Ep 26 Bizarre niche blogs, self publishing sensation Unbroken, how fan fiction can land you a book deal, and the future is bright for bookshops. We also talk to crime author Michael Robotham.

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In Episode 26 of So you want to be a writer, inspired by Jane Austen, how fan fiction can land you a book deal, find freelance writing jobs on twitter, bizarre niche blogs, good news for Australian bookshops, The aitch Factor by Sue Butler, nine apps bloggers need, Writer in Residence Michael Robotham, what to do when your case studies fall through and more!

Click play below to listen to the podcast. You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher Radio. Or add the podcast RSS feed manually to your favourite podcast app.

Show Notes

‘Unbroken’ Breaks Through

It’s the…er…after-math

5 Ways to Find Freelance Writing Jobs on Twitter (With Sample Tweets)

How to start a nail blog

The Plumbette

Australian bookstores still going strong, say retailers on National Bookshop Day

Dogs Eating Pasta

The aitch Factor by Sue Butler

9 apps bloggers need

Writer in Residence

RobothamBefore writing full-time Michael Robotham was an investigative journalist in Britain, Australia and the US. He is the pseudonymous author of 10 best-selling non-fiction titles, involving prominent figures in the military, the arts, sport and science. He lives in Sydney with his wife and 3 daughters.

Website
Twitter
Facebook

Working Writer’s Tip

Help! My case studies have fallen through and now I can’t deliver the story I promised to the editor.

Allison’s Bookclub

The Pink Fibro Book Club

Your hosts

Allison Tait
Valerie Khoo / Australian Writers’ Centre

Connect with us on twitter

@altait
@valeriekhoo

Email us
podcast at writerscentre.com.au

Transcript

Allison
Michael Robotham is the author of nine best-selling, international best-selling, psychological thrillers, translated into 22 languages, published in more than 50 countries and winner of a host of awards. His tenth book, Life or Death, came out in Australia in July and asked the question why would a man escape from prison the day before he’s due to be released?

Welcome, Michael.

Michael
Hello, how are you?

Allison
Tell us a little bit about Life or Death, obviously you’re not going to answer that question about why a man would do that, but where did the idea come from?

Michael
About 19 — almost 20 years ago, I read a paragraph in the newspaper about a guy who escaped from prison almost on the eve of his release. In real life his name was Tony Lanigan, he was a convicted killer turned model prisoner and he escaped from the Malabar Training Centre here in Sydney.

The funny part about the real life story, not the one that I’ve written, but the real life story was that two years earlier he had escaped, just before he was due to be released, he had gone up to the Blue Mountains, he spent a night under the stars and the next day waived down a police car and gave himself up. When he escaped the second time nobody bothered putting out a missing person’s report because they thought, “He’ll be back tomorrow. He’s gone for a walkabout again.” Of course Tony Lanigan has never been seen since, he vanished off the face of the earth 19 years ago. He is probably Australia’s least most wanted man, but it is a complete mystery about whatever happened to him.

Allison
How fantastic.

Michael
That was the real story. I didn’t know any of that until much more recently in terms of that background, because all I remember is the paragraph and I kept thinking, “Why would you do it? Why would you escape?” I mean he spent most of his adult life in jail, why would you escape just before you were due to be released? It took me about ten years to come up with a reason for it. And then it probably took me nine books before I thought I had the skill tell it properly.

Allison
I’m really fascinated by that, I’m going to have to go and buy the book now, which is obviously a fantastic hook, I love it. Having turned it over in your head for 20 years why did you decide that now is the time? What is it in your skill space that has suddenly come to the fore that made you think, “I can do this?”

Michael
Well, several things happened. One it’s because I knew I was going to — when you write a series like I’ve done, when you can go back to the same characters there’s a comfort factor in there. There’s also a potential for burnout, but there’s a comfort factor going back to similar territory. I’ve always tried to mix up my books, it’s like with my third novel, The Night Ferry, I told it from the point of view of a 28-year-old woman entirely in the first person, which is a huge challenge. I always like to test myself.

I knew that I was going to set my new book not in the UK, but to set it in America, in Texas, completely foreign sort of location to me, a completely new cast of characters, that took a completely different voice, the whole idea of that southern voice. That took a lot of courage to start with, and a lot of research, and also I think a lot of skill. You’ve got to be a.) confident in your position, you’re ability to write, but also, in my case, confident that I thought my readers would come with me, that they would be willing to have me write something different and come with me.

