Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Straight from the Mouth of 'Harkness' Michael Bigham

Thrilled to have Michael Bigham, author of the western mystery novel Harkness with us here today. Raised in the mill town of Prineville in Central Oregon, Michael attended the University of Oregon and during his collegiate summers, fought range fires on the Oregon high desert for the Bureau of Land Management. A former cop, after he left police work, Michael obtained an MFA degree in Creative Writing from Vermont College. Visit his website at http://michaelbigham.com/.

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’m not sure I had a choice; sometimes we’re just driven to write. I think for me, it sprang from my avid passion for reading. If you read enough, someday you’ll discover you have a yen to write.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Perks? There are perks? I must have missed the memo. Seriously, writing keeps me fresh and my creative self fully engaged. I’m much happier for it. The downside is fretting about the business side, book promotion, cover design and finding a quality editor.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

With the advent of e-readers and print on demand, the traditional publishing model is breaking down. My advice to a beginning writer is to take a shot at finding an agent, but realize it’s not essential. Some writer friends and I have started up a small publishing house, Muskrat Press. We’re pooling our knowledge and experiences about the technical aspects of publishing.

Our own novels will be our first set of projects, but eventually we’ll look to start publishing other authors.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

They think it’s great. Writing keeps me off the street and out of trouble.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

My bichon frise, Pumpkin, is very good about letting me know his needs. I’ve come to realize my purpose in life is keeping him fed and amused.

Out of all the people involved in getting your book published, which one would you say did the most for you?

Lynn O’Dell aka Red Adept, my copy editor. I didn’t realize how important a good copy editor was until I started the editing process.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I’m retired from police work, so I have the luxury of being able to spend two or three hours each day in a local coffee shop writing my brains out. No TV and no ringing phone, though the Internet does beckon with its siren song. I do a fair amount of cooking for the family, but usually my day’s writing is done by then.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I really only concentrate on two social networks: Twitter and Facebook. There isn’t time to deal with anything else.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Sales are steady but not overwhelming. This blog tour helps, as does social media. I’ve realized that this book is just a prelude for a series based on my protagonist, Matt Harkness. The way to consistent sales (at least for me) is creating a strong platform based on good books with strong characters and a compelling setting.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Being a cop, that would probably be the technical errors I see in novels and on television about police work. Most revolvers don’t have safeties, you can’t search a house without a warrant except in limited circumstances, if someone asks for a lawyer, you can’t try to talk them out of it. Mistakes that simple research would prevent. 

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

God, this tea is great. I do love being an author and the process of creation. Right now, I’m working on the next book in my series, Thunderhead. Thanks for inviting me to your cabana. It’s been a hoot.


Michael Bigham said...

Thanks for interviewing me. I appreciate you taking the time.

Michael Bigham said...

Thanks for interviewing me. I appreciate it.

Michael Bigham said...

Thanks for interviewing me. I appreciate it.