Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Max E. Stone

Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone


There are over 70 Author interviews on this blog—writers of all ages and levels of experience

Today’s interview is the third for Mr. Stone—here’s his first interviewhere’s his second interview

And, at the end of this interview, Max is giving away 5 free audio books :-)

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Author Max E. Stone

Click Image to Visit Max’s Site

 Welcome back to the blog, Max! Great to have you with us again. For those who might be new to the blog or your work, what genre do you write in? 

Thanks for having me back, Alex! It’s great to be here again! And I write, as a reader once put it, hardcore thrillers. These thrillers are set in New England, for the most part, and are about three seemingly different families woven together by events involving their children. 

What’s the latest in the series and what are you working on now?

The latest in the series is entitled Black Cradle, which is the fourth book and a broader version as well as “second volume” to August to Life which gave background on the families the series centers on: the “old-money” Warrens, the “working-class” Bennetts, and the “nouveau-riche” Johnsons.

As for what I’m working on, during Camp NaNoWriMo this month I’m hard at work on Black Roses, which adds in another family, the Jacobs. Like one of the original families (the Warrens) they’re extremely affluent and are “rooted” in New England. However, unlike the other family, they’re very close with each other. Or, it seems that way until Detective Bennett has to dig through their secrets after the patriarch is murdered. I’m looking to have this story completed by late 2016 to early 2017.

Sounds fascinating, Max. Would you lay out the timeline of the series?

O.K.—four to date. In order, they are: August to Life, The Bleeding, One Minute There and Black Cradle. Black Roses will be the 5th book. Black Cradle ~ Max E. Stone

Coming back to your work at Camp NaNoWriMo, what’s your writing process like?

Lately, my writing process has been more varied and free, especially with location, though music is always a part of it. I have a couple of playlists on Spotify that I always work with and I have them on my phone, iPad, and laptop as well, so I can always write, no matter where I am. So, for the most part, I write with music. It gives my pen or fingers a rhythm…

Have you read any good books lately?

Not too long ago I finished Into the Light by Aleatha Romig. Oh my goodness—it was amazing.  The way it was written—with its suspense and twists and turns—that’s what I’m striving for with each of my books

Anything else new on your writing journey, Max?

The 3rd in the series, One Minute There, became an audiobook not too long ago; and, I’m giving away a few copies of it. Noah Michael Levine did an amazing job, both with it and the previous one in the series, The Bleeding.

How can my readers win a free copy of One Minute There?

I have five copies to give away; so, the first 5 people to leave a comment on this blog post will receive a free copy…

Where can we find you, Max?

You can find me at my WebSite; on Twitter; or, on Facebook.

Thanks, Max, for another interesting interview

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And, folks, after you watch these Highly Evocative trailers for Max’s books, why not ask him a question or two in the Comments ( if you’re one of the first five, you can ask an author a question and win a free audiobook :-)

Finally, if you’ve heard of NaNoWriMo and wonder what Camp NaNoWriMo is, the biggest difference I could find is that, at the Camp, you get a cabin :-)

What is a cabin?

How do cabins work?

How do I start a cabin with my friends?

How do I leave a cabin?

What do I do if a cabin mate is posting abusive content or spam in the message board?

What happens to my cabin after the month is over? When are cabins reset?

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Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone


It’s my great pleasure to welcome Mr. Stone back to the blog—his first interview here was great; so, let’s get this one going… One Minute There by Max E. Stone
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Max, did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

All I knew was that I always liked to write. I started at nine and at that time it was just a hobby to me. I liked to create stories that, to say the least, scared the crap out of the adults in my life. It was a teacher of mine who told my parents that I could actually make a career out of it. My parents nurtured that gift and I kept going with it; still am going with it.

I know you’ve been super busy with a new launch—tell us a bit about One Minute There.

Sure. This story is the third installment in the Warren-Bennett-Johnson series, which is about a diverse group of families that are interconnected. In One Minute There, Detective Bennett’s step daughter has run off, leaving both her daughter and a trail of blood behind; a trail that, ultimately, the authorities pick up.

What made you write this particular story for the series?

The character Melissa, Detective Bennett’s step-daughter. There were so many different facets and issues with this young woman—reasons for why she is and what she is—that I had to continue and, to a certain degree, explore.

Was there any particular scene that was hardest for you to write?

There’s a scene where Melissa is having a mental breakdown and, in the process, someone close to her almost dies. That was beyond hard to write because I started feeling what Melissa was feeling. I was crying and gasping for air. It took me awhile to get myself together enough to continue the story.

Woah—intense  Are there certain types of scenes, in general, that are difficult for you to write? Love, Murder, _______?

I think love scenes are hard, at least for me, because its about balance. You want to make it hot but not just plain vulgar; intense yet not taking up too much of the story. For that, and for drafts in general, I write everything out and let someone else I trust read it, just to make sure I’m saying what I want to say in the way that it should be said so it will reach the reader. It’s working pretty well.

Did you use any real life in One Minute There?

Yes, I did, especially with conceiving the character of Melissa. Her breakdown was a direct result of abuse and trauma in her childhood caused by her biological father, a psychotic billionaire who used both his hands and his money to terrorize his family, his daughter in particular. While this may not have been my life, I believe that, since the story and those characters came to me, it must have happened to someone

So, Max, do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?

I’m just getting my footing and learning the business myself. Thus far, what I’ve learned is that you can’t give up. There are quite a few naysayers out there who will try to deter you from what you love. Just keep going with it. As for your writing style, read a lot, especially in the genre you’re writing. Get acquainted with those styles even while you’re crafting your own. Also, educate yourself on the business of writing as well as marketing. Read up on it and network with other writers. Both are very valuable tools.

What’s next for you?

Currently, I am in the middle of crafting Black Cradle, a story that goes into deeper detail on what leads to each Warren-Bennett-Johnson family member’s current state. This will be released in August. Also, my second book, The Bleeding, is in audiobook production. Noah Michael Levine will be narrating. He’s amazing! You can check out his other titles for audible

Hang on

………

Yep, he’s very good—changes his style for each book

Last question—where can readers find One Minute There?

It’s available on Amazon:
USA
UK

Max, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule for this interview!

Thanks for having me!
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Author Interview ~ Max E. Stone


We have well over 40 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.

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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.

I’ll just throw in a link to your International Purchase Page and the trailer for The Bleeding, as well as tell folks to start asking you questions in the Comments :-)

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To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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