Interview with Michael Phelps

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Indianapolis, Indiana, gome of the world famous Indianapolis 500 Motor Speedway.

My debut novel, "THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE is based on the brutal murder of a close friend and one-time mentor of mine, Detective Sergeant Jack R. Ohrberg, Robbery & Homicide unit of the Indianapiolis Police Department.
When did you first start writing?
I have written police incident reports, and investigative reports all my adult life. Between 1988 and 1996, as Chief Investigator for a prominent Miami (FL) law firm, I wrote case investigative reports and drafted legal motions, even wrote case strategy drafts.

In 1988, I collaborated with Ellie Janssen in writing her Memoir of her former husband, my friend DAVID JANSSEN. "DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE" was published in hardcover in December of 1994, with Paperback Editions following in 1995, 1996 and 1997. The book had combined sales in excess of 1.2 million copies. Based on the success of the book, I retired early and embarked on the challenge of being a Writer. I promised myself I would never co-author a book again, especially with the ex-wife of a celebrity. I chose to write about something I have experience in; police procedurals, detective and court novels based on actual cases.

In THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE, I endeavored to provide my readers with an insight into the personal, family lives, as well as the professional lives of the men and women who serve and protect their communities. I created the "Mike Walsh Detective Novels" series. The second novel in the series, THE JOCKEY'S JUSTICE is based on a murder case I investigated for the law firm.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Over the years following the publication of DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE, I was urged and even inspired to write a Memoir of the friendship shared between the iconic actor and me over the last fifteen years of his life. My long journey into the past finally ended in September of 2014.

"DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations, Volume One-The Early Years (1965-1972) and Volume Two-The Final Years (1973-1980)" is a recounting of hundreds of conversations between David Janssen and me, disclosing his innermost, private thoughts relating to a wide variety of topics.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE was traditionally published and Ellie and I (each owning fifty percent of the Copyrights) were duped out of a substantial sum of royalties. Indie Publishing began to really open up by the time I began writing my debut novel, and I like the fact that I have complete control over the publication and rights of my work.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Although I have three published works, my latest release, DAVID JANSSEN~Our Conversations, is my first experience with Smashwords. Over the last few years, I have read and heard GREAT things about Smashwords, so I am looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing is probably the hardest job I have ever had . . . it requires a lot of self-discipline and motivation. It is for me, FUN at the same time. What I have chosen to write are novels based on ACTUAL people and events, therefore my challenge is to keep the facts and the story line consistent and interesting, using very little "dramatic license". The greatest joy is when I type the last period to the last sentence to the last page. Then, I dread what I know comes next.
What do your fans mean to you?
EVERYTHING! I learned years ago from DAVID JANSSEN . . . his FANS meant everything to him and he gave his very best in every role he played, whether if was television, feature film or on stage. He did it for his fans; he was devoted to them.

I LOVE reading Five Stars Reviews from readers who have purchased my books, read them and taken their time to write a review. I have had far more Five Star Reviews for each of my books, only a very small number of less than three stars. I read the "poor" reviews and try to decipher WHY the reader felt the way they expressed themselves, and WHY I failed to satisfy them.

Should I succeed as a Writer, become a "Best Seller" on The New York Times list, then I would owe my success to my Readers who put me on that revered list.
What are you working on next?
INSANE JUSTICE, is the third "Mike Walsh Detective Novels" series. Based on a double-homicide case. Our law firm was appointed by the Court to defend a young Cuban-American immigrant of killing his 'boyfriend' and another young man. I worked this case for over two solid years. It was a strange case with a lot of twists and turns, involving people of all walks of life. I wrote the "Murder Book", which contained strategy for defense at trial for my boss, the Attorney. The State was seeking the death penalty. The first trial ended in a deadlocked jury, a Mistrial. The second case ended quite well for our client . . . no conviction for two counts of first degree murder . . . NO death sentence.
Who are your favorite authors?
Not enough space to list them all. Here are just a few.