Allison
That was a question that I was going to ask you, because given the popularity of your character, Joe O’Loughlin, who I personally love, is it difficult to decide to leave him out of a novel? Like in the sense as you say you created a whole new cast of characters, you’ve gone to a completely different location, I mean I have to confess that when I read the blurb for this there was a small twinge of disappointment that it wasn’t Joe.

Michael
There are people weeping into their weebix!

Allison
I wasn’t that person, I could be that person, but I wasn’t that person. But, do you worry that readers are more attached to him as a character than to you as a writer, if you know what I mean?

Michael
Yeah. No, there’s good reason. I have to admit I’m thrilled with the way my publishers around the world have embraced Life or Death, but I must admit when I told them, these publishers have done very well on the back of me doing well, when you say to them, “Look, I’m going to leave Joe O’Loughlin along and do something else,” you can see they put on this very pained smile and in the back of their mind they’re going, “Damn.”

Allison
“Do you have to?”

Michael
And there’s plenty of evidence. Take a very good friend of mine, Val McDermid, the Scottish crime writer, and whenever Val writes a Tony Hill book her sales figures soar. When she writes a standalone she struggles to get the same sort of figures. But, that’s not the only reason you write, obviously, because of sales. You simply sort of have to suck that up at times.

For me, that’s why Life or Death is so important to me, because I want to be able to write other books. I want my readers to just want to read anything I write, not just a Joe book.

The jury will be out, we’ll see how it goes. I mean the reaction around the world from my publishers has been that this is the best book that I’ve written, I think it’s the best book that I’ve ever written, but we’ll wait and see whether the diehard Joe and Vincent fans are willing to embrace Audie Palmer to the same degree.

Allison
I’m willing to give him a try, based on that question, why would a man escape from prison? I think you’ve come up with an awesome hook to make me want to find out. We’ll go with that then, shall we?

Michael
I think the other thing that’s important in terms of why I think it’s the best book I’ve written, it is a love story, at the heart of the book it’s a tragic love story, as well as all of those elements of a thriller that people expect. Every writer, most writers will tell you that the book that they have in their mind and in their heart is rarely what they get on the page, they can never quite match on the page what they envisioned in their head. I’m the same. But, of all of the books I’ve done, this is number ten, this is the one that’s come closest. I’ve come closest, I feel, to getting on the page exactly what I had in my mind when I set out.

Allison
That must feel great for you.

Michael
It’s tremendous, because as proud as you can be of a book you realise in your head it was going to be better… yeah, to get closer is — yeah, it’s hugely satisfying.

Allison
You were a journalist and then a ghost writer, how do you think that those two things have added to your success as a novelist? It’s like you’ve taken a step-by-step approach into fiction almost.

Michael
It’s true. And that was planned, in a sense, because I wanted to be a writer from about the age of 12. Growing up in very small country towns in Australia I felt as though I had nothing to write about. Journalism was going to be a profession that would get me the material. So, I became a journalist to gather material so I could become a novelist. It took me all around the world and it taught me how to — it’s that classic thing where people — I think one of the worst pieces of advice that can be given to a writer is to write what you know, because if it happens that you don’t know a great deal then you have nothing to write about. What you should write about is not what you know, but what fascinates you, because that passion will be what drives you to go research it, find out the material you need to write. It isn’t sort of the case of writing what you know, but writing what fascinates you.

When I was starting out I felt as though I knew nothing. I had an idyllic childhood, small country towns, Mark Twain has done all of those plots. I thought, “I’ve got to experience the world.” Journalism was important in that sense for giving me incredible breadth of knowledge — I did police rounds, international affairs. There was so many areas of journalism I covered that it sort of — that gave me a broad sort of knowledge.

Then ghostwriting taught me the discipline of actually spending a long period of time on a single story, but more importantly it taught me how to capture a voice. Every single person I worked with had a unique voice and I had to capture that perfectly so that no one could recognise my fingerprints on their autobiographies.

Allison
It’s interesting you say that. I have this vision of you then sort of investigating all of these things and then writing your novels, but you don’t actually write like that do you? I read somewhere that you actually don’t plot.

