Featured Interview With Micheal Maxwell
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was raised in the Central Valley of California. My wife and I divided our time between our home in the Central Valley and our place in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I’ve been fortunate to traveled the globe, dine with politicians, rock stars and beggars. I’ve rubbed shoulders with priests and murderers, surgeons and drug dealers, each one giving me a part of themselves that live again in the pages of my books.
I seem to have found a niche in the mystery, suspense, genre with The Cole Sage Series that gives readers an everyman hero, short on vices, long on compassion, and a sense of fair play, and the willingness to risk everything to right wrongs. I am committed to writing a clean, character driven, mysteries series with lots of twist, turns, and heart.
The Cole Sage Series departs from the usual, heavily sexual, profanity laced norm and gives readers a character driven stories, with twists, turns, and page turning plot lines.
My interests apart from writing, are travel, film, and music. I am a confirmed Deadhead and committed Bob Dylan fan. We do not have any pets because we travel so much. We have been to thirty-nine counties, and are not done yet!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I can’t remember ever not loving books. As a pre-kindergartner I remember over and over flipping through a huge family Bible that had amazing full color plates. My mother says I could read from the first day I arrived at school. One summer in grade school, 6th grade I think, I challenged myself to “read” the entire World Book Encyclopedia, more likely I flipped through reading the captions on the pictures and articles that caught my eyes, but I made it A-Z!
My wife teases me about how I tell people about a book I got as an 8th grader called Campfires and Battlefields: by Rossiter Johnson. I still have it.
From the time got my first job I bought books and still do.
My first published piece of writing was in the 6th grade! A story called “Orville and the Tin Monster” it was in the schools literary annual! I loved writing and have had a life long dream of being a writer. I have written magazine articles, music, film and restaurant reviews.
Like many people I tried the traditional route of trying to be published. I had pretty much given up. “We only take manuscripts from agents”. “We don’t represent anyone who isn’t published.” It was a snake eating its tail.
I was determined to never go to a vanity press or some “Podunk Press”
Then I was introduced to self-publishing. I was in charge, flop or fly, it was up to me and I loved it. My first book Diamonds and Cole has now been downloaded 350,000 times. The other five books in the Cole Sage Mystery Series all sell briskly. So the little boy who loved to read and write stories has finally seen his dreams come true.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
The “Deptford Trilogy” by Robertson Davies, “Our Mutual Friend” by Charles Dickens and anything by Stewart M. Kaminsky or Peter Lovesey.
Davies because I love the way he brings back characters five or six books down the line. When I first read the “Deptford Trilogy” I thought “That’s my voice!” It really instilled the desire to write in me. Not that I will ever be fit to be mentioned in the same sentence, but Davies was truly a mentor
I have read “Our Mutual Friend” probably twenty times. Dickens to me is the master of characters. His books never have character who just happen to be in the story, the are as alive as the main characters and he treats them with the same importance.
Kaminsky and Lovesey I think are two of the best mystery writers ever, and they taught me, along with John Gresham, you can write something contemporary and engaging without gratuitous, sex and profanity.
If I can learn to encompass the lessons I’ve learned from these masters I will a real sense of accomplishment.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I am currently working on three projects. Cole Sage book #7 which is without a title at the moment. It centers around, a series of random murders in San Francisco, major changes at the paper where Cole works, and the introduction of an abused teenage girl that wants to be a writer. I am having a great time with this one.
On days I need to recharge my “Cole Batteries”, I am editing a collection of my short stories, writing a western that is totally unique, a WWII Romantic Spy novel, and a no non-sense “How to Write a Book” handbook.
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