A Little Something About Michael Robert:
Michael hails from Washington State with his husband. He is an avid tennis player, loves taking road trips and traveling, and fast cars. His first book - The Crow Flies Free was his debut project and was released August 2021. His first duet series - Letters is his second published work, released early November 2021. The second book in this series is due for publication in 2022.
Questions and Answers:
1. What made you want to be an author?
I have always dreamed very vivid and full story dreams. Some felt like messages that were meant to be written down. I know what that must sound like, but my first novel came to me that way. After a fulfilling career, writing began later in life for me.
2. Typically, what was the timeframe it took you to write your books?
My first novel, The Crow Flies free, took about five months to write. My newest novel, Letters Book One, took four months. The sequel to Letters will be a quicker write because I had full the story in my mind before deciding to split the story into two books.
3. Are you a planner or pantser?
A pantser for sure. My writing comes in surges. I can write several chapters and then step away for a week or so, and then I am revved up to continue. I do not keep notes or diagram my novels. Once I have my story in my mind, it flows freely.
4. What would you say is your unique writing style?
The fact that I can visualize entire stories before writing them is the most unique.
5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How did you find the publishing process?
I was fortunate that my husband is an author and he had gone through the process. He handles all that side for me.
6. How much of your process includes doing research into your subject matter or plot?
My first novel came to me as a dream while I was vacationing in the region that it takes place. The full story developed quickly, so I traveled around the region for two weeks to get my visuals locked into my mind. I began drafting the book when I got home after two weeks on location. My research included getting my facts about the area correct and then research my main character to make sure I did his heritage justice without being culturally insensitive.
7. How old were you when you first discovered your passion for writing?
59 years young.
8. When you are not writing, what do you enjoy doing with your time?
My husband and I play a lot of tennis. We also own an RV that we love to travel in. We call it “glamping” because our rig has a sixty-inch flat screen and a fireplace. I know, it is not camping for sure. I love fast cars and driving, so we do plenty of road trips. We often listen to audio books while on these trips.
9. Is your family supportive?
My family is extremely supportive. With both my husband and I writing for pleasure, while both having separate careers, we support each other well. We share ideas. We beta read each other’s work and encourage each other to find our individual voices.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?
For me, it was the discovery that I could piece together a complete novel from my mind. I have had no formal training in writing or college background in literature or writing. I am an average high school graduate that wanted to tell stories.
11. What is your favorite component about the genre you write?
Because I write MM romance novels, I enjoy the aspect of telling stories based on my firsthand experiences.
12. What advice would you give to help others become writers?
If you have always wanted to try to write, then please sit down and begin. You do not have to be anyone special or have fancy degrees to write. Create a world and people that you can see in your mind. There are readers for every style and every genre that want to read your stories. Please do not hesitate to share them. Those worlds want to be written. Your ideas and characters depend on you for their voice.
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
This was a welcome surprise for me personally. I received many personal notes about my debut book and its characters. People connected with them and the story. Some told me stories of some similar events in their lives. The most welcome comments were from people that thanked me for authoring a story where the main character was an indigenous person, a person of color. Because my first novel, The Crow Flies Free, had a Native American lead, I was able to base him on actual events of my teenage years and a boy I knew.
14. Do you like to create books for your target audience?
Yes, specifically for MM romance readers that want that “Happily Ever After.”
15. What pulls you in about a book? Do you read a book based on the cover or the summary?
Whereas I like a good cover so I can re-create the character in my mind as I read, I choose it based on summary of story.
16. How do you handle writer's block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?
For me personally, I do not call it writer’s block. I call it my break time to better prepare my next section of the story. I write feverishly, but if I feel tired or a need to step away from my story, I do that. I know I will be back in a day, a week or even a few weeks. This helps me stay in the zone of enjoying my new hobby. I will not write if it becomes a burden for my spirit. I think my stories would suffer if I did that.
I have not read Letters yet, but it is on my wish list to be read and some thing tells me, it's a story that will not disappoint me. Michael has quite the following on social media. He has a presence that just draws you into the word he is creating, based on authenticity and inclusivity. I am so excited to see where he goes in his development of characters and the baggage they carry. Go get yourself a copy of Letters and the Crow Flies Free.