Welcome to another Thoughtful Thursday. Today, Michael Winstell joins us on the blog.
Please welcome today’s guest author for an interview and details about his book.
What is the inspiration behind your writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I was little, but I only made a serious attempt at writing starting in late 2011. After I released my first book, I made a goal that I was going to write thirty books. Honestly, that has been my biggest motivation: setting up a daunting task for myself, and knowing that I can complete it, but still feeling like the mountain just goes on forever. I’m excited but also reluctant every time I start a new book. I’ve written eight books under my real name and I’m working on my fifth as Michael Winstell, so I’m almost halfway there.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
I was an English literature major in college so I’m drawn to the classics, fiction and non-fiction. I have a shelf in my office with a number of nicely-bound essentials of world literature and I’ve been making my way through those. I’m working on The Federalist Papers at the moment. I know, riveting. My favorite book would have to be Lord of the Flies by William Golding. The ending was so spectacular.
How have you surprised yourself during your writing journey?
My books under my real name can be categorized as “edgy Christian fiction” and they are generally dark, violent, and deal with tough issues, such as occultism, abuse, racism, etc. Yet these kinds of books can weigh heavy on the soul, especially when my imagination has to conjur up these unpleasant scenarios. One day, I decided that I was going to write a book about a girl and her horses, and that was the start of Michael Winstell’s writing career. Many people who know me were quite surprised by the move but I felt liberated, to be honest. Michael Winstell’s books have some intense moments but the stories are much lighter than my earlier work, yet the writing process has been much healthier for me.
What book are you currently reading for fun and are you reading anything for research?
The book I am currently writing is set during the horrific Johnstown flood of 1889, so I’ve been watching a number of documentaries on that event and time period. I plan to head to the library soon to see what books on the subject I can dig up.
If you could sit down to dinner with three authors, who would they be and what would you discuss?
Joseph Conrad, because he had an adventurous life beyond the usual author’s experience; Mark Twain, because I’m sure any conversation with him would have legendary quotes and soundbites; Dante Alighieri, to pick his brain about how he came up with The Divine Comedy.
Can you think of anything you wish you had known before you started writing?
I wish I knew how much work it would be getting my name and titles out there. I think many, if not most authors assume that “if you write it, they will come.” We don’t realize that the world doesn’t care nearly as much about our work as we do. Marketing and self-publicity are essential.
What’s next for you as an author?
I’m hard at work on my next book, Faith in the Floodwaters, the second in my four-book series set during historical American disasters. This new book will be released right around Christmas.
WHEN YOUR HEART IS BUFFETED BY WINDS OF SUFFERING, WHERE DO YOU TURN?
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MICHAEL WINSTELL lives in north Georgia with his wife and three children. When he’s not writing, he enjoys gardening, grilling, hunting, and spending time with his family. He also writes speculative Christian fiction under a different name.