I have been writing for a long time and loving it. I particularly enjoy writing for children. My profession as a teacher (of 23 years and counting!) ensures daily updates in my knowledge of what motivates kids to read! In addition to a teaching certificate, I hold a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Education. Teaching kids and writing for kids are two ways in which I get to exercise my creative mind. Particularly with respect to children’s fiction, I love the interaction of text with key visuals and illustrations. I love to write funny books which, while entertaining (hopefully!), nevertheless provide the reader with insights into human behaviour. Of course, these insights often come through the medium of animals who talk and act just like the humans that we know and love (or not!).
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired by things that matter to me. I believe that each of us has a significant vertical and a significant horizontal interactive sphere. Put simply, what counts are our relationships with our Creator (as stated in God’s Word, the Bible), as well as with our fellow man, and with with God’s creation as demonstrated in the natural world of animals and the environment. I am inspired to write by positive things that I want highlighted, as well as by negative things that I want changed. I believe that the written word, presented creatively and (with me) humorously, is a powerful vehicle for communication.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing often goes totally against what I teach students in terms of planning and the writing process. If I sit down and brainstorm, usually nothing comes. Ideas often come to me spontaneously when driving, or when observing people interacting, or when hearing an interesting news blurb. Then, I have to get down the idea quickly before I forget the key points. Most often, I go on to build a story around what I have jotted down on paper or typed on the computer. The story unfolds as I write. I don’t plan it ahead. To make sure it all fits together and makes sense, I read and reread all the way through my writing process. Kind of backwards way round. But it works for me!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
As a children’s fiction writer primarily (at least right now), I love to use animals as characters. My favourites are dogs and cats – animals I have had at hand for the greater part of my life. Since my family and I are goofy enough to “talk” on behalf of our pets, and pretend that they are responding to certain situations, I have all of that in mind when I write. The rest of the way in which my characters speak and act come from the ongoing creative process.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write about what you know … and love … or at least feel passionately about. Think about settings that you remember fondly or dream about visiting, and use them in your fiction. Recall how people react and the words that they use. Observe animals in their various interactions (if you are using them in your stories) and incorporate this information. Consider writing a series. Chapters and whole boks with “cliffhangers” keep your readers begging for more.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Several years ago I tried (rather unsuccessfully) to go the traditional publishing route. No success at all. Subsequent to that, I was told (whether completely accurate or not) that the only way to get out of the editor’s slush pile was to either be published or be a celebrity. Since I was neither, I didn’t pursue that particular exercise in futility. A few years later, I began to hear about epublishing, particularly with Amazon KIndle. After doing a bit of research, I was hooked enough to give it a try.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that, at present, a huge paradigm shift is occurring. Traditional publishing and its loyal gatekeepers are losing ground to epublishers. I predict that, within a decade, most or not all of publishing will be electronic, perhaps with a print-on-demand component of the overall picture. I think that, over the next few years, slick marketers and half-hearted authors will be spamming sites like Amazon, Kobo, etc. with poor textual material and PLR content to such an extent that a series of algorithm changes will be implemented by these companies in an attempt to weed out the inferior quality material in favour of the higher grade stuff. If Google is already doing it, you can be fairly sure that smart, progressive sites like Amazon are not far behind.
What do you use?
Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Children’s fiction, How-To Non Fiction
What formats are your books in?
Link To Michael Owen Jones Page On Amazon