Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of The Age of the Machine: Volume 1! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the series premise (as this is book one of a four-part series), and what inspired you to tell this story?
Michelle E. Lowe: Thank you so much! It’s wonderful to be here. The Age of the Machine is an action/adventure saga, combined with countless surprises and engaging characters. It all begins during the final battle of the American Civil War when human and automaton hybrids known as Living Automatons rebel against their masters and form their own army. The Machine Army soon launch a massive assault on London. Joaquin Landcross leaves his island home and enlists in the British Army, joining his older brother, Kolt, and a few other soldiers on a mission to help destroy the advanced technology that the Machine Army has developed.
In the second book, The Age of the Machine-Soul Thief, Joaquin and Kolt’s deceased father, Pierce Landcross, is brought back to life by a man named Dr. Duncan Hackett, who uses a cryo-chamber to snatch souls out of the spirit world with the intent of using this technology to become an earthbound demigod. Pierce desperately wants to return to his beloved wife, Taisia, still in the afterlife, but there are too many obstacles standing in his way, including a strange mind illness invading certain areas of England.
In The Age of the Machine-Other World, Pierce Landcross has crossed through the eons, one hundred-thirty-nine years into a barebones future, where all manner of water has been disintegrated. Pierce must travel to the bottom of what used to be the Atlantic Ocean to find two scientists who are heading for a floating city that the Machine Army had built and learn its secrets so to destroy it back in their own era. Earthquakes, volcanoes, and crossbred supernatural beings are what lies ahead for Pierce as he tries to stop the global threat he’s witnessing firsthand.
In the fourth and final book, The Age of the Machine-Ghost Fire, Pierce has returned from the future and reunites with his sons, Kolt and Joaquin, aiming to sink the Machine City. The final clash has begun, one that will determine the fate of our world.
What inspired me to write The Age of the Machine started developing while I was writing the Legacy series. Ideas began forming to where I was adding and rewriting so the Legacy stories, even the standalone, Boom Time, would link up to Age.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in writing the book, and what have been some of your creative influences?
MEL: I always start off with an outline, even though the finish project usually is far different from it. Outlines, after all, aren’t barbed wire fences, they’re just a compass guiding the story along. I then write the story in longhand before I type it all in. There’s just something about pen to paper that I prefer when writing the first draft.
I’m a huge fan of adventurous stories set in other worlds and universes. When I had engaged in stories, such as Neverending Story, The Sandman comics, Enemy Mind, Indiana Jones, and many others like them growing up, it really helped charge up my imagination. I guess when I write my own stories, it’s almost like being part of these worlds in a way.
BD: As this is a follow up to your Legacy book series, do you feel that this is a solid jumping-on point for both new readers and those who are returning to the Legacy world?
MEL: The Age of the Machine series is its own stories which takes place years after the Legacy story ended. There are references and flashbacks throughout, but not enough to take readers who haven’t read Legacy out of the story. I won’t lie that it wouldn’t hurt to read Legacy to understand more about the characters’ backgrounds, especially in the final book, Ghost Fire, which intertwines with Boom Time, but it’s not necessary regarding to the plots in Age. Those who have read the Legacy series, and Boom Time, will be surprised at how all these stories, starting from Book One of the Legacy chronicles, connect to this new series.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Joaquin’s story will connect with and impact readers?
MEL: I strongly embrace the idea of having diversity in stories, especially in fiction. Everyone should be able to see themselves in the material they read or the shows they watch, and so, I’ve tried to incorporate all walks of life into my own work. I want anyone who reads my books to not only be able to escape the outside world with ease but to feel that they’re part of the story.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
MEL: As of this moment, I only have the last two The Age of the Machine books to publish. Other World is set to be released on the 20th of September and Ghost Fire will come out sometime next year. In November, I will be releasing the audiobook of my science fiction / thriller novel, The Warning. After the publication of Other World, I am opening my own ghostwriting business!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Age of the Machine and your other work?
MEL: My website is full of information about all my books! Please visit www.michellelowe.net or follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Also, here is a link to the whole rundown about The Age of the Machine series, PLUS an exclusive preview of Other World in comic book form!