Michael Meyer: The Writing Life

Meet Author Michael Meyer:

International Bestselling Author of mysteries, thrillers, humorous fiction, and non-fiction

 

 


Michael Meyer
International Bestselling Author of Covert Dreams and other thrillers chats about writing, publishing and marketing

 


Deadly Eyes (International Crime Mystery)
3.8 rating on 29 Reviews
Thriller/Mystery/Crime
Kindle Bestseller .99

 

 

 

 

Chatting with Michael Meyer:

 

On Writing:

EARLY Years the Sierras in Inyo County California

Q. Can you share with us your early years in Lone Pine and how that contributed to your writing?

A. I spent my early years in the small town of Lone Pine, California, the home of almost every western movie, in addition to a wide variety of other genres, made in the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

In fact, Hollywood still films parts of big-time movies there today. My dad, the town’s lifeguard at the time, personally knew John Wayne, Lloyd Bridges, and Lee Marvin, all of whom came to the town’s pool, the Memorial Plunge, at times to cool off after a hectic day of working in the sun. I was even an extra in a movie filmed there in 1957, MONOLITH MONSTERS, a B-cult favorite even today. I was ten years old at the time. Even though I resided in a small town hours from the big city, I was exposed to the excitement of action and heroes at a formative age, and, thus, my interest in writing novels of suspense such as COVERT DREAMS and DEADLY EYES was born.
Q. You have a very varied background and seem to enjoy different things. Has that helped you in your writing process? Does it help with research for different types of stories?

A. I have literally lived around the world, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Finland, Germany, and the Virgin Islands. I love to travel. International travel has given me a great perspective on the world. My two international suspense novels came about from my life experiences.

I was a professor in Saudi Arabia, where much of my COVERT DREAMS is set. I was a student in Munich, where lots of the action takes place.

I was a professor in the Virgin Islands, so the idyllic island of St. Croix, where I lived for your years, is where DEADLY EYES is set.

THE FAMOUS UNION, a comic romp through the halls of academia, came about from my forty-year career as a college professor. In addition, I personally made it through midlife, even though Marvin, in my THE SURVIVAL OF MARVIN BAINES, is having a tough time doing so.

My latest book, THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE, is the true story of my journey from grieving widower to the once-again happily married man I am today.
Q. Tell us a little about your writing process: Do you make an outline first, write an ending first, drink coffee for a week first, etc.? And how does this process help you develop plots, characters or scenes in the story?

A. I am an early morning person. Most of my thoughts for that day’s writing pop into my head as I work out before breakfast. I often run up to my study to write a few notes, but that is about as far as it goes. I am like a reader as I write, never quite knowing what will happen next. This makes writing exciting for me. I never want to view writing as hard work. I want to make it fun. I have an overall idea for a plot, but then I like to follow the lead of my characters. I am a keen observer of people. Bits and pieces of what I have observed in my own life pop into my own work.
The Art of Writing:

Q. You taught writing, is it easier to learn the craft than teach it, why?

A. Yes, I was a writing professor for forty years. I have always loved writing, so working with students was always enjoyable for me. It is always easier, I believe, to teach somebody else how to do something than to learn it on your own. Writing is a lonely occupation. That being said, however, I firmly believe that there are so many intangibles out there that simply cannot be taught. I always believed that I had to inspire my students, and then it was up to them to learn. Doing is what is required.

Q. Do you have a favorite character and if so how was that character developed – was he or she based on someone you know outside of your head? I literally fell in love with Rosie, one of the main characters of my Caribbean mystery DEADLY EYES. She reminds me of Maureen O’Hara, the only woman who could stand up to John Wayne on the big screen. She is lively, sexy, and witty, and she can stand up to anyone and is not afraid to do so. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the quick repartee between her and Cuff. I must admit, also, that bits and pieces of my wife, Kitty, have found a home in Rosie’s character.

 

Publishing:

Q. How has digital sales helped you as an author?

A. I love it! I have sold my books literally around the world. It is simply amazing to me. I am in complete control of my own writing. I have only myself to answer to, never having to change something to satisfy the whims of an editor or a publisher.
Q. What has changed the most in your opinion over the several years you have been publishing books?

A. The big publishers have suddenly realized that digital books are here to stay. Many successful writers owe their very success to digital publishing and would never dream of seeking out a traditional publisher.

Q. What should self-published writers do to make their work more marketable whether pitching to a traditional publisher or DIY?

A. I personally have no desire to pitch my work to a traditional publisher. I have readers around the world now. My books are doing well. As a recent retiree, I am not in this for the money, per se. Rather, I want to write the kinds of books that I like to read, and I hope that others like what I do. I think the best way to market your books is to write good books and then do all you can to make their existence known to others. Be interviewed on blogs. Advertise on paid sites.

Marketing:

Q. Any advice on how to market in small communities like Lone Pine versus larger places, like you live now?

A. I would think that if I still lived in a very small town like Lone Pine that most everybody in town would be impressed and many would probably want to read what I had written. It would be like family members supporting one of their own. In larger communities, the writer needs to depend a lot on word-of-mouth advertising. This, again, goes back to delivering a quality book to readers.
Q. What are 3 tips you can offer for Indie authors on finding readers for their books?

A. Take a virtual blog tour. Pay for ads on sites that focus on getting the word out about books. Interact with readers on places like Goodreads and Facebook.

Q. What has worked best for you with online sales? I think that the wonderful reviews my books have garnered has helped the most.

A. If people like something, they tell others. I have been very fortunate that readers have told so many others about my books through their reviews posted on my Amazon and Goodreads sites.
Q. Is there still advertising opportunities for Indie authors who want to pitch paperback books but can’t get any into traditional retail stores? I really can’t say.

A. I have never really tried to pitch my paperbacks, but they are right there on my Amazon page hopefully tempting readers to buy them. They sit right alongside my eBooks.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your latest release:

A. THE THREE KITTIES THAT SAVED MY LIFE is the true story of my journey from grieving widower to the happy man I am today. I was widowed over ten years ago, and I became a literal basket case. I loved my wife so much, and suddenly I was all alone in the world. I fought to survive, it was tough, but I made it. Married now for the second time, to my wonderful wife, Kitty, living in bliss with her and our two adorable rescue cats, the idea just gradually formed in my head that my true journey just might touch—and help—others. The book is touching, sad, but also funny in places. I like to think that it is inspiring as well as entertaining.

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