Middle Grade Ninj‪a‬

Hosted ByRob Kent

A podcast about reading and writing middle grade novels utilizing ninja stealth and skill. Rob Kent interviews fellow authors and various publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. Episodes are also available as videos. Learn more at MiddleGradeNinja.com.


105 Author Mike Johnston

Mike Johnston and I discuss his new middle grade series, CONFESSIONS OF A DORK LORD, and the stylistic differences between his fantasy writing for adults under the super-secret penname, Michael Johnston. Also, medieval toilets. We chat about working with his illustrator, how experience as a dungeon master in Dungeons and Dragons helps with world building in fantasy, how actual architecture is surprisingly not like plotting a novel at all, collaborating with his wife, author Melissa de la Cruz, and so much more.

Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked as an architect in New York City before moving to Los Angeles. Sparked by the change of locale, a visit to the desert, and his growing dissatisfaction with the architectural industry, he sought a way to merge his interests in architecture and history with his love of fantasy. By day he worked as an architect, but by night he wrote and researched an epic fantasy novel inspired by the history of ancient Egypt and the tragic story of King Lear. After working this way for several years, he shut down his successful architecture practice and resolved to write full time. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can find Michael on twitter @mjohnstonauthor

Subscribe to Our Newsletter