How long have you been writing? How many novels have you written?
I've been writing all my life but didn't write my first full-length novel until I was 36. Since then I've written over 25 novels, some are still unpublished, a few are half-finished.
What piqued your interest to start writing?
I'm not sure, it just seems like I had some sort of creative energy or voice inside that needs to come out, to be expressed. I write every day (working day). It's become a deeply ingrained habit. If I don't do it, I feel that something is missing in my life. Or that I might just go crazy!
Who are your favorite authors? Did they have an influence on the genre you chose? If not, how did you choose?
A lot of different authors have inspired me and I've learned a lot from studying their writing in great detail. A few are Rod Serling, Thomas Hardy, Stephen King, David Mamet, and Sidney Sheldon. You'll notice that I've named a few authors who are primarily screenwriters. With these I've studied their dialogue and also their storytelling skills. Watching movies is a good way to study story structure because you see the whole story much faster than with a book (90 or 120 minutes). I believe new writers should dedicate far more time understanding story structure and how to tell a good story rather than focusing so much on words and description. Yes, words are important, and finding just the right way to say something is crucial, but don't forget to tell a great story, too!
Do you find writing a challenge? Why or Why not?
Of course I find writing a challenge, the biggest challenge in my life! Why? Because fiction writing is one of those things you never perfect, you are always improving, learning, getting better. I try to make every new book I write "better" in some way than all the previous ones. I don't look much at what my competitors are doing--I try to compete only with myself.
Are any of your novels based on events in your life, or someone you know?
Yes I would say that most of my novels are based on things that have happened to me in real life, some more than others. For example The Wrong Side of the Tracks, a coming of age story, is very much based on my real life. Other books have bits and pieces of my real life in them, often greatly exaggerated and changed to be more dramatic and fit the particular story I want to tell.
Do your book events, such as book signings/readings ever become overwhelming?
Not really, as I purposefully control myself so as not to become a one-dimensional workaholic. Anyway, I'm an ebook-only author now and mostly just do online events. I try to limit those to a minimum so that I can keep writing, which is what my readers want most--more books. I do spend a lot of time communicating directly with readers, usually on Facebook and Twitter. In general, I treat my writing as a 40 hour per week job. I write or do marketing 8 hours per day M-F, do a little work on Saturday morning (this interview, for example), and then have the rest of my time free to rest and relax and enjoy life. I do think a lot about my stories at night and on weekends, even dream about them, but I limit my actual work time to a normal workweek, as I've said. To write well requires not only intense work but rest and rejuvenation to fill the creative reservoir again.
Who is your publishing company? Who creates your cover art?
I am my own publishing company and I create all my own cover art and everything else associated with my books. I view a book as one creative unit, which includes not only the text of the story but also the book title, cover art, story description, marketing blurbs, Letter to My Readers--everything. It makes one, singular impression on the reader. This is the main reason I don't traditionally publish books--you can't control any of that, the publisher does. And no publisher cares about your book even 1/100th about your book as you do. It's your "baby." Nobody except you is going to wrack their brains to make your entire book package as perfect as possible. This is the reason I self-publish.
The other reason I self-publish is that I can write whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want. I have no pressure from a profit-driven bureaucracy telling me that I have to write sequels that I don't want to write, or that I have to use a pen name if I want to write a book in a different genre, those kinds of pressures. Self-publishing gives you total freedom and total control. The negative is that you don't have the stamp of "approval" from the establishment, but that's okay with me, I've always been a rebel!
What are your current and upcoming projects?
At the moment I'm writing a sequel, of sorts, to Lust, Money & Murder. The reason I say "of sorts" is that it's an unusual sequel, with the first part of the book focusing on the villain's life and recovery from his disaster in the last book, rather than just having the hero from the first book "do it again," the way most sequels are written. Couldn't do this if I were traditionally published.
I'm also involved in the process of producing all my books in audio format. So far three are done and about five more are in the pipeline. Fortunately I've been able to find top notch professional narrators so it does not require that much of my time, just giving them a little guidance.
From all your novels written, which is your favorite? Why?
That's like asking me which is my favorite child. Can't answer it, I love them all for different reasons.
What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have a hobby?
I have a few hobbies, playing guitar, for example, but the biggest one is nature and fitness. I do some kind of outdoor exercise every day, for 2 hours or so in the early afternoon, to break up my writing schedule. That's one of the reasons I'm living in Cyprus now, the year-round good weather. I either ride my bike, run, or take a long hike, and usually at the end I go for a swim in the sea. Writing is a very sedentary activity and I think it's important to keep your body in good shape--helps clear the mental cobwebs. I have a lot of my best creative ideas while I'm outside exercising and not really thinking about my work, they just pop into my head.
Would you like to say a few words to your fan base?
Yes--THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my books and supporting my writing, for all your wonderful feedback, reviews, and everything else you do for me. You are the primary reason I write every day. Without you, there would be little point in any of it.
Where may your fans contact you?
Amazon Author Page –
Linked In –
Twitter –Goodreads -
I would like to say Thank You! Mike Wells for taking the time for this great interview!