November Author Series

So, last year, erica was lucky enough to stumble upon the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest (and will post more info. on the 2011 contest when she hears it). While there, she met some great, awesome, amazing, incredible, fascinating, remarkable people. Some of them even acknowledge her back!! This month, we will be posting some interviews with these (see above adjectives) authors. Here's our first, who says he's setting the bar low so everyone else can look good. He's cool like that. Our questions are in blue. The interviewee's answers follow.

***drumroll, please***

erica and christy's interview with Mike Wood

Mike self-published his book Alchemy using Amazon's Createspace (then, BookSurge) service and is an all-around wonderful guy who lives in an undisclosed place near where his book is set. Rumor also has it he lived during the '80s, when his book is set. On to the questions:

Tell us about your book. Alchemy is a mish-mash of things, but ultimately it's a coming of age/mystery set on the Cape in the early 80's, so if you liked The DaVinci Code and are old enough to remember "The Goonies," you should enjoy Alchemy. (erica interjects - this explanation is sorely lacking. check out his link at the bottom of the interview)

What's the best thing about writing? Do you mean the physical act of writing? If so, then nothing. I hate it. But if you mean the process, then I guess the end result (praise and attention coupled with the satisfaction that you created something that made someone laugh, cry, or think.)

What's the worst thing about writing? See above, and add to it that it's a lonely and selfish act. How do I deal with that part and keep writing? I limit myself to writing when everything else is done, hence the 15 years it took to finish my book!

What's your favorite food/recipe? Recipe as in something I make? That's easy, as I only make one thing:
French Toast Casserole.
8 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 stick of butter
1 pint of good vanilla ice cream
1 large cinnamon-raisin babka (or 16 oz. loaf of bread)
1 tbsp. of vanilla
3 shakes of salt

Cut the bread into cubes and place into a greased 9x13 pan. Melt the ice cream and butter in microwave. Mix eggs, vanilla, milk, ice cream & butter together with salt. Pour over bread and mush it all around until bread is covered. Put in refrigerator overnight.
--Go to sleep!
--The next day…
Place it in a 350° oven about an hour before you want to eat it, cooking for about 45-50 minutes. Allow it to sit for like 10 or 15 minutes after removing from oven before serving. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar, maybe a little syrup, and eat.

What else do you want our followers to know about you and your journey towards publication? It's a journey I can't make alone. I need followers (get thee to my blog: http://www.mikesshot.blogspot.com/) and leaders (of the cheer variety).

What are your future goals as an author? I'd love to be traditionally published. Self-publishing is great, and I'm actually making money, but I want to feel legitimate. Even with a book out, and all the signings, reading, and appearances I've done, I still say "author" with air quotes.

How did you break it to your family/friends/etc. that you wanted to be an author? I never really told anyone. They found out the same day the 100,000 readers of the Connecticut Post found out when my face appeared on the front page of the paper announcing me as a new columnist. What did they say? They were impressed and supportive. What do they say now? Don't write about me!

What is the planning process like for your novels? Do you outline? Do you jot down notes? Do you get naked and do the novel dance beneath a full moon? None of the above. It's truly spontaneous and free form, more improv than anything. I do imagine scenes while hiking or riding my bike, but do absolutely no real planning. I was surprised as everyone else with the twists and turns my book took.

Who is your writing mentor and why? Or, alternatively, who do you emulate? Not sure I have a mentor (as I'm picturing a Mr. Miyagi type figure) but I do have lots of sounding boards (Hey Gae! What up Megan and Christine?) and they help me wax off from time to time.

If you had a pet elephant, what would his/her name be? How do elephants influence your writing style? How does the movie Dumbo make you feel? Seeing as how I won't let my step-daughter have a kitty, I probably shouldn't even entertain the thought of a pet elephant. As for the Dumbo question, the movie makes me feel like Walt Disney is a douchebag

we love that this interview ends with the word douchebag. So this is where we end. Wasn't it fun? Mike's book is available on Amazon in paperback or Kindle form.

click on photo


  1. Wonderful interview, ladies! But I can't get my head around the fact that I've never had this french toast casserole. WTF Mikey???

  2. We help him wax off. Filthy. As usual. er.

  3. I almost deleted it. But then I thought those of us that knew him would block it out and everyone else would skip right over that part. :)

  4. I see Mike is his usual charming self ...

    One thing I was surprised to see is that he took FIFTEEN years to write is book! And I'm complaining about about a year and a half!

    Nice interview ladies. I'm looking forward to the others.

    Michael ... fellow ABNA'er

  5. Interesting that Mike did the writing when he wasn't busy, unlike us stay at home mums who tend to the opposite (I should be doing housework now). Sounds like a good read.

  6. Thanks Ladies, and readers, I appreciate the plug and look forward to reciprocating!

  7. and there is nothing dirty about my "wax off" reference

  8. let it be known I never helped wax off Mike's wood. Er, Mike Wood. Nor has he ever helped me wax. Or, um, waxed me. Nor have either of us ever waxed anything together, not even poetic. Hmmm, maybe we did wax poetic together. But never while watching Dumbo and eating babka. Well, maybe there was, in fact, babka.

    What is this intereview about again?

  9. well, i'm just so sad i missed out on last year's abna. thankfully i now know erica and through her get to meet all of you. funny stuff. thanks! looking forward to more laughs throughout the month. christy

  10. (out of sheer curiosity, how many more of this type of comment before you strike me from the November author series?)

  11. Gae - None, but your questions just might get more interesting. . .

  12. Gae, nice wax job here. good work.

  13. You had me at Goonies. Nice interview-- thanks ladies (and Mike).

  14. I always enjoy reading whatever Mike writes. He's so full of it (humor).

    The question I wanted answered was - is he planning on entering ABNA again for 2011. If he (You - yes you, Mike) if he is, will he enter Alchemy again or does he have another gem he's been hiding?

    Great interview everybody and great comments too!

  15. Great interview, Mike! Though I'm shocked you don't dance naked under the moonlight--I thought everybody did that... and yeah... impressed by the stamina... My first novel was just over 2 years, and that seems ETERNAL to me now...

  16. I should clarify that it was 15 years between the initial idea/first chapter and the final product, but there were over 10 years of doing absolutely nothing in between.

    And JC (if that is your real name) - If I do enter, chances are it'll be Alchemy again, but I'll probably submit it under Adult fiction instead of YA

  17. erica says: YAY! (and haha to Mike, speaking in parentheses like that)

    We have more, everyone! Don't forget to tune into Hart Johnson's interview on Friday. And more, and more. . .

  18. I was just about to challenge Hart Johnson to generate more comments than MY interview did, but then I clicked on her link and saw she was a hot girl who writes naked in her bathtub and decided I"d better throw in the towel (not literally of course, as that would just be stupid!)

  19. Mike - I hope you enter again. I think Alchemy has a great chance.

    And, JC is not my real name (but my real initials). It's the Phelps you should wonder about.
    (I'm trying to figure out new ways to use the () but I'm at a loss.)

  20. Thanks JC! And I have to say (admit) that I find myself strangely attracted to your avatar! I haven't crushed this much on an animated character since "The Little Mermaid"

  21. Mike... I think you actually made me blush!


Stay and chat with us! Share your thoughts.