Micheal Maxwell interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Jun 8, 2016 1:11:15 PM
Micheal Maxwell interview with David Alan Binder
Bio from Amazon: Micheal Maxwell was taught the beauty and majesty of the English language by Bob Dylan, Robertson Davies, Charles Dickens and Leonard Cohen.
Mr. Maxwell has traveled the globe, dined with politicians, rock stars and beggars. He has rubbed shoulders with priests and murderers, surgeons and drug dealers, each one giving him a part of themselves that will live again in the pages of his books.
The Cole Sage series offers a mystery hero, short on vices, long on compassion, a strong moral compass, and a willingness to risk it all to right wrongs. Maxwell's books are character driven, with twists, turns, and page turning plots, that aren't heavily sexual, or profanity laced.
Micheal Maxwell writes from a life of love, music, film, and literature. He lives in California with his lovely wife and traveling partner Janet.
Diamonds and Cole (Cole Sage Mystery #1)
Cellar Full of Cole (Cole Sage Mystery #2)
Helix of Cole (Cole Sage Mystery #3)
Cole Dust (Cole Sage Mystery #4)
Cole Shoot - (Cole Sage Mystery #5)
Cole Fire (Cole Sage Mystery #6)
Three Nails (A Tale of Tragedy, Testing and Triumph)
Death of Choice: Eight Tales of Murder, Mayhem, (Editor)
The Time Pedaler (A Young Adult Time Travel) with Tally Scully
The Return of the Bride, a short story in the anthology, Eight the Hard Way
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/michaelmaxwellbooks
Smashwords - https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/385798
1. Where are you currently living?
I divide my time between our places in the Central Valley and the Sierras of California.
2. What are two important things that you have learned in your writing experience, so far?
People like what I write! That is so rewarding.
Writers don’t buy your books, they are hustling to sell their own. So joining Writers groups and Facebook pages are pretty much a waste of time and energy.
3. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I am horrible at editing my own writing. I can read right over glaring errors and not see them because I know what it is I want it to say.
4. Tell us your insights on self-publish or use a publisher?
If it weren’t for self-publishing, I probably would have never been published. 350,000+ people certainly would never have gotten a copy of Diamonds and Cole. In the Digital World I have a level playing field with the authors published by a traditional publisher. I just may outsell a great deal of them as well.
The self-publishing community is generous and helpful beyond measure. In my case David VanDyke, Nick Stephenson and Wayne Zurl took me under their wings and gave me a path to follow, and insightful criticism that lead directly to my success.
5. Any insights as to eBooks vs. print books publishing?
Next time you’re on the subway or bus, notice how many people have a cell phone or tablet. How many are carrying a book?
In my life I’ve gone from 8-tracks, to cassette, to CDs, to an iPod, to a mini flash drive in the dash of my car.
I have to laugh a bit when people say, I just have to have a book in my hand, turn the pages and smell the paper. I bet they still have VHS tapes.
Media to digital is the greatest revolution in reading, music and film the world has yet to see.
6. Do you have any secret tips for writers on getting a book published?
It isn’t a secret, but get a good editor/proofreader and eBook formatter. Without them you can never produce a product that will be taken seriously by readers and distributors alike.
7. How did you or would you suggest acquire an agent? Any tips for new writers on getting one?
That my friend, is the snake eating its tail. I don’t have one. I spent a couple years getting the old, “we only represent published authors” from agents, and publishers would give me the “we only work with agents.”
I was introduced to quality self-publishing and discovered agents are becoming as valuable as a VCR repair man.
I have done pretty well, publishing, and advertising my books. I learn something new every day; a new outlet, a better way to promote my books, and making new fans who leave positive reviews, which in turn sell more books. Best of all there is no one to give 10% too! lol
8. Do you have any suggestions or helps for new writers (please be specific and informational as possible)?
Funny, but I have been asked this so many times I have written a “How to Write a Book” guide that will come out this summer.
One of the things that beginning writers do, that gets them into trouble is they just start writing, without an outline, a formal plot map, or a simple picture of the arch of the plot. They spend lots of time on the unimportant background, blow through important elements of character development, and rush the ending. Planning is worth every hour it takes.
