Interview with Mike Yarbro

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Jackson, Mississippi. As a child and teenager I witnessed how many of the wealthiest and poorest people in the south lived. I learned that poor and rich alike have warm hearts and ambitions. Some of the most wonderful people I have ever met were poor. I also learned that although many people try hard to succeed not everyone becomes wealthy or successful. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is sometimes very minute. Southerners taught me that there are few places better in the world to live, and that warm and gracious people are all around us if we just look. People in other parts of the U.S.A. and the world would be shocked if they knew how beautiful Mississippi really is.
When did you first start writing?
In college at Mississippi State University in 1963, but I thought that a major in English was not for me. Rodeo, horses, women, beer, and music were more important at 19 years old.
What's the story behind your latest book?
A seventeen million dollar Ponzi scheme which was run by one of our ex church members, a former deacon and Sunday school teacher. The fraud devastated a lot of people financially, mostly elderly who believed in the perpetrator of the fraud. Many of these elderly people lost everything they had while the con man lived like a wealthy baron.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The chance to help other investors, young and old, watch out for what may appear to be a good investment and wolves in sheep's clothing. Also, how our faith can get us through tough times and events.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By getting my story to the masses.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting in a quite place and letting my mind go and putting down words and expressions that mean something. You can create a whole new world in a story or convey things that actually happened.
What are you working on next?
A novel about a starving high school champion cowboy who can't win when he joins the professional rodeo circuit until he meets an older, eccentric cowboy and his trusted sidekick.
What is your writing process?
As my writing teacher taught----Think about the story and imagine the story, write your notes, build a house room by room of the story, make a rough draft, correct the rough draft over and over, then write the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Yes. It was the story of Jesus, and I still read and learn as much as I can. The history channel helps a lot.
How do you approach cover design?
Make it depict a part of the story as much as possible.
Describe your desk
Fairly neat in a remote part of the house.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Internet
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. In my freshman year of college. I was 18 years old and really didn't know what I wanted in life. I was majoring in English at Mississippi State University, and I wrote my first short story about a horse and horse trainer. When I began writing I totally got lost in the story and my mind was completely consumed with it. I heard nothing outside or inside the dormitory until well after the story was written. It was exciting to know that I could actually do that and love it.
The professor gave me an A+. Even more rewarding were two things my father did for me. During elementary school I was horrible at English, and both my speech and grades embarrassed him. He often said, "You are crucifying the English language." He despised hearing anyone speak incorrectly, and I did regularly. The summer after the sixth grade he hired a young man who was working on his doctorate in English, and he tutored me all summer one on one, every day. When I began the seventh grade I was at a tenth grade English level, and all of a sudden I loved English classes. It is a shame how poorly many people speak. The second thing he did was tell me that he would no longer pay for my college education after I didn't take but one final exam at the end of my freshman year, and I flunked it. Four zeros and one F is what my report card showed when he got it in the mail. I was so afraid that he would ring my neck, or worse, that I chickened out and took a job in Wyoming as a cowboy before he saw my grades. I didn't hear from him for three months, and then the letter arrived in Jackson Hole. It said, "I will never pay for any more education for you since the only thing you learned in college was how to drink beer, cut classes, play guitar, chase women, and gamble." I knew that I had really hurt his feelings and threw away a great opportunity. I sat out a year and bought and sold enough horses to pay my tuition and then went back to college. I made good grades from then on when it was my money I was spending. It was a great lesson in life.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly non fiction and occasionally fiction.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The Bible ------------------------------------------ It is the operators manual of how we should live our lives.
The Rainbow Trail ------------------------- It makes the reader feel like he is there
The Old Man and The Sea-------------------- When the old man gets back to shore he is not concerned about what people think and you can picture the skeleton of the big fish.
To Have and Have Not ------------------------- It is written with expression.
Christmas Stories From Mississippi ---------- Wonderful author.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Internet and Smashwords
Who are your favorite authors?
Zane Gray
Earnest Hemingway
Judy Tucker
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Before I get out of bed I am thinking about what I should do each day.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Golf, reading, keeping up with rodeo happenings, and trying to keep up with my wife who is the busiest woman I have ever seen. She can't be still for long.
If you could interview anyone you wanted, one on one, just the two of you, who would it be?
Jesus
What do you consider the most beautiful place in the world?
I always thought that places like Paris, Rome, Italy, Canada, Brazil, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, and many places would be the most beautiful, but I was wrong. After traveling all over the world and seeing vast economic conditions and landscapes I was convinced that the most beautiful place in the world is the southeastern part of the United States. It is not only beautiful, its people are warm, friendly, and caring.
What makes you love the U.S. A. so much?
After you travel the world as I have, you appreciate the U.S.A. even more. What a beautiful, wonderful place we have right before our eyes. I wish I could see all of it, but that is almost impossible.
Published 2015-01-30.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Children Alone
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 61,130. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Parenting » Absentee parents, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
There is light in even the darkest of situations, as evidenced by the true story of young Edmund Buck Yarbro and his sister Alice Delilah. In 1880’s Tennessee, CHILDREN ALONE follows the gripping drama that engulfs a frontier family, leading to misery and despair—but ultimately to victory. After Edmund and Alice’s mother dies, their father remarries and all hell breaks loose.
Champion's Heart
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 72,400. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
A compelling story of a starving young Texan who follows his championship dreams and winds up winning much more. In this gripping tale of self discovery, a rookie unexpectedly finds himself in a no-man's land, poor and alone, until two eccentric old men take him under their wing. The action, adventure, and emotion that ensue, due in part to a beautiful heiress, will keep you glued to the pages.
Mississippi Ponzi
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 26,470. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » White-collar crime, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Emotions
The true story of how a seventeen million dollar Ponzi scheme run by a church deacon and Sunday school teacher affected one of many elderly Mississippi families. After working for forty years and saving nickels and dimes, one family confesses their inner feelings of what is like to lose over one million dollars in their elder years and how only their faith got them through.