About Michael Kenneth Smith:
MICHAEL KENNETH SMITH is a former mechanical engineer and retired business owner who has always had a knack for telling stories. An avid Civil War buff and meticulous researcher, he is the author of several works of historical fiction, including The Thin Gray Line, book three of a Civil War trilogy.
What inspires you to write?
The concept that somebody can write a story that captivates and/or educates a reader is inspiring. In addition, as an author, reducing to paper stories that previously didn’t exist is exciting.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
For non-fiction: Lyne Olson and for fiction: Ian McEwan.
Tell us about your writing process.
I know where a story will begin and vaguely understand where it ends before starting. As a historical fiction writer, the time-line is built into the story so it’s easy to follow the drum beat of the historical time line.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I do not listen or talk to any of my characters; rather I live in their heads and write about their reactions to various stimuli. I do tend to fall in love with my female protagonists and by demonstrating their strengths and weaknesses hope my readers will feel the same affection.
What advice would you give other writers?
Almost all authors will advise writers to write, to just start typing or moving the pen. I agree. It’s amazing how our brains are connected to what we can write or type. Starting with something as simple as a sentence can lead to a complete manuscript.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When I finished my first novel, I was 72. I looked at finding an agent. Then I thought about the agent selling my book to a publisher. Then there was the time lapse from getting a publisher to seeing the book in print. I thought I might not live long enough! So, I self-published and the book was on Amazon in three months. I was then able to write another and another. Today, I’m about to publish my fifth novel.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Amazon is the elephant in the room. A traditional publisher acts as a filter separating good journalism from bad. They make sure the book has a cogent message and is well-edited. Direct publishing does not guarantee the book buyer that filter which is why Amazon reader reviews are so important. Lately, though, Amazon is bridging the filter gap with imprints like Lake Union and others who are owned by Amazon but do the job of a traditional publisher. It could be the final nail in the old coffin.
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.