A Walk in the Sun, fiction, Issue 28, September 1, 2014
When did you start writing? I remember acquiring a toy typewriter my sister received as a birthday present and writing my first science fiction story when I was about eight years old. I 'two finger' tapped a swirling space opera that bore a startling resemblance to Battlestar Galactica, the old one where the cylons looked like homicidal vacuum cleaners rather than the new one where cylons look like supermodels.
When and what and where did you first get published? I had written on and off since that first story but never seriously considered seeking to be published. In 2008 I worked in Afghanistan and thought hard about my writing and decided to try to be published. I wrote a horror story called “Sins of the Flesh” and sold it to Night to Dawn. I haven’t stopped since.
What themes do you like to write about? I don’t have many thematic pretensions. I first write characters and the stories grow around them. It probably seems a bit empty but I don’t go looking for theme and I am often surprised when a theme is pointed out to me.
What books and/or stories have most resonated with you as an author? Why? How do these stories and their characters find expression in your work? I read Stephen King as a teenager, I think everyone did, and fell for his simple story telling and strong characterisation. I enjoy literary crime fiction - especially James Lee Burke and the crossover crime supernatural novels of John Connolly. I would love to find some comparison of my work to any of the above but alas I am a work in progress.
Mike O’Reilly is a doctor. He has been an emergency doctor for the past 9 years and has only recently made a momentous career choice. He is married and has a young son. All of the above adds up to a time deficit that he struggles to make up. He has been writing a long time, but it took him a long time to learn how to finish a story. He writes short stories that people seem to want to read, a fact that amazes and humbles him.