Max Elliot Anderson has some wonderful advice at the end of this interview for writers. Before that, you’ll learn more about this fantabulous author, who writes books especially for reluctant young readers aged eight and up.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’ve grown up in and round the Midwest and have lived in Rockford, Illinois, for the past thirty-two years. My background includes a lifetime of working on film and video productions. That work has taken me around the world and across this great country. Though this has required the writing of hundreds of proposals and scripts for video and TV commercial productions, I only began writing for publication at the end of 2001. Thirty-six manuscripts have been completed and several will come out in time for ICRS this summer.
I grew up hating to read. After exploring some of the reasons why, I decided to write the kinds of action-adventures & mysteries that I would have enjoyed as a kid. The funny thing is, my father was the author of over 70 books and I never read them.
Our children are grown now. I spend most of my time writing, promoting, marketing, and building my platform. I also speak in schools on the subject of using the imagination.
Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
My latest book is Barney and the Runaway. What I hope kids will take away from it is that even when it feels like parents discipline their kids too much it usually means that they love them.
Summer had no appeal to Mike Ellis. But neither did homework, or class assignments, or self-discipline. He especially disliked his parents always telling him what to do and punishing him when he didn’t. Wanting to teach his parents a lesson, he decides to pretend to run away from home for a day with his dog Barney. His plans go terribly wrong when later he finds himself halfway across the country and very lost. Meeting an old clown, who also ran away as a child, teaches Mike the importance of home, family, and doing what’s right. But can Mike and Barney save the circus in time?
Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?
Because so much material has already been written, most of my time is spent in the next stage. There are galleys to proof, covers to approve, promotional opportunities, and activities surrounding the release of new books. But I do love the writing process, so I’ll continue to write additional adventures & mysteries. I would like to see some of these stories made into films one day, and am working toward a few of those opportunities. Some of my books will also be released as audio books and e-books this year.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Because I didn’t grow up as an avid reader, I don’t have the same background of great books like many other writers. I do read a few books to review on my blog. One of the more interesting books I’ve read recently was The Alchemist.
Book you’re currently reading?
I’m in the process of reading galleys and proofing manuscripts for a number of my own books since several of them will come out in time for the ICRS convention in Atlanta. At the same time, I’ve written two new ones that my agent will be pitching and those have required a lot of reading, too.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Writing and promoting what I’ve written take up a majority of my time. When I’m not writing, I enjoy spending time with my wife and our adult children and their spouses. My son and I attend the Daytona 500 every February so we’ll be heading down there again soon.
Much of my life has been involved in the production of films and video programs, so my wife and I watch a lot of movies together.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
This will necessarily be different for each writer. For me, growing up as a kid who hated to read, I set out to write the kinds of books I would have read as a boy. Today, receiving emails and letters from teachers, parents, and young readers, telling me how my books have worked in their lives, is all the success I could have imagined.
Where can we learn more about you?
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would just like to encourage any writer, who hasn’t reached his or her goal yet, not to give up. There are a lot of people who can discourage us along the way, especially in the early stages of trying to write. I’ve also heard and read many accounts telling how it took ten years or more to become established. Don’t listen to the negative people who might be around you. Chart a course and set reasonable goals. Expect it to be hard and to take time. But if you have that creative spark inside of you, and you know that it’s there, never, never quit.