About Mike, Author of Underworld

Mike Stop Continues writes gripping, provocative urban fantasy stories about portal-hopping heroes, outlandish entities, and worlds both near and far. He believes that stories can be both light and dark, grim and wondrous, exciting and illuminating all at once.

Check out Underworld for a peek into the world of eight high school seniors on the night their world came tumbling down.

Stay tuned for the 9-book series Deva Spark, which follows Taylor Song on her mission to save music from the Faceless Man, a corporate warlock who sees art as an impediment to capital gain. Can Taylor navigate the tumultuous media industry without losing herself or her friends to the otherworldly threats at every turn?

MSC is an international and inter-dimensional traveller, a devout futurist, and a fervent supporter of open culture.

Ready for adventure?

FAQ

What was the first story you ever wrote?

When I was in the first grade, we used to have to write sentences with our vocabulary words once per week. It was March, and the word list included some of the following: leprechaun, rainbow, earthquake, and midnight. When I saw the words, I didn’t just see sentences. I saw a story. So rather than do a homework that would have taken me ten minutes, I wrote a sixteen page story about a leprechaun who gets lost on earth trying to follow a rainbow back home. It was called The Quest for Home, Part 1 because the adventure had only just begun.

Homework was graded on a three-point scale from ✔- to ✔ to ✔+. My sixteen pages only got a ✔, and I realized I wouldn’t ever be happy until I wrote a story worthy of a ✔+.

Where do you get your ideas?

I think of creativity like a factory where everything you put in comes out as cookies. The issue then, is deciding what you want to put in.

Personally, I prefer my cookies different every time, so I try to vary my input as often as possible. I make sure to experience all sorts of things, especially the kinds of things I don’t default to. The rule applies as much for fiction as for non-fiction, as much for high art as for low. Sometimes I pick the content—for instance, studying music theory and history for Deva Spark—but sometimes I let the content pick me. A stranger raved about a particular economics text, and this week I’m listening to the audiobook. Similarly, my husband Álvaro is working on a wild west trilogy, so I’ve been watching a documentary series on the wild west.

That said, there are a few works that come up in my creative thinking all the time. I like to think of these works like the basic ingredients of my cookies. The flour, the egg, the milk, and the sugar. Sometimes you can leave one or two out in favor of a unique ingredient, but they nevertheless come up over and over again in my recipes. The includes The Wizard of Oz, Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love, HBO’s Carnivale, the complete works of Jorge Luis Borges, and perhaps most spectacularly, the Planescape campaign setting from the Dungeons and Dragons multiverse.