Michael R. Schultheiss, Author Spotlight

Trained to the warrior’s path, Rosteval yearns for glory and craves adventure in unknown lands.

Leading the war-band he created, he sets off on a quest to brave a formidable desert and the swords and arrows of a growing number of enemy tribes.

He expected the mounting dangers… but he didn’t expect Ghaitta, the beautiful slave-girl with a secret… and the power and peril of an ancient altar, an artifact of the vanished Shaper race.

As his enemies multiply, Rosteval is forced to confront an immortal adversary and the looming specter of defeat. Can Rosteval and Ghaitta avert disaster, and claim the fateful power of the ancient Shaper altar?

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Michael R. Schultheiss whose book The Altar of My Fate thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love fantasy and adventure novels but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Michael R. Schultheiss will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Michael R. Schultheiss!

Michael R. Schultheiss is a fantasy author with a passion for history and an obsession with metal music.

Through fiction, he enjoys escaping to other worlds of danger, discovery, and daring adventure.

History is Michael’s main non-fiction interest. He is fascinated by the worlds of the past, and has been known to talk about the rise and fall of civilizations at great length.

Michael lives with his fiancée and dog in the rainy and verdant land of Oregon.  

Now, how wonderful does Michael R. Schultheiss sound?! Michael R. Schultheiss is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Michael R. Schultheiss’ answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself

Thank you so much for having me! Well, my name is Michael, and I live in Oregon with my beautiful fiancée and our lovable scamp of a dog.

In addition to writing, I enjoy reading, fitness, nature, folk metal music, and cooking for our friends. We have some pretty epic house parties with games, food, and wonderful company!

History is my main non-fiction intellectual interest. I’m fascinated with the worlds of the past, and the rise and fall of civilizations.

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

Oh man, this book has been in the making for a very long time!

I’d say it began, in some ways, with my lifelong obsession to learn how to write the stories of adventure and daring that have always captivated me.

The other big thing that contributed to The Altar of My Fate is my interest in history, specifically the ancient history of the Middle East/Southwest Asia and South Asia.

In essence, I wanted to write a historically-informed fantasy adventure story in a setting that would be very loosely inspired by the very ancient Middle East.

Now, it took me several years to come up with a complete draft, and at that point I was ready to set it aside and write some other projects.

Then my girlfriend (now fiancée) read it, liked it, and convinced me to have another go at it. I wrote two more drafts, and the result is the book as it is now!

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

Embrace struggle and effort as you work to hone your craft.

There’s no one single correct way to write a great story, but writing is a craft that demands incredible dedication and effort.

So, if you want to be a writer, you’re going to have to embrace the suck and keep writing even and especially when you don’t feel like it.

In a way, it’s like fitness: sure, there’s no one single correct way for everyone to work out, and everyone has their own fitness goals that are particular to them—but you need to stick with it if you want that experience of accomplishment.

Anything worth having in life will require you to struggle. Embrace the struggle, commit yourself to it, and keep at it.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?

Books transport us to other worlds, put us into the minds and hearts and souls of other people.

To read a good book is to experience the power of story, a power that has, in my view, probably been moving human beings more or less since the dawn of our species.

I can well imagine our forefathers and foremothers, possibly sitting around a campfire on the East African savannah over two hundred thousand years ago.

What do you think they did, gathered around that source of heat and light, while the lions roared and the hyenas whoop-howled in the distance? I’ll bet they sang and told stories.

What is your writing process like?

I’ll start with my daily writing process.

First, I have to complete my fitness routine for the day. I cannot write unless I have either gone on a run or for a long walk: my mind simply isn’t awake and ready without that experience.

Then I eat breakfast, consume sufficient caffeine, and take the general plot points I’ve constructed for the story—these are called story beats—and go to work on a scene.

I generally listen to music, often drum and bass or progressive house: it’s just engaging enough to stimulate the mind without taking it over. However, that said, I wrote some of the battle scenes in Altar while listening to one of my favorite folk metal bands.

My general writing process is actually pretty easy to summarize: I take an idea and begin asking myself a series of questions, generally about what could go wrong. How can I make this character’s life difficult and painful in a way that will hopefully interest a reader?

And then I put together a series of story beats, basically bullet points: this thing happens here, then they go there and do X, etc. I also write up some notes on characters and other aspects of the story as needed.

And then I get to work on each scene: I take one of those story beats, type up some general ideas for the scene, and have at it!

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I have spent many years reading historical non-fiction and learning about human societies at various levels of development in a variety of environments, parts of the world, and time periods.

This is an open-ended interest of mine, in the sense that I research history that I find interesting whether or not I am planning to use it to inform a story I plan to write.

On the other hand, I tend not to do a lot of specific research before starting a book. I prefer to research as needed along the way.

So, The Altar of My Fate incorporates a mixture of things I had researched long before I wrote the two most recent drafts, and some research that I did during the process of writing it.

For example, when I was several chapters into the second-to-last draft, I picked up a book on the trans-Saharan slave trade because I wanted to use that history to inform some of what I was writing about.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

Okay, I’m going to say something that is going to get me in trouble, but I’ll say it anyway in the hopes that it will help someone who wants to be a writer and is struggling with inspiration.

Ready? Here it is:

If you want to be serious about writing, embrace the struggle and write.

This means no excuses about “writer’s block,” and no waiting to “get inspired.”

Again, it’s like fitness, or showing up for a job: you don’t wait until you feel inspired to pump iron or, you know, go to work.

If you want to write amazing books that people will adore, you need to treat it as seriously as a personal fitness practice or a job. That means show up and do the work, no excuses.

But what about writer’s block?

Here’s the cure for writer’s block: get some exercise, listen to some good music, do an activity that you find meaningful and refreshing (gardening, talking to a friend, arranging your seashell collection).

Now, once you’ve done that, grab an idea and run with it.

Ideas are everywhere. They’re cheap. Pull one out of the creative ether and begin doing the hard work of building it into a great story.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I read as much as I can, which is not as much as I would like! My favorite authors include Brandon Sanderson, Jim Butcher, George R. R. Martin, R. Scott Bakker (author of The Prince of Nothing series), and Jeff Long (author of The Descent and Deeper).

Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you? 

Book two of the Rosteval Saga, The Spiral of My Destiny, is out now! It’s also longer than The Altar of My Fate, so if you enjoyed Altar and want to check it out, it will likely keep you occupied for at least a bit longer.

Other than that, I’m currently working on book 3, and I estimate completion of this draft by about late April or early May. I’m going to try to publish it before the end of May, or in June at the latest.

Thanks again. I’d also be glad to hear from anyone who would like to contact me. Please feel free to email me at

It’s official book lovers, I am obsessed with Michael R. Schultheiss! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it!

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon USAmazon UKGoodreads

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