It’s my pleasure to welcome author Mike Prelee to my blog!
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi, my name is Michael Prelee and I am the author of the Milky Way Repo scifi series and the crime fiction novel, Murder in the Heart of It All.
How long have you been writing for?
My first novel, Milky Way Repo, was published in 2015.
What is your writing process like?
Once I have an idea for a plot, I research the subject matter as much as I can. This involves looking things up online and interviewing people who are knowledgeable in the field. Then I begin writing the first draft of the novel. Lots of writers use outlines or beat sheets but I’ve found a looser approach works best for me. I usually have a stack of notes that I work from.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, what’s a typical day like for you?
I have a day job and a family, so both of those come before writing. I read as much as I can during the week for inspiration and to see how other writers put their stories together. I also use that time to plan out what I’m going to write during my next session. Most of my writing gets done on weekend mornings. I get up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings and work as hard as I can toward that week’s goal. Again, this goes against the advice most writers give but it works for me.
What motivates you to write?
I think that everyone has a creative outlet in them. It helps us find satisfaction with our work and in our private lives. Mine happens to be writing. I have stories I want to tell and I’ve been lucky enough to have some success in that regard.
What was the first thing you did when you found out your book was being published?
I read the email from the submissions editor a dozen times then handed it off to my wife so she could read it and confirm what I was seeing. It was an amazing feeling.
Are you currently working on anything new?
I was fortunate enough to have two books published this year but there is a lot of work that goes along with that. Each required changes with and editor, proofing, promotion and marketing. Things have just slowed down to the point where I can begin writing another book so I just started another crime book. After that I’ll probably begin the third chapter of the Milky Way Repo series.
If you weren’t a writer, what would your career be?
If I weren’t a writer I would probably do the same thing I do now, which is perform quality assurance testing on software.
What is the easiest part of writing for you? What is the hardest part?
Coming up with the initial plot can be easy but following through on it is difficult. I kind of let a story idea roll around in my head and make a bunch of notes before I decide I want to write it and then once I start, it can be a slog to get it fully formed and finished. I have plenty of half-started manuscripts taking up space on my PC’s hard drive.
What’s one thing you learned through writing that you wish you knew before you started?
I wish I understood that marketing and promotion are probably more difficult than writing. It is satisfying to see readers enjoy your work and leave reviews but it takes an immense amount of effort to make people aware of your work, to get them talking about it and create the buzz necessary to reach your goals.
What is your favorite book or genre? Is there a special book that made you realize you wanted to write?
I enjoy books in many genres by many authors. I’ll read anything by Elmore Leonard or Stephen King and both authors inspire me in different ways. Elmore Leonard’s dialogue caries a story by keeping the reader interested in what the character is going to say next, Stephen King has a way of drawing the reader into the setting and story that makes you want to keep reading without putting the book down. After I close one of his novels I often find myself wondering what happened to those characters after the end of the story.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
In order to be successful, try to be as organized as possible before putting words on paper. Work hard to complete your first draft and once you do, remember that it’s only the beginning of the process. There is rewriting, beta readers and once you think you are ready, there is the submission process. If you are lucky enough to be published or self-publish, prepare yourself to work with an editor. They are going to dig in hard and make changes to your work. You’ll see whole chapters thrown out, character motivations questioned and changes you never imagined. It’s just part of what happens before the book makes its way to the shelf.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I write in two genres, scifi and crime fiction. If you are a fan of Firefly or Killjoys, check out the Milky Way Repo series. If you are a fan of Unsolved Mysteries and true crime, give Murder in the Heart of It All a try. If you like them, please leave a review.
Thank you for this interview.
About Mike Prelee
Michael Prelee is a graduate of Youngstown State University. He resides in Northeast Ohio with his family where he enjoys writing. His Milky Way Repo sci-fi crime series includes the novels “Milky Way Repo” and “Bad Rock Beat Down”. It is published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy. He is also the author of “Murder in the Heart of it All”, a gripping mystery set in Ohio, published by North Star Press in 2017.
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