Interview with Micheal Maxwell

Published 2018-11-19.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love mysteries! Stuart M. Kaminsky, and Peter Lovesey, are my favorites. I also love classics like Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Samsung 9" tablet. I bought it because you can read both mobi and epub books.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
That is the $64,000 question. The key strategy in all of my marketing is making Diamonds and Cole the first book in the Cole Sage series free. As an anchor for the series, the response it gets and follow-thru sales for the other eight books have been consistent and encouraging. I have been fortunate to be able to run promotions on BookBub, as well as cooperative promotions with other authors, and interviews on numerous webpages.
One thing that has been consistently effective is being able to get included on blogs, newsletters and webpages of ebook promoters and reviewers.
Describe your desk
It's a 9' double station affair I share with my wife who is my proofreader and typist. My computer consists of two small boxes, one is the work station, the other is a hard drive array. Probably the most important element of my desk is my Klipsch Reference studio monitors that keep me rockin' through the day! LOL
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in the Central Valley of California on a small farm. Not being an outdoorsy kind of guy and having no neighbors, I spent a lot of time reading. My love of books and my overactive imagination seemed to segue into writing which I began at an early age.
I am a firm believer that good readers make good writers.
When did you first start writing?
I have always been a writer. Over the years I have written record reviews, movie reviews, restaurant reviews and articles for various publications. I worked for a time as the staff writer for a humanitarian organization creating and publishing all promotional and informational material that left the building. It was there I wrote my first book during my lunch hours called The Whistler. But it wasn't until 2012 I became a serious about writing books for publication.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After bloodying my nose multiple times running into the walls of traditional publishers I was introduced to the concept of self-publishing. I was fortunate enough in the early years to be taken under the wing of two excellent teachers. In September of 2013 I published Diamond and Cole and have never looked back. It is a constant challenge to keep up with new trends and opportunities in the indie author marketplace, but I have found that indi authors are some of the most generous and giving people on the planet.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow. I love the way Doctorow weaves historical characters into the story of a family. His ability to intertwine four story lines into the same relatively short book has always amazed me.
The Deptford Trilogy:Fifth Business; The Manticore; World of Wonders - Robertson Davies. No other book I have ever read has touched me as deeply as the story of two boys we meet at eight years old and follow through their entire lives. The first time I read this book I was captivated by Davies' voice and I remember thinking I want to write a book like that. It would be nearly twenty years before I actually attempted to write full length novels. It by no means can be compared in any way to Davies work, but I always felt his hand on my shoulder as I wrote.
Our Mutual Friend - Charles Dickens. Of all Dickens books, Our Mutual Friend is by far the most engaging. His ability to cast the book with dozens of characters, locations, and plot lines is the gold standard in my opinion for what it means to be a storyteller.
Time And Again - Jack Finney. If I could have one super power it would be time travel. Finney is able to take you back in time in a logical method that to me eliminates all of the "oh, come on" elements of most time travel books. He crosses every t and dots every i as he walks us through one man's journey into the past.
The Old Patagonia Express - Paul Theroux. On a cold February morning Paul Theroux boards a train in Boston and his journey doesn't end until he reaches the tip of South America. There is nothing I love doing more in this life than travel. He is able to convey the thrill, sights, sounds, meeting people and sheer wonder of travel. It is as close to actual travel as I have ever seen.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My newest book is co-written with my friend Tim Attewell. It is called DEAD BEAT and is the first book in a new series.
We meet our hero Noah Steele as he is transferred to a new precinct. What seemed like a great opportunity for Steele, has all the signs of a future being the tool for a ruthless captain. The sparks fly as the up and coming young detective Steele, is shackled with Comrade Flynt, the most eccentric cop to never make an arrest.
As they struggle to solve the case of a Punk Rock drummer impaled with his own drumsticks, Steele sees a spark of brilliance in his annoying new partner. Could it be that Flynt was just living up to the total lack of expectations put on him by his former partner?
A Punk Rock band that hates each other as much as society, two young thieves, a rival Juggalo band, a house breaking pervert, and a sexy Harley Quinn wannabe, all point the way to murder.
Noah Steele refuses to allow the bullying of his new partner Comrade Steele, even at the cost of his own future.
I'm really excited for my fans of the Cole Sage Mystery Series to be able to meet this pair of new characters as they try and solve a strange and wonderful series of cases. I think they're going to love it.
How does romance play into the Cole Sage Series?
When we first meet Cole Sage he is depressed and somewhat despondent at never getting over "the one that got away". A cry for help from his great lost love sets Cole upon a life changing journey through the eight books so far in the series. I think that the charm and romance of classic characters has somehow been lost in today's literature. For a man to write a romantic mystery thriller series brings the genre to a whole new place.
What I bring to this series is a realistic look at how love and romance guide our lives. It can either enrich or destroy the path a person is on. In Cole's case he is able to bring closure to one great relationship and find another woman to bring peace, love and contentment to his life full of murder, terror, cases to be solved and the path of a life fully lived.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
With so many options in self-publishing finding Smashwords was a true godsend. To be able in one place to effectively and easily reach three of the largest providers of ebooks has brought my marketing strategy to a place where I know I am reaching as many as people as I possibly can with my work.
I'm sure it could be done without Smashwords, but it would be a whole lot harder and time consuming.
Now that Smashwords is building and promoting sales on their own website, it only continues to strengthen my commitment to this great company.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
One of my greatest joys in writing is sneaking in the names of people I know and love into my books. It sounds silly but next to typing The End at the end of a book, it is just about the funnest thing I get to do.
Books live forever and as crazy as it seems. I feel that giving people a place in my stories grants them a tiny piece of immortality.
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