Michael
No, I don’t. I don’t plot. All I do is sort of come up with the premise. Often the hook for the book is a real life event, like the paragraph that I read all of those years ago for

Life or Death. Each of the novels is seeded in — I never use the word ‘inspired’, but they’re seeded in a real life event or a case. Like you take this Baden-Powell up in Queensland where the guy has just been convicted, I mean that’s absolutely fascinating. I can see in my head that idea of the high-functioning psychopath that he was. I just keep thinking, “That’s a great book — there’s a great thriller in there.” Do you know what I mean? That’s the sort of thing that you’ll pick up on.

Invariably I’ll just create the characters and create the dilemma and then let the whole thing unfold. It does mean throwing a tremendous amount of material away at times, but it also means that it’s incredibly organic. When I come in from my office and I say to my wife, “You would not believe what happened today,” excitedly, I’m surprised as what the reader is when something has happened. I’m not saying the characters tell me what to write, because that would make me insane, hearing voices.

Allison
Yes!

Michael
But, they don’t always do as they’re told, the characters. But, that’s the process where that little eureka moment that comes to you when you suddenly think of a twist or a hook or something, and it is tremendously exciting.

Allison
You don’t always know who did it before you start, basically?

Michael
No. When I get towards the end of the book, like Say You’re Sorry, a couple of books ago, it could have been any one of six people, I had a favourite. I had someone in the back of my mind that as I was writing probably half way through I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if that could be the person who did it?” But, I kept thinking, “It’s probably too big a leap, I probably can’t make that leap, it would seem too outlandish,” or whatever and the reader wouldn’t buy it. It wasn’t until the penultimate chapter, I set it up where it could have been anyone of about six people. It was only when I got to that penultimate chapter that I thought, “I think I can make it work, let’s see what it looks like.” That’s what normally happens.

Sometimes, it’s funny, about halfway through I’ll think of an ending, I’ll sort of envision a possible ending and then it may be that I get there or it may be that I can’t reach it, but I’ll think of an alternative or a better one before I get there.

Allison
Are you doing a lot of redrafting then? Like are you blasting out a first draft to see what’s possible and then redrafting?

Michael
I never sort of blast out — I mean the first draft is so solid in terms of — it might take me eight or nine months to write a first draft and each rewrite after that might only take a couple of weeks, but it will be quite strong. What will happen is — my agent once said to me that writing a novel is a bit like if you imagine building a car. I spent probably six months working on the first quarter of the book, that’s like building the chassis, building a really, really solid wheels on the chassis. Once you have the engine, the engine that drives it, once you have those in place you can customise that car and make it look anyway you like, but you need to have that fundamental engine and the solid chassis underneath it all. The last quarter or the book or third of the book often I can write in a month, because everything is in place. I can see an ending, it’s come to me, all of the characters, and then the last third comes quickly, but the first third of the book is — I’ve just thrown away, it was earlier this year I wrote 40,000 words and threw it away and started a whole new book, because it just wasn’t a strong enough structure for it to take the novel.

Allison
Is that something that you might use later, that 40,000 words? Or is that just gone forever?

Michael
I’ve thought about it. Do you know what it was? There was a villain in one of my early books called Shatter, there was villain who at the end of that book — probably Joe O’Loughlin’s sort of nemesis, the greatest mind that he ever had to sort of confront. At the end of that book, and this person was still alive, I suddenly thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great to bring him back?” and for Joe to have to face this guy again. My publisher and everyone goes, “Absolutely, for the next book,” and were absolutely thrilled about this idea that I could bring this villain back, but 40,000 words in I realised that I was writing the same book again. It was the same motivation for this guy and it was the same…it was basically going to be a rerun of the first battle between Joe and this guy. I thought, “That can’t work. I refuse to write the same book twice.” I’ve seen too many other writers fall into that trap of looking like they’re just pasting it in.

I thought to myself, “Unless I can think of a really novel plot way of bringing this guy back with a completely different scenario, not just him trying to sort of outwit Joe, it can’t work.”

Allison
Maybe that idea will come to you in the middle of the night. That might be three books down the track.

Michael
Yep, it may well be that I can find a way of using him again. It’s a bit like what was done with Thomas Harris and Hannibal Lecter, the idea of he could sort of come back again. But it has to be a completely different sort of scenario.

Allison
Yes, which it was in that case.

With regards to your writing, I know that you’re very busy, like we’ve just been discussing off podcast your schedule for the next coming months and you’ve got writers’ festivals and you’ve got interviews and you’ve got all sorts of stuff going on, how often do you write? When do you fit the writing in?

