This week I’d like to introduce you to Canadian author Michael Kent.
His years as a private pilot, avid reading, and extensive traveling, have built up a storehouse of plots and stories to be shared with the world. Michael is also the regional rep Quebec and Maritimes for Crime Writers of Canada. Let’s learn more about him.
What are your ambitions for your writing career? Turn my writing into a serious business.
Which writers inspire you? Mostly mystery writers such as -Robert B. Parker- Robert Crais- Jefferson Parker – even Janet Evanovich with her bigger than life characters.
So, what have you written? (*Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest, professional or hobby.) Many short stories, some that have won prizes or contests. I’m now working on a hard-boiled detective series. Each novel is stand alone, but we progress in the detective’s life, friendships , loves and adventures. (the 5th novel is coming out next month) I’m also planning a more esoteric novel on near death experiences.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Homicide detective Lieutenant Beaudry is a bit of a rebel and somewhat politically incorrect, but he has by far, the top record for most cases solved. (Mainly because he forgot a few pages from the police procedure manual.)
What are you currently working on and what is it about? Bank Shot is about the murder of an ex-bank robber that had stashed the loot from the gang’s last job. He managed not to get caught and to change his life around, but when his accomplices got out of prison; they catch up with hi.
We also get more insights on the hard-ass Lieutenant Beaudry and the impact the murder of his mother in a botched bank robbery had on his life and character.
What drew you to write in this genre? Years of reading well-written mystery and thriller novels gave me the framework for my own series.
How much research do you do? I used to do a lot of research before starting a new novel, most of which never made it into the story. I now make a rough outline, write the tale and research only where needed to back up the story.
Do you write full-time or part-time? Three years ago when I retired from my business consulting practice I went full time.
How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? I try and write or edit every day. I’m a morning person and my creativity is best early in the day.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? No
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand? Computer. I use a Word template for the size of novel that I publish. I no longer type in a standard manuscript format.
Where do the your ideas come from? An interesting question, for which I unfortunately have no answer. Ideas pop into my head from I don’t know where.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you? I do a rough outline of the plot with preliminary chapter headings in Excel. I add to the base outline and track pages and the novel’s progress as the story unfolds.
What is the hardest thing about writing? I generally know the beginning and the end of the story before I start writing. The hard spot is the swamp and alligators between them.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? I do a book per year. My target is one complete edited novel every nine months.
Do you ever get Writer’s Block, and do you have any tips for getting through it? Take a break, write something else, read a book, and come back to your story a few days later.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors. I don’t read, I devour books. I’m always discovering new and interesting writers.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books? The feel and smell of old fashioned paper novels cannot be replaced.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you? If you are serious about writing you need a professional editor.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit? No, I edit a few prior chapters to get back into the story then go on to write new pages. Except for the first pages, I never start out writing.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I don’t like to admit it, but yes. This is another area where I may use professional assistance.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing? Never start a novel with a dream sequence, nor introduce names of a bunch of characters without some description of them.
What is your favorite quote? Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about Creating Yourself.
Is being a writer a gift or a curse? Neither, it’s an incurable disease.
What do your fans mean to you? They are my main inspiration to continue writing.
When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go? For a short story develop as I go. For a series I create the character’s basic CV. Likes, dislikes, character traits and idiosyncrasies and add to this as I write.
Where is your favorite place to write? I have a dedicated office where I write. I mostly edit on paper outside of the office, in a restaurant, coffee shop or library.
Watch for another author interview next time. Until then, hope you have a great week!
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