Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Interview with Michael Ross, HAND OVER FIST

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series? 
Martin Russell spends his last coins on a bus ride out of the city with barely enough motivation to face the future. The story follows Martin as he at first rebuilds his life and then when his world shatters around him. His girlfriend has a secret world of which he knew nothing and Martin's world goes tumbling out of control, until he turns to his old friend John Staples  better known as Pin-up, who enlists the disgraced ex cop Bobby Tanner, who has a chance to once again prove himself..

Do you have a favorite character?
I really love both Pin-up and Bobby Tanner

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Bobby Tanner did not even exist when I was half way through writing the story, his malevolent as a character and personality in his own right drove and guided the story to its conclusion.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes I did, and it was only by fluke I stumbled across my publishers, Limitless, via Facebook, no less!

How long before you got your offer of representation/your first contract? Was it for your first novel?
About three years, I was happy self publishing, but knew I needed a professional team behind me if I was to make any significant headway with a career as an author.

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
Hobson's Choice!

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
Both the Out of Hand series, of which Hand Over Fist is the first will be published by Limitless, but I will continue to self publish my short story anthologies

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Not too much involvement whatsoever, I actually do not like my cover, but I bow to the commercial acumen of the professionals.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
Just 'follow my nose,' all my novels have evolved form short stories I have written, and the situations or characters nag at me until I explore their back stories.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Yes- over a period of time I have two editors who I find inspirational in their help and advice

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I greatly enjoyed self publishing, but it is a solitary experience.- don't be driven by the quest for financial security. However the odd email with a little bit of praise for your writing is worth so much more.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I would say it is almost impossible, I spent my life marketing and selling, I hate having to do it all over again

What’s next for you?
Three books coming out this year. The follow up to Hand Over Fist, entitled Out of Hand, a feel good romance, Chasing What's Already Gone, and another short story anthology


When an old friend disappears, Martin learns nothing is what it seems…

Martin Russell can barely face the future. With dismal life prospects and an estranged family, he is at the end of his rope. When an old friend, Hannah, elbows her way back into his life, Martin’s luck begins to turn around.

Hidden within the shadows of evil, there must be some good…

Ex-policeman Bobby Tanner lost everything one rage-filled night. Now he runs a reading group for alcoholics where he meets a young drug dealer, Zack, who disturbs him in a way that’s hard to define. Bobby soon discovers the teenager is in over his head and has been dealing with a despicable individual known as The Chemist.

The roots of evil run deeper than we imagine…

Martin’s lucky streak begins to unravel when Hannah suddenly goes missing, and he turns to a friend of a friend, Bobby, for help. Thrust into an underworld empire of corruption and half-truths, he learns his friend may not be who he thought she was.

In a shadowed world of deception, stalkers, and despicable drug dealers, Bobby and Martin must uncover the truth, and fast…

Several lives depend on it.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

It was a strange and twisting road that led to the publication of my first novel. From my humble beginnings, as an office clerk, to ownership of a multi-million dollar business I always maintained my love for literature.

Born and raised in Bristol, England. I spent most of my life in business, my companies turning over in the region of $500 million. The majority of that time marketing cars, eventually owning the largest Saab specialist in the world, before a bitter divorce forced me rethink my priorities. Particularly between 2003 and 2005 when I had to accept that I was no longer a millionaire but literally penniless. I avoided bankruptcy by the skin of my teeth and slowly rebuilt my life.

This led me to the life changing decision to leave the bustling city and move to live halfway up a mountain in the Welsh valleys. At the same time I started a part time six year English Literature course at Bristol University, and attended creative writing classes at Cardiff University. I left school at sixteen and this was my first taste of further education and an immense challenge.

I eventually adjusted my thinking to the academic life, and on 30 June 2015 had confirmation of my 2.1(Hons) degree from Bristol University. At the same time I also won the prestigious Hopkins Prize for my essay on Virginia Woolf and the unsaid within her text. Now the university courses are finished it will, with any luck, gives me plenty of extra time that I can devote to my fiction writing.

Thanks to the university experiences, my interest in English literature has flourished over recent years. Hopefully I have evolved as a writer from my earlier work in short stories (over ninety of them.) Although interestingly my first three novels have all been developed from a long forgotten short story.

Life is, once again, very good, and I live very happily halfway up a mountain, in the Welsh Valleys, with my wonderful partner Mari, and our rescue dog Wolfie.

Twitter         @mikerosswriter
Goodreads    Mike Ross

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