Hi all, welcome to another round of Interview Tuesday (on a Wednesday). Today I welcome R. Mac Wheeler to MFB.
Hi Mac! Please tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m an author of character-driven SF/F/paranormals filled with quirky sorts who lug a lot of baggage, in worlds that aren’t that far out. I was raised in the desert southwest; have called Florida my home the last twenty-five years. As we say in Texas, I have three dogs, a truck, and a beautiful wife, not necessarily in that order.
Hehehe so do the quirky sorts walk into your head fully formed or do you design them to be quirky?
I run a little on the quirky (and obsessive) side myself, so my characters are a natural extension.
Do the characters come into your head first or the story?
Most definitely, the characters.They beat me about the head and shoulders while I sleep.
What’s your favorite part about writing?
The fame, fortune, and idolizing of my groupies.
When that wears thin, I live off the creativity and sense of accomplishment.
Do you have any books out there for prospective groupies?
After one too many rejections last fall, I decided to self publish all of my eighteen novels. I’ve been editing like a crazed lunatic since then, and diving into the creative process of developing covers (Never thought that would be harder than the writing, even blurbs). I have thus far gotten fourteen of my titles on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and will have title number fifteen there hopefully within three weeks.
Don’t ask me about my sales. No time to worry about that. They are assets that aren’t going anywhere, and when I get all eighteen titles out there, I’ll do some marketing. But in reality…anyone approaching writing expecting to make money should keep playing the Lotto.
Wow! How do you get so many works out there? Do you multitask between WiPs?
I’ve been writing full time for ten years, during my bench time when I was consulting for five years, and otherwise I stole what time I could back in the days I still worked a regular gig…did that for another ten years. I probably sound long of tooth. Yep. Feel about as old as dirt.
Ah so you’ve been at this gig for longer than a lot of us. Got any tips that you wish you knew early on in the process?
Unless you have a favorite uncle running one of the big publishing houses…pick another hobby. Writing can break your heart. Why do that when so many hobbies, like sticking pins in your eyes, are so much more rewarding, without as much pain.
*snort* Right. Excellent tip. Except you’re preaching to the addicted. 😉 Any other tips?
Read the top ten style books three times.
Recognize that fifteen edit passes isn’t excessive. You’ll still have a change to make in every paragraph on the sixteenth pass.
Compose your query letter, blurb, and synopsis early in the writing process. That will enrich the edit process. You’ll see your manuscript in a different light.
Those are some great tips. I didn’t do the blurb etc. earlier, now I’m sort of at a loss with where to start.
Do you use crit partners and/or betas and/or editors? If so, where did you find them?
I’ve tried combinations of all…and while they improved my writing years ago, I’ve never really been that satisfied.
Multiple crit partners can do an excellent job picking out copy errors. But unless they are highly skilled, they can rip the emotion and voice out of your writing.
If you can’t afford true editing, and not JUST copy editing, crit partners is a must. But, I’ve seen the results of $400 editing. You get what you pay for. I’m not making money writing, so I’m not spending $1,500 for an edit.
The best I’ve found is partnered-editing with other full-time writers. If you’ve paid your dues reading the ten style books three times, you’ve bound to have picked up some skill. (Too bad you can’t see your own errors.) If you find a considerate partner willing to put the required time in, both of you will end up with a much cleaner product, cross editing.
Last but not least, where can people find you and your works on the internet?
Thanks so much, Mac! I truly enjoyed doing this interview with you. Good luck with your writing and publishing endeavors!