Exclusive Interview with
W. Michael Hewitt
When did you start writing?
I have written in technical fields throughout my career as a senior executive and senior government consultant. Once I retired, I turned my passion for writing to fiction building upon knowledge gained while serving as the president of several domestic and international corporations and consulting with the federal government on national issues.
What makes writing your passion?
I have wanted to write mystery novels since I was in school but was unable to find the time while I was pursuing my career. Now retired, I spend several hours daily writing and performing research for my books.
How long have you been writing?
I have been working on writing fiction novels for approximately five years.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
Exhilaration and a need to complete the next one.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I created Dr. Essie Openwaters, a strong, highly intelligent, Native American woman as my protagonist. Essie has inner demons she must conquer and faces overwhelming odds but despite assassination attempts and being thwarted by corrupt politicians, she refuses to give up. Her antagonist is Dr. Tyrone Rettig, a psychopathic billionaire who murders for fun and to hide his evil secrets. Essie is the only thing Rettig truly fears.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I have been told by many people that they enjoy my books and are in love with Essie. Nonetheless, it is so incredibly difficult to become known as an author. The competition is amazing.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I never suffer from writer's block. I end up trimming away two-thirds of my work to keep the pace fast and the page count within reasonable bounds.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I write because I enjoy writing. I put more of my personal funds into writing than I am ever likely to see returned through sales unless I strike a chord with someone who can provide name recognition. For me it's a passion, not a way to make money. I am not at a point where I should be giving advice to new authors.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Make the time to start writing now. Don't wait.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Every review tells a story that helps me improve. I appreciate honest feedback and believe it has helped me be a better writer.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Of course. While the books are works of fiction, the plots, situations, and characters have roots in a myriad of experiences that I have shuffled and dealt into the hands my characters must play out.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
While you can't tell a book by its cover, the cover is the thumbnail that attracts readers to look closer. The plot, the characters, and the tension is what makes them keep reading.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I am very happy to hear back from readers, particularly beta readers who I have never met or spoken with. They read because they enjoy reading and their feedback guides me towards a better book.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I enjoy David Baldacci, Dan Brown, and Preston & Child. They all draw you into their work and make you care about what is going to happen.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I don't dream along those lines. Life is good. I write, play golf, enjoy time with my lovely wife, and travel. If one of my books becomes well known and widely read, that would be a cherry on top of an already sundae.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
Yes. In fact, Malicious Deception is a total rewrite of an earlier novel called Nuclear Time Bomb. Nuclear Time Bomb was my first novel and I rewrote it numerous times before publishing it. When I received developmental editor comments on the sequel to NTB, they caused me to go back and reread NTB. I realized that I could make it much better so I did.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I'm perfectly happy in my own skin.
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.
Get a life.
What would you say to your readers?
Stay tuned. There is more coming.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
My wife and I moved into a new house in Arizona in 2019. We must like it here because we built another new house in a golf country club community that we moved into last summer. I have two daughters and four grandchildren that live in the Albany, NY area.
What is your day job if you have one?
I'm retired. Now I enjoy life.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I play golf most days. My home office looks out at the 11th fairway of the country club we belong to. After golfing first thing in the morning, I return home and work on my writing. At five my wife and I have happy hour, usually on our back patio. Now that COVID is diminishing, we will resume international travel. Pre-COVID we traveled several months a year.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
I have always been an avid reader and have always enjoyed what can be done with words. While I have degrees in chemical, mechanical, and nuclear engineering, I found that it was my ability to communicate, particularly in writing, that fueled my advancement through the corporate world.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
Education has regressed so much since I went to school, it's difficult to plot a path back to normalcy where children can articulate their thoughts in writing, can work mathematical problems in their heads, can give a customer the proper change without a calculator, and can think for themselves and not simply graze with the herd.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
I enjoy songs with words that flow and rhyme and with melodies that linger in my mind long after the music stops.
Share a secret with us 🙂
I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound.