Welcome, Stalkers!! We have a very special ninth edition of Stalking Mike Blair Outdoors for you today! Monday was Dr. Seuss’ birthday and because of that this week is usually seen as a literary week. So, in this installment of our newsletter we are bringing you two books from the wonderful Mike Blair AND a member exclusive interview with the man himself! How exciting!
Mike Blair – photographer, videographer, song writer, singer and now we add author. Blair has written several books throughout his career, many of which can be found on Amazon and LuLu. The ever talented Blair writes both books for adults and children, featuring the wild outdoors. Here are just two of his books.
“Prairie Chronicles shares the wonders of the outdoors, and blesses the One who made them. In it are celebrations of seasons; poetry and humor; stories of people; outdoor adventures.”
This is a book aimed toward a more adult audience, although there are some stories and poems in the collection that a younger age would enjoy. In this collection Blair has compiled 56 separate short stories, poetry and other prose that explore the seasons and the world outdoors. Below is a poem from one of the excerpts titled Cottonwoods.
With massive branches reaching for the sky,
Long gnarled and twisted by the Kansas wind,
A cottonwood salutes the treeless plain,
A solitary sentinel on the land.
A hundred years of struggle have ensued
Since the tiny seedling pioneered this place.
Now old, the tree has proven nature’s rigors,
And storm scars on its furrowed bark are traced.
The lofty arms which bear its deltoid leaves
Spread wide with joy to fill the open air.
And breezes chase the shadows that are cast
By dancing leaves, which run before them, there.
The cottonwood stands patiently on guard
And worries not the finish of its race.
Victorious, its final satisfaction
Is having been life’s champion in this place.
“Cottonwood” – Mike Blair
We mentioned earlier that Blair writes for both adults and children. While Prairie Chronicles is aimed toward an older audience, Bats Are Not Pets is written for a much lower reading level. Bats Are Not Pets is a cute story that explores a variety of animals that are suited to be a pet, but bats are not pets. Then, it describes a few interesting facts about the animal. Also, included are some teacher notes and information so that an adult can help the child understand some concepts on a deeper level. Bats Are Not Pets can be found on Lulu at – http://www.lulu.com/shop/chris-blair/bats-are-not-pets/paperback/product-431176.html
Now, as a special member exclusive we have attained an interview with Mike Blair about his books and writing career. Enjoy below:
SMBO: When did you first realize your passion for the outdoors?
Mike: I’ve always had it. Even as a 5-year-old, I spent all my time outside, turning over rocks, climbing trees, and playing in rain puddles. I explored, hunted and fished from the very start. . .
SMBO: When did that branch into writing?
Mike: My mom was an English major, and she made fun games for my sister and me in the old practice of diagramming sentences. So, I learned early how words went together and writing came easy. It was nothing I feared through school. And later, when I had something to share, it was natural to pick up a pen.
SMBO: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Mike: That you can publish high-quality books from your own computer, for minimal cost.
SMBO: Where do you get the information and ideas for your books?
Mike: From the daily time I spend outdoors.
SMBO: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Mike: Including children’s books, more than 20. My favorite adult book is “A Kansas Year.”
SMBO: As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Mike: My family seldom went to movies when I was young. But when we did, it was always Walt Disney stuff – The Living Desert, Legend of Lobo, Chico, the Misunderstood Coyote – and I was always thrilled with the wildlife. I remember telling my dad as we walked out of one movie, “Someday, I’m going to be a wildlife photographer!” And what do you know…
SMBO: Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t visited before?
Mike: I’d like to spend more time in Canada and Alaska. And I’d love to see a spectacular showing of the northern lights in person.
SMBO: Do you have a favorite animal?
Mike: It’s a toss-up between deer and waterfowl, both of which I love to film.
SMBO: Which animal do you think you would be?
Mike: Probably a white-tailed buck
SMBO: Is there anything you find challenging about writing?
Mike: Keeping is short and sweet.
SMBO: What types of books do you enjoy reading?
Mike: I like Robert Frost-style poetry, action and sports books, and motivational books that inspire hard work and dreaming.
SMBO: What book are you reading now?
Mike: I like fiction action mysteries, and though I don’t have time to sit down and read, I usually keep a book in my camera bag for slow times in a photo blind. Right now I’m reading Caught by Harlen Coben, but I like James Patterson, Lee Child and Jeffrey Deaver.
SMBO: Is there any particular book that inspires you?
Mike: I greatly identify with the psalmists, especially David, of the Bible, as they constantly remind us of the connection we have with a loving God who made this whole universe.
SMBO: Did you learn anything from writing your books?
SMBO: Do you have any advice for fellow writers?
Mike: Yes. Write. Don’t think about it. Don’t niggle and complain about writer’s blocks. Just do it. But first, take the time to clearly define what you’d like to say.
SMBO: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?
Mike: Be curious. Teach youngsters to love reading, and it will serve them well throughout life. I hope my writings/photos/videos can help others remember their own special experiences, as well as expand their knowledge about our beautiful world.
So, there you have it. A little insight into the mind of Mike Blair. Go, check out his books, there are many to choose from besides the two featured here. Coming up soon we will have another Member Exclusive interview but this time you’ll ask the questions! So start thinking of what you’d like to know about Mike!