Interview with Michael Gow

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love the Kindle. It was my first e-reader, and as I have graduated to tablets, have used the Kindle app. I love the selection on Amazon, how they make it all too easy to buy books, and I no longer have to find room on my book shelves at home to satisfy my voracious reading habit!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I'm really new at this, so I don't have a most effective technique. Engineered to Fail was an effort of a lot of stories from my past, so I was able to market to those people I have kept in touch with. Right now, Facebook seems to be the most effective, but I look forward to exploring new avenues.
Describe your desk
Oh gosh...at what time? If I have things under control, it is a pretty clean affair with just a lamp, printer, monitor, and printer on it. If I am in the middle of a written piece or a project, it can look like a disaster area in the making. I guess my desk reflects my life!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a fairly typical suburb in New Jersey. I guess it influenced my writing because there are so many different cultures, styles, and ethnic diversity that I have had so many experiences to absorb. Being an only child, I have always watched and absorbed, so I have been fortunate to be in an area where there really is so much to watch and absorb.
When did you first start writing?
I've been writing since childhood. I remember using my mother's electric typewriter to write stories in the office in the basement. I have been writing ever since. When we were able to put our thoughts out in blogs, I thought it was the greatest invention since the wheel. Without it, I don't think I would have been able to write Engineered to Fail.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Good question! There are times, especially in your work life, and especially you are in an oppressive work situation, that you feel powerless. After a particularly difficult time with a particularly difficult manager, I took a long walk in a state park. Not being wealthy enough to quit my job, my choices about how I could manage this situation were limited. I decided to begin blogging about my experiences and how they could be made better. That was four years ago, with an incredibly response from both friends and strangers on my writing.

I decided on a book when I got to my 100th blog, wanting to put the best lessons in a book to help others who are in those oppressive work situations know they are not alone, and to let bad managers know that there are ways that we can get the word out about them.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have some good friends who are in the publishing industry, and they told me the road it would take to send and gain approval for my work from a traditional publishing track. I don't have the time or energy for that. A friend of mine published on Smashwords and loved the experience. The more I learned about this platform, the more I liked what I saw.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has allowed me to have a platform for my voice as an author. It has provided the guidance, support, and resources to allow me to achieve a dream of becoming an author. I may never be a best selling author, but I can at least be an author. Thank you, Smashwords!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing allows me to show a reader new vistas, new horizons, and new points of view that they might not be familiar with. It allows me to advocate for people, and provides me with a platform that is as natural for me as breathing. It is my sanity.
What do your fans mean to you?
One word: everything. An entertainer once said something rather profound: Applause is love. My fans express appreciation and love in the same way. They show they like what I am saying, what talent I do have, and that they want to hear more. They are wonderful!
What are you working on next?
There are about 4 books in my head right now, but I think it will be a combination of my two loves in life: writing about management and dogs. It will be a tricky combination, but I have an idea of how it will come together. Stay tuned. :+)
Who are your favorite authors?
Anything by Terry Pratchett. He was so droll. I love the late, great Douglas Adams and his small but powerful body of work. Kristen Beyer is a recent favorite as well.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Three long noses belonging to three greyhounds. It is true that there is nothing like the love of a dog to make you feel good about yourself and life. I get to have it x3!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am active in my church, either helping with activities, singing in the choir, or working on their website. I am active in greyhound and galgo (Spanish greyhound) rescue and adoption. I am taking another Masters degree, and building a coaching business.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I love the suggestions that Amazon provides me, and I now look through Smashwords for any gems. I also am a listener, and if someone really likes a book, I'll pick it up and begin reading it. I get a lot of good reading that way.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Years and years ago about a little kid who became incredibly strong, and how it changed his life. Yes, tons of therapy could be spent on that one.
Published 2015-09-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Engineered to Fail
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 19,620. Language: American English. Published: September 7, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Management
Have you ever interacted with a manager or a leader at a company and wondered how in the world they ever rose to that position? Engineered to Fail takes a somewhat humorous look at those poor managers and leaders and offers insights as to how they can become better.