Writing is all about the language. The way the words come off the page. It may be called prose but in a sense all novels, short stories what have you, are poetry. I like to read my stuff aloud. Almost always to myself. If it come “trippingly off the tongue” as Shakespeare said, then it will read well in hands of the people brave enough to buy it.
9. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about your creative process with your books?
I tend to jump around. I have a template I use to structurally create a manuscript. Before I even begin to write I have 12-15 chapters, with just the number of the chapter, and at the top of the page that chapter’s section of the outline. If I get bored or start to feel what I’m doing is getting stale, I’ll jump to another chapter and start writing it! I often come up with cool twists and turns that way. Then when I go back I have a clearer idea of where I’m headed. I think I have written the last chapter of my books way, way before the thing is finished. Often I write the first chapter then the last. After all, if those don’t work nothing will. It is a point of reference, a horizon line to give depth, and a feeling of perception.
10. How many books have you written?
Eight novels, a writing guide for parents, and I’ve edited an anthology of mystery stories. That are currently available. I have book #7 of the Cole Sage Series, a “how to write a book” guide, in the pipeline. Which I hope will come out this summer. I also have a couple of novels that will never be published.
Going back to the quirky question, I also have a western, a WWII spy/romance novel, and three more volumes of Cole Sage stories that I have outlined, written chapters for and I go to them frequently and add to them. It drives my wife, my first proofreader crazy!
11. Do you have any tricks or tips to help others become a better writer (please be as specific and information as you possibly can)?
Don’t think you are smarter than you are. I have been so humbled by stupid ideas and mistakes. Wait until you have someone look up from a draft and shake their head and say, “You’re kidding right?” Then you’ll know just how smart you are! Lol
Stick to the basics. Tell your story first, worry about your majestic prose later.
This is not a shameless plug, honest, I have a book out called The Secret to Writing an Essay: A Parent's Guide for Teens and Tweens Who Hate to Write! It lays out the simple keys to good writing that I use myself. I’m finding out lots of adults are buying it for themselves. It’s a good reminder to keep it simple, truthful, and real. Then be creative in the re-writes and editing.
The best writers are readers! Never forget it.
For me those are the big four.
12. What makes your or any book stand out from the crowd?
I’ve tried to write the Cole Sage books as clean, character driven, mysteries with lots of twist, turns, and heart. People hate a phony. If it ain’t got heart, readers will spot it. When I get down or feel like the muse has gone on a coffee break, sometimes I will go on Amazon and read reviews. Just the good ones! It really helps me to see that what I think I do well I am accomplishing.
13. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I buy ads on various internet sites. My blog is becoming more and more popular. I have an email list of nearly 6,000 fans. I enjoy my Facebook Author page, and it gets more likes every day. I hate twitter, I see no point to it, and have never seen any benefit from it.
I really encourage readers to leave reviews. Not just for me but for any book they read. Yet, that one is the hardest. People don’t realize how much they mean to the Indie author, on so many levels not just sales.
I love doing interviews like this one. I wish there were more opportunities to just have a conversation, and let folks in on it.
14. What is the one thing you would do differently now (concerning writing) and why?
Don’t procrastinate. Nobody’s going to look out for you but you! Nobody is going to write your next book but you. The time you waste is money not in your pocket.
I think I would not listen to the publishers and agents that said they weren’t interested. I should have remembered the guy who didn’t sign The Beatles. They are not God and don’t control your destiny. That cost me time and kept me from pushing harder. Writing is a lonely journey. Like the guy practicing for a marathon. It is you and your dream. Nurture it.
15. What saying or mantra do you live by?
I have had this quote by Woody Guthrie on my wall or in my office or since I was a teenager….
I hate a song that makes you think you are not any good. I hate a song that makes you think that you are just born to lose. Bound to lose. No good to nobody. No good for nothing.
Because you are too old or too young or too fat or too slim. Too ugly or too this or too that. Songs that run you down or poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or hard traveling.
I'm out to fight those songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood. I am out to sing songs that will prove to you that this is your world and that if it has hit you pretty hard and knocked you for a dozen loops, no matter what color, what size you are, how you are built, I am out to sing the songs that make you take pride in yourself and in your work.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity!
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