1. Micki, what do you write about? My writing is diversified, touching upon anything that interests me. I'm not a prolific writer--I write when I have something to say. Starting out with non-fiction slice of life short pieces and essays, led me to trying every genre and style, except hi-tech science fiction, screen writing and scripts. I love writing about real people and write humorous stories similar to Erma Bombeck with less slapstick comedy. My skills lie in writing non-fiction first person, present tense but I'm practicing third person fiction and have sold some and won contests with others. My goal is to write a successful novel.
2. What inspires your writings? I began serious writing when I turned forty, as a catharsis for the grief in losing my teenage daughter to a drunk driver who severed her spinal cord and left the scene. The short story version of that first writing was accepted, which led to a career in journalism, especially political commentary. People inspire me, "the good, the bad and the ugly' as well as world events. I am curious about everything, but the humorous slice of life stories are my favorite.
3. What kind of reaction do you hope the reader will have to your work? My readers react to my writing, especially non-fiction, because I bring them into my stories with me, rather than have them read as observers, which leaves them with a greater feeling of having gone on my journeys along with me. This is particularly true when they read . . . AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, my first book, relating the story of my family's loss. The book is both poignant and funny, a celebration of life rather than a eulogy of death, and most readers are highly impacted by the story--again because I draw them in and have them relive it with me.
4. What advice do you have for struggling writers? It may sound like a cliche, but they must keep on trying, do many drafts, edit constantly and when they are blocked, walk away and write about something else until it passes. They must be able to take criticism without feeling maligned, and to keep moving forward. Writing can be learned, but storytelling is a gift. Writers should try hard to be storytellers first, then learn the rules so that later they can break a few as needed. Never throw away any writing as it may one day fit something else. Remember that rejection slips are proof that someone did read your work and hand written ones are a sign that they gave the work their attention, but couldn't use it at that time.
5. Where do you see the book publishing world heading? I'd like to be optimistic about the publishing world, but in this economy with so many book stores folding up, it's become harder than ever to market one's work. E-books, like Kindle and Nook are outselling the printed books due to the lower price, leaving print books in a precarious position and in danger of becoming obsolete in this technical world. The Internet is a time-consuming but fairly positive way of getting both the book and the reader known. It must be remembered that one is not just selling their books, but themselves as well. Competition is fierce, money is tight, and statistics report that 89 percent of published writers sell a total of about a hundred books. Still, writers will continue to write because it's what we do and who we are, and book-loving readers will find a way to read--even in formats that are new and different. Book publishing will manage to survive the present crisis.
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