Exclusive Interview with

Michael Kelso

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

When did you start writing?

Around 13 years ago.

What makes writing your passion?

Once I started writing, ideas kept popping into my head. So many became unfinished stories sitting on the computer or in a notebook because I would get another idea. My passion is to tell all of my unfinished stories.

How long have you been writing?

See 'When did you start writing?'

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Amazing! A couple of writer friends had challenged me to put my short stories into a book and publish them.

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

My short stories have characters of their own. Only a few of them have recurring characters.
My novels' characters came from various sources including personality slices of former co-workers, especially for my crime fiction novel and my unpublished zombie novel.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The seeming futility of marketing. It's very difficult to work for years on a book, then release it to the sound of deafening silence.
I've been getting better at marketing but still haven't found the magic formula that allows me to sell many copies or reach a bestsellers list.

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I have a list of natural disasters and life events that I pick from at random and have my characters go through that event. I might not use it, but it gets me writing, which gets the brain stimulated.

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I love writing. I want to entertain people with my stories and make them think.
My advice to young writers is write hot. Keep writing, you can always edit later. I view it as shoveling sand into a sandbox, you'll build the sandcastles later.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Start writing sooner. With so many novels waiting in the wings it would be nice to have more time to finish them.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Yes. I try to look at them as opportunities to improve my writing.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Awesome! It's great to hear that someone appreciates my work, especially when someone gets one of my plot points or easter eggs that I've included in my book.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes, a couple of times. In my crime novel, 'One on One' I used my experience as a Corrections Officer to create a more realistic story.
In my novel 'Endzone', I included when I was a kid and sent away for football cards to be signed.

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

There was one character in my unpublished zombie novel that I loosely based on me.

What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

I look at it as a restaurant. The food could be delicious, but if the outside isn't appealing no one is going to come in to find out.

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I love talking to readers. It's always interesting to hear how readers interpret things. Sometimes readers come up with things I never thought of.

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Amazing! My favorite question is, 'When is your next novel coming out?'

Who is your favorite author? Why?

Mary Shelley, J.R.R. Tolkien, Timothy Zahn, Stephen King, Mike Battaglia
Each for their own reasons.
Shelley for her amazing 'Frankenstein'. I could write a book about how much I love that book.
Tolkien for his attention to detail. Imagine creating not only your own world, but three distinct languages, all that plus the most amazing fantasy novel of all time that defined the genre'.
Zahn for creating the greatest villain since Darth Vader.
King for some of his novels. Some weren't all that great. He tends to get long winded and boring.
Mike Battaglia for his awesome, 'The Danforth State Mental Hospital'.

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

Stephen King. His volume of work is extraordinary. Books, screenplays, TV shows.

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Minor rewrites maybe.

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

I hope you enjoy my books.

What would you say to your readers?

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I live in Pennsylvania with my wife and kids.

What is your day job if you have one?

Ironically, I work for a printing company.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

Writing is what I do with most of my free time that isn't family time. Marketing sucks up a lot of time as well.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I would say yes. My father was a Methodist minister so we moved around a few times during my childhood, but I always made a friend or two at the new place.

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

I was working as a Corrections Officer I was a voracious reader. A new warden came in and told us we could no longer read on post. I said to myself, 'If I can't read books, I'll write them.'
Shortly after that I allowed one of my co-workers to read one of my stories. He gave it back to me and said, 'You're sick!' I knew right then I was hooked on writing horror.

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

Many.
A zombie novel. My self-help book for writers. The next 3 sequels to my crime novel. My next 'Fragments of Fear' installment. A few scify novels. My non-fiction book on grief. A few childrens' books. Another sports novel. A horror novel.

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

What is your favorite music?

Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Metallica is my favorite band.

Share a secret with us 🙂

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!