My guest today is Michael C. Szer, talking about his writing career - the ups and the downs!
By nmurray, Jan 8 2020 10:24AM
Happy New Year Michael and welcome to my blog. Please let everyone know about your journey as a writer and about your great sci-fi books.
What made you want to write a book?
When I was young I loved to read. It opened up a new world for me. A friend lent me some of the books he was reading and introduced me to writers like Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Heinlein. Back then we both said we would write our own books. He went on to have a successful career in writing and I took a more roundabout way. I started writing short stories when the editor of Amazing Stories was kind enough to critique my work. I then got the idea for my first novel, “Subroutine: Heaven”.
Tell us about you and where you live.
My first place, like many young people was a cheap one room apartment. From there I moved upward until I eventually took over my deceased parents property. Unfortunately this was too much for me to handle, being single, so I wound up selling that and bought a small trailer in a nice neighborhood a few miles outside Atlantic City, N.J.
After working a few years at several jobs from developing film to selling tires I wound up on disability from vision problems. Before this I was an electronics technician and assembler. Not having to work gave me the opportunity to return to writing which I had put aside for a number of reasons. Now I am trying to promote and sell several novels which can be seen at www.transporterbooks.com
What have you written and what are you working on now?
My first novel was published in the 1990s. It was titled “Subroutine: Heaven” and was about an android that short circuits and finds he has become a ghost. When I first wrote it, I sent it out in armature competition where it got honorable mention and was told the characters were well developed and the writing style was similar to Kurt Vonnegut. Afterwards, I tried something more serious and tried my hand at writing horror. These weren't as terrifying as they were entertaining, mostly centering around ghosts. Next I decided to try some science fiction again with a cyber sci-fi/thriller. Now I'm nearing the end of a first draft of a sci-fi novel based on the speculations of ancient aliens visiting Earth.
How do you market your books and do your promotion methods work?
That a good question. When “Subroutine: Haven” was released it was published by a small ebook company in California. The internet was still in its infancy back then and there weren't as many online publishers. This company had a limited amount of titles and had already established a customer base. What I did on my part was get in touch with my high school yearbook and several others and took out ads in the back. I also went to Philadelphia and began distributing business cards in the college sections of town and on South Street, a popular gathering place for the young. Something was working. Every time I got a report about my sales from the publisher the numbers were doubling. This went on for a while until the company had to fold because at that time the internet was changing its technology almost every six months and couldn't keep up. Unfortunately, that and some personal tragedies caused me to set my writing aside for a while. As for now, I'm trying to go the usual routs, trying to find reviewer's blogs, setting up social media pages, add sharing on my website. I think I might start another business card campaign sometime soon.
Where can our reader find your book for sale?
Right now, almost all my titles are available at www.transporterbooks.com. There they can be looked at, people can ask questions, or read my bio. I said almost all my titles are available. There are several I've written that need a final edit and a half a dozen crude first drafts. Soon I'll have “Subroutine: Heaven” on the list in the catalog. Over the years my personal copies were destroyed in a fire and I had to get a copy from the Copyright Office, but it was a hard copy and I have to digitize it first.
It was lovely to hear your life story Michael, it just shows everyone that if they have the writing gene in them, then they should never give up creating. There are millions of readers out there wanting a great book to read. It is just a question of finding them.
All the best for 2020