Clancy Tucker’s Blog: 27 November 2014 – MITCHELL R. STEVENS – Guest Author

(Clancy Tucker is in Australia, hence the date/time difference)

27 November 2014 – MITCHELL R. STEVENS – Guest Author

MITCHELL R. STEVENS

– Guest Author –

G’day folks,

Today I feature an interview conducted with an author from the Midwest of the USA – Mitchell R. Stevens. Below, you will find a video interview with this interesting author.

Welcome, Mitch …

1.  TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.

Upon reading many mystery thrillers, I found myself often wondering how in the world did the author eloquently crochet together an amalgamation of characters, ideas, plots, time lines, facts, fiction and the rest to create enjoyment.   Upon reaching a tender age when a ‘bucket list’ is all but mandatory, I wittingly etched ‘writing a book’ near the top of the list.

How was a guy who spent his entire career in business going to write a story, and one that would bring enjoyment to the reader?   I had developed a healthy lexicon and proficiency for writing business related correspondence over the decades; was that a strong enough foundation?  In the end, I believe my career in sales, more specifically, my ‘wiring’ that supports my success in sales, was the puzzle piece that helped me along on my writing journey.   In sales, one must often create a sale where one doesn’t exist, research and legitimize the rationale for purchase and keep the buyer engaged throughout the process.  Arguably, writing is analogous to the sales process.

2.  WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?

I finished my first novel last November.  How I became a writer, which I would define as actually finishing and publishing a book, is probably best answered with accountability.  I had to make myself accountable to make it happen.   The secret to that is to tell everyone you know you are writing a book.  Talk about pressure to finish!

3.  WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?

Based upon my business background managing, people, projects, etc., I of course started with a business plan of sorts.  I had a matrix of potential plots, characters, geopolitical events, a chapter outline, blah, blah, blah.  For me, none of this worked.  I eventually sat at the computer and envisioned myself in the story and respective scene, and simply let the words flow.  Now, given I had and continue to have a full time job, there were periods of time when I did not write for up to weeks at a time.  In retrospect, I believe this helped the story as I had to reread what I wrote to refresh my memory, but more importantly, I seemed to dive back in with more of a critical eye.  During those refresh periods I did the majority of my editing and continued to ask myself, ‘is this fun to read?’.

4.  WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

There are several things I enjoy.  Without a doubt, the most enjoyable is giving enjoyment to the reader.   In addition, I am in complete control, it challenges me to lean on parts of my pea brain that are not often used and it stimulates me.

5.  WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?

The not so fun parts were the research and ensuring that the plot and sub plots were congruent, plausible and chronologically accurate.  Let’s save marketing the book for another day as that turned out to be the most difficult element.   I purposely wove many current (2011) geopolitical events into the book to lend credibility and punch to the story.  For example, in the first chapter we learn that Osama bin Laden was not killed, but rather captured; there was sufficient, or rather, insufficient detail related to the death to create this plausible alternative.   What fun!

6.  WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?

I wish I could claim that writing was my single source of income.  Better said, I wish I could tag it as a source of income.   My business career has involved stints in financial management, business ownership and sales.

7.  WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?

Completing my debut novel, Deliberate Deceit, the first in the Deceit series.

8.  WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?

Deadly Deceit, the second book in the series.

9.  WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

This is a difficult question for me.  Honestly, I believe experiencing the gratification of completing the task at hand, given I have given it my best shot.

10.  WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?

Mystery/Thriller

11.  DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?

Lessons I learned:

  • Hire an editor that is local.
  • If writing pops into your head during the day, sit down and do it, even if you only have 15 minutes to write—you may be amazed on what you can write.
  • Be aware of bogus (claim to have read but did not) reviewers, but don’t worry about it.
  • Do the research
  • Tell friends and family you are writing.  They will be supportive and subtlety keep you accountable.

Continue reading at Clancy Tucker’s Blog: 27 November 2014 – MITCHELL R. STEVENS – Guest Author.

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