Michael
Everyday.

Allison
Everyday? OK.

Michael
Everyday. I will write seven days a week.

I just did a big interview for The Australian magazine for a big profile, one thing the profiler kept saying to me is, “But you must have some other hobby? There must be something you do other than write? You must do something else…” you’re going, “Nope.” And he interviewed my wife saying, “Come on, tell me what else he does when he’s not writing?” She looked at him and said, “That’s all he does.”

Allison
You must be such a fun guy.

Michael
Well, yeah. That’s what she said, she said I was much more interesting when I was a ghost writer, at least I had gossip about famous people whereas now I’m just a boring novelist.

No, it’s a discipline. I mean you’ve got to understand, it’s what I love. I love writing. I’m not saying there aren’t incredibly difficult days, my kids can sort of — when they approach the cabana of cruelty they’re sort of looking to see what sort of mood I’m in, whether it’s been a good or bad day. It’s what I do.

Even when I’m traveling and on tour I will try to write everyday or rewrite, be writing or rewriting. The only time I’ll give a day a miss, it might be… yesterday I had to answer about 30 different lots of questionnaires for sort of online blogs and websites all around the world for the new book and that took all day to do it and so I didn’t get any writing done yesterday. But, I’ve started writing this morning, I’ve done a few hours already.

Allison
Wow. Given that you can take up to eight months to do a draft you’re obviously sort of editing as you go, are you? Going back and seeding clues in and doing all of that sort of stuff?

Michael
I agree, and you’ve probably heard this term before, I think it’s a great description, that there are pioneers and there are settlers when it comes to writing. The pioneers are the people who just charge forward, throw it down, plant a flag, just charge forward and plant another flag and they figure they can go back and build the settlements later, they just want to make sure they get the story down quickly, then they go back and flesh it out.

I’m more the settler, I will set up camp and I will get that chapter right and then I’ll explore a bit more and I’ll set up another camp and I write that way. I suppose going back and tweaking, certainly if you come up with a great idea in Chapter 15, but realise that you’re going to have to set it up earlier you go back to Chapter 3 and you insert the information you need to make something work later. It will be more of that style kind of thing.

Allison
It’s obviously working, like the story of your first novel, The Suspect, and how it came to be published is the stuff of writerly dreams, you had the bidding war at London Book Fair on 117 pages and you hadn’t even finished the manuscript. What kind of pressure did that put you under to deliver?

Michael
It was that mixture. As you say, it’s a story that will either inspire would-be writers or they’ll hate me. I would hate me if I wasn’t me. It was a mixture of two things, I guess. On the one hand it’s like winning the lottery and you feel enormously grateful that every dream you ever had of being a writer suddenly comes true in the space of sort of three hours of mad, frenetic sort of bidding between publishers all over the world.

Then within a couple of hours though the terror set in, because I didn’t even know it was a crime novel, it hadn’t been plotted out. It was less than a third of the book. All of these people had bid for it, not asking me how it finished, not asking me what’s going to happen next, they just… to me it was like being backed to the favouritism for the Melbourne Cup never haven’t run two miles before. And having people backing with enormous amounts of money behind you. And when you’ve never written — even though I’ve written 15-odd biographies for people as a ghost writer, so they knew I could deliver something, but I had never written a novel before. That was scary. That was quite a scary prospect.

I’m not going to say to you that I didn’t want it to happen, because it’s nice when you’ve got enough money to know that you can actually write full time and you’re not trying to deliver this thing to a deadline and do a full time job. People ask me who I admire most among writers and it’s those people not just their first, but their second, their third, their fourth, whatever novel when they’ve worked a full day, put the kids to bed, read the bedtime stories, they’re the people that I admire.

Allison
Yeah, which is the reality, as you say, for a lot of writers as well.

Michael
People say writing is hard, writing is not hard, boxing is hard. Raising a stable child is hard. There are difficult days, but in the grand scheme of things there are a lot harder things out there then writing.

Allison
I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but what was the secret of these 117 pages, Michael?

Michael
If I knew that…

Allison
Tell me.

