Many writers including myself, struggle to find time to write a short blog post, let alone a novel. Michael Pang has managed to juggle a busy family life, full-time work, volunteer work and still find time to write his first novel.
Michael Pang’s paranormal YA novel evolved from a dream . . .
Melanie: Can you give us a bit of your background?
Michael Pang: Well, I’m 31 years old and I’m married with two kids. I was born in Hong Kong and moved to the US when I was about 3 years old. I grew up in Central Florida and went off to Atlanta for college. I graduated from Georgia Tech back in 2005 and worked for an energy company as a project engineer up through 2013. In 2014, I started working for an IT company as a project manager.
I am a person that gets bored extremely quickly, so I like to dabble in a lot of different things. I have many passions in life that keep me from being idle. Writing and reading, of course, being two of my passions that have taken up much of my time. Other passions that I indulge upon are Cooking, Eating, Singing, and teaching.
Melanie: With a background in Engineering and IT, how did it come about that you decided to write a novel?
Michael Pang: I’ve always been very addicted to reading urban fantasy novels. After a long day at work, it feels great to be able to dive into a book where I can be drawn into a world that parallels my own, but filled with magic and wonder. If I had a good book in front of me, I used to be able to stay up all night reading (gone are those days though; I have kids now and I try to get as much sleep as I can get).
Although, I’ve always wanted to pursue writing, I didn’t really attempt writing a book until one night when I had a very strange dream.
Melanie: In The Eyes Of Madness (Declan Peters Chronicles Book 1) is your first book. What prompted you to write about the darker side of human nature?
Michael Pang: I guess I would say that the idea of my novel came to me in a somewhat mystical way. About four years ago, my wife and I had our first baby. Months of sleepless nights went by and we both looked like zombies. Then, one night a very strange dream (more like a nightmare) came to me about a teenager working in a mental asylum. The patients there were all gaunt and ghastly with very abrupt demeanor changes. Some of the things the patients were doing were fairly odd and supernatural (like levitating, retrieving objects via telekinesis, and speaking with multi-vocal projections). And I remember wandering to myself, are these people all just insane or demon possessed. Then the teenager went into a room and called the patient residing in the room, “mom.” She turned around abruptly, and the expression on her face was terrifying as she pounced on him.
I woke up immediately. As shaken from the dream as I was, I couldn’t help wanting to find out what happened to the teenager. I tried to go back to sleep in hopes of getting the dream to continue. But it didn’t work. The next morning, I told my wife about the strange dream and how I had hoped that it had continued when I went back to sleep. So my wife told me that it sounded like it would make an excellent novel and that I should write my own ending. And I did.
For a YA novel, the book might seem a little too dark. However, I wanted the book to carry that dark feeling that I had when I had that nightmare. At the same time, I’m just a huge fan on YA novels. So, this was my way of incorporating the two.
Melanie: I work with writers every day and one of the laments I hear the most is, “I can never find time to write!” You have a full time job, volunteer with your church, engage in numerous activities AND still managed to write a novel. Can you tell us about your writing process and how you squeeze “writing” into your all ready full schedule?
Michael Pang: It’s really strange how things seem to fall into place when it came to this book. When I had the strange dream, it was right around the time when I changed roles within the energy company that I was working for at the time. The new role required me to travel almost every other week. The flights were usually pretty long. There were only so many movies on the plane that you could possibly watch. So…during those times where I was on the plane or waiting in the airport, I wrote. Since the company always made me purchase the cheapest tickets I could find, I always had a pretty bad layover, thus more time to write. And eventually over a four-year period, it became a novel.
Melanie: “Declan Peters Chronicles Book 1” presumably means there is a Book 2 and maybe a Book 3. Can we look forward to Book 2 in the near future? Do you have other ideas for fiction or non-fiction books on the back burner?
Michael Pang: Yes, I’m in the process of writing book 2, which will explore more into Declan’s training and will reveal something very shocking about his father. I plan on completing the novel within a year, and possibly releasing by early 2017. Book 3 will somewhat close out the main conflict introduced within book 1, however, will leave a few loose ends to allow the series to continue. I haven’t quite decided how much longer I want the book series to go yet.
Now as for other books, I’m planning to also write a spin off book series that explores the pre-flood times. The series will start off with the first Nephilim and end with the great flood in the story of Noah’s Ark. There will be many cross over characters between the two series, you’ll have to read it to see how it will all work.
Melanie: Be sure to read Michael Pang’s In the Eyes of Madness. While it is suitable for YA readers, adults will definitely relate to the characters and the story! I personally am waiting for Book 2 and whatever else that follows!
You can read an excerpt of his book and keep in touch with Michael Pang at his website InTheEyesofMadness.com