1. When did you start writing creatively?
I’ve been compulsively writing since I was very young. My creativity came out mainly through poetry and song, painting and drawing, and eventually, fiction. It really started right out of the gate. Children are naturally creative, or at least I was.
2. What inspired your latest release, Whizzers?
My own life! There’s a strong autobiographical element to this book, though of course the time travel elements didn’t actually happen. I guess I wondered, “What would it be like if you could go back in time and give some kind of solace to the artists you most admire who suffered in their lives?” That’s where it started, I think.
3. What life experiences have influenced your books?
This latest one, Whizzers, has a lot of my heart and my own personal story in it. The narrator is a fictionalized version of myself. Everything from being bullied in school to being in recovery for the past few decades influenced the story.
4. Tell us a little about the story Whizzers and why readers would like it.
The blurb reads as follows: A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.
I think if you or someone you love has ever been bullied; faced addiction or alcoholism; or wanted to give or receive comfort, you’ll like it. So far, the response has been tremendous in the pre-order period.
5. Who is your favourite character and why?
Myself! No, in all seriousness, I think my favourite character is the narrator of my second novel, Jana. She started talking to me and wouldn’t shut up for about two years, but I came to really love her.
6. What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m so engaged in the book launch, I haven’t even figured out which project will be my next novel. I’ve got a couple irons in the fire, one of which is historical and the other of which is something I haven’t even figured out yet.
7. How much research did you have to do for your story to read authentically?
For this one, because it had so much material that was informed by my direct experience, not much. There was a little candy store in my hometown that disappeared before I was born, and that required some research. But that was just about it.
8. How has being a public speaker supported your success as an author and publisher?
My speaking has been more related to the business writing I’ve done for people, but I hope to do more with reading and speaking about my fiction in the near future!
9. You have cited this quote on your Twitter account recently, “Sometimes life hits you right in the kisser. When that happens, you’ve gotta roll with the punches!” Please share one of your experiences which corroborates with this.
I actually wrote that, so if it’s a quote, I was quoting myself. I’ve taken my fair share of licks, so it’s always a challenge to talk about. But in 2011, I had a series of about five events shake my whole world—everything from divorce to major surgery. And out of that, surviving those losses and challenges, I found the greatest love of my life, and the best book I’ve ever written: Whizzers!
10. Which three aspects of writing have you improved on since writing your first novel?
I’ve gotten so much better at self-editing, especially because of my work as a professional writer. Other than that, I think I’ve improved greatly at creating compelling scenes and using language to create what John Gardner called a “vivid, continuous dream.”
11. What two things do you do to support your fellow writing community?
I buy and review other indie authors, and I give folks a lot of support on social media platforms like Twitter.
12. What are your three main goals for the rest of 2019?
First is to launch the book to the widest possible audience; second is to get the greatest number of reviews possible; and third is to take a long overdue vacation!
Thank you for joining us Mike and I wish you all the best as you launch Whizzers! It certainly sounds like a great read and to my weekly readers, if you would like to link up with Mike you can do so on his links listed below.
Until next week, Happy Reading, Happy Writing, Happy You.
Big hug, Soulla xxx
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