Interview with Michael Reid, Jr.   1 comment

 

Today’s interview is with Michael Reid Jr. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

mreid-author-picA native of the midwest, spending most of my life in the Chicagoland area, venturing into Saint Louis, Missouri for graduate school. I received my doctorate in physical therapy from Washington University and practice in a sports rehabilitation setting in the northern suburbs.  I am married to a woman who impresses me every day, and father to a son who is growing too fast.

 

Unfortunately, they do that!

Previously, I worked for the government for 4 years, where I had a lot of conversations with military personnel. I still get to work with service members, as well as first responders on a regular basis as a physical therapist.

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

mreid-w-sonI remember writing as a youth in grade school. It was difficult for me to finish a story, because a new idea, or plot twist would always enter my mind and I’d have to revise.  I forgot about writing until college, where I took some elective courses in creative writing, spurring the desire once more.

 

Tell us about your writing process.

It’s fairly simple really. I get an idea in my mind, and start to develop it. Over the coming weeks it doesn’t leave me alone. I continue to stew over it (mainly because now I’m obsessed with it) and when I finally feel it’s developed enough, I write a rough outline. The outline consists of maybe 20-30 plot points. From there, I write and connect the dots, letting the characters guide the story, and try to keep my own emotions out of it.

 

What are you passionate about?

Family. Everything I do is for my family. Hobbies include writing, furniture building, and exercising. In that order.

 

Have you written any books that made a transformative effect on you? If so, in what way?

mreid-debt-of-fear-mosbrookEverything I put on paper has a transformative effect. I say that because I do the research, I talk to people, I learn their stories. I think writing is markedly easier when you understand the subject matter. It forces me to learn about new things and I’m grateful for that because I love to learn. New knowledge leads to new ways of looking at the world, even if it’s just because now you are capable of seeing through someone else’s eyes.

 

Absolutely. Where do you get the inspiration for your novels?

Inspiration is everywhere. From personal tragedy to a joking brainstorm session with friends. I was actually inspired at church once for my current novel, and regrettably, I couldn’t focus on the sermon because my mind did what it does, and thought too much.

 

I’ve been there. What sort of research do you do for your novels?

I prefer to talk to people who know better than I do. You can read all day, but a simple conversation with someone who lives it on the day to day is worth hours of reading. Plus, I find there is too much worthless hearsay on the internet these days which may lead to inaccurate information.

 

If someone who hasn’t read any of your novels asked you to describe your writing, what would you say?

I would say read some of the reviews online. I think it’s difficult to describe your own style, and impossible to critique yourself. People have described my writing as “vivid, feels like watching a movie but you are reading; i loved the character development; fast read; beautiful imagery; “

 
Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

mreid-familyI believe in both. I think that the characters sometimes thrive on the plot and vice versa. I think a lot of times the character’s true self is revealed through a plot line which allows them to explore themselves. That’s what makes a good book in my opinion; you can’t have one without the other.

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?  Why?

A basic outline. Then discovery from there. I don’t like being tied down by a detailed outline. Sometimes the characters need to be allowed to free think.

 

 

I’m going to drop you in a remote Alaska cabin for a month. It’s summer so you don’t have worry about freezing to death. I’ll supply the food and the mosquito spray. What do you do while you’re there and what do you bring with you? If you’re bringing books, what are they?

First, I love this question because it really makes me think. I’d appreciate this opportunity. In this hypothetical scenario, I’m going to take liberties and say my son is also a seventeen-year-old young man. I would bring him. No books, no electronics, a couple camelbaks and a variety of clothes; warm and cold weather. We would each have a sidearm, a knife, and various other survival gear.

We would spend the entire month exploring the wilderness and disconnect with the digital and electronic world. I would show him the beauty of nature, forcing us both to reevaluate what’s important. It would be a great opportunity to show humility, that we aren’t as important an individual as the media would dictate. Seeing how large the Alaskan wilderness is, let alone how large the world is, and knowing we are spinning in space that’s infinitely larger than anything we can possibly imagine, will allow us both to examine how fragile life is.

 

Very good! Sounds like my husband and our son, who is currently 17. Talk about your books individually.

mreiddebt-of-fear-promo-2Debt of Fear-

A terrorism thriller currently available on Amazon in paperback and kindle, and it part of Kindle unlimited program.

This fast-paced thriller will pull you into the story with vivid descriptions. Introducing an ex-recon marine named Logan Falcone, you’ll experience the emotions of war and terror first hand as he tries to hunt down a terrorist cell in America. Each heart-stopping moment forces him to face his deepest fear; losing another person he loves.

