I’m very pleased to welcome paranormal author Michael Christopher Carter to The Book’s the Thing today. Read on for a glimpse inside this writer’s creative process…
I was delighted when Erika asked me to write a guest post for her and that got me thinking. What would I want to learn about me if I were a reader? (Which of course I am—I read my own books a million times as part of the editorial process as well as reading other authors’ books avidly.) What would I want to know?
Well, I suppose I’d ask where it all began?
I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. My teachers from as young as nursery age would say, ‘He has to be a writer one day…’ I didn’t take their advice for another thirty-plus years. Or rather, I didn’t write a book until I was forty. I had flirted with the notion, buying a word processor, but I had no clue where to start. It all comes so easily now I wish I’d started years ago. I console myself acknowledging my greater life experiences must have led to richer writing.
Now I’ve taken the plunge, is it what I expected?
Yes. It’s the best job in the world. It doesn’t even feel like work… I get paid to do what I would do anyway for free! And I can do it in my pyjamas if I want. Don’t worry, I’m writing this fully clothed and abluted.
What about the nuts and bolts of what I do?
It’s something I’m honing all the time, but it always starts with an idea. I have lots and I usually write them all down. Then sometimes there’s one I’m super-excited about and I know I’ll write that book.
Inspiration comes from anywhere. Sometimes (perhaps frequently), it’s from conversations with my wife. Whilst discussing the ins and outs of the Universe, I’ll stop and say, “That would make a good book,” before scurrying away to make notes. This is especially true of my novel, “An Extraordinary Haunting,” which includes true-life goings on for my wife and late mother-in-law.
Most of the time you can thank my dogs. The peace and calm of being in the wild outdoors with my best buddies is a great time to think. “The Beast of Benfro,” came to me whilst walking them in the very woods the story is set. I could picture the beast rampaging down the hillside to get to me, and my subsequent dash to the safety my car gave me quite an adrenaline rush. I didn’t write the book for a couple of years after the initial conception because that’s the other thing: I have so many ideas I can’t possibly complete them all. Like choosing a novel from your (if you’re anything like me) unfeasibly long ‘To-read’ list that contains far too many titles for an average human lifespan, one just nags to be read above the others; or for me, nags to be written.
I aimed, this year, to become more prolific, releasing at least four books. But I’ve only written one so far because I’ve been so busy moving home. I’ll do my best to catch up so there should be some exciting releases before the year is out.
I’m so lucky living in The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Whenever I need to take stock and get inside my own thoughts there are limitless beauty spots to choose from to gratify me with wonder. From dozens of castles and incredible secret beaches, to woods and rivers with waterfalls, West Wales is really a writers’ paradise.
Is there anything I don’t like about being an author?
Not so long ago, I might have said editing. Now, it’s one of my favourite things: That’s when the ideas take shape, and when other people read my words for the first time and I get to share that most intimate part of myself—my thoughts.
I used to get nervous I’d hear back that my book is rubbish, but I’m not so uneasy anymore. That’s not to say things don’t need changing. First-draughts always require a lot of work. It makes me laugh reading them. When I’m letting the ideas flow, the writing can be wrought with errors. I’m amazed at the evidence of my crazy thoughts, using the word ‘exactly’ lots of times on the same page, or starting ten sentences in a row with the word ‘it’! At least I get to iron these out before anybody sees (apart from my poor editor!)
I love my job. I feel so lucky. But what do I enjoy most of all?
The thing that makes me grin from ear to ear whenever it happens is satisfied fan mail. To know my words have touched someone to the point they have taken the trouble to write to tell me often moves me to tears (usually of joy, but not always—books mean a lot of different things to different people.)
I could go on forever, but I hope this brief and gushing glimpse into my world has been of interest, and that you go on to enjoy some of my novels.
Who knows? Maybe your letter will become one of my favourite things.
Michael Christopher Carter,
About the Author
Michael is the author of several novels including the number one bestseller “An Extraordinary Haunting,” and “The HUM,” with well over 1000 four and five-star ratings on Source, and brand new “Destructive Interference” which fans and journalists are saying is his best yet!
Prior to beginning his life as an author in 2013, Michael was a success in the world of direct sales where he ran a number of businesses including a conservatory design and build company, and coordinated a several-hundred-strong army of water filter salespeople!
The illness of a family member prompted Michael to investigate a spiritual path where from Catholic roots, he diversified to qualify as a Reiki Master in 1999 before moving with his family from Cambridge to the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in South West Wales. It’s from this unique standpoint and incredible scenery that Michael is inspired to write today.
When Matthew Morrissey takes an innocent stroll to his local convenience store to buy batteries for his daughter’s Christmas present, he doesn’t know it will change his life forever. But, when he returns home, everything has changed… There are strangers in his home, his neighbours deny ever knowing him and he ends up attracting the attention of Bristol’s finest.
Matthew has a theory about what is happening to him and who is to blame. But first, he has to escape.
Can he solve the mystery and save his family, or has he lost them forever?
If you like a twist in your tale, this latest voyage into the paranormal world of Wales’s premier writer of supernatural fiction is the most remarkable yet!