot!
Please take a moment to visit Michel at the links below!!