Author Interview With Morris E. Graham

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Next up for a grilling is Author Morris E. Graham:


If you use a Pen Name why did you choose it?

I do not.

Why do you write?

Because writing is like breathing, I can’t stop.

When did you decide to become a writer?

2004. I had had a foray into writing, but not seriously. I wrote a short story, then coauthored a booklet. Later, much later, it was as if something inside of me was waiting for a spark to ignite the flame. I was spending my time managing a website for an online gaming clan, which I was the president. I was going through some short stories that some of the players had written, and I said to myself, ‘I can do at least this good.’ The spark ignited the flame and eventually I gave up gaming. The story that started all of this moved me into the world of writing.

What genre are your books?

Military science-fiction, but I have a book on editing started that should be out in 2017.

What draws you to this genre?

I grew up reading comic books, watching action movies, and oh yes, there was Star Trek.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

Already answered.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write and edit other author’s books part time, until I retire from my day job.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I write before work, during breaks and lunch, sometimes, but not often, evening and weekends.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

Every project, whether it be editing someone else’s works or writing/editing your own, causes you to grow in creativity, like a muscle getting exercised.

What have you written?

“Warzone: Nemesis,” a novel of Mars.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? 

 I like to start with a beginning, see the end, and start writing. I employ the use of multiple outlines and timelines to keep the story straight. Like I tell other authors, fiction is untrue, so by its definition, it is a lie. It’s okay with the reader, of course, because you told them so in the front of the book. They accept that. They want to be entertained, moved to different points of view, and sometimes be changed. I look at outlines and timelines like this. Try telling a lie for a paragraph. Fine, no contradictions. Try a chapter. Okay, still no issues. Try 100, 000 words. It is like being interrogated in a box by a police detective. You will get caught in some inconsistencies. Outlines, logic statements, and timelines helps keep the lie in your fiction straight, and for that time where the reader has suspended his belief that this is fiction and entered your world, they live it.

How do you market your books? 

 I am just getting started placing value on social media. I intend to spend more money on advertising this year and publish a second novel.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? 

No, I am still investigating what works for me.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in the future? 

Yes, when I got started up, I blew half my budget, which was small, on publishing my book, the rest on a  website. In hindsight I would tell the author that if you are on a shoestring budget, scrimp on your website, spend more for a book cover.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

If you’re writing to get rich, stop right now and go do something else. If you write because you love it, then no matter what the outcome is, you are doing what you love.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?

He is a man with principles who loves his country, sometimes loses his way, but finds his way back. He is all about loyalty, honor, courage, and faith.

Where do your ideas come from?

As I said before, the core inspiration is from the online game I was playing. The rest of the ideas come from everywhere, songs, news reports, people I know.
         
What is the hardest thing about writing?

Getting the time to do it. Marketing nowadays with social media is overwhelming and time consuming. The key for an author is to achieve the perfect balance in knowing where to direct your marketing efforts and at the same time, be able to spend time writing.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

How long it took: nine years to publish, another two and one half to the fifth edition. And no, I don’t foresee taking so much time with future projects.

Which writers inspire you?

Tony Hillerman, James Clavell, James Lee Burke, Michael Crichton

What do you do to get book reviews?

Sometimes I contact reviewers directly, and often times they offer reviews at goodreads. I am an Amazon reviewer myself, ranking 84,000 at this time, and I get requests via Twitter every day. Every time I review a book on goodreads, it fires a tweet, so as my Twitter list grows, I get more requests. I will start using Twitter this year more effectively to get my review requests know.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? 

24 in 2 ½ years. Not very effective. I expect to have over 100 by the end of the year, due to starting to use social media more effectively. It has been actually difficult to grasp how social media works and to use it effectively. I am sixty years old and I didn’t grow up saying, “hash tag.”

What is the current book you are promoting? 

My debut novel, “Warzone: Nemesis.”

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Colonel Kahless. Though he had troubles and adversity, he is a courageous and honorable character.

Who is your least favorite character and why?

Lieutenant Colonel Matulevich. He was a back-stabbing, self-serving jerk.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you cast? 

Ryan Gosling as Colonel Kahless, Rachel McAdams as Lieutenant Colonel Yekaterina Pastukhova, and Prokhor Dubravin as Colonel Yuri Tkachenko.

What is your next project? 

Just wrapped up editing best-selling author Robert Kagan’s new novel coming out in a few months, “Forever My Homeland,” and am about to start editing her already published best seller, “All My Love, Detrick.” I should have my own book, the second in my Warzone series, “Warzone: Operation Wolf Hunt” out by October of this year.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

Iron Man. He’s cool, but has character flaws and is growing out of some of them.

What one person from history would you like to meet and why? 

Jesus Christ. I’d like to be there when he did some of his miracles and listen first-hand to the Sermon on the Mount.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?

I would love to see the whole world know and honor God.

How do you write your books? 

On a computer, with Microsoft Word, with an online synonym checker up, an internet connection up, and whenever I have sufficient research into the subject to write.

Who inspires your writing?

I get inspiration from God and everyone I know or have known, and everything I have experienced or hope to experience.

Where do you come up with your stories? 

We’ve already covered that.

Who is your favorite author? 

That’s a tough one; I have some many favorites. It’s a toss-up between Clive Cussler and Tony Hillerman.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?

Not everything you write is golden, and don’t fall in love with your own words.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

Marketing.

Tell us something unique about you.

I am a bk (below the knee) amputee. I fell off a telephone pole and subsequently lost my leg years later because of it.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I’ve included? Yes, what is my favorite Quote?

 It comes from the movie “Tombstone.” Wyatt Earp is playing cards with his emaciated friend Doc Holiday, who is dying from tuberculosis in a hospital. Wyatt is telling Doc that he doesn’t know what a normal life is anymore. Doc tells him, “There is no normal life, there’s just life. Get on with it.” 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Book Links For Morris E. Graham

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