All posts by Mike

Genre-bending writer.

John Milius, Hollywood Wildman

John Milius

John Milius was once a force of nature in Hollywood. He co-wrote the first two Dirty Harry films, received an Academy Award nomination as screenwriter of Apocalypse Now, and wrote and directed The Wind and the Lion, Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn.

Here’s an interesting anecdote about Milius, from the Castalia House blog:

My all-time favorite Milius story concerns his frequent battles with producers and other movie executives.

One day, Milius was describing the concept of a movie he was writing to a woman who was high up on the studio chain. It was a macabre tale of a soldier betraying his king, filled with murder, sex, and madness.

At the end, the female movie executive gets up and exclaims; “Mr. Milius, what you have told me is absolutely disgusting and awful! We have no interest in making any film like that, and hope you will work hard to come up with something better!” She walks off.

Milius then looks at a man who witnessed all this, shrugs his shoulders, and says “Some people just don’t dig Shakespeare.” He had described Macbeth to her.

Good thing he didn’t pitch Coriolanus.

Jamaica Kincaid on How to Live and How to Write

Jamaica Kincaid

I must confess I am not familiar with Jamaica Kincaid or her works, but this collection of her quotes in Literary Hub makes me hunger for more. Here’s a small sample:

  • A professional writer is a joke. You write because you can’t do anything else, and then you have another job. I’m always telling my students go to law school or become a doctor, do something, and then write. First of all you should have something to write about, and you only have something to write about if you do something.
  • Life has a truth to it, and it’s complicated—it’s love and it’s hatred. Love and hatred don’t take turns; they exist side by side at the same time. And one’s duty, one’s obligation every day, is to choose to follow the nobler one.
  • I want to write until I die, and I hope to live a long time. I don’t want to reach a plateau; what I am interested in is living, living.

Ha! Love it. Want to read more? Check out the rest at Literary Hub.

Author Interviews with Cathleen Townsend

Author interviews

Cathleen Townsend’s Author Interviews is a respected online treasure. I’m honored to be included in the company of Dan Alatorre, D. Wallace Peach, and E. E. Rawls, just to name a few of the authors Cathleen has featured over the years.

Frankly, I had to dig deep to answer some of her questions, which revealed genuine insight and appreciation for the writing process. Cathleen asked me about projects that took me out of my comfort zone, my writing heroes, and about my latest book, The Genie Hunt. Here’s Cathleen Townsend’s Interview with M. C. Tuggle.

Review: The Genie Hunt by M.C. Tuggle

The Genie Hunt

Super-blogger Cristian Mihai reviews my novella The Genie Hunt:

If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know I’m not the one to provide a synopsis of sorts, or write about the usual aspects of storytelling.

What matters most about the book, the essence of it, is the aftertaste, the way it makes you feel after having read it.

Is it worth it? Do you recommend it? Would you read it again?

The Genie Hunt by M.C. Tuggle is a short, fast read. The supernatural adds an interesting twist to a classical suspense storyline.

Thank you, Cristian! Read the rest at Cristian Mihai.

Twenty-four Days

Twenty-Four Days

I bought my copy and can’t wait to read it! That cover is thing of beauty. Here’s a synopsis:

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.

At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.

In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.

But the second, Otto can’t locate.

Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi–the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.

And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.

As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.

The reader and pro reviews are simply red-hot:

Kirkus Review:

A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. … A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale

Here’s what readers say:

 – J Murray’s long anticipated thriller, To Hunt a Sub, is a satisfying read from a fresh voice in the genre, and well worth the wait. The time devoted to research paid off, providing a much-appreciated authenticity to the sciency aspects of the plot. The author also departs from the formulaic pacing and heroics of contemporary commercialized thrillers. Instead, the moderately paced narrative is a seduction, rather than a sledgehammer.

 – One thing I enjoyed about this read is the technical reality Murray created for both the scientific and military aspects of the book. I completely believed the naval and investigatory hierarchy and protocols, as well as the operation inside the sub. I was fascinated by her explanation of Otto’s capabilities, the security efforts Kali employs to protect her data, and how she used Otto’s data to help Rowe.

 – The research and technical details she included in this book had me in complete awe. A cybervirus is crippling submarines–and as subs sunk to the bottom of the ocean, I found myself having a hard time breathing. It’s up to Zeke and Kali to save the entire country using their brains. If you love thrillers, this is definitely one you can’t miss!

Available now on Amazon.