Michael
… if I knew that…

I mean The Suspect has a great opening chapter, where Joe O’Loughlin is on the roof of a hospital trying to talk a young cancer sufferer down who is sick of the chemotherapy and has been told they have to another round. In the first few pages you get a great sense of Joe’s sense of humour and humanity. Even though that chapter had nothing to do with the rest of the book it doesn’t set anything up other than introduce the character. I think it captured the voice so much that his… my greatest piece of advice to any writer other than just keep writing and writing and writing would be make them care, make them care. I think for that opening, 117 pages, people cared about Joe, they really loved him as a character and therefore they wanted to find out whether he could get out of this tremendous sort of dilemma that he was facing.

Allison
Where did he come from? Joe? Where did he come from?

Michael
The idea for Joe?

Allison
Yeah, like Joe the character. As you say, he’s quite an extraordinary character, he’s memorable. He’s delivered beautifully in the first chapter of that first novel for you. Did he just come to you as you were writing? Was he inspired by something?

Michael
I mean I guess the idea of basing the novel on a psychologist — I was very fortunate many years ago to spend a lot of time with a man called Paul Britton, who is forensic psychologist in the UK. He was the real life character that Cracker was based upon, that wonderful BBC series with Robbie Coltrane playing Fitz, the profiler. I spent a lot of time with Paul and my fascination with the psychology of crime came from Paul and talking to him. I guess when I decided to sit down and write a novel I thought — I never thought I would use Joe O’Loughlin again, I was going to write standalone novels, I was going to write one novel with Joe. So, I thought, “OK…” I gave him early onset Parkinson’s for two reasons, one because I knew my main hero wasn’t going to be a Jack Reacher, Jason Bourne, James Bond type hero who could outrun, out-womanise, out-whatever, out drink everyone else. He was going to be a venerable human being. I thought, “There’s a tragic irony in giving someone a brilliant mind, but putting it in a crumbling body. I created that character and I thought, “I’ll never use him again.” I thought my publishers won’t want me to use him again. I thought, “Who’d want a hero who had Parkinson’s?” It was only really — I compromised to having him as a lesser character in the second novel, so I was really shocked when four novels in when I came up with a scenario, an idea where I thought, “Oh, Joe is the perfect character to tell this story.” So, I brought him back. I only brought him back in Bleed for Me because my wife said I could not leave him alone unless I sorted out his private life.

Allison
Which is true.

Michael
So it’s always like, she keeps insisting, “You cannot… until he’s happy…” I cannot leave Joe until he’s happy.

People keep asking me, “When are you going to make Joe happy?” I go, “Well, that could be the last book. Do you really want it to be the last book?”

Allison
He may never be happy.

Given that you’re writing essentially a book a year, aren’t you? Approximately a book a year?

Michael
Yes.

Allison
Have you ever experienced a time when you thought, “What am I going to write about next?” Or have you —

Michael
Oh, no. I can tell you now I think it’s every time I finish a book, and the last few weeks are always a mad scramble, in terms of a mad rush. Every time I finish I will go to my wife and say, “That’s it. Every decent idea…” I don’t have a drawer full of ideas —

Allison
Oh, you don’t?

Michael
Life or Death was a real novel sort of idea, I mean that had been kicking around was very unusual because I don’t have a drawer full of ideas. Every time I finish a book I’m convinced that’s it. I will never write again. Every decent description, every decent one-liner, every decent idea I’ve ever had is gone. I’m an empty shell, I’m just a hollow man and that’s the end of my writing career. I walk around the house and about two hours later I’ll say to my wife, “I’m just going to go into my office and clean up all the paper on the floor and the post-it notes.” And about two hours after that she’ll come looking for me and I’ll be at the computer and she’ll go, “What’s happened?” And I’ll say, “I just thought of an idea.”

People don’t believe me but I swear to God, I’ll press ‘send’ on a book and within two hours be writing the next one.

Allison
Wow. That’s amazing.

Michael
Or researching it. I’ll have a kind of an idea and be thinking, “OK, first book first of all, mission #1 find out that no one has done it before you.”

Allison
Yes, that’s a good start.

Michael
I’ll never forget before I even wrote a novel I remember contacting my agent, “I’ve got this great idea, it’s this female anthropologist, she’s going to solve crimes,” and he said, “Kathy Reichs.” And I’m going, “Who?” “Kathy Reichs, she’s done that already.” And I go, “Bugger.”

Allison
Oh, well. Start again.

Michael
Yeah.

Allison
I noticed that you’re on Facebook and Twitter. You’ve got a very glamorous new website, which is quite fabulous. We’ll put the address for that and your Facebook and Twitter accounts into our show notes. But when you started out sort of ten years ago or so there wasn’t really this social media thing that there is now. How do you feel about the role of that in an author’s life today?

