Interview with Michael McClung

What are you working on next?
I'm currently finishing up the final edits on the third book in the Amra Thetys fantasy series. I'm also working on two other books; an old-school sword & sorcery tale(The Sword Monk Saga) and an epic fantasy series for the middle grade audience (Tarot Quest).

I'm the kind of writer that has literally dozens of projects started at any one time. Some never go anywhere. Some lie fallow for years, and then something sparks my creativity and the words just start flowing. I wish I were a more disciplined writer, and once a project reaches a critical mass, I am; but beginnings are always a bit flaky. Ideas are never a problem. Execution is the tricky bit.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Oh, I never have a problem getting out of bed. I'm an insomniac.
What is your writing process?
1. I open three word files on my laptop, of three different projects.
2. I tell myself i have to work on project a, then proceed to write more of project b or c.
3. I write for about two hours, at least a thousand words.
4. I try very hard to do this every day.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read science fiction and fantasy, as well as classics (with ebooks, there's no excuse not to). I also dip my toes into various nonfiction genres, depending on what I'm writing at the time. Much of that research never gets actively used (I've never written a sailing story, despite reading a dozen books on the subject) but I believe it's good for me. Like vegetables.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an old, old kindle and an old, old ipad. I use both quite a lot.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Sadly, I'm not a particularly effective, or lucky, book marketer. I try to concentrate on the writing, Lately, however, I've committed myself to doing one marketing task every day. It can be anything - submitting a book for review at a book blog, pestering Amazon to make "The Thief Who Pulled On Trouble's Braids" permafree, researching the various book promotion sights, whatever. But I have to do something every day.
Describe your desk
I don't have a desk. I've sort of backed my way into being what some people refer to as a 'digital nomad'. Generally that means programmers and the like who can do their work from anywhere in the world, and tend to travel a lot. I do the same. I currently split my time between Vietnam and Singapore, with the odd trip to one place or another thrown in.

So. I don't have a desk. Or any other furniture. I generally write at coffee shops.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the south side of San Antonio, Texas, which is, uh, less than affluent. I'm not entirely sure how this influenced my writing, to be honest, except perhaps to predispose me to dream of far different locales. Places with castles and wonders rather than cracked pavement and weeds.
When did you first start writing?
I think I was twelve when I wrote my first poem. A school assignment. I remember my teacher pulled me aside to make sure I wasn't suffering from any abuse at home. It might have been a tad dark.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published by Random House back in 2003. My editor was fired, my book 'orphaned'. The cover was as ugly and uninspired as any poorly done indie cover I have ever come across. I gave up writing, and the attempt at getting published again, for years. I was thoroughly disillusioned with the whole industry.

Then the self-publishing revolution happened. Whether I am 'successful' or not no longer rests with decisions made in some office or conference room in New York. It's up to me. I build my own career with every word I write, and it's up to readers, not agents or editors or publishers, to decide if what I have to offer has value to them.

That motivates me every day.
Published 2014-10-17.
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