Friday, July 13, 2012

World of Writing, Interviews

-- Quote of the Day -- 

“…I loved the idea of creating a world and characters that people can relate to and a lot of times we can tell emotional truths in a fictional way that you can’t tell in reality. In reality I think people hide a lot of things, but in fiction it allows the writer and reader to explore those deeper emotions than they would otherwise. …I usually a beginning and an end in my head of where I want the story to go; but during the writing the characters sort of take the story where they want to go. I’ll allow a certain amount of flexibility – maybe a certain character that I thought would do one thing, ends up doing something else because as you are writing you get to know the characters better. …it is much more cheaper, and greener to start with an e-book first (before going into print) and that is where most of your money will come in from. …I think writers can impact the world in so many ways. For myself, I focus on wildlife conservation, environmental concerns, violence, hate, and fear. …the intention is to get people to think about how these important issues affect us. …Donating books and going to schools and universities – encouraging kids to read… which improves their ability to communicate, understand each other better and reduces prejudice. …A reader can look at themselves when they see themselves in a character, helping them to learn from their mistakes and become a better person.”

~ Ami Blackwelder

Today’s quote was excerpted from the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio episode titled: World of Writing
 (*Click on the title to access the full discussion)

 -- World of Writing --

Yes, it is time for another World of Writing Interview - today we'll be featuring: Max Elliot Anderson, who says he actually grew up struggling with reading and yet today he is a voracious writer.  After surveying the market, he sensed the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys. Using his extensive experience in the production of dramatic motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Max brings that same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. 

How have your books gotten published?

This began through an online writers group. I had submitted my manuscripts directly to the acquisitions editor at a large publisher who held onto them for just short of a year. I didn’t identify the publishing house, but had told the group that I’d report what finally happened. Well, they were all rejected which caused me to post, “The Mother of All Rejections.” One of the members contacted me. He and an associate had twenty-five years of publishing experience between them. They published 9 of my books, along with many other authors, and then went bankrupt when the economy turned down after 9/11. Today I have three publishers and a fourth tells my agent we should expect a multi-book contract soon.

Q:  What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I like to write with props around me, to help create the right atmosphere, and use mood appropriate music for the scene I’m writing. I always write with a candle burning next to my computer. While writing a north woods logging story, I went out and caught a chipmunk, two days in a row, put him in a little cage filled with redwood chips, and kept him next to my computer.

Q:  What has been the most surprising thing you learned from creating your books?

My background includes a lifetime of production of dramatic films, video programs, and television commercials. I find, while writing, that the books feel more like films in my mind than books. Now kids tell me that reading them is like being in an exciting or scary movie. I like hearing that.

Q:   How many books/stories have you written?

I’ve completed 37 of these adventure / mystery manuscripts. I have a large project finished about humor, and I’ve written nearly 50 short stories. I contribute to several anthology projects and write a monthly column about middle grade reading. My tenth book is in production now.

Q:   Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

Never give up, don’t quit, and avoid people who try to tell you, you can’t do it. I grew up hating to read, never saw myself as a writer, and just look at what’s happened in spite of all that.

Q:   Do you hear from your readers? / What do they say?

I hear from lots of young readers, their parents, teachers, grandparents, and librarians. The comments are very uplifting and help to make the process all the more worthwhile.

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