Michael
Oh, it’s vital. I mean to a degree — quite personally I resent it.

Allison
Yeah.

Michael
In a perfect world, and I would love a situation where you simply as a writer had to write the book and it would succeed or fail on the quality of the book. If it’s a good book it will be well-received, sell well, and if it’s not so good it won’t be. But the reality of life now is the very best of books can get overlooked or forgotten.

With the traditional publishers doing less and less touring and having less and less money for traditional advertising more and more of the weight of marketing, promotion is falling upon the writer, which again I still highly resent. I can understand it, particularly when you sit at a marketing campaign with a publisher — I’m very fortunate they do big marketing campaigns, but even when you sit and attend a marketing campaign and they’re rattling off, “We’re going to have you guest blog for this, this and this. And we’re going to have you do this, this and this… We want you to write a piece for this magazine…” And then you stop them and say, “Hold on, that’s what I’m doing to market my book, what are you doing?” It does feel at times as though — I know there is value add in publishing, really good marketing promotion teams in terms of artwork and getting the buzz going, particularly if you’re going to get into that bestseller status you need to have the sort of the big W, and Targets, and these people buying large numbers, copies. No self-published author is ever going to get into those sorts of big supermarket chains and things like that. This is what publishers can do for you, but that sort of

self-promotion. Then again I slightly cringe at that whole idea of having a website with my face on it. I’m of a generation where you just look at it — I hate looking at my website. There’s a big picture of me on it.

Allison
There is. Yes.

Michael
I’m going, “Oh…”

Allison
You look lovely, does that help?

Michael
I look like a kitten killer! Let’s face it, I do.

Allison
You are a crime writer, you can hardly look happy.

Michael
That whole idea of the fact that you’re constantly sort of self-promoting and plugging — you shouldn’t really. You should be using Twitter to — I was once quoted about 70 percent of your Twitter messages should be about something other than your book or your doings because otherwise it just reads too much like just a marketing vehicle rather than making people feel as though they’ve got a little window into your life and what you’re reading and what you’re watching and all of that sort of thing.

Allison
Do you spend much time on it?

Michael
Not as much as I should. My publishers say — I’m always really flattered when they say, “Oh, you’re so good with social media.” I’m going, “Really? I feel as though I posted that one tweet every three or four days.” Sometimes I go weeks at a time, I’m terrible at my website newsletters. I always promise I’ll do one a month and I end up doing two a year.

Allison
Well, you know, that’s enough, isn’t it?

Michael
I know. I have this thing again, the writing process is a bit like the famous von Bismarck quote about making sausages. You don’t really want to know what goes into them.

Allison
Yeah.

Michael
And it’s like with the writing process, you know, the magic is in not letting people know too much about the — it’s also boring. You don’t want to give people the plot to your latest book. Day to day you can’t really tell them that much about what you’re writing.

Even my friends say to me all the time, “What are you working on?” I say, “Well, it’s another book,” but I don’t really want to tell them too much. I think one of the great failings of the writers, people who want to write, is they leave all their energy — they leave it out there because they want to tell people about the book they want to write and they spend months or weeks or days talking about this book they want to write. They should actually spend all of that energy actually writing the thing.

Allison
Yes. Would that be one of your top tips for aspiring authors, to actually write the book rather than talking about it?

Michael
Yeah, don’t just tell everyone and talk about it and discuss it with people and whatever. Actually sit down and write it. It’s that thing about — I always feel there are some people and some very celebrated books have actually risen out of the workshopping process, things like The Kite Runner or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, both of those books arose out of sort of writing workshops and programs and things like that. There are some writers that really need that sort of community and that workshopping and that feedback.

But, I think too many writers actually use it as — do another workshop and therefore, “After this next workshop I’ll be ready to start the novel,” type thing. Not everyone, but I think some should just buy huge drum of glue and smear their seat with this glue and sit down and just smoke that sucker, just write.

Allison
All right, Michael, thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate your talking to us and sharing some of your great insights. I can’t wait to read your new book, I’m very excited. I’m also going to go sign up for your newsletter so that I can get my once every six months update on what you’re doing.

Good luck with all of your festivals and all the things you’ve got coming up. Thank you once again.

Michael
Thank you.


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