Logan Falcone was finally in control, insulated from the world around him. A terrorist attack in Paris prompted a phone call that changed everything. He had finally stopped reliving the events in Iraq but was being asked to make himself vulnerable again. A second attack, this time in Chicago, starts to open a deceitful door into the terrorist cell. Logan uses his old connections, a group of recon marines, and as much assistance as Samantha can give without compromising her job with the FBI. Leads fall through their fingers and it appears there’s a leak in the government. In the end, it comes down to Logan’s intuitive training and ability to read people. Will Logan be able to tap into who he used to be? Or will the thought of another potential loss dictate his actions, causing even more attacks and American deaths?

 

WORKS IN PROGRESS

Height of Fear-

Second chapter in the Logan Falcone Series.

 

The Beyond Experience– At Beta reader and editing phase.

 

A research physician named Ethan Lewis discovers a radical cure for anxiety and depression which sweeps the globe. The treatment is described as heaven by everyone who enters the experience. However, with the help of his assistant Kyle, they find the cure is capable of much more. In secret they push the envelope but Dr. Ethan Lewis decides to shut down the experimenting when Kyle discovers something terrible in Ethan’s past. In the end, the loss of a loved one forces Ethan to enter the experience himself.  He comes face to face with his biggest mistake and is presented with the undeniability of the afterlife.

 

One Soldier’s Kingdom

Work in progress- A historical Fiction novel

A book set in Post WW2 Chicago. Nicholas Ricci, a returning POW,  falls in love with Bella, an illegitimate daughter of a mob boss. He goes to Chicago to follow her and is met by Louie DeLuca, the boss of the family. He tells Nicky he will grant his blessing on the relationship if he helps him by performing a task. NIcki succeeds, but is left barely alive.

As time passes, Nicki becomes more involved with the crime family but is often forced to relive his days at the POW camp. The flashbacks become intense and his charismatic personality becomes more dark and power hungry. He craves the idea of being the boss, but both Bella and Louie DeLuca stand in the way.

 

What do you want readers to think or feel after reading one of your books?

Emotion. Whether something in the plot causes you to reflect on a memory, or you are so emotionally invested in a character that you cry, bleed, scream, laugh with them. That’s the point.

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

Rejection. I hadn’t found an agent, and historically I’m not very patient. I decided that three months of waiting and hearing a lot of the same feedback, I should just have a go at it myself. Since doing so, I feel like it was the right decision for me. I have talked to a couple agents, as well as publishers since, and found it to be a very “dollars over everything” sort of feel. I think there is limitless freedom in self-publishing, however, you are on your own which is scary. I’m on the fence about indie versus traditional at the moment. I like the freedom, but would certainly like to reach a wider audience.

 

That’s what I hear from just about every indie I interview … love the freedom, would like a wider audience. What do you find to be the greatest advantage of self-publishng?

The freedom to make every choice along the way.

 

Conversely, what do you think self-published authors might be missing out on?

Guidance in terms of which choices would be better. There is literally an infinite number of decisions that are ultimately being made at each step of the way. From internal design, font choice, how to lay out the chapter, the cover art, promotions, who do I sell through etc etc. Publishers also likely have a wider reach, and if you are published traditionally, there is also a sense that your work may be better….maybe.

 
Do you believe that self-published authors can produce books as high-quality as the traditional published? If so, how do you think we should go about that?

Yes. Take constructive criticism, allow others to read your work and find individuals who aren’t afraid to tell you something sucks. That’s an enormous advantage. You cannot have a bunch of “yes-men” around you. Pay for quality, cover art is what draws people in, so don’t skimp on it, and don’t settle. Also, when it comes to every aspect of the book layout, design, content, listen to the professionals you hire. They are likely reading and looking at way more than you ever will.

 

 

Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?

Yes and no. My most recent work tentatively called The Beyond Experience, deals with a lot of Christian themes, but I wouldn’t say I always write with that in mind. The reason I do place religious views/themes in books is because it’s what I believe.

 

Exactly. It’s who we are. What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?

Difficulty knowing how far to go with the themes, and not push secular readers away. I think it’s easy to turn off a non-christian. As soon as you reveal the Christian or God centric perspective, they are sometimes turned off and the wonderful message may not get to them. No matter how good the writing.

 

Christians are told to be “in the world, but not of it.” As a Christian writer, how do you write to conform to that scripture?

It’s difficult. You try to walk a thin line, but you absolutely have to stay true to a character. Just because you are writing as a character, doesn’t mean those are your beliefs.

 

Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?

It is possible. A good story is a good story. You need to develop the characters, the plot, and the storyline needs to be good as well. Just like any other topic.

 

Where to readers find you and your books?

 

Website: <www.michaelreidjr.com>

Instagram: authormichaelreidjr

Twitter: michaelreidjr1

Facebook: Michael Reid Jr

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One response to “Interview with Michael Reid, Jr.

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  1. Reblogged this on Daermad Cycle.

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