Friday, February 21, 2014

Interview with debut author Michael Sova

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to debut author Michael Sova. I knew Michael back in high school, and was excited to reconnect with him recently after hearing he’s a fellow writer.

Michael’s first book A SHOT AT REDEMPTION is currently available on Kindle.

When Cash Douglas faces a personal tragedy and an ever-growing stack of medical bills, he relies on his unique talent as a race car driver to try to make ends meet. He swallows his pride, follows the big pay days and doesn't worry about whose toes he might be stepping on in the process. Cash's reputation takes a serious hit but he's got far more important things on his mind. Things begin to look up when he receives a surprise offer to sign on with RaceTech. Frank McKinnel, the owner of RaceTech, has plans to franchise his race parts business. He wants publicity and knows hiring a black sheep like Cash Douglas is a sure way to get people talking. His decision angers at least one person as well. Slashed tires and mysterious warning messages soon lead to sabotage, assault, and attempted murder. Someone is out to get Cash, RaceTech or both. The big question is why? Frank McKinnel appears to be the only one with a clear motive. He has a true knack for turning publicity into profit, but would he trash his own cars and risk the life of his driver just to sell a few more franchises? Cash has to find out before it's too late.

This is a fast paced story of intrigue, suspense, and high octane action.

It sounds intriguing, Michael! I can't wait to read it.

Q:  So tell me about yourself. What have you been up to?

A:  My hobbies include reading, writing and watching NFL football, preferably with a beer nearby. I am a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan which makes the beer even more necessary. I like rock and roll, heavy metal and electric blues, but I've found that classical music is usually the most inspirational when I'm writing. I spent several years working at a large country radio station in North Carolina. Notice I did not list country among my music preferences. During my time in broadcasting, my job titles included: boom box operator, overnight air talent, evening air talent, mid-day air talent, promotions director and music director. I don't miss the radio business. I do miss all the perks. I now live and work in New York. In addition to the novel I've written and the one I'm currently working on, I have two blogs. My Turn the Page blog is dedicated exclusively to book reviews. My Wishful Thinking blog is far more general. Recent topics range from the Beatles, to writer's block, to hernias. I sometimes post original short fiction, and from September through January, I talk a lot of football.

Q:  What authors do you enjoy reading?

A:  I'd be hard pressed to come up with a list of favorite authors. My tastes change all the time. Currently, I really like C. J. Box, Lee Child, Lawrence Block, Jodi Picoult, Nelson DeMille, James Scott Bell and a host of others. Really, though, I'll enjoy any story that's told well. It would be far easier for me to name the authors I don't like… but I'm not going to do that.       

Q:  How did you get started in writing?

A:  I started writing stories when I was probably eight or nine years old. The only one I really remember involved a man stranded alone on a desert island and armed with nothing more than a pen knife. It was written in the first person and my character died at the end of the story. You can see the flaw with that. I suppose that was my first lesson in the importance of proper POV. Other than school, the first "real" writing I did was for the "Oswego Eagle," the weekly program at the Oswego Speedway. At the time, I was only interested in a little pocket money and getting into the races for free. The experience ended up paying much higher dividends than I ever expected because, eventually, it became one of the primary inspirations for A Shot at Redemption.

Q:  How did A Shot at Redemption truly come about?

A:  It actually began as a serial novella. The original version of the story was published in weekly installments in the Oswego Speedway program. It was written for a very specific audience and definitely wouldn't be confused with classic literature. However, by the time the story was finished, I realized I had the foundation for a very strong novel.

Q:  What would you like people to know about your book?

A:  The main thing I'd like people to know about A Shot at Redemption is that it's not just a book about auto racing. Yes, the main character is a race car driver and much of the action takes place on the track. That said, it's a suspense novel, and the true story is in the mystery. I believe it would appeal to anyone who enjoys the genre. I've had great feedback from men and women, many of whom know or care nothing about racing.  

Q:  So let's talk publishing. What led you toward self-publishing?

A:  I decided to self-publish for a few reasons. First, my manuscript took far longer to complete than I ever imagined. There's a lot to be said for traditional publishing but it can be a painfully slow process. Even if I landed an agent with my first query letter and signed a publishing contract the very next day (I'd have a better chance of winning the Powerball jackpot), I'd still be looking at a minimum of 18 months before my book appeared on a bookstore shelf. I just didn't want to wait that long. Second, my main character drives supermodified race cars for a living. That's not exactly mainstream, even among race fans. Most of the first chapter takes place at a racetrack. A cursory inspection could make it appear that my book is all about short track racing in Upstate New York. It's not, but I knew that was going to be a hard sell. And finally, as much as I enjoy writing and would love to have success with my books, the business side of the whole thing really doesn't appeal to me in the slightest. 

Q:  Was the process hard?

A:  I did the whole thing through Kindle Direct Publishing and the entire process was incredibly simple and straight forward. Once I did the proper formatting and hit the Upload button, my book was available for sale within 24 hours.  

Q:  Will there be a print version?

A:  Of course, even in this new digital age, not everyone wants to read e-books. I've had several inquiries about a print edition and plan to make one available in the near future. There are several POD (print on demand) options available.  

Q:  Do you think you’d ever try traditional publishing?

A:  Self-publishing now doesn't mean I wouldn't go a more "traditional" route at some point down the road. I think this was the most logical first step for this particular project. My second book, as yet untitled, will be vastly different and, at least on the surface, more commercially acceptable. I'll finish the manuscript and then worry about where to go from there.    

In addition to the blogs listed, you can find Michael on Twitter and facebook. Also, don't forget to check out A Shot at Redemption on Goodreads and buy it on Amazon.

I'd like to thank Michael for taking the time to stop by my blog. Consider leaving a comment or asking a question. We'd love to hear from you.