Feb. 19, 2014
by Allyson Karnowski
At the age of 23, Michael Thies has written a book, started his own publishing company and graduated Magnum Cum Laude from the UW System.
Thies, from Slinger, Wis., transferred this semester for English education after already earning a bachelor’s degree in creative writing and advertising at UW-Eau Claire. With the job market being less than ideal for most college graduates, Thies said he could take this time to pursue his dream of becoming a high school teacher while continuing his passion for writing.
Thies said he began to develop early parts of his now-published book in seventh grade, only to set it aside until his junior year of high school, when he began taking writing seriously.
The science-fiction/fantasy novel, “Guardian of the Core: Trials of the Core,” is the first of four books in his series. Published in December 2013 by Thies’s publishing company, Writers Block Press, “Trials of the Core” is similar to popular book series like “Harry Potter,” “Divergent” and “Hunger Games.”
His love for reading, encouragement from others and inspiration from favorite authors spurred Thies to finish his book. Some of his favorite authors include R.L. Stine, author of horror novels such as “Goosebumps,” and George R.R. Martin, aurhor of the “Song of Ice and Fire” series.
Tony “Eichy” Eichberger is a close friend of Thies and was one of the editors of the book.
“It was inspiring to observe him work toward a goal and then follow through with completing a remarkable finish product,” Eichberger said.
The first book of the “Guardian of the Core” series follows three characters through a set of competitions to find the next apprentice to the Guardian of the Core. While the three battle out their strengths, they each learn more about themselves, finding who they truly are through challenges.
Although “Trials of the Core” has been accused of having a “bizarrely recycled” plot by the San Francisco Book Review, Thies says he understands the similarities, but his book is different in its own ways.
“[My book] has a close plot to other series, but books two and three will make it more unique,” Thies said. “It’s fun creating a world and being able to connect with characters.”
Thies said world building is one of the biggest challenges in writing a book such as his. In all the time it takes to make and explain information for a whole new world, Thies had time to be president of three separate organizations: social fraternity Delta Sigma Phi, honor society Omicron Delta Kappa and Interfraternity Council.
Thies explained how many authors are introverts, putting all their efforts into writing their books in a short amount of time, while he is a highly social extrovert, which is one reason it took six years to finish all six drafts of his book.
With one book down, the second book’s draft has already been written. If all goes as planned, book two in the series “Guardian of the Core” will be in stores by 2015.
Currently, “Trials of the Core” is available in the UW-Whitewater Bookstore as well as online at guardianofthecore.com.
Thies said he encourages those who wish to write to “write a little every day.”