Something in me resists easy or rigid classifications, which is what “genre” connotes to me. I prefer to write an interesting story with relatable, conflicted characters. My novel might contain various genre elements—mystery, thriller, tragedy, comedy, coming of age, romance, history…as long as it can be woven into a tapestry that reflect real life.
What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it?
The biggest challenge is coming up with an original story and characters. Then: bringing urgency or mystery so a reader wants to turn the page; creating insights that evolve organically from the story; building well-crafted sentences and paragraphs that don’t waste words and, if possible, are memorable. Finally, working, reworking and reworking again every aspect of the book. Writing, for me, is never fun, but it’s the most emotionally and intellectually satisfying thing I can do for the majority of my day. And before you type a word, don't underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep or something with extra shots of espresso. One other caveat: drinking doesn’t go with either driving or writing.
When and where do you do your writing?
I can write almost anywhere, anytime (if my mind is fresh), including on airplanes, at Starbucks, in a car .or in bed. Background noise doesn’t faze. Most of the time, however, I sit behind a desk.
What have you learned about promoting your books?
Still learning. It’s more difficult, and almost as important, as writing the book itself. Getting good professionals to help is essential. In the end, however, you hope an anonymous reader has enough enthusiasm in his voice to influence other readers.
What are you most proud of as a writer?
Getting reviewed (favorably) a couple of times in The New York Times, and having a couple of best sellers, is high on my list. But so is, with any writing endeavor, matching the pre-glow of conception with the after-glow of completion.
If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I had drinks with Stephen King years ago—he’s an amazing guy and a genius. I’d jump in a time machine to spend an evening with Proust, Camus, Dostoyevsky, Conrad or Twain…..talking anything and everything.
Michael R. French graduated from Stanford University where he was an English major, focusing on creative writing, and studied under Wallace Stegner. He received a Master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University. He later served in the United States Army before marrying Patricia Goodkind, an educator and entrepreneur, and starting a family. In addition to publishing over twenty titles, including award-winning young adult fiction, adult fiction, biographies ad self-help books, he has written or co-written a half-dozen screenplays, including Intersection, which has won awards in over twenty film festivals. He has also had a long business career in real estate, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His passions include travel, collecting rare books, and hanging with friends and family. He describes his worst traits as impatience and saying "no" too quickly; his best are curiosity, taking risks, and learning from failure.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-French/e/B001ITYVES
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