Featured Friday! Ellis Michaels
When Ellis Michaels isn’t away on some wild adventure, slaying monsters, saving damsels in distress, and collecting treasure, he writes books. His most ambitious quest yet, Ellis plans to keep writing until the day… the hour… the minute… until he takes his last breath.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author?
Being able to set my own schedule and being able to work from wherever I’d like. I can write just as well from a beach in Hawaii as I can from my office.
What made you start writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader, ever since I was a child. Becoming a writer has always been a dream of mine. I started writing poetry as a pre-teen, then moved on to other forms of writing.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is probably my biggest inspiration – or was, initially. I loved the Sherlock Holmes stories as well as his Professor Challenger series. I would get entirely lost in those stories, dying to get my hands on the next one.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
Write. Everything else is secondary. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. Sit down, put down your phone, close all your windows except your word processor, and write. Write, write, write!
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I read a lot by most people’s standards: At least 1-2 books a week. So, roughly, 100 books a year. The vast majority of those books are non-fiction, maybe 95% of them. For pleasure, I like to read about philosophy, medicine, and psychology, mostly. I also read a lot of books about the craft of writing, the publishing business, and book marketing. When I read fiction, it’s usually some kind of science fiction or fantasy.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
I’d probably have to pick the protagonist in my current work-in-progress. He’s rude, annoying, and hard to get along with – but he’s also a unicorn… literally. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with a magical, mystical creature?
Which book do you consider a must-read?
The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus. A lot of books have changed my life, but none more than that one.
What’s been the hardest edit that you’ve had to make? Why did you want to keep the material in?
So far, I haven’t had to edit much out of any of the books I’ve written. With every passing day, it’s looking less and less like that will be the case with my current work in progress, though. This one is going to need some work.
I write slow, by most modern writers’ standards. I edit as I write, going over each paragraph and even each sentence right after it’s written. It obviously takes a lot longer to finish a first draft. But, once it’s done, it needs a lot less editing than a faster-written manuscript.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Well, since we’re already living in a 2019 edition of Orwell’s 1984, I’d pick The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I think it’d be fascinating to live on a South American plateau where dinosaurs never went extinct. Additionally, though I wouldn’t want to live there, I think it would be fun to visit Through The Looking Glass or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
If you could pick an author to write your biography, who would it be?
Henry Rollins. Why? Because that would likely increase my odds of meeting Henry Rollins.
Is there any conflict between what you want to write and what you think your readers will like?
Yes. I have a nothing’s-off-limits sense of humor. Most readers do not. There are a lot of things that I think are funny (in the right context, of course) that others don’t find funny at all under any circumstances.
What effect can a review have on you, if you read them at all? Both the good and the bad.
I try not to let reviews affect me emotionally. However, I think they’re a great way to learn what my readers like and dislike about my writing. That being said, if a reviewer says something especially nice about my writing, it will put a smile on my face.
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
A LOT of negatives turned into a lot of positives.
What’s exciting you about your next project?
It’s different than anything I’ve ever written. First of all, it’s in third person. But it also has a non-human character as the protagonist, which has been both challenging and frustrating.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
You can react to life, as most people do, or you can be proactive. You can spend your time complaining about your situation or you can spend your time improving it. The choice is yours. Since I decided to take control of my life and accept responsibility for my happiness, since I made the conscious decision to choose positivity over negativity, optimism over pessimism, every single aspect of my existence has improved. It’s a choice we all have to make every single day and, unfortunately, I think most people make the wrong one.
Thanks Ellis, great stuff. A really interesting insight into your writing.
If you want to find out more about Ellis, his writing, and his upcoming Unicorn, then you can check him out on the links below:
Or get in touch directly below!