Michael R Lewis has dug ditches and washed dishes for minimum wage, sold shoes and tax shelters, and advised people how to make and spend a fortune. This father and grandfather has partied with rock stars, played Black Jack in Vegas for table limits, and studied to become an Episcopal priest. He has also been in the boxing ring and on the shop floor, the stage, and the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Making and losing millions of dollars in industries ranging from oil and gas exploration to wood treating, he, over a forty-five year career, served as a Principal in a National Management Consulting firm, a Senior Executive with the largest multi-state not-for-profit health insurer in the United States, an Executive gun for hire, and started companies in auto services, fast food, software development, physician administrative services, and the manufacture and sale of commercial fabric shade structures.
Since retiring to write full-time in 2012, Lewis has been a regular contributor to MoneyCrashers.com website on such subjects as investments, business management, entrepreneurship, and the U.S. Economy. He has also contributed articles for such sites as Forbes, Huffington Post, Answers, National Mortgage Professional, and Law360. The Storm is his first autobiographical piece.
Mark Twain once wrote that “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” Lewis notes, “I have carried more than my share of cats by the tail, worn many titles over the years including “Go-fer” and “Boss” and learned something from every job I ever had, every foreign country I’ve visited, and every mistake I’ve made. I believe that each of us has a purpose; some are lucky enough to discover their direction early, others must endure a series of lessons before we understand why we are here. I am one of the latter, a searcher and a seeker.”
What inspires you to write?
Following a long career as an entrepreneur and senior executive for a variety of companies, I wanted to give those coming after me the benefit of the hard-lessons I’ve experienced over the years – from sustaining a fifty-year marriage, raising successful, happy kids to starting companies. I’ve made and lost fortunes, traveled places I never expected to see, and met people of all walks in life that have inspired me at times and angered me at others.
I’ve been lucky to have mentors along my way from parents who loved me, peers that inspired me and superiors who goaded me to become more than I thought I could be. If my words can make another’s journey a little easier, I will have accomplished my goal.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write most biographical stories or, at least, based upon people nd places I’ve known. Typically, I will think of a single event, whether it was tragic or comical, and develop the story from there. I do minimal outlines, finding the muse often takes me where i had not thought to go.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write, write, write. I started two years ago writing business articles for pay which subjected me to a high standard of quality and regular editorial intervention. I’m a better writer today because of it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish, having experienced my brother’s travails with a major publisher despite a popular subject (autism) and his experience as a Fortune 50 senior executive. Despite the publisher’s promises, my brother did most of the leg work on his own even though he is now into its second publishing. I like controlling my own destiny.
And the royalties are much better with self-publishing than a traditional publisher.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Reading will always be popular, but the traditional publishers have experienced disintermediation as the result of Amazon’s success in retailing and the tools now available to beginning authors. The challenge for future writers will be to establish an identity among the masses.
The current craze of self-publishing will eventually die as want-to-be authors discover there is no easy path to the kettle of gold at the end of the rainbow. Talent will show in the end.
What genres do you write?
non-fiction, financial, how-to, biographies
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print