Author Interview: Joseph J. Miccolis

With us today is Joseph J. Miccolis–author of Escape from Palmar, book one in the Dagmarth series.


1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

  • Where you are from?

I was born in California and also resided in Arizona, Virginia, and North Carolina

  • Where do you currently reside?


  • Talk to us about your hobbies.

Fitness is my go to.

  • What do you do for a living?

I am a paralegal.

  • What did you study in college?

Community College – English Writing

College – Professional, Technical, Creative Writing

Law school – Legal Writing

Paralegal school – Legal Writing

  • Give us a few fun facts about yourself.

Animation is my favorite film genre

I supposedly resemble Clark Kent/Superman

I have a diverse selection in music

2. When did you start writing?
July 2014

3. Why did you start writing?
College writing was my way of sharing those experiences. I did play with the idea of writing a novel about my past. A novel that places a character in my shoes and sees how that character chooses to live life. I wonder how my life would be different if certain things did or did not happen.

4. Do you recall the moment you first conceived the idea for your novel?
Yes, it was during my transition from law school to paralegal school. I was evaluating my skills for career prospects outside law when I realized there had not been a new big hit in fantasy books since Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. I also realized the same for space films like Star Wars and Star Trek. I felt the desire to want there to be something new and different in fantasy that could incorporate a magical element with modern humor. I researched existing works covering this idea and could not find any product. I decided to write a novel focused on these aspects, and see if it could be the first of a new trend.

5. How different is the final product (the book) from your original vision? 
The final product is different in a few ways. First, it is different in content after being edited several times. Second, it is much shorter because its content makes up the prequel to the main story which is the second part of the initial product. Third, it contains finer language for vivid descriptions and smooth scenes.

6. Tell us a little bit about your book’s title.
I created the title by researching ancient names for key terms including protector, guardian, hero. Ancient names that resulted were derived from Greek names in history and mythology. I browsed the results and eventually pieced parts of names together until I liked the combination of Dagmarth and Palmar.

7. Does your story have a moral?
The moral is that one should not ignore those who commit wrongdoing. One should never give up the fight for justice.

8. Of the characters you’ve created, which one is your favorite?
Kodus. He is a special character for being the main protagonist in my shoes with his own journey and future ready for him. He will encounter similar situations that reflect past experiences, and will handle them his own way.

Kodus stands out because he is engaged in the storyline as me, but he develops his own personality and embraces experiences he chooses. Kodus will distinguish himself from me as his character growth follows his attitude, outlook, and maturity. The experiences facing him in the story are not experiences directly in my past, so it is exciting to see what happens with Kodus as they affect him, change him, and influence him. I join my readers with interest in seeing how Kodus lives his life in this series.

9. Using five words or less, describe the protagonist in Escape from Palmar.
Kodus in Dagmarth: Escape from Palmar is ambitious, curious, determined, intelligent, and shy.

10. What does a typical writing session look like for you?
Music is helpful when a song inspires a scene. I tend to write toward the evening, and it depends on my energy, mood, and focus. I like to write at my desk at home because its my personal space. I dislike setting goals, and prefer letting the story simply appear.

11. How do you feel about outlines? Are you for or against them?
Outlining can be helpful as a way of listing the story line in sequence. It certainly helps control the flow of the story, and ensure no part is missed.

12. What is your favorite book genre?
My interest is at least fantasy and magic as well as crime and I do not see myself writing horror stories or anything not mainstream.

13. What is your favorite book?
Harry Potter. It appeals to most ages. I appreciated its plot focusing on a boy being introduced to magic in a fantasy realm and how he journeys through life with positive and negative experiences.

14. Any project in the works?
Yes, the main story to the Dagmarth series is pending editing after sales of the prequel are steady. I plan to write my first crime romance thriller novel after the main story is registered with the copyright office.

15. How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I could not say as a debut author, but given time limitations maybe a year to two years?

16. In your opinion, what makes a story ‘good’?
Unique, relatable, original.

17. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Draw from personal experiences, fantasies, interests. Research the idea to ensure originality. Be persistent with writing and don’t give up on marketing it.

And now for a game of “Which Do/Would You Prefer?”
1. Books or movies?
Movie after reading the book to see how the story translates on-screen

2. Summer or winter?
Summer for the beach and tanning. Winter for the romantic atmosphere

3. Living in the city or living in the country?

4. Making a phone call or sending a text?
Phone call for in depth conversation. Text for on-the-go.

5. Travelling by car or travelling by airplane?

6. Staying in a hotel or going camping?

7. Losing all of your money or losing every picture you’ve ever taken and every picture that has ever been taken of you?

8. To find true love or to win the lottery?
True love

9. Bungee jumping or going on the slingshot ride?
Slingshot ride

10. Having your car break down on an extremely busy expressway or along an abandoned road in the middle of nowhere?

11. Staying awake for forty-eight hours (continuous) or walking for twenty-four hours (also continuous)?

12. Losing your ability to speak or losing your ability to hear?

13. Finding yourself caught in the middle of a hurricane or finding yourself caught in the middle of a snowstorm? (Note: in both scenarios, you’d be outdoors and have no access to shelter.)

14. To never again eat a piece of chocolate or to never again drink a cup of coffee?

15. Being two inches tall or being two stories tall?
Two stories

Thank you for joining us, Joseph!
Readers: want to connect with Joseph? You can find him on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.


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