19 July 2019

Special Guest Interview with Author Michael J. Sahno

 New on Amazon UK and Amazon US

I'm pleased to welcome author Michael J. Sahno to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book:

Whizzers is about a recovering alcoholic named Mike who discovers that his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons. It's not pure autobiography, but the main character is a fictionalized version of the author--so it's not only the best thing I've ever done, but also the most personal.

What is your preferred writing routine? 

I'm much better at editing in the morning, so since I started working for myself, I save my writing time for afternoons and evenings. I've been writing full-time since 2001, and I've had to do a lot of different types of projects. When it comes to creating a draft of any sort, I think of myself as a sprinter: I get a lot done in a short amount of time--and it's much higher quality than what most people think of as a "first draft"--but then I'm out of gas. I tend to block out 90-minute sessions for writing. Everything else happens around those.

What advice do you have for new writers? 

Better learn to dig ditches, too.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

Oddly enough, I've found blog tours like the one that kicks off today with this post are great for raising awareness. Typically, blog tours build more awareness than actual sales--and, of course, it's impossible for an author to determine how many people navigate away from someone else's site to buy a book--but I've seen some large spikes in sales that coincided with a book launch. I've also found Twitter is an excellent way to network with other writers, many of whom will share your stuff. A percentage of my Twitter followers do some great promotion for me, which I appreciate.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research. 

Because this book was so personal and autobiographical, it required very little research. Most of my research was related to what genre to classify the novel, which I've not done much in the past--my other novels have essentially all been literary fiction, with differing subcategories. The only thing that comes to mind is that I mention a photo of Rabindranath Tagore in Whizzers, and I thought I recalled it being taken by a photographer named E.O. Hoppé. I don't know anything about E.O. Hoppé, but I Googled the name, and sure enough, I was right. That's who took the photo. I have no idea why I remembered such a specific piece of trivia, but I did.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

Without giving too much away, there's a scene where an adolescent version of myself is brutally bullied by a group of peers. It's based on an actual incident, which I visualized in detail and practically relived while writing the scene. I'm 54, and I'd never had the experience of breaking down and crying either during or after writing something, at least not that I can recall. But I did both. I can't even explain what an incredibly powerful, overwhelming, and ultimately healing experience that was.

What are you planning to write next?

I have a couple irons in the fire: one is my first work of historical fiction, and the other is a contemporary novel. No idea which will be completed first, but I'll probably toggle back and forth between them for a bit to figure out which one I can finish first.

Michael J. Sahno

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About the Author

Born in Bristol, CT, Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. He obtained a Master of Arts in English from Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY at the age of twenty-four, going on to become a full-time professional writer in 2001. Whizzers is his fifth full-length work of fiction. Find out more at https://msahno.com/ and find him on Twitter @MikeSahno

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