Thursday, July 29, 2010

Michael Crane Interview

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write? 

I’d say mornings and early afternoon.  I like to write during my lunch breaks at work, and on the weekends I’ll sometimes go to Borders early in the morning to write a little.  I don’t really have a schedule for it.  I tend to write when the mood and moment strikes me.

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?

Most of the time it’s on the computer.  I’ll sometimes write in my journal if I’m working on a rough draft and I’m not near a computer.  Journaling is a great way to get most of the first draft done because I know I’m writing a rough draft and that it’s perfectly fine if it’s a tad messy, yet when I type it out on the computer I find myself editing as I’m writing the story.  An awful habit that’s hard to shake.  Making sure the story gets told should always be Priority #1 when it comes to the first draft, especially since you’re going to rewrite it later.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?

It’s really random with me, but I think a lot of people can say the same.  There will be days where I think I don’t have another story in me and then something will hit me out of nowhere.  I find that I get a lot of good story ideas when I’m walking.  I tend to do a lot more thinking when I’m on the move.

4: Do you set goals for yourself when you sit down to write such as word count?

My only goal is to take the story as far as it can go.  It would be nice if I could set a daily word-count for myself, but that’s not how I write.  There are days when I’m really on a roll and then there are days where I feel like I’m struggling.  I’ve learned that you can’t force it.  Take it as far as you can that day.  I’m pretty much happy if I get a couple hundred words down at least, but again that’s not a goal I set.

5: Are you a published or a self published author and how do you come up with your cover art?

Self-published.  I found the picture for the cover at and bought it.  They have a pretty wide selection over there.  I wished I could illustrate my own, but I can’t even draw respectable stick figures.

6: What drives you to choose the career of being a writer?

I love telling stories.  I get a kick out of creating situations and seeing how my characters will react to them.  Life’s full of stories, no matter how grand or subtle they might be.

7: Do you own an ebook reading device?

I own a Kindle and I love it.  I admit that I love the look and feel of an actual book, but I love not having to find extra space for all of those books.  I’d buy so many, and half the time I’d never even get to them.  Plus, the Kindle is easier on my eyes than reading an actual book.  I love how you can adjust the font size.  At first, I thought it’d be like reading on a computer which is why I avoided it for the longest time, but it’s nothing like that.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?

Raymond Carver was (and still is) a huge influence when it comes to short stories.  He showed me that you didn’t have to have complicated plots to tell an interesting story, and that everyday people facing everyday situations can be interesting.  I also admire and love Richard Yates, Kurt Vonnegut, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, Charles Bukowski... the list goes on, but those are the big ones for me.  Right now I’m reading THE RULES OF ATTRACTION by Bret Easton Ellis, which is fantastic so far.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?

I think they could be pretty effective if they’re done right.  I honestly haven’t really given it any thought, but if I knew how to go about it in a way that made sense, that would be a pretty neat way to promote your work.

10: How did you come up with the title of your latest book?

That was actually the toughest part for me.  I was clueless.  I knew these stories went well together and shared a common theme, but I didn’t know what to call it.  I had a story in it that was originally called “Decadent Dan,” and when I went back to it I wasn’t too crazy about that title.  Then, I thought about what “decadent” means, and one of the first definitions that came up was “in decline.”  Not only did that end up being the new title for the piece, but also for the book as well.  I think it captures the theme of all of the stories really well.

11: What are you working on now that you can talk about?

Right now, I’m working on a few short stories.  I started a new one a few days ago that at the moment has me really excited, so I’m praying that it’ll stay that way.  I would like to put out another collection, but only if the stories go together well.  Currently, I really don’t have any ideas for a full length novel.  Who knows?  Maybe one of these stories will end up being a novel.  I can only hope!

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