About Michael Phelps:
I am a proud Veteran of the United States Air Force where I served as a Senior Military Policeman-Combat Defense Forces (Viet Nam). I have worked in law enforcement, executive recruting, Administrative Assistant and Co-Trustee for a Hungarian Count and as Chief Investigator for a prominent Miami (FL) Law firm specializing in criminal defense. I Co-authored “DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE” with the iconic actor’s first wife, Ellie Janssen.
Based on the success of the book, I retired from the law firm and chose to embark on the challenging career of being a Writer. I write Detective Novels, police procedurals and court room novels based on actual crimes.
What inspires you to write?
I have had a long and complicated life and had the good fortune of meeting many interesting people. When I co-authored “DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE” with Ellie Janssen, I found I enjoyed the writing process. After the success of the book, I found inspiration to write about what I have experience in; police work, murder, mayhem and court room dramas, all based on actual cases I worked. There are many complex and interesting stories of many colorful people, both good and bad people.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am awake at 4 AM, get my first cup of coffee and go to my home office computer. I respond to e-mails until daybreak, when I let my dogs out, feed the cats, fill the bird feeders. I then shower and return with more coffee to the computer to work on my current project. I do not use an outline or storyboard. I know exactly the storyline and the sequence of events. My black cat usually sleeps on my desk in front of the monitor, my German Shepherd on his window bench. I do not watch the clock, I just write. Taking breaks to let the dogs in and out, more coffee and more writing. At the end of the day, I respond to e-mails. Then I re-read what I have written during the day. I usually close the computer at 7 or 8 PM, watch TV and retire at around midnight.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Although my novels are based on actual criminal cases, I recall conversations in great detail and thus I do LISTEN and I do TALK to my characters, as this is the way I keep the story consistent and true to the events as they happened. I change all names of principal characters, but keep the settings real.
What advice would you give other writers?
WRITE about subjects you KNOW well and LOVE to write about. Use facts where you can, visualize your settings, be descriptive of settings, people, weather, all things that give your reader the feeling THEY ARE THERE, watching and listening to what is happening. Your readers WANT to feel they are part of your story. READ – PROOF-READ – REVISE -RE-READ – REVISE AGAIN – HIRE a PROFESSIONAL EDITOR. After your Manuscript has been Edited, READ again looking for typos you may have missed.-
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Having been cheated of substantial royalties by a traditional publisher with the DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE book, I formed my own publishing company and publish all my work through the company. I would suggest every budding Author to explore every possible avenue to publishing their work. Sage advice; BE CAREFUL and check references and get legal advice before signing anything. Then comes the HARD PART – MARKETING! The part I despise! Your Books will NOT SELL themselves! Explore every possible source to get your books in the hands of BUYERS. This is hard work, but vitally important. Pay attention to it and watch out for Predators.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Traditional Publishers (The Big Five) will continue to do well. With the advent of ‘Self-Publishing’, “Indie Authors” are gaining a significant share of the book buying public, and E-books are gaining ground every year. I see the future for UNKNOWN Authors as very positive. Take for instance, “FIFTY SHADES OF GRAY: or the “HARRY POTTER” series.
What do you use?: Professional Editor
What genres do you write?: I have co-authored one and as sole author, written one in two volumes, all about the same subject. I have two Detective novels and am currently working on the third novel in my “Mike Walsh Detective Novels” series. I have no plans to write another memoir or biography.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print