About Anthony Mays:
Anthony Mays was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He went into military service at the age of seventeen and retired after serving twenty years. He subsequently completed his bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Being too young to stop working, he made a second career in the U.S. government, enjoying positions for both the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs from which he retired again. With his wife, Sherry, he enjoys life with their three children and their significant others, and four blessed grandchildren. They enjoy vacations with the families, but have a special affinity for beaches on the Gulf Coast and Florida. Now, he is excited to begin a third career writing fiction. Halfway to a Southern Heart was his first endeavor of a series he plans to write using the “halfway” theme. He recently completed ‘Halfway to Uncertainty’ and is working on his third novel, “Halfway to the Truth’.
What inspires you to write?
My first book was on a whim inspired by the trips my wife and I took between St. Louis and Memphis. It took me five years to complete as I had a full-time, stressful job that was not conducive to a writing desire. I almost trashed everything I wrote, but thanks to my wife, it survived. She is my biggest supporter and, now that I am retired, allows me the time to write. I don’t know if I could write a book without drawing on life experiences and our continued travels do go a long way in providing inspiration. But, I also feel that I have an active imagination which certainly doesn’t hurt.
Tell us about your writing process.
I find that making at least an outline of my story helps me a lot. That process for the next book starts while I’m working on my current book, but it is a living document that I can adjust at any point in the process. Sometimes, you have different paths you can take a book and I found if I try to force a path, it’s not the one I should have taken. Outlines should not be rigid – they are a guide. Understanding this gives you the freedom to deviate from your outline while writing the story because it fills in other pieces you didn’t know were going to come into play. As far as character sketches, if I do them, it is after the completion of the story. It’s a good idea to have them in case you want to add them to the back of your book to help the reader follow who is who until they get to know them.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I can’t imagine any author not doing this. You gave them life and molded them to who they are – good or bad. I not only talk to them, but feel all the emotions that I give them. When I write those special paragraphs and then lean back and go ‘Whew”, I know I hit a chord for my readers.
What advice would you give other writers?
Most of all, don’t stop doing what you love to do. Remember when you started your first story? It wasn’t because you thought you could sell them to someone, it was because YOU found enjoyment doing it and thought you could make someone else happy reading it (even if it was your mom). It was for the sense of accomplishment. Now, you feel confident that you can reach a larger audience, so go for it but in measured steps. Do your research and don’t let rejection (albeit difficult) get in your way.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Being honest, self-publishing was the result of the cost of paying a publisher. Especially, being a new author, I didn’t know if there would be any interest in my writing outside family and friends, so self-publishing for me was the way to go. If I knew I could sell a lot of books, I probably wouldn’t have hesitated to use a publisher as they can offer services that make your book that much more special.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There will always be that segment of reader that has to have a book in their hand, but the future is all about electronics. You can see the new innovations that spike every Christmas when big retailers make their year-end push. Having said that, the old-style publishing houses need to find ways to either create better or use the existing electronic tools to their advantage. The ability to print on demand is definitely the way to go to satisfy those that need to hold a book (admittedly it was difficult for me to make the change).
What genres do you write?: Thriller/Crime, Romance
What formats are your books in?: eBook
Link To Anthony Mays Page On Amazon