Michael R. Baker studied history at University of Sunderland, and at last he found a use for his degree. The idea for Counterbalance came off the back of an exhausting bus journey, ironically starting an even longer voyage into writing and publishing fantasy. Alongside his passion for storytelling and worldbuilding, Michael is an avid video gamer and cartographer, bringing his fantasy world and others from the mind onto paper reality. The Thousand Scars is Michael’s debut novel, and the first of the epic fantasy series.
You can travel to any planet or moon in the Solar System. Where would you go, why and what would you do there?
Well, we already now that I know shit about planets – I said to Devin I picked Neptune based on its pretty colours – so I don’t think I should be trusted to leave Earth under any circumstances. Besides there are so many places here on Earth I haven’t visit yet, why would go so far for a little leisure trip? I don’t think it would be comfortable anyway all dressed up in that horrible outfit. And I’ve seen Interstellar, I know there are hardly any planets out there that can be habited anyway. So, thank you very much, but I’m staying where I am, discovering this nice planet. And probably I would go on a little massacre spree, you know, just to trim humanity down a bit and save the planet. Nothing personal.
What would be your ideal fantasy novel?
Whoa… first off we need a snarky guy with a dark sense of humor, an exotic setting, lot of mythology, some kind of familiar, a villain you love hating, some intelligent/sarcastic creatures with a dirty mouth and some other side characters.
Would you rather fight an elephant sized panda or twenty panda-sized elephants?
Why would I fight with a panda??? Are you crazy?? You didn’t make this choice easy for me, did you? I can’t fight a panda, obviously. But then how the hell do you fight 20 elephants at once?? Even if they a bit smaller than usual. It’s impossible to fight 20 opponents especially when they are strong and have trunks too.
What is your spirit animal?
Well, if the last 2 weeks worth of posts didn’t make it clear yet, then here you go: my spirit animal is a panda. Duh.
If you could be a LOTR character, who would you be and why?
No idea. And I think it’s confession time – I was able to avoid this for a year – I haven’t read LOTR or watched the movies (except the third I think). I tried to make myself watch the first a few times, but I just couldn’t. Here, I said it, please don’t spam my e-mail account with hate letters.
Who would win in a fight out of all the SPFBO judges?
Ugh, that’s a tough question. Maybe Mihir, he is a doc, he knows where he can cause the most damage if he wants. I probably wouldn’t rule out Lukasz either, he sounds like someone you shouldn’t get into a fight with. Come to think of it… the whole Fantasy Book Critic team sounds like they made up with tough guys. Interesting. And let’s not forget about Kristen (Superstardrifter) either, who likes archery.
Who would win in a fight out of all the SPFBO finalists?
Ugh… maybe Devin? I mean, she has a lot of knowledge about how to behead someone and likes to play with stabbies. That can come handy in a fight.
Pick any three characters from a fiction novel. These are now your road trip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
Can I pick from several novels? Well, this is my gig, so I say I can. First I pick Biff from Lamb. He has a sarcastic humor, knowledges about explosive and he is really crafty. Then let’s pick Daniel Faust – a magician, with quite a few tricks of his own and good relationship with Hell. We also need a musician, so let’s pick Marek the bard from Kingshold. We need to bring him up to date on music, but we’ll need someone to commemorate our heroic deeds – okay, who am I kidding, we need someone to make people remember all the havoc we wreak wherever we go and play awesome background music. We would travel through the world, see all the cool places, kick some ass.
What would be your ideal place to go on holiday from anywhere in the world?
Well, I’ve mentioned Japan a few times as a place I want to visit. But if we talk about a holiday like a classic summer holiday, I’d like to go to Greece, or back to California or some mediterranean place like Barbados. Where I could lounge on a beach under an umbrella with my mp3 player and a good book.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to do blogging as well as you?
I’m not sure I’m doing well. I mean I’ve only been into it for a year, and I just started to really get my name out there. But let’s see. Advice. Okay. First off, you need to be dedicated, you have to be present on different social media platforms of your choice, engage with people, be yourself – except if you are an asshole, then don’t -, don’t miss out on opportunities when they come around and just have fun!
If you’d like to get in contact with Michael Baker, you can find him on social media:
Check out Michael’s first book in the Counterbalance series, The Thousand Scars which was one of the SPFBO entries this year: