An interview with Mike Markel

Today, it is an honor to present to you one of the gems of the writer group, eNovel Authors at Work.  Mike Markel is a man of many talents. A university professor by day, he writes dark detective stories in his spare time and has also published a few books on Technical Communication. His Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series features a troubled anti-heroine: Detective Karen Seagate is foul-mouthed, cynical, rude, depressed, and insubordinate. The first volume in the series, Big Sick Heart, was awarded the Book of the Month award from Pacific Book Review in 2010, when it was first published.

By now, Mike has delighted his fans with 3 more volumes in this series. Read on to find out all about them! In the interview that follows, you’ll find an author who’s gifted with wit and humor. Mike was an absolute delight to interview!


DISCOVER the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series


Big Sick Heart (Volume 1)


Bad decisions have finally caught up with police detective Karen Seagate. Her drinking has destroyed her marriage and hurt her job performance, and the chief is looking for any excuse to fire her. Still, she and her new partner, a young Mormon guy who seems to have arrived from another century or another planet, intend to track down whoever killed Arlen Hagerty, the corrupt leader of Soul Savers. Clawing his way to the top, Hagerty created plenty of enemies, including his wife, his mistress, his debate partner, the organization’s founder, and the politician he was blackmailing. When Seagate causes a car crash that sends a young girl to Intensive Care, the chief thinks he finally has his opportunity. But even the chief can’t believe what Seagate does when she finally catches the killer.




Deviations (Volume 2)


Former police detective Karen Seagate is drinking herself to oblivion and having dangerous sex with losers from the bar when the new police chief tracks her down. The brutal rape and murder of a state senator by a lone-wolf extremist gives Seagate a chance to return to the department, but the new chief has set down some rules, and Seagate is not good with rules. At this point, she is just trying to stay alive. With nothing left to lose and nobody left to trust—not even her partner, Ryan—Seagate goes off the grid to find the killer. She doesn’t care that she will be fired again. She has much bigger problems, now that she has been captured inside the neo-Nazi compound.





The Broken Saint (Volume 3)


Seagate and Miner investigate the murder of Maricel Salizar, a young Filipino exchange student at Central Montana State. The most obvious suspect is the boyfriend, who happens to have gang connections. And then there’s Amber, a fellow student who’s obviously incensed at Maricel for a sexual indiscretion involving Amber’s boyfriend. But the evidence keeps leading Seagate and Miner back to the professor, an LDS bishop who hosted her in his dysfunctional home. Seagate takes it in stride that the professor can’t seem to tell the truth about his relationship with the victim, but her devout partner, Ryan Miner, believes that a high-ranking fellow Mormon who violates a sacred trust deserves special punishment.




Three-Ways  (Volume 4) FREE till Friday!


When grad student Austin Sulenka is found strangled, nude on his bed, the first question for Detectives Seagate and Miner is whether it was an auto-asphyxiation episode gone wrong. Evidence strewn around his small apartment suggests that he spent his last night with a number of different women. One was Tiffany, a former student who still resented the injustice of getting a C in the course when he promised her a B if she slept with him. Another was Austin’s beautiful girlfriend, May, who had never before encountered a man she could not totally beguile. Then there was his thesis adviser, Suzannah Montgomery, who might have inadvertently revealed to Austin some information about her past that could ruin her own career. These three women and their other partners had plenty of reasons to kill the philandering graduate student. As Detective Karen Seagate and her partner try to unravel the complicated couplings, she finds herself in a three-way relationship that threatens to destroy her own fragile sobriety.






Hello Mike and welcome to my blog!

Thank you Fros; I’m delighted to be here!

You know, I’m intrigued that a university teacher by day should write dark detective mysteries! Do you see yourself in any of your characters, or do any of them have traits you wish you had?

I made my protagonist a woman (which I am not) and gave her a significant drinking problem (which I don’t have) so that she wouldn’t become too much like me. But despite my best efforts, she’s foul-mouthed, depressed, insubordinate, and unwise—just like me.

What genres do you read mostly, and what are you reading now?

I usually read serious fiction, not crime books like the ones I write. I’m too impressionable and insecure to read other crime writers. I’d either end up writing like them because they’re better than I am, or I’d toss my laptop out the window, and laptops can be pretty expensive.

(chuckles) I bet! Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Try to figure out why you want to be a writer. If it’s to make money or become famous, that’s probably a longshot. Don’t even bother. If it’s to express yourself, write but don’t publish it. If you need to write and be read in order to be happy, then I guess you should become an indie author. But don’t count on it working. Frankly, I find the whole process horrible. I’m preparing my fifth novel now.

I think every indie author will agree that the procedure is horrid. But I guess doing what we love makes the turmoil worth it… Choose a male and a female character from your book and tell us which actor/actress you’d wish to play them in a film adaptation.

Like all pre-famous writers, I wistfully think about someone turning my books into movies. My protagonist, Detective Karen Seagate, is definitely Sandra Bullock. Her partner, Detective Ryan Miner, is Bradley Cooper. Would you mind getting in touch with them for me? For some reason, my phone numbers for them don’t seem to be working.

Both favorites of mine! Sorry, I don’t have their numbers on me. I left them in my other phone book (laughs). Do you listen to music while you write and if so, what kind?

When I’m drafting, I listen to jazz, usually Miles Davis. When I revise and edit, I listen to classical music, usually Bach, Mahler, Schubert, Brahms, and Beethoven. I love Tchaikovsky but I can’t listen to him while I’m working because the melodies are too strong and I stop working.

Jazz and classical, huh? How extraordinary! Usually, authors tell me they go for pop or rock. I guess it depends on the genre… Tell us, if you could have one superpower what would it be?

I already have it. I’m StubbornMan. I think my books are good, and many of my readers seem to agree. Although I haven’t yet hit it big, I’m going to keep at it because I’m StubbornMan.

Hey, that’s a great superpower! I’m a firm believer that stubborness (or in other words, perseverance) is the best compass to finding success. What has been the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far in life the hard way?

I haven’t learned anything the hard way. I’m a university teacher, and I write detective books on the side. I haven’t had a real job since I worked as a lifeguard in the summers when I attended college. I don’t know anyone who’s had it easier than I have.

Thank you, Mike. It’s been a pleasure having you and good luck with Three-Ways. I’m sure your fans will lap it right up!

Thank you Fros. I hope your readers will take advantage of the opportunity to download Three-Ways during the promotion. It will remain FREE on Amazon till this Friday. Best of luck with your writing!


Who is Mike Markel?


Mike Markel teaches writing at Boise State University and is the author of many articles and eight books about writing and literature. He also writes the Detectives Seagate and Miner Mystery series, which is set in the fictional small city of Rawlings, Montana, home of Central Montana State University. That university is somewhat like Boise State University, but in Rawlings the weather is colder, the football team less successful, and the murder rate much, much higher. Mike lives with his wife in Boise.

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20 responses to “An interview with Mike Markel

    • Great to hear, dear Pete! I now have 3 of Mike’s books on my TBR list. I can’t wait. Just downloaded the third, ie THREE-WAYS. It’s FREE till Friday, not sure you’re aware. Have a great day 🙂


    • Thank you for taking the time to comment! Please note THREE WAYS is currently FREE on Amazon in case you’d like to sample Mike’s detective genius (just updated the post to highlight this). Thank you again 🙂


    • Hello my fave ninja and thank you for dropping by! Mike just asked me to update the post with some good news: Three-Ways is FREE on Amazon (till Friday) so feel free to delve into his awesome detective series one more time. My TBR list now has 3 of the volumes and I can’t wait 🙂


  1. Frossie! You always do a fab job in interviewing authors! Great author psyche reveals in Mike Markel’s interview. Loved it! I also adore Mike’s protagonist, Karen Seagate. Those of you who have Mike’s books in your TBR stack–move them to the top–you won’t be sorry. As it happens, the man can spin a tale.
    Jackie Weger


    • Thank you for commenting, Jackie! Even before you guys vouched for Mike’s series, all I had to do is read the raving reviews! He’s got some fans out there – can’t wait to get to know Karen Seagate myself 🙂


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