Mike Klaassen began writing fiction when his sons were teenagers. His first two books were young-adult action/adventure novels influenced by his experience as a Kansas farm boy and as a Scoutmaster. A visit to the site of the Battle of New Orleans led Mike to write Backlash: A War of 1812 Novel, featuring five young Americans in the fight of their life. Ongoing research encouraged Mike to write books about the craft of writing fiction. The use of folktales as examples in his nonfiction books inspired him to begin Klaassen's Classic Folktales, a collection of ancient stories retold as novellas.