Hi Michael, thanks for allowing me this interview.
When you think of yourself, can you name a few words that come to mind?
I think the best description would simply to say I am have an extreme Type A personality. I constantly set goals and push myself to achieve them.
Besides writing you work in the technology field, and have great affinity with the economy. Do you busy yourself with volunteer work in any way?
Yes, I have been involved with several charity organization, including holding leadership roles in the local chapters. I believe that everyone should look to find a way to help another human being when possible. If more people helped on another with a hand up, perhaps we wouldn’t have so many abusing government assistance – taking a hand up and turning it into a permanent hand out.
Which amendment do you think is the most in need of your support, and why?
Honestly, each amendment is as important as the rest. I am, however, a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment being a gun owner and active shooter. I believe our founding fathers knew firsthand what a tyrant government could do to its citizenship and the fact that gun ownership ranked number two on the list should mean something to everyone.
Would you rather watch a sitcom or the news?
I am a complete news junkie. I have either Fox News, CSPAN, or Bloomberg on the TV during the day. Although I am a fan of several sitcoms – Duck Dynasty, Gold Rush, Pawn Stars.
Hahaha, I seem to watch Storage Hunters a lot lately, give it a try. Before you know it you go around saying, “Money!”
Thanks for giving us that little insight of the person behind the author. But you are here to talk about your book, right?
Yes, I would love to talk about my first novel.
So, what is the title of the work you would like to talk about?
The title is The Awakening. It is the first book in a post-apocalyptic series entitled “Oh Sh!t”
Did you have difficulty coming up with that title?
Not really, the title and the series name just popped into my head the first time I went to save the document I had started. I have heard from more than one reader through email and direct messages on twitter than the title truly fits the story. Book 2’s title will be The Initial Shock – that title also just came to me, because I was thinking: If this really happened, it would be a complete shock to everyone’s way of life in America. Oh, “Initial Shock.”
If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?
Well, that is the fun part about being a self-publishing author on Amazon. I don’t have the book listed under Post-Apocalyptic fiction because that is a sub-genre under Sci-Fi fiction. Instead, I chose War Fiction and under Action & Adventure – War & Military. While I have no problem with Science Fiction, as I am a huge Margret Weis – Tracy Hickman fan, I feel that my novel is set in our modern world. The driving point is although my book is fiction at this point; it could very well turn into fact.
Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?
The hardest chapter to write was where I had the main character, John, outside learning skills with the men of the group and I had his wife Cindy and daughter inside working with the woman of the group on a second skill. My copy editor actually made a suggestion that brought it all together and now as I write the second book in the series, I have simply duplicated her suggestion and it flowed so much easier between two different scenes.
What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?
The most attention has been with the help of our own governmental shutdown that has been rampant in the news over the last few weeks. Having a fiction book based on the Economic Collapse of the U.S. dollar and seeing reports almost 24/7 about how a default by the government was highly possible has raised interest on the topic. Also, being a preparedness novel, having it released in September – National Preparedness Month and giving it away in remembrance for both 9/11 dates, I think kick started sales. In addition, I actively use social media and advertise on two popular preparedness web sites. Finally, the work that you do, with your blog, also is a huge help for authors – I have been interviewed by 3 or 4 blogs, 3 podcasts, and 1 radio station thus far. Every single time an interview is released, it helps with bringing attention to the book, so THANK YOU! For doing what you do with your blog.
*blushes* Thank you Michael. 🙂 It’s my pleasure, but let’s not talk about me.
Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?
I am not a heavy drinker, but four things keep reappearing in The Awakening – Macallan’s 18, which is an 18-year-old scotch definitely appears multiple times. Another item would be John constantly having a Diet Dr. Pepper in his hand. Although not a food or drink item, another item that seems to be consumed a decent amount of time in the book are fine Cuban cigars – which I do admit, I love a good cigar.
What is your favorite dish and can you give me the recipe?
My favorite dish can be found at Besh Steak in New Orleans. It is the 32 ounce bone-in rib-eye cooked medium rare, a side of uncut green beans steamed then sautéed in a garlic butter sauce, followed with a crab and corn risotto. I can never finish the steak, but I do take it back to the suite to nibble on later or the next day… it is simply the best steak I have had, and I have traveled extensively across the US, and I always look for great steak houses when I am on the road. However, to answer the rest of your question, I don’t think Chef John Besh would give me the recipes if I asked, but if I would highly suggest Besh’s steakhouse in New Orleans.
I found the recipe for the Shrimp, Chanterelle & Pumpkin Risotto, almost the same and from the same chef. I think it looks delish!
Righ, back to you and writing. Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!
I own an IT consulting company here in Atlanta. There isn’t a day – including weekends and holidays where my phone does not ring at least two times during the day with a client calling with some type of question.
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
To be honest, it is more fun than having a client call you with a down server. Honestly, I have spent almost 20 years in the IT industry, I love it, it provides a great life for my family, however, I am constantly looking for change. Now that I have discovered that I can write a novel, see it climb and reside in the top 20 on Amazon for fifty-five plus days straight, I am eager to keep writing. I have realized that there is nothing more rewarding than reading a review, a direct message on twitter, or an email come in from someone who has enjoyed reading what you wrote. That is more satisfying than bringing a server back online.
It is, and I wholeheartedly agree with you! Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
I first started writing this book, not because a friend or colleague told me I should write something, but my daughter said it. When I sat down at my laptop one Tuesday morning in May, I had no clue that I would write more than 5,000 words the first day. After she got home from school, I had her read it and she liked it. Now granted, that is my daughter, so I had doubts that it was as good as she said. Therefore, after a day of wondering if it was actually any good, I posted it to a preparedness forum where I am a member under the fiction area. A few days later, several self-publishing authors, who I have read and enjoyed their novels, sent me direct messages encouraging me to finish the book.
Here is the real kicker, I wrote on the book Monday through Friday for one to two hours a day from the first week in May to the end of September. It wasn’t until the book was at the copy editor that my wife learned that I was about to self-publish a book. The funniest thing is after reading it, she looked at me and said, you know you definitely got one thing right in it. You are bat-shit crazy.
Hahaha, that is a great story. Thanks for sharing this and all of the other tid-bits of your life and inner workings. Leaves me with nothing more than to tell the readers where they can find you online.
Now I would like to ask the readers what amendment they think is most important. For those outside of the US, what do you think is the most important civil right?