Michael Faudet, international best selling author of Dirty Pretty Things, Bitter Sweet Love, Smoke & Mirrors, and his newest book, Winter of Summers, which was released in Fall of 2018. Michael, truly, is a magician of words and is a natural at expressing and putting a spotlight on how love plays a central role in the human experience.
His writing has captured the hearts of many around the world. With over one million followers on social media, his books about love, emotion, and the human experience can touch us all. He has undeniably inspired readers and his talent has generated much-deserved adoration for the mysterious writer.
Mr. Faudet generously answered a list of questions for me, and I am incredibly thrilled to share them here. From his famous relationship with fellow best selling author, Lang Leav, to reflections on how his writing has spread across the Internet, to how New Zealand and his little house by the sea has been a source of inspiration for him, Michael has certainly brought fragrant roses to Rosy BVM, and I hope you all enjoy this interview as much as I do.
Bianca: How long have you been writing and did you always want to be a writer?
Michael: I’ve always written in one way or another. Even as a child I had a habit of writing weird and wacky stories. I also enjoyed many years working in advertising as a creative director, creating campaigns for numerous international brands. So writing and playing with words has been an integral part of my life.
In 2008, I walked away from the hype and hustle of advertising and moved to New Zealand. It’s here that I wrote my first book, Dirty Pretty Things, and every book since. And I hope to write many more in this beautiful part of the world. (Including my first novel.) Of course, none of this would be possible without the wonderful support of my readers.
Bianca: Much of your poetry comes in short bursts (short resonant bursts) and there’s a distinctly human quality to them – themes of love, erotica, and the human experience: do you think this resonates more intensely with readers today because our experiences have become so digitally based?
Michael: I believe it’s a blessing and a curse that so much of our lives have become digitally based.
The internet presents a world of information within reach of our fingertips, which in itself, is truly amazing. Social media allows us to connect in ways that previous generations could only dream about. However, on the flip side, it’s so easy to become sheltered from the real world. To lose touch with nature and relegate the human experience to a handful of clicked emojis.
I think the reason why my writing resonates with readers today is less about digital alienation, but perhaps more due to the fundamental truth that unites us all and never changes. The basic human desire to love and be loved in return.
As for brevity, there are times when just a few words can capture an emotion more succinctly than overwriting an idea to death. Other times, a couple of lines isn’t enough to do a particular piece justice. (Often far too many words to post up online.) Which is why I tend to keep the more lengthy examples of my poetry and prose contained to my books.
Bianca: Your poetry is so compelling and I think there is quite a bit of marketing genius in how your poetry appears across the Internet. Do you think Internet lore has helped to build your following? Given your experience in the advertising industry, did this come naturally to you or did the spread of your work occur organically?
Michael: There is no doubt the internet can provide an author with exposure and a great opportunity for their work to find a much wider audience. But it’s certainly not any guarantee of success. The same rule applies to writing as for any other piece of posted content. If people like it, they will share it. If not, it goes nowhere.
Any following I have built has happened more organically rather than by intention or some ingenious masterplan. If my experience in advertising taught me anything, it’s that the real power always rests firmly with the customer. Books are no exception. Like I hinted at earlier, it is all thanks to my readers that my books sell and make it into bestseller charts. Something I am truly grateful for every single day.
Bianca: You and Lang are certainly a literary power couple: do you consider your works to be symbiotic or in dialogue in some way? I consider this as you write, “I write because you exist.”
Michael: There is no doubt that Lang and I inspire each other in many ways. And yes, a few of the pieces we have written are certainly dedicated to each other. Having said that, we tend to put our creative energy and focus into our own individual books. There are times we discuss ideas together, but on the whole, we prefer to operate as single entities. Lang likes to write at home in her studio. Whereas I prefer to write sitting in cafés with a coffee or a glass of wine. Having a bit of space between us seems to work well. Especially now that Lang is working on her second novel. The less distractions, the better.
Outside of writing, we naturally spend all of our time together. We live a pretty quiet life in a little house by the sea. Which we share with a crazy dog, two cats, and my son, Oliver. I often get to travel with Lang when she does her overseas signing events too. At the end of last year, we visited the United States. Where Lang did sold out events at Barnes & Noble bookstores in LA and New York. (I also got to do some stealth signings, including the legendary Strand Book Store.)
A real highlight of the trip for me was meeting some of my readers at Lang’s New York event. They were just so lovely and asked me plenty of interesting questions. I also got to chat with authors Amanda Lovelace, Cyrus Parker, and Yung Pueblo. Which was a lot of fun too!
Bianca: Do you have a magnum opus among your works? My personal favorite poems of yours are “Roses” and “The Gift.”
Michael: To be honest, that is a difficult question for me to answer. My personal favourites change with every book I write. I think I’ll leave that one to you and my readers to decide.
Bianca: The artwork on your book covers and in your poetry is distinct. Is there an era in time that inspired your style and aesthetic?
Michael: All the front covers, including my latest book, Winter of Summers, are created by the amazing Tinca Veerman. A brilliant artist based in Amsterdam. I consider myself very lucky that she allows me to use her collages for my books. There is something classical about her work, yet at the same time, the aesthetic is contemporary and highly distinctive. The first time I saw Tinca’s artwork online, I instantly fell in love with it.
Thank you, Michael Faudet!