Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Author Interview Series – Michael Snow
Today I have the pleasure of talking with author Michael Snow. Michael has been a commercial pilot for twenty-five years. He works for both United States and international companies all over the world, including peace-keeping arenas in the Middle East and Africa.
Michael: The idea behind Rumours of War began while I was flying United Nations troops into Sudan and listening to the stories being told by flight crews and military personnel. There were a lot of rumors floating around about toxins being used to carry out genocide in the region; that aircraft had been utilized to introduce the toxins. It was irresistible as a story line, and the current tension between Israel and Iran became the perfect setting.
JET: What drew you to action-adventure?
Michael: I don’t have the ability to sit at a desk and conjure up great story lines – my books are combinations of ideas and real-life events, tied together with interesting things that have happened in my career. Also, some of the characters may eerily resemble some of my close friends. In Rumours of War, the pilot lost an engine while crossing the Atlantic Ocean. This actually happened to me, and believe me, when you’re down to one engine over the ocean, you can’t stop thinking about it.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
Michael: I got really tired of receiving form letter rejections. Nobody read the query, or the first page, or any other part of the manuscript. I think this is a major problem with books and films being produced now – it’s difficult for new talent to get in.
JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
Michael: Jayne Southern with Rebel E Publishers showed some interest in the book summary. She requested a full manuscript read, then spent a few months editing, fussing at me, and writing little notes saying “you can do better than this!” We even argued about how to brew tea – she’s British, and female, so I lost. In the end, I learned a tremendous amount from her and the other folks at Rebel E, and I’m most appreciative.
JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
Michael: I liked Mark Twain, Stephen King, and Hemingway. I was a big fan of the classics.
JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?
Michael: I began writing short stories around age ten, then while in high school I won a college scholarship for writing. For some reason, I didn’t have the ability to tie a full book together until my forties.
JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
Michael: A few years ago the whole world was searching for Charles Taylor, the former president of Liberia that was eventually tried and convicted at The Hague for war crimes. I was wandering around an airport and noticed his airplane on the ramp – I could tell by the registration number, it was Taylor’s presidential Boeing 727. Kind of made me wonder how hard he really was to find. Allegedly, something was taken out of the airplane. Looks good in my office though.
JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?
Michael: Sins of the Father was born from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. I had the opportunity to work with a guy that had been flying that day, and diverted to St. Johns, Newfoundland after being denied entry into US airspace. The small town ran out of food for all the airline passengers, so fishermen went out to catch cod to feed everybody. It was such a compelling story of people working together after a tragedy that I had to make it part of a book.
JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
Michael: When submitting manuscripts, be creative. Be aware that if everyone is doing it one way, you may have to try something different to get noticed. I was able to get a request for a full manuscript read from one publisher by researching and finding the chief editors favorite book series. I put one of the characters in the subject line, and had a full read request within three days.
Michael: Prefer reusable canvas bags. If I don’t have that option, paper, so I can scribble book ideas on it.
JET: Steak or Tofu?
Michael: Steak. Always.
JET: Beach or Mountains?
Michael: My family and I are serious beach people. I had breakfast the other day while watching dolphins.
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
Michael: Classic rock please.
JET: 2012 Mayan Prophecy Believer or Ain’t Gonna Happen?
Michael: It just didn’t happen. I was all ready with a front row seat and everything.
JET: Angels or Demons?
Michael: Angels, but mix in a little demon to make it interesting.
JET: Audio books or E-books?
Michael: Audio books. They allow you to use your imagination a little more.
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
Michael: Horror spoofs are my favorite.
JET: Twilight or True Blood
Michael: Never missed the first three seasons of True Blood. Started losing interest when Faeries made their entrance.
JET: Classic werewolf or Modern werewolf?
Michael: Classic wolf. The modern ones are a little too metrosexual.
JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
Michael: I’m working on another novel called The Root of All Evil.
JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Michael Snow and his/her work at the following places: www.michael-snow.com
You can also find Michael Snow on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for swinging in today!
Until next time,