Indie Author Talk with C.C Michaels – Don’t let the Man Keep You Down

Indy Author Talk Indy Author Talk

My theme is: Don’t let the man keep you down. Okay. That’s a little tongue in cheek. But what I mean is, don’t let anyone stop you from your dreams. I want to be a writer. I am 24 years old, not much life experience yet, but I’m not gonna let it get me down. Yes, I said, “gonna.” I’m young. And I text – a lot. I always thought writers need a lot of harrowing life experiences behind them, lots of angst in order to have something important to say. So I was reluctant to get started writing but then I decided not to let my own self-doubts get in the way. Just jump in, feet first and get started.

I went to college, tried the American dream and guess what? Nothing happened after that. I still lived at home with my parents and didn’t even own my own car – yet. Still driving the parent’s old beater. However, soon, probably by the time this is being read, I will have moved into a place with a friend and I’ll be working on making my way in the world. It’s a very exciting time for me.

But back to my dream of being a writer. It’s what I want to be my bread and butter job. I tried other things, worked in retail sales at a store in the mall where I couldn’t compete with the ten-foot high images of guys with six-pack abs on the walls. You know the place. It reeks of men’s cologne and pumps the music so loud you can’t hear yourself think. Then I had a stint at a famous pizza company and let’s just say I didn’t follow rules well. I fell like a lineup of dominoes (hint, hint) and the job ended poorly for me. Or not. You know what they say about when one door closes, another one opens up. That’s where I’m at right now. I finally got a job working for a small Indie publishing company that will pay the bills while I hone my craft of writing. Then if the gods of Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iBooks smile upon me, hopefully I’ll one day be a good enough writer/storyteller to make my living from writing. I will work for myself, be able to be creative and express myself and hopefully bring a little happiness to people who read my books, or those who just want a few hours of escape, where they can get caught up in the fantasy of a book world and forget about the worries of their daily lives.

I know I have a lot to learn and not just about writing but also about being an Indie author. I read books about plot structure and how to write snappy dialogue and things like that in order to hone my writing skills. However, if a person wants to be an Indie author they need to also be a bit of an entrepreneur. Indie authors need to understand how to market their books also. It feels overwhelming at time but I’m young and since I want books to be my business, I’m eager to learn as much as I can about all facets of the business, not just the writing part. Otherwise, I guess I’d better be savvy enough to hire someone to help me with the things I don’t know well enough, or maybe don’t have the time to handle.

INdy Author Talk QA

Where are you from?  Does the area you live in influence you writing?

I was born and raised in Southern California in a military family. I don’t write about surfers or the beach so I guess I’d have to say that it doesn’t influence my writing at this time, but I’m just starting my writing career so it could change.

Tell us your latest news??

I recently finished Lily’s Seduction: Book 2 of the Lily series. It took me longer than originally planned but finally it’s available on Amazon. I’m toying with the idea of writing sci-fi next. I guess I really got caught up in the idea of having my characters living in a world that is not what we are familiar with. You know, have aliens that look mostly like humans but then have some crazy wild blue-green skin color or something like that.

When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

Okay, now you got me. I have to confess. My mother is a contemporary romance author. She became an Indie author by self-publishing her first books on Amazon. I was studying Literature in college and when she began to see her books do well she told me I could do the same thing if being a writer was what I wanted to do. With self-publishing, writers can be in control and not be at the mercy of big publishing companies in order to be successful and be a published author.

What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Since I was a Lit. major, the classics were the most influential books for me. F.Scott Fitzgerald who wrote The Great Gatsby is one of my favorites. Mostly American authors have influenced me.

Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?

Most of my characters are a kind of conglomeration of people I know. Not just one person in each character, but two or three qualities of people I know put into one character. Memorable movie characters are also where I go for inspiration when building a character. For example if I need to write a tough guy I think of a movie that was a big hit with a tough guy lead character and use maybe some of his words for the dialogue, or actions. Like maybe the tough guy character spits on the ground a lot. So I have my character do that too. Sorry, that was kind of a gross example. I don’t know why that came into my head.

What motivates you to write?

It’s my passion. I really want to make writing my life and not work a day job just to pay the bills and have to write in my spare time. I want to be able to write and share my stories with readers so they can enjoy it.

What is the hardest part of writing?

Writing convincing characters and getting the mood just right. And of course, editing. That’s tedious and I’m a little ADD sometimes, or so it seems when I get tired of focusing on every nit-picking detail until my eyes go crossed.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Discipline. You have to write so many words each day. Perseverance. And the good authors make it look so easy, but when you sit down in front of the computer suddenly you realize how much work it takes.

Where do you get your ideas?

I’d have to say that I’ve been influenced by movies and TV shows. I grew up with a lot of visual images, as did most people in my age group.

One of my favorite classes in both high school and college was Cinema as Literature and the likes. I think in terms of how a scene would look as a movie in my mind and then translate that into words.

What does your family think of your writing?

My mom has that mother gene in her that makes her think my writing is great, so she’s excited about it. She’s my greatest supporter. My dad on the other hand, follows the typical logic that if something is creative it can’t provide enough money to live on. But I hope to prove him wrong soon.

What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

Don’t let the negative thoughts of others keep you from at least trying. Then strive to improve your writing. Read books about writing and write every day.

What book are you reading now?

Wool the Silo series by Ernie Cline. It’s a compilation of five books. It’s a post-apocalyptic science-fiction story. I love the author’s backstory that he wrote the book on lunch breaks from his job at a bookstore, or something like that. Plus, he’s an Indie author.

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