About Mike Bove:
I was born and grew up in Vermont and went to Castleton State College, now called Castleton University. I wrote articles and drew cartoons for the college newspaper. I have been involved as an actor and director in high school, college and community theater. I adapted a Russian folk tale, The Nosebag, for the stage, produced and directed it. As a public school teacher, I coached track and field, and soccer. After leaving teaching and moving to Cape Cod, ice fishing and skiing became surf casting and golfing. I joined the Postal Service on the Cape, later transferred to Sedona, and retired in 2010. I have long been an avid mystery reader, and published my first Bruce DelReno Mystery, Willowtree, in 2011.
What inspires you to write?
Like most writers, I suppose inspiration for writing comes from the joy of reading. Especially after reading something, saying ‘Wow!” and going back to re-read it. What is a greater joy than reading something you wrote and understanding its meaning, and maybe giving it a small “wow?” Then, there is the hope that someone else may read and understand it, without a “huh?” The inspiration to write about an idea, experience, or observation, need not be a novel; a letter, essay. blog post, even a remark on a greeting card can be worth a “wow.” It has been said we write what we know. But we need to throw in some imagination to enhance those experiences. Preserving and sharing those ideas on paper, or electronically, is fun. Writing is work, disguised as fun. Either way, I like fun.
Tell us about your writing process.
A bon mot, a random thought, or an observation goes into my ever-present pocket notebook or e-tablet. Those may find their way into one of my manila topic folders. Those snippets, together with news and mag articles form the seed bank for my writing.
I consider myself a part-time writer, not a professional full-timer. I have no strict word-count goals or deadline. I can write sun-up to midnight one day, or go weeks without a word. I have character charts, calendars, synopsis sheets, and the like to help keep things straight. I have all of these usually spread out with my folders across the floor, and crawl around in search of what I need. I realize many writers can write most or a whole book without looking back or thinking about editing or rewriting. I continually go back, re-read, re-write, and edit. I like doing it that way. Also, it is because my short-term memory is, well, short. I do not outline the whole thing, only a few events or scenes at a time, since I usually have in mind several different ways the story could go. A character could change the plot direction without me knowing about it. I now write most of my manuscript on my PC in a program called FocusWriter. It is a word processor with no distractions on the screen, only what is typed. There is a basic menu accessible by moving the cursor to the top. I simply save as separate files what may be a chapter, a passage, or dialogue that will find its place later. I have Scrivener, played with it a while, but prefer to work in FocusWriter and the paper shuffling method of that guy who invented the pencil. My method works well with coffee.Those files become rearranged and pasted into MS Word for further editing and formating.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
A good character knows more about where he/she wants to go than the author does. My imagination and research can help he/she get there in an interesting manner, but that, too could be his/her idea. So I do listen to my characters. Do I talk to them? Yeah, I will respond to their sensible questions. And damn them for their stupidity.
What advice would you give other writers?
Advice for writers I have heard or read always boils down to this:
1, READ. 2. WRITE. 3. Write what you know (and make up some stuff). 4. Edit, then again and again. (I should add and again and again). 5. Since I like to be concise, without using unnecessary words, I often recall the meaning behind the quote from my hero, Kurt Vonnegut. He said, “Start as close to the end as possible.” 6. Since publishing I have talked with friends, and strangers at author forums and book fairs, who have mentioned wanting or wishing to write a book. My advice is – start today. Grab a pencil or a computer and begin writing. You’d be surprised how one word follows another after you get the first one out. 7. No matter how far you progress there is an endless amount of information and help available. Most valuable is that from other authors.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
When the possibility of getting published arose, being only a bit above the pauper line, and with agents and Random House below the horizon, I researched self publishing extensively. One can buy any services like editing, cover design, formatting, etc. The amount and diversity of those services has increased greatly in the past few years. Or, one can do it all for nearly no cost, depending on his own expertise in the process. CreateSpace offered, what I thought were the best options for me. I am quite satisfied with my experiences with CreateSpace and Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The e-book business, as we know, has grown and evolved tremendously over only a few years. There are now so many avenues a writer can follow to get works published. This relative ease has created a proliferation of material. Like any product, the good ones will survive and prosper. The e-book culture will sort itself out. More people of all ages are reading more today with their gadgets.
Good paper books will still be published. Many, like me still love to hold a book, turn its pages instead of tapping or clicking, see the ink on the paper. Many, like me still cherish the volumes on our bookshelves and will continue to add more. Libraries now have electronic sections. Real book sections will remain, and still be the best part. Excuse me while I walk through the T stacks. Tennyson… Thoreau… Thurber… Tolkien… Tolstoy…Twain…
What genres do you write?: Senior sleuth, mystery, Literary Collections
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.