Jo Michaels is a writer who lives and breathes words. There’s always that “ah ha” moment, and she usually has them in completely inappropriate situations. She’s been writing since she could hold a pencil and often made people shudder with her dark stories even when she was little.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something?I’ve been writing since I could remember, but it was college that really put the bug in me. I did a research paper on the life of Genghis Khan, and there was just something about his story with his best friend and wife that made me want to write it. That was my first full-length novel, and I’ve been pounding the keys ever since.
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I put my daughter on the bus and warm myself up with a blog post. Those are usually helpful tips for Indies, but I do go on and on with fluff now and then. After that’s done, I sit down and go through my to-dos for the day. Usually formatting, editing, or writing are on the agenda, and some days, it’s all three. I quit by five because I have my family to spend time with, and I wash, rinse, and repeat the next day.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
I don’t. There are times when I’m stuck, but it’s only because I don’t know where the story is going from where I’m at. Usually, I sit down with pen and paper and outline a little or look something up online to fix it.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?
Total pantser unless I’m stuck, but I do spend a good deal of time thinking about the story before I ever put my fingers on the keys. It helps. I guess I plot in my head, but let the story twist where it chooses to.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published?Self-published all the way. I can’t see giving anyone such a huge chunk of my earnings.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?
LOTS of research. My design degree helped a ton, too, when it came to formatting covers, interiors, and things like that for publishing. Digital was a bit of a learning curve, but I have it well in hand now. My advice: write your book and hand it off to someone who knows about this stuff.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Getting chosen as a keynote speaker for Ozarks Indie Book Fest 2017 and my editing company being chosen as honoured guests for Great Lakes Book Bash 2017. Oh, and having dinner with Lauren Miller. That was awesome, too!
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? Sure. It’s a psychological thriller and my target audience is men and women between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, who enjoy a good, edge of your seat read. Here’s the blurb:
Tobias Butler has been sitting on death row since being sentenced for a gruesome murder in 2007. Bored out of his mind, he decided to apply to the online pen pal program in 2012. It’s a pleasant distraction—nothing more, nothing less—for three years, until he’s contacted by a beautiful, smart young lawyer named Jess. She’s convinced he’s innocent and wants to see him freed. As they organize their attack on the judicial system, he wonders how she plans to get his conviction overturned—because he’s guilty, and he knows it. Jess is desperate to release him—and he’s desperate to feel his hands squeeze the life out of her once she does.
It’s extremely graphic, so if you’re squeamish, grab a bucket and try it anyway! *grin*
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)Keep at it and be everywhere. Don’t give up no matter what. Work harder than everyone else, and you’ll rise to the top. Give 50%, and it’ll show.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?I can write about 5k words an hour on a good day, so a 50k word book only takes me about two weeks.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. I design all my own book covers. I think about the characters and story, and roll from there. Another reason I like being Indie: full creative control.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time?Edit, proofread, format, and typeset. I’m also a radio host on a Daily Cup of Jo over on blogtalk radio.
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