Name of Author: TC Michael
Titles of Published Books: Short Story Pro Market 2017, Secret of the Last Born
1) Tell a little bit about yourself.
I’m an author, like this interview suggests, but I haven’t always wanted to write. In fact, the urge to write professionally didn’t begin until I started college, and during my first year I wanted to write for the film industry. However, that didn’t blossom because I was so busy with college over the next two years that I didn’t have time to get my own writing done. I still have that dream of writing movies but for the time being I enjoy writing books and short stories.
I grew up in a small town with a giant family, nine in total. I was always excited when we would drive into a big city, but extremely nervous because I had no idea what to do if we got lost. However, I now live in a city after moving for college and living closer to some family. Things are certainly different from the area I grew up, but it provides more fodder and more expansion on the information that I can use to inspire my writing.
Like most authors, I have a wish of someday becoming successful enough to quit the day job and write full time. The dream is to one day be a popular and globally renowned author like most people’s favorite authors, but in this industry, it’s always one step at a time and those steps are usually baby steps.
2) Tell us a little bit about your books.
Well, several years ago I decided to write a modern-day contemporary fantasy with witches, magic, mythical creatures and teenagers. That book is titled Secret of the Last Born. The reception has been positive for the most part, but the sales have been mediocre at best. That is hugely to blame on the fact that I was a new author and had no idea how to market or that I even had to. My mind has been revolving around the idea of a completely new rewrite for about a year now. It’s been a hard decision for many reasons, but I feel it is necessary because looking back on the book and my experience at the time of writing it, I now realize it just isn’t the idea I had in my mind. It wasn’t written by someone with the experience they needed, the experience I have now. So, that is going to be the ultimate outcome, but the first edition of the book is still currently in publication for any readers who would like to grab that before it is no more.
On a more positive note, I have just released another book less than a month ago titled Short Story Pro Market 2017. Through the trials and frustrations of researching, querying and submitting to short story publishers, I realized short form authors need a much improved and better all-in-one avenue to help them get their work published and increase their chances of success. This book is by no means similar to other market listings, such as those put out by Writers Digest/Writers Market. This book is a very niche book written specifically for short form authors and it only lists publishers that are reputable and pay the professional rate. Meaning this book helps short form writers make the most money possible and it helps them get published much quicker. The reception for this book has been very positive.
3) What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I think by far the hardest part about writing Short Story Pro Market 2017 was the research. There was a ton of research to be done and it was not a quick process. It took a lot of tedious fact checking and stooping over my computer for hours on end. Besides the research, creating a foundation and organization system was somewhat difficult. I had to do this because this book, and especially the brand, “Short Story Pro Market”, is intended to be an annual product. Each year there will be a new installment with publisher updates and updated information as well as new or filtered listings. So, creating a basic foundation and system in which I can organize the information will be extremely helpful, not only for this first edition, but for all to come.
4) What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
Saying I have a favorite part of this is different than saying a fiction author has a favorite part of his or her book. This isn’t a typical nonfiction book or a typical writing reference book, this is more or less a catalog or publishing guide. So, it’s hard to say if I have a favorite part. I certainly like how many professional paying publishers there are for speculative fiction, though.
5) What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
This is a nonfiction, so I didn’t do any world building, but I did draw from some real-life inspiration, or more accurately, real-life necessity. I have been writing short stories for several years now and I have since learned that seeking a tradition publisher is difficult on its own, but finding the perfect publisher that actually pays big bucks is even harder. Plus, reading through all of their requirements, guidelines, wants and don’t-wants can take up a lot of time and can be an extreme killjoy that causes a lot of stress and confusion. I went through all of this for years, especially after I decided I wanted to actually make money off short stories. I know there are thousands of short story writers that go through this on a regular basis and there might be even more new writers who don’t know where to begin. So, I decided it was well passed time that someone created an all-in-one resource where writers can get all of the information they need about all of the highest paying short form publishers. I accepted the challenge an embarked upon a journey that would take months to complete, but would ultimately bring ease to the lives of many writers.
There is another huge benefit to this book as well. It’s not only helpful to short story writers, it is also a great resource for nonfiction writers, article writers, interviewers and more.
6) Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
I did, a few things in fact. One, there are a lot more short form publishers out there than people know or expect. So, don’t let yourself get discouraged thinking there are only a few places you can submit your work to. Two, there are a ton of publishers who will pay top dollar for your work if it’s good enough. These publishers will not only pay you, but they will publish your work in high quality publication’s and share your work with thousands of readers. Three, having your work accepted by a top publisher means your writing career may hit a new high, or at the very least, you may gain more readers and fans giving you a boost in your career. It can lead you to reprints and even gaining representation and publication for other works you may have. Four, your chances of publication success in the short story and article markets is heavily weighed on how close of attention you pay the publishers requirements and guidelines. That is why Short Story Pro Market 2017 is vital to short form authors, it will guide you through what is needed and what is necessary for success. I could list more, but the list is pretty long, so I’ll leave it at that.
7) What are your future projects?
Well, I have a young adult, real-world book I would like to start planning this spring or summer. Also, I have two short stories that are out for publication right now and I have two more that I will be writing very soon. I won