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Myke Cole (MC) is a new and emerging author of the Shadow Ops Series. Across many literary genres Myke’s characters have found themselves at home with history buffs, fantasy fans and military thriller readers. In many ways, this is a new avenue of book writing, one that has great potential. With the second book “Fortress Frontier” due out at the beginning of 2012, ToonariPost (TP) caught up with him at New York Comic Con 2012. In person Myke Cole is personable and welcoming. He has no problem talking to fans who walk up to him as long as he’s not creating a traffic jams at conventions. It was a pleasure to be able to speak with him on his convention experiences and about his growing fan base as well.
TP: What did you think of this year’s New York Comic con as opposed to 2011?
MC: NYCC just gets bigger and bigger every year. On the one hand, it’s great to see the things I love finding a wider and wider audience. On the other hand, it takes longer and longer just to walk ten feet, and the place starts to smell like a monkey house earlier and earlier.
TP: What do you find the most interesting about New York Comic Con in particular?
MC: That geek is now chic. *All* of this stuff: comic books, fantasy novels, video games, cosplaying, tabletop gaming, etc . . . It was all grounds for being shunted into a social corner when I was growing up. There’s a temptation to be resentful of the Johnny-Come-Latelys. Clan membership is all about inside jokes, exclusivity and a sense of having a space that’s all your own. But the truth is that clannishness sucks, and if I love something, I want to share it with as many people as possible. Being a “geek” used to mean that you were part of a small group. Now, being a geek means that you have access to pop culture in some way. And that’s a good thing.
TP: Where do you see improvements for how New York Comic con can be executed?
MC: Eliminate bottlenecks. The escalators funnel people into packed cattle-chutes that create a trampling risk and make exiting the hall take a frustratingly long time. This could be fixed by replaced the narrow escalators (and the column between them) with a broad staircase. You’d need to install elevators for those with disabilities to have access. It would cost a lot to make these changes, but it would be worth it, and it’s not like NYCC (and the Javitts Center) isn’t turning a profit.
TP: Were there any of your fellow authors that you follow at NYCC? Also, you’ve mentioned Peter Brett but who else do you read in your spare time?
MC: Apart from Pete, I didn’t run into any other novelists who I follow at NYCC, but there are plenty of great writers I can recommend. My current favorites in fantasy/science-fiction are Pete, Daniel Polansky, Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch, Pat Rothfuss, Naomi Novik, Orson Scott Card, Jack Campbell . . . there’s a new author named Wesley Chu who has a fun book about to come out from Angry Robot in May.
TP: For the growing base of Myke Cole fans, who do you think they are?
MC: It’s a diverse lot. I am very fortunate to have inherited a lot of Jim Butcher’s fans. There is a core group of die-hard Butcherites who I met at last year’s NYCC, and who became personal friends. They have been avid proselytizers for my work and have helped spread the word among urban fantasy devotees. I’ve also gotten some cross over from fans of straight military SF who follow Jack Campbell (because of a blurb from him). I did a bit guest blogging and interviews in the romance community online, and that helped me net some romance readers (which I’m really grateful for. I was worried that a testosterone-fueled, military story wouldn’t appeal to romance fans, and I’m really gratified to find it does). Peter V. Brett’s blurb (Black Hawk Down meets the X-Men) was perhaps the biggest boost to my career that I could ever hope for. I’ve lost count of how many people have told me they picked up the book based on that blurb.
TP: Similarly who else are you hoping to attract with this book series?
MC: If this series is ever going to be the mega-success I would love for it to be, it has to jump off the genre track and hook the straight military/thriller fans who enjoy Tom Clancy, Vince Flynn and James Patterson.
TP: What other conventions do you attend where fans can find you?
MC: All of them, I think. I’ve done Boskone, Balticon, Arisia, San Diego Comic Con, Lunacon, Confusion, Philcon, World Fantasy Con and WorldCon, just to name a few. I’m always open to more. A hotel full of like-minded people who will hang out, talk geek and even game with me? And it’s a tax write off? Hell, sign me up.
Image Courtesy of http://mykecole.com