Interview With Author Michael Fedison~~The Eye Dancers

18 May

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Michael ( Mike ) S. Fedison is not only an imaginative writer he is also a kind person. I have read most of his book, The Eye Dancers, which I will be posting a review of it once I am finished. So far it is fantastic and suspenseful. Many nights I stayed up way too late to keep reading it because I wanted to know what is going to happen.

His writing style is similar to Ray Badbury. Ray’s prose has more of a poetic flourish to it, but he definitely influenced Michael’s style from a very young age.

You can purchase The Eye Dancers at Amazon, Barnes And Noble and Kobo Books for $2.99. As of now it is only available in digital format.

How did you choose characters for your book?

Michael:The four main characters are actually based on friends I knew growing up.  Back then, I used to write these ridiculous plays, “starring” them, and would read the plays aloud to them.  It was good for a few laughs, and we had fun.  Now, years later, I wanted to write a book for a general audience based on the real-life friends from my own childhood.  It was a very enriching and fun experience.

What is your favorite genre to write? And why?

Michael:That’s hard to say.  I actually enjoy several genres.  I guess whatever story ideas come to me, regardless of genre, I will write about them if the ideas resonate and motivate me to express them.  I always know when a story needs to be written, because if I don’t write it, it continues to nag me, and prod me.  It needs to come out onto the page.

Have you self-published or published anything before The Eye-Dancers?

Michael:The Eye-Dancers is my first attempt at self-publication.  I have had a few short stories published in small literary magazines.

What inspired you to write The Eye-Dancers?

Michael:Well, the experiences I had growing up with my friends, number one.  I have always wanted to write a book for a general audience that somehow encapsulated some of the adventures I had in my own childhood.  Of course, many of the events in The Eye-Dancers are purely fictional, since it’s a pretty “far-out” plot, and to the best of my knowledge my friends never actually traveled to a parallel universe as they do in the novel.  But the camaraderie, the banter, the spirit of my childhood friends—I wanted to capture that in The Eye-Dancers. 

Also, the book opens with main character Mitchell Brant dreaming of a mysterious “ghost girl.”  I, myself, had that same dream when I was a teenager, and always wanted to incorporate it into a novel.  For years I didn’t know quite how to fit it into a story, but then a few years ago, the basic idea for The Eye-Dancers came to me, and I was happy to know I’d be writing about the “ghost girl,” after all.

How long did it take you to write The Eye Dancers?

Michael:It took two and a half years to write the first draft, and then another year plus to rewrite, edit, and polish it, and get it ready for publication.  So, all told, close to four years.

Do you plan on writing more books in the future? Any WIP’s right now?

Michael:I have started writing a sequel to The Eye-Dancers (as yet untitled).  I’m very early on in the story, but I look forward to delving into that world again, and writing for those characters again.  It should be fun.  Also, I am always writing new short stories.  I am thinking of publishing a volume of short stories later this year.

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When did you start writing? As a hobby and as a professional?

Michael:I started writing creatively way back in the second grade.  We had a class assignment, and I really took off with it and wrote this fantasy about a magic key.  I still wonder what my teacher really thought of that story!  It was pretty weird.  I began submitting stories for publication when I was in high school.

What sparked your interest in writing?

Michael:You know, I honestly think it’s something innate—something I was born to do.  A bit of a trite answer, I know, but I genuinely feel that way.  In terms of outside influences, from a young age, I’ve loved to read—all kinds of things.  From comic books to Shakespeare, from Anne of Green Gables to Stephen King.  I love to read, and love to write!

Was it challenging to self publish?

Michael:It was.  I was lucky to have a good friend who is a graphic designer.  He created the cover for The Eye-Dancers and really got the e-files ready for publication.  He was a big help.  The biggest challenge, by far, is trying to get the word “out there” about the book.  I am not a natural marketer/promoter, and I am learning as I go. 

What are your thoughts on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing?
I think if you’ve written a book and want to get it published, you have to look at your goals.  If you’re not in a hurry, and want to try the traditional route, go for it.  I would probably recommend querying a minimum of thirty agents and fifteen publishers and see what the response is. 

On the other hand, the publishing world is extremely hard to break into, and it can be frustrating.  This is where you need to gauge your goals, your temperament, your ability to handle rejection slips.  I think self-publishing is a very viable and worthwhile endeavor in 2013 and beyond.  Self-published authors have avenues available today that wouldn’t have been dreamed of twenty years ago. 

The key with self-publishing is—don’t rush it.  Make sure the finished product is edited and looks much the same as it would had it been published traditionally.  And then—you have to market your own work.  You have to try to build some momentum, and hopefully in time, your book will take off.

If an aspiring writer were to ask you for advice on writing a novel what would you say?

Michael:First and foremost, write what you love.  Don’t worry about trends.  If you write about something you care about, and you write with feeling, your readers will care about your characters and your story.

Second, make sure you work and rework your novel.  When you think the story is finished, it isn’t.  Edit, then edit again, and again.  Make it as perfect as you can.  When you truly believe it’s done, either begin querying agents and publishers or self-publish.  Either way, the key here is being persistent, and believing in your work and what you have to offer.  If you query agents, rejection slips will come in.  That’s just the nature of the industry.  Don’t get discouraged. 

If you self-publish, there will be entire weeks where you don’t make a single sale.  There will be bad reviews.  Don’t give up.  Remember why you wrote the book to begin with—you had a strong desire to tell a story.  It resonated within you, needed to be told.  And you believe people will like it.  Keep the faith, promote, promote, promote, and never stop reaching for the stars.

Michael has a blog that I highly recommend you check out. Click right here—-> http://eyedancers.wordpress.com

Hope you enjoyed this weeks author interview. Review of The Eye Dancers will be coming up next week and of course other posts. Keep an eye out!
Take care and enjoy your weekend!

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