Today, we’re talking with Michael F. Stewart, author of the supernatural thriller 24 Bones. Like many writers, Michael enjoyed reading as far back as he can remember, which undoubtedly helped lead him to a career writing his own works.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’m from Canada, living in our nation’s capital, Ottawa. Writing fulltime now for four years, and certainly dabbled at it before I left the proverbial day job. My debut novel is a supernatural thriller titled 24 BONES, available at Drollerie Press.
What type of writing do you do?
I’ve written in a lot of genres, thriller, fantasy, horror, Sci Fi and in a variety of formats, graphic novels, digital, and novel. I’ve even written some very bad poetry. One of my goals when I started was to develop an understanding of the conventions of several genres. I do gravitate to the supernatural.
What’s the best thing about writing?
The adventure. Up until I had children I led a pretty interesting life. I’ve worked on a tugboat in the Baltic Sea. I’ve run zodiacs to the Antarctic Peninsula. I’ve paddled the Zambezi River. Through sports I’ve traveled to many countries. The kids are their own adventure, but it’s not risk taking. Every time you start a book you’re investing eight to twelve months and heading on an adventure. I love it.
Share some of your writing goals.
I actually have a Post-It note on my computer that says, “To master all forms of narrative.” I want to hone my craft until I write some of the most compelling books available.
Is there a specific time of day you like to write?
All of it. Until the kids come home. I hate vacations because I lose my groove.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Stereotypical response, I’m sure, but I knew from a very young age, and it was because I was such a reader. I always had my head buried in a book and I wanted to have the same effect on others that those authors had on me.
Gaiman, Tolkien, King, Dr. Zeuss, Dumas
Book you’re currently reading.
Guardian of Lies by Martini; reading out of genre to see what I can pick up. He’s a wonderful craftsman.
Any type of writing ritual you have?
No more magical thinking. Just sit down and write.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, how did you get past it? If not, why not?
I’ve written characters into situations they can’t get out of, but I’ve never had writer’s block, per se. When this has happened I go for a run. Usually they’re out of their predicament by half way and I’m madly trying to find a pen and paper.
What’s the measure of a successful writer?
Always be improving. It’s a big mountain but if you work at it, you will get there. At the end of the day, however, you need to find and build the audience that likes your books and then hope it’s a big one.
Advice for other writers?
I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules. Perseverance, luck and talent. The only one within your control is the first.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything else you’d like to add?
My proceeds from 24 BONES will go to help the people of Zimbabwe. Thanks, Cherie!