Monday, July 25, 2011

Welcome Salton Lee

Good Monday morning!

Welcome to another guest blog day here at Michael's. I'm happy to have on Salton Lee who actually interviewed me last week with some stirring questions my muse, Michael, really enjoyed. 

View Here

I'm returning the favor and allowing him to tell a little more about himself!

Enjoy our virtual sitdown.

Okay, I might start off kind of boring here but tell us a little about yourself as an author?

At 14, my folks got me a typewriter on which I wrote my first novel about what we’d today call “import tuner boys” and their exploits. The manuscript vanished 22 years ago when I moved into my current house.

In 27 years of teaching, I have written grants, accreditation reports (phonebook thick), and published two books in the field of educational research on writing-acquisition.

For a while I wrote the comedic, lounge zine Swizzle.

What made you decide to publish your work?

The response to my short stories encouraged me to develop them and now I have a trilogy. The Salton Sea Chronicles: Avenger will be first to publication.

I decided my writing is as good published authors. I say that not out of arrogance, but assuming I can be a credible, published author with some old-fashioned hard work.

I became discouraged by the “you need to know someone” nature of publishing. Getting in takes too long with entrenched publishers. Going Indie  makes perfect sense to me.

I notice from your page that you’ve interviewed a multitude of authors which is awesome. Who has been the most memorable that you have interviewed?

I enjoyed each of the interviews and that’s NOT a line. Rick R. Reed is good-natured. Faith Mortimer is a gracious lady. Not one author turned me down, nor been less than professional. All have been fascinating and could not be more different from each other if they tried.

Who are the authors that you look up to?

I like Steven King, Ray Bradbury, and Kurt Vonnegut. I like Marisa Silver’s work, especially The God of War. Someone suggested I read Boy Culture by Matthew Rettenmund and I liked the grittiness and confessional tone.

Do you have a guru or yoda?

For me, writing gurus are as loathsome as life coaches. Gurus often want to shape everyone into their likeness.

Seek instead “alpha” readers to test your piece for plot, pacing, and characterization while you tinker. Then after deep revision, find “beta” readers to be brutally frank about weaknesses in your piece. Then do deep revision and then get a final editor. Writing is a product and should be flawless in publication.

Tell us more about your books the Salton Sea Chronicles?

My series explores the dystopian world of the Salton Sea of California in the midst of a battle between good and evil wherein both sides prove to be equally back-stabbing in their motives. The writing is visceral. The common character, Michael Ramsey, unites all 3, first as a boy, then as a reborn angel, and finally as a haunting spirit to his twin brother, Nick. Psychologically, they explore how men go after being the alpha male at any cost, only to be blind-sided by a bigger dog.

As an editor, what is the most common mistake you find when doing a job?

The #1 sin is relying on passive voice, which drags down the Flesch-Kincaid grade-level score and makes a mind-numbing read. My peeves include the use of “that,” “just,” and “very” which do nothing. I despise coordinating conjunctions starting sentences and contractions in narration. I’m biased, sue me.

What is your favorite type of book to read?

I like stories revealing the seedy underbelly of a situation. Life affirming stories are Chicken Soup for the Played-Out Soul in my estimation.

As an author, do you feel the e-book will eventually replace the print book as CD’s or MP3’s replaced cassettes and records?

The ebook should make publishing companies afraid to an unfathomable depth. We buy music on iTunes so why not ebooks? Kindle and iPad will kill big publishing houses and it will not take long.

With the fall of Borders and the rise of the Mobi and Kindle, do you see this as a positive or negative to the publishing industry?

Borders did not think ahead and deserved to fall. This shift is resoundingly positive as books are as outmoded as CDs and I can read more novels if I don’t have to spend $20 each time.

Several months ago a writer sabotaged her career by answering a bad review on a blog. How would you have handled this and do you think authors should answer their reviews?

A vitriolic response is dumb. Thank the person for frankness. Listen to the critique. Take it like an adult.

For those of us not familiar, please share some information about the cause you heavily support: the Salton Sea.

The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake is threatened by SoCal’s thirst for water. If it dries up, epic dust storms will decimate 1/3 of California’s agriculture, pillage tourism, and sharply increase a deadly respiratory illness known as Desert/Valley Fever. The fix is simple, but politicians care more about the state’s 5 largest cities. The sea, an environmental time bomb, is drying up rapidly, revealing several more feet of exposed shore every year.

What projects are you working on right now and what new releases can we expect from you?

I’m editing several authors, reviewing a novel, and just got the idea for a new piece called The Union. Lord help me!

Thanks so much for the interview. Very eye opening answers!


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What a great one, definitely one of the best. I really enjoy having authors on that write from different subject matter than me. I hope you all enjoyed it as well.

Join me tomorrow as I'll jump back to my genre and have on Lisa Worrall.

Until then...

1 comment:

Rawiya said...

Thanks for the interview