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Monday, 8 September 2014

Lions, witches, vampires, oh my, boring author interview alert

Boring Author Interviews Revisited 
with
Michael Andrews


What’s so great about your crap book? (Don't want the boring details, a couple of lines is suffice!)
CLICK TO BUY
My latest book is so great because I use some of the old vampire myths, twist in some new ones and get shot of the lovey dovey crap from Twilight.  My vampires don’t sparkle in the sun, they flame!  But I have been told by a reader that she is already in love with the main character, who is a vamp.

What do you really think about erotica?
It’s hot, horny and fun. I use the genre as a release of writer’s block.
Really? That's interesting because I like to read blood and guts horror in between writing my romcoms. I like to think it moves the mind from one place to another and restores concentration.


Is it the low of the lows for writers?
Absolutely not.  Some of the best literature in history has been erotica.  Lady Chatterley’s Lover for instance.  However, there is a lot of dross out there, Fifty Shades for a starter, but hey, that has made the author a crap load of money so who says crap doesn’t sell?

If you didn’t have your book professionally edited: What made you think you’re so perfect that you didn’t need to pay a professional?
Because I trust in my abilities as a writer, and that of the proofers that I used who did it for the love of reading, and to help me out.  Why pay hundreds of pounds when you get it for the price of your book and a bottle of wine?
You're brave. I wouldn't dare release a book without my editor's permission!

Yawn, so basically you're the same as all the rest of the authors on Amazon and you’re the Next Best Thing. I don’t think so. Come on, tell me why should I spend time reading YOUR book over more well-received authors?
Everyone can play it safe and read books by well known authors and then brag to their friends, “oh yeah, I read War and Peace etc etc”.  Why not take a risk and go for a book from an up and coming author, who’s gaining a reputation by getting 4 and 5 star reviews.  Just think about being the first one in your group to say, “I read his book BEFORE everyone else jumped on the bandwagon!”
Now there's an excellent thought. Listen up, peeps!


Is there an author who inspires (perspires) you?
Ever since Magician first came out, I have followed Raymond E Feist.  I love the depth of characters and worlds that he creates.

Do you think you write better than them?
That is for other people to say, not me.  All I can do is write to the best of my own ability.

Is your aim to out-sell them?
That would be the ultimate dream, bearing in mind how successful he is.  My own ambition at the moment is to sell enough that I can give up the day job to write full time.  After that?  Yes, I would like to outsell him.  Why not?

Why not indeed, and I'm sure you will one day, my friend.

In the writing world, have you ever regretted anything i.e written your own review (or written a bad review on a competitor's novel), argued on-line, copied someone else's idea?
I try to avoid getting into arguments online, especially in the KDP forums, but sometimes I just have to stop biting my tongue and join in.  I know that I can be very sarcastic and hard line in my opinions so I guess that some of the posts have been a little close to the bone.
I think those who are afraid of being themselves online and have the 'yes sir/no sir' attitude have narrow writing skills. But then there are those who shout off for the sake of it, and refuse to listen to others--they also have narrow writing skills. Lots of narrow people online!

What qualifications do you have for writing in your genre?
I don’t have any qualifications for child physiology or for raising the dead.  Can you do courses for that?  Raising the dead I mean?  I was bullied at school, which plays a part in my first novel and my poetry collection so does that count?  
No, you need to complete the Raising the Dead exam on line at http://www.raisingthedeadwritersdegree-onlinecourse...

Many authors use their qualifications to show off their so-called talents i.e. crime writers are often coppers (police, for the non-Brits present) and the book becomes boringly technical. How have you managed to keep your knowledge low key? Or haven’t you bothered?
I just let it all flow.  I try to make my characters and storylines emotional and believable so I keep all the technical crap out of the way.  There are parts where I need to explain things, such as how a character got his abilities, but I try to keep it light and part of a flowing conversation.

If I were to read your book would I have to scroll through lots of acknowledgements saying how wonderful your book is before I got to the meat of a story?
I don’t believe in putting the reviews in my book.  I let my story do the talking for me.  That’s how much I believe in my stories.

What part of the world do you come from?

Birmingham, England
Woo-woo! A fellow Midlander. 

What do you think of your government?

They could be better, but they could be a hell of a lot worse.  They have done some decent things recently, such as introducing the same sex marriage act which I didn’t believe a conservative government would do, but would I vote for them?  Probably not.

If your book is set outside England would I understand your jargon? I mean, fanny means lady front parts NOT backside, car hood is a car bonnet--everyone knows that, right? Are British Englishisms/Americanisms/Australianisms etc important in your book? It's all about identity, isn't it?
Although my books are set in England, occasionally I find myself putting in some Americanisms, that I know I can get away with in England.  For instance, I use an elevator rather than a lift, and I’m not sure if a concessions stand is Americanised or English?
Never heard of it, so it must be American. Don't think we have those kind of bars/stands here, do we? Maybe in in Brum or London, but not in my little town.

Why that shitty title?
It plays out the final scene of the book.
I love your title, and your book cover... wow. It really stands out.

Did you run out of ideas?
When I was thinking about my next project after finishing my first book, I had an idea for a series of books.  I have actually sat down and written out all eight titles and brief plot lines, as well as a series long plot.  This was just the first idea that came to my mind and I liked it so much, I stuck with it.

If you were me (you know, perfect) and knew nothing about a person and you were told to interview them, what’s the one question you would ask? (answer it).
If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you and why?  I’d probably say Matthew Horne as he isn’t a mile away from me in terms of looks and build, has a quirky sense of humour and is also able to play the role of someone who’s been bullied and has battled through.

How long did it take you to complete your book (from idea to publication)?
If it took under a year to write: It didn’t take you long to write so does that mean it is poorly researched, edited and written on a whim?

It took me around nine months to write from idea to release.  I would say for a fictional novel around the 45000 word mark, this is more than enough time to properly research it.  I aim to write around 1000 words in a sitting, so I actually took far too long to write it.  My next book has a target release date of just five months.

Do you have any bad habits, or stupid rituals you HAVE to do in order to write?
I absolutely have to turn on my computer!!  Other than that, I have to make sure that I don’t have anything interesting on the telly and make sure I am logged off all forums and websites, otherwise I find myself getting distracted.  For example, I’m doing this interview while my main character has someone pinned up against a wall by their throat.

I'm glad I can assist in this light distraction. Yikes!

Authors are usually labelled as ‘dreamers’ and ‘loners’. Have you been labelled as such?
A dreamer on occasions, but that is more when I am talking about how many books I am going to sell!!

And what implications do you think that has on a writer?
I think it’s fine.  If we are called a loner, it’s true as we have to secret ourselves away to write, and most people don’t want to know what we are writing about until it’s finished.

What do you think of social media (pick one answer):
2. Somewhere to interact with other writers.

Does ‘being a writer’ make you feel like an outsider with normal, everyday people such as your family and friends?
 Not really as most of my friends either have their own businesses or are computer programmers and the like.  So we all bore each other with our tales of woe.

Describe your perfect death (in case I have to kill you)?
Being dropped into a giant vat of beer, with no means of getting out.  I’d hate to drown but at least I’d be drunk by the time it happened!
Nice one.

Give me the first, middle and end line in your book.
  1. Lots of people say that when you die, or are about to, your whole life flashes before your eyes.
  2. “No vampire House currently rules in Britain, so it could be that they are trying to establish a base here?” Bill queried.
  3. With tears streaming down my cheeks, I whispered the name of the one vampire who I wished never to see again.  “Chlothar!”
Thanks for taking the time to answer my stoopid questions, Michael.

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