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.

Deliberate Deceit on Bookbzz.com

Deliberate Deceit by Mitchell R. Stevens

The story begins with the demise of Osama bin Laden as never been told and details a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. This

sophisticated plot includes characters from the White House, Russia and the Jihad community. This page turner will have the reader asking them self, ‘could this really happen?’

Book One: Deceit Series  

Genres: Fiction Mystery & Detective, Political Fiction, Thrillers Hard-Boiled (Mystery & Detective), International Mystery & Crime (Mystery & Detective), Police Procedural (Mystery & Detective) Crime Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers, General Thrillers, Military Thrillers, Political Thrillers, Suspense Thrillers

About the Book

Richard North has worked his way up the career CIA ladder; Washington insiders expect his nomination as the next Director. However, an unexpected influence in the White House derails his nomination igniting his narcissistic tendencies resulting in a web of deceit. North’s grandiose revenge strategies result in misdirection, murder and the threat of World War III. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

Jack Landis, a decorated Navy Seal, comes out of retirement to join a CIA special ops mission and finds himself in the middle of the web of deceit. He has to rely on his training, experience and instincts to save a good friend, his lover and thwart Armageddon. Jack partners with unlikely allies as he races against time to cut through the labyrinth of deception in an attempt to uncover the truth.

The story begins with the demise of Osama bin Laden as never been told and details a conspiracy that goes all the way to the top. This sophisticated plot includes characters from the White House, Russia and the Jihad community. This page turner will have the reader asking them self, ‘could this really happen?’

About the Author

Mitchell R. Stevens is an author and sales executive living in the Midwest who enjoys adventure and challenge.

Discussing creative writing
Discussing creative writing

Beyond the challenges of writing a good story and closing the next deal, Mitchell’s favorite adventures have included hiking the Appalachian Trail, attending an Italian festival in the Bavarian town of Gramado, Brazil, zip lining in Costa Rica and snorkeling Molokini Crater near Maui.

Interests include physical fitness, traveling, reading and golf.

A sports fan who remains a diehard Detroit Lion supporter in spite of the franchise’s inability to manage itself to the Super Bowl, let alone a playoff victory.
http://www.mitchellrstevens.com

 

Because Writers Ride, or Riders Write?

Endorphins.  Many of us do those things that are considered a challenge often because subconsciously we know a feeling of well being and euphoria will follow.  There is much written about physical exercise and the morphine-like effect of the release of endorphins by the central nervous system and pituitary gland.  Recently, more has been written about similar affects of exercising the brain when writing.  I know that when I have successfully penned a few pages, I do experience that good feeling felt after a hearty physical exercise.  That said, I typically will not feel inclined to write when I am less than chipper.  So, one could argue that to have a successful write, maybe one needs to exercise first.  The overall impact will be a double high of sorts.  But wait, what if you are not up for exercise?  This may be a chicken and egg dilemma.

 

I’m a Guest on Pauline B Jones Blog!

Hi all!  I am pleased to have a guest spot on Pauline Jones blog. Check it out at:

http://www.paulinebjones.com/BlogWP/mitchell-r-stevens

Leave a comment and get entered into her monthly drawing for an AnaBanana gift basket ($25 value). She will announce a winner the first blog post of the new month.

 

Why Did I Write The Book – Deliberate Deceit

The proverbial bucket list!  Did you realize the term ‘bucket list’ has only been trendy for a decade?  The phrase was certainly popularized by the 2007 film with the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman; however, it was first used in this intended context in Unfair & Unbalanced: The Lunatic Magniloquence of Henry E. Panky, by Patrick M. Carlisle.  Yes, in a book.  But I digress.

Upon reading many mystery thrillers, I found myself often wondering how in the world did the author eloquently crochet together a varying 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 borderline mandatory, I wittingly etched ‘writing a book’ near the top of the list.

Okay, how and where do I start?  The when is obviously dictated by the creation of the list.  With no experience or mentor to lean on, I started with a simple chart of sorts.  Across the top I listed current geopolitical events and down the side were relatively simple plots, i.e., stolen military secrets, good guy and good girl save the world, a psycho goes on killing rampage, etc.  Once I settled upon a theme, I created a very simple chapter outline.  I then sat down to write.

After writing the first five pages, which by the way took twenty hours, I realized the outline was not going to work.  I had no idea where the book was going to take me.  Yes, take me.  I have no idea how the experienced, successful authors of this genre do it, but my method turned out to be seemingly basic.  I simply sat at my computer and put myself in the story and let my imagination take over.  Before I knew it, I had penned 15,000 words and my characters were alive and behaving accordingly.  Writing was fun, well most of it.

The not so simple or 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!

I wrote the book because I thought it would be a rewarding challenge and force me to do something I knew deep down I had the ability to accomplish.  I have two recommendations with regard to writing a book.  First, sit down to write when you have as little as twenty minutes to spend writing.  Force yourself to do it.  Second, tell everyone you are writing a book; you will hold yourself accountable to finish.

I have started the second book in the series and find myself doing my best to employ my recommendations.

 

Ask the Author: Mitchell R. Stevens

What are you currently working on?
The 2nd book in the Deceit series, Deadly Deceit.

What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Attempt to write everyday, even if it’s only one paragraph.  It will eventually become part of your routine.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Providing enjoyment to the reader.

How do you deal with writer’s block?
Just write something, anything to keep the juices flowing.  Edits can always be made later.


Questions are from:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/8075049.Mitchell_R_Stevens/questions

At What Point in a Book Should it ‘Grab’ The Reader?

Every avid reader I know wants the book to grab their attention and not let it go until the end of the book.  Take fiction for example, how feasible is it for an author to lay the groundwork for a good plot, which includes character development, and hook the reader before the end of the first chapter.  Sure, there is always violence, sex and intrigue that can be thrown in to tantalize, but will you end up with scrambled eggs versus a well prepared omelet?
What think you?

Book Giveaway For Deliberate Deceit!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Deliberate Deceit by Mitchell R. Stevens

 

Deliberate Deceit

by Mitchell R. Stevens

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter here to win!

Happy Independence Day!

sparklers