Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone

We have over 80 author interviews now. Author Max E. Stone

Young and old writers—aspiring and experienced.

Today, we’ll share some time with Max E. Stone, author of The Bleeding.


Max, tell us a bit about yourself and your novel series.

Well, I’ve been writing since I was nine years old. That was when I started writing my “New England” series, which includes The Bleeding and its predecessor and prelude August to Life, which was published in 2012. At the start of the series, August to Life wasn’t even called that at the time. There have been at least 20 drafts and about 17 different titles since then. I don’t even think I came up with New England for the setting until 2010. Plus, at sixteen, writing became one of the few things that kept me sane during a lot of situations going on in my life at that age and, suddenly, as I wrote, this story began to take shape into this fiction, half mystery/half thriller, about three families, each one with a person in a position of power, be that law or business, that end up thrown together by their children and the resulting good, bad, and even deadly events that follow. From those beginnings, I’ve been growing ever since.

What inspires your work?

Everything. Everything I see. Anything I hear. Anything that happens to me. A simple walk down the street. A song. Anything. I could get inspired at a moment’s notice so I always have notepad and pen with me just in case an idea strikes.

Can you describe your writing style in three words?

Rare. Real. Chilling.

What do you think makes your writing stand out from “the crowd”?

I’ll show you things in the world, literary and real, that you’ve never or rarely seen. And if you’ve seen it and you’ve been misinformed, I won’t pull punches. I won’t just tell you the truth. I will show you why its true and maybe even scare you in the process.

O.K., Max, let’s imagine—who would you like to play your main characters in the film version?

I’m not sure about the others, but definitely Liam Neeson for the role of Stephen Bennett, the Homicide Detective who is dealing with a particularly grueling set of circumstances in The Bleeding—Neeson is such a strong and powerful actor and he takes over the role. Just looking at what he did with his role in Taken, I feel as though he would do wonders with bringing Stephen Bennett to life on the big screen.

When and how did you discover you’d become a writer?

Whatever I wanted to be when I was a kid, I surely wasn’t thinking “writer” even though I had always done it as a hobby. I would even scare adults with the subject matter of my stories because they would look at me and wonder how I knew about certain things like murder, violence, and mystery. I told them I had no idea where the stories were coming from. They were just there in my mind and I wrote them down. I fell in love with the idea of being a writer when I was in the fifth grade. We had to write journal entries for class and my teacher was highly impressed with mine and had even spoken with my parents about it. My parents, in turn, nurtured my love for writing and reading. In addition to that, at 16, writing became one of a few things that kept me sane during a lot of situations at that time in my life and, suddenly, as I wrote, this story began to take shape into this fiction, half mystery/half thriller, about these families that get thrown together, with some devastating consequences, and the rest is history…

Do you base any of your characters or events on yourself or your experiences?

All the time. I believe that even in fiction, you need to have some realism. Otherwise, no one will listen and your story is just that—a story. So I definitely based some events or situations in my own life.

Since you’ve been writing, have you ever thought of saying, “The hell with this!” and doing something else? Plus, any advice for struggling authors or new authors who are on the edge of jumping off?

Many, many, many times! I began self-publishing in 2012. Since then, I have had that thought at least three times a week. Very recently, in fact. But I can’t give it up. As they say, anything worth having is worth fighting for. I’d rather fight to be a successful writer than give it up and live comfortably, never knowing what could have been.

For the struggling author teetering on the edge, you know how much you love this crazy life. So, you’ve got to fight for it. My advice would be keep writing and keep reading. That goes for new authors, too. It will help you to hone and improve your craft. Also, talk to other writers about what you are going through. Chances are they’ve had the same experience and would be willing to help you. And watch the publishing market because, like everything else, it can change at the drop of hat and suddenly the genre that was so hot just a year ago is on the outs, which leads me to my next piece of advice: take steps to make sure that your writing is legendary. Don’t write what’s hot right now because that will certainly change. You can count on that. Instead, write what you love and be you. Finally, enter contests. Whether you win or not, it will give you practice in getting the word out as well as strengthen your skills in the editing department, something that is very useful to have.

What are you currently working on, Max?

As of right now, I am working on the third installment in the New England series, called One Minute There—released in 2015.

Where can people find out more about you?

You can get in touch with me, find out more about me—upcoming projects, causes, my blog, and more—at my Author Website. Plus, on Facebook and on twitter @maxestone. Thanks for having me!

And, thank you Max, for taking time to share your life and work with my readers.

Here’s the trailer for The Bleeding, and go ahead and ask Max a question in the Comments :-)

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2 responses to “Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone

  1. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone | Notes from An Alien

  2. Pingback: Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone | Notes from An Alien

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