Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi, I’m Michael Yowell, and I’m currently 48.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Denver, Colorado USA. I lived in Colorado all my life until I moved to South Carolina two years ago.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was raised in a small mountain town, moved to the city when I was 10, did the usual high school – college – what-do-I-do-now thing, married, and became a father.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Lately I’m juggling my upcoming sea monsters book, my first screenplay, and working to keep my bills paid.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Oh, at a pretty young age. I think I started writing my first haunted house story when I was 8 or 9. Right after I read some of Stephen King’s Night Shift stories.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Immediately. I took to it like a fish to water. It was not great at first, of course, but I got better and better.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Stephen King. That and my unhealthy obsession with scary movies ever since childhood. But reading King’s short stories as a kid showed me a way to do something creatively with what I loved.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I like my titles to be simple and relate to the book. Devilhouse, my first book, is literally a house controlled by the Devil, Red Pines is the Western town that was the characters’ destination, Fragments And Shards is a collection of short stories, The Camera Eye is about a vengeful ghost who could only be seen on video images, and The Dogcatcher and The Dogcatcher II: Chupacabras I picked because the main character is a werewolf hunter and werewolves are canines.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like detail, and am pretty thorough about description, but I also try to leave something to the reader’s imagination. Most importantly, though, is I want my writing to flow like a movie. I don’t want the pace distorted with filler or unnecessary detail.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My horror books are just things I’ve created with my imagination. My Western, however, is a strange story. I had a vivid dream one night about being in a covered wagon moving through the mountains, and had detailed images about characters and events that would later become the story Red Pines. The dream was so vivid – and something that I had never dreamt about before – that I often wonder if it was some kind of memory from a past life. So… maybe?
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, my imagination does the traveling. And the Internet fills in the blanks when I need factual details. Google is my friend.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed some of my covers, like Devilhouse, Red Pines, and Fragments And Shards. Both Dogcatcher books were done by Paul Beeley and The Camera Eye was done by S.A. Hunt.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not particularly, just that I want to scare/entertain you.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I’ve enjoyed discovering fellow authors like Sara Brooke and Dan Dillard. There are so many new writers that I’ve been exposed to thanks to social media. And what I enjoy the most is the variety of writing styles they present. Like being at a good buffet.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My friends are pretty good about supporting my writing interests, more so than some of my family.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That’s the dream. Always has been. Either that or being a rock star.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have made some changes to my books in the past; sometimes to bring an old story up to date with the technology of the times, sometimes just to put a newly edited version out. But I don’t change anything about the stories, I love them just the way they are.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned to be patient and not rush something out there just to have a new book out there. My last book took a long time, but I’m so happy with it that I will invest a little more polishing time on all my future books.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Depends on the book, of course. I could play the lead character Peter Slant from my Dogcatcher books. The Camera Eye, however, would need somebody like
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Of course. It’s the same advice I’m sure they’ve heard a million times, but it’s solid and true. Don’t give up on your writing; if it makes you happy, then do it until you die. Perseverance and patience are crucial. But to hang in there you also need to be open to criticism about your work. And listen to the critics that want to help you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Nothing they don’t already know. Horror will always be there, as we need to be scared from time to time. I’m just here to help in that regard. My writing is not political or philosophical (although I sometimes sneak things in), I’m just an entertainer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
None. I wish I had time to read. Between working to pay the bills and writing,
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yep, that would be Night Shift by King. But that was a short story collection – does that count? I also remember reading Edgar Allan Poe around that time in my life, although it didn’t capture my interest as much as King was able to.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I think anything that moves me. I cry when I see people positively affected by the actions of others. For actions that make me laugh, I can just go driving in rush hour traffic and observe the public.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
It sounds cliché, but I would love to meet Stephen King and have a couple of drinks with him. He was the reason I began writing, and I would love to discover how he pulls such things out of his mind and onto paper.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from writing, I absolutely love music. I am an avid guitar player and singer (believe it or not), and also play bass, piano, and drums. A career in music would be my second dream.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Movies have to be horror, sci-fi, or action (I know, typical guy response). TV shows I’m into were/are The Shield, Justified, Breaking Bad, Gotham, Designated Survivor, and The Exorcist.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Mexican food, followed by Italian and Chinese. But I still enjoy a good steak on the grill from time to time. Blue is my favorite color: makes me think of water. Music would have to be heavy metal, my go-to inspiration, although I also love blues and contemporary rock.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Cry. But then, after that, maybe try to make a living playing music.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing. I just want to be remembered by loved ones. The most important thing to accomplish in life, I think, is to have made a difference in the lives of those around you. I truly believe that’s the meaning of life. Apart from that, doing what I can to make myself happy – like writing – is equally important.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My Facebook page is good for seeing what I’m up to https://www.facebook.com/MichaelYowell/ , and my books can be seen on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Yowell/e/B004H6FUK8