EARLE STANLEY GARDNER * ERNEST HEMINGWAY * JAMES MICHNER * PATRICIA CORNWELL * ED McBAIN * JANET EVANOVICH * NORMA BUDDEN * JAMES A.ANDERSON * JUDITH ANN McDOWELL * DAVE STANTON * RAY VEROLA * J. C. ALLEN * DOUG DePEW ^ WAYNE ZURL * STUART LAND * HARRY JAMES KREBS * are just a few. Since becoming an Indie Author, I have found so many, many talented Authors on the Internet sites whose work I have read and reviewed. I absolutely LOVE their work and I feel strongly that most will be BEST SELLERS in the near future.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am awake at 4 AM, seven days a week. I have my coffee and answer e-mails for two hours. I then let the dogs out, feed the two cats brave enough to come inside for breakfast, and six neighbor (stray) cats on the back patio. Fill the Bird feeders in front and back yards. Have my third cup of coffee, take the dogs to their park in their car (1 hour total, 4 miles round-trip). Then I go to work on the computer, WRITING.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a FOX NEWS CHANNEL addict. I enjoy about three hours of Television in the evening. I enjoy reading other Authors' works. Spend time with my dogs and relax. I enjoy the Arts, Museums, travel (by car or rail), current events, fine dining and people in general.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
SMASHWORDS, Kindle and the Internet Book Blogs.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
In the Fifth grade, a story about how we spent a summer. I received an "A".
What is your writing process?
Since I am writing about a police case or a court case I have worked, it is a simple process. I use case files and my memory. I do not use a story board or outline. I try to keep chapters between 8 and ten pages. I know the people (characters) involved, the locations, scenes and plot, so the actual writing comes easy. Once the first draft is completes, I go over it line by line and make any revisions.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
A high profile murder case in the Indianapolis Star newspaper. I followed the story from the breaking news all the way through the trial and was captivated. Another case was the famous Dr. Sam Sheppard of Cleveland, Ohio. It received full coverage in the Indianapolis Star. I knew then (at age 14) I wanted to be a police officer. I had no idea I would end up in the winter season of my life as a Writer.
How do you approach cover design?
I leave that to the experts. I may have a general idea of what I think would depict the storyline of the novel.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible
Anything by Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Earle Stanley Gardner, Patricia Cornwell, Janet Evanovich, John Grisham and many books by Indie Authors I have discovered, Although I generally read detective and true crime novels, I have found through Indie Authors that I enjoy ALL genres of books.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible
Anything by Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Earle Stanley Gardner, Patricia Cornwell, Janet Evanovich, John Grisham and many books by Indie Authors I have discovered, Although I generally read detective and true crime novels, I have found through Indie Authors that I enjoy ALL genres of books.
What do you read for pleasure?
EVERYTHING I can get my hands on. Although I am 'old fashioned', I like a REAL BOOK, that I can hold in my hand and turn the pages, I now have 134 E-books and I enjoy them. Still, I love to fill my home library bookcases.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and I have KOBO and NOOK on my PC. I like them all, easy to handle and read the e-books.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have NO CLUE!!! That is the part of being a Writer I dread - - - book marketing. I am still learning.
Describe your desk
I have two. One with a PC, phone and legal pad.
The other has my HP touchsmart All-in-one PC. The credenza hutch has German Shepherd and Police figurines, and books on the shelves. That is the desk I use for writing.
Published 2015-01-29.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

David Janssen: Our Conversations - The Final Years (1973-1980)
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 81,570. Language: American English. Published: January 20, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Celebrity biography, Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir
Against his better judgment, David marries Dani Greco. As an actor, he becomes Harry O - interjecting a lot of real-life eccentricities, further endearing him to his fans. We meet Carol Connors, a singer/songwriter David fell in love with during a lengthy separation from Dani - but it was not to be. At a time when he likely felt the greatest sense of peace, fate brought everything to an end.
David Janssen: Our Conversations - The Early Years (1965-1972)
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 128,010. Language: American English. Published: January 19, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Personal memoir, Nonfiction » Biography » Celebrity biography
Michael Phelps crossed paths with David Janssen, star of The Fugitive TV series. Little did either anticipate that one conversation would be the beginning of a friendship which would span 15 years – up to the time of Janssen's unexpected passing. Phelps re-visited hundreds of conversations with the star which he decided to share with the world but, especially, David Janssen's fans.