My Writing Influences – Alan Dean Foster

When I first started reading I gravitated to Science Fiction novels. In fact, when I was four or five, I picked up one of my parents novels and began to teach myself to read from it. No Dick, Jane and Spot for me (at least, not until I went to school).

I read everything I could find that was Science Fiction. At some point, I’m not exactly sure where or even when, I discovered Alan Dean Foster.

The first book of his that I read was a Pip and Flinx adventure. It was my first introduction into Dean’s Humanx Commonwealth but I was immediately hooked. From that moment forward, I eagerly scanned the shelves of bookstores, libraries and anywhere else I could find books for the next Alan Dean Foster book.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what captivated me the most about his books. Was it the exotic locals? The swashbuckling adventure or the complex characters? Most likely it was a combination of all of those elements. It helped set the stage for my future writing aspirations.

He also showed me how, one story at a time, an author can build an entire universe.

That’s maybe the biggest thing I take away from his writing. I have read Humanx Commonwealth books from the viewpoints of many different characters on many different worlds in different times even. Alan Dean Foster manages to make them all play together even when the only common thread is the reference to Humanx Commonwealth. Just knowing the story is taking place in the broader setting helps make things familiar.

On that note, I’ve been asked if my stories all take place in the same universe. As much fun as that would be, there are certain things that prevent that from being possible. For example, in the Mik Murdoch universe, a zombie apocalypse has never happened (and likely never will). That excludes my Boyscouts of the Apocalypse book from being in the same continuity.

GalaxyBillies and Mik Murdoch might be. It feels like a real stretch for them to exist together, but who knows? GalaxyBillies and Champ McKay definitely are.

Characterization was important for Alan Dean Foster as was making the different races unique. That included ensuring that they all had different likes/dislikes/customs and cultural norms. Methods of expression were different, strengths and weaknesses were dependent on body types and so on. Truly outstanding.

My hope is to spend more time in the broader galaxy I’m creating. I love the idea of creating new races and having them interact with each other. Earth may or may not be a big player in the coming stories. Anything is possible.


Get Published Episode 148 – Michell Plested talks Mik Murdoch 3

It isn’t often that I am on the receiving end of an interview but that is exactly what is happening in today’s episode. Get Published Associate Producer and my evil alter-ego, Jeff Hite talks to me about Mik Murdoch 3. It was fun being on the receiving end of an interview and talking about my process for writing the Mik Murdoch series.

And while I have your attention, Mik Murdoch, The Power Within is eligible to be nominated for a Prix Aurora this year. If you are Canadian and would like to help me get my newest book into the awards, I would ask you to go to You need a membership but the cost will also gain you eBook copies of all the nominated books. A bargain for $10. That membership will allow you to both nominate and vote for the awards. There will be a link in the show notes.

I would really appreciate your support.

And before we begin the show, I would like to remind you that if you have any questions or comments, you can send them to If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will find the person best suited to answer it and play it on the show.

Show Notes

00:00 — Opening – Get Published Episode 148 – Michell Plested talks Mik Murdoch 3

Everything has to start somewhere and this is the start of “Get Published”

00:14 — Introduction – Get Published Episode 148 – Michell Plested talks Mik Murdoch 3 (continued)

Welcome to the show.

01:37 – Promo – Nutty Bites

02:13 Get Published Episode 148 – Michell Plested talks Mik Murdoch 3 (continued)

Jeff and Mike discuss:

  • Mik Murdoch, writing a series, short stories, LE Modesitt Jr., Anne McCaffrey

28:30 – Promo – It’s Science Bitch

29:04 — Closing

Thank you for listening.

Websites mentioned in this episode:

Michell Plested –

Nutty Bites –

Prix Aurora Awards –



Low Ebb

I hate being sick. One of the only things worse than being sick is being sick AND tired.

Okay, so I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Stupid cold started its merciless attack last Friday night. I immediately dosed up on vitamin C hoping against hope that I could ward off the worst of it.

I was, as I usually am, wrong. But hope does spring eternal.

So, I got progressively worse over the course of the weekend to the point where I stopped getting anything resembling normal sleep (which isn’t terribly normal at the best of times).

Voice started to go.

Crankiness (more crankiness than usual) set in.

Did an interview for Get Published about Mik 3 – it made sense at the time.

And now, here I am. Trying to figure out how I can get rid of this cold and get a bunch of things done in what is proving to be my busiest week in a long time.

End of whinging (yes, I said whinging, not whining).

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