Local Writer Thrills Sci-Fi Fans With New Book
By Sharon Mager
Arnold author Michael R. Hicks enjoys keeping people up all night reading his books. Hicks newest title, Season of the Harvest, grabs the reader from the first page and doesnt let go.
In his latest effort, FBI agent Sheldon Crane discovers a terrifying secret about a genetically altered organism, and the book opens with Crane, fatally stabbed, running from someone or something. He frantically has to hide a sample of his discovery in a way his pursuers wont find it, though he knows theyll tear everything up, including him to search.
Cranes best friend, Agent Jack Dawson, is heartbroken though committed to finding his friends killer, but Dawson is shocked and horrified to learn the unbelievable truth.
The writing is fast paced and his main character intense; Hicks, however, is a little more easy-going in real life. He has a gentle, relaxing way of talking and an easy laugh. He and his wife Jan enjoy an active outdoorsy life; both are physically active as BeachBody and P90X coaches.
Hicks loves the Sci-Fi genre. As a youngster he watched the original Star Trek shows and Lost in Space, as well as Saturday morning monster movies. He also read Sci-Fi books, one of his first favorites was Robert Heinleins Rocket Ship Galileo.
I still read a lot, but now I gravitate toward thrillers, Hicks said. Some of his favorite authors are Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, David Webber and David Drake.
Hicks began doodling ideas and stories in high school and later in college, but didnt start to really write books until 1991. It took him four years to complete his first, In Her Name.
He laughs and said he did things a little backwards to start. Most people write a series of books and put them in an omnibus. I put mine in an omnibus first and later broke it up, he said. But it worked.
Hicks self-published, usually a tough way to get serious recognition, but readers liked his books and started sharing praise on Kindle boards. Hicks said when he was first published in 2008, Amazon Kindle titles numbered about 60,000, now there are over 600,000 titles and growing. Hes pleased he got in on the ground floor before the E-Reader move kicked off.
Im seeing good royalties. Now Im waiting for the movie deal, he said with a smile.
Hicks has already started on his next book. He has to squeeze his writing in between his government job and a busy family life. He usually gets in a few hours each evening, though when he gets on a writing frenzy hes been known to be up all night or through the weekend.
Hicks was born in Frederick, MD, and his father was in the Army, so frequent travels throughout the United States and abroad were common during his childhood. He attended Arizona State University, served in the army, and moved back to Maryland for work. Now, he, Jan and their sons, Samuel and Ben, live near Anne Arundel Community College.
Season of the Harvest is available in multiple e-book formats on Amazon and through other online retailers. The print version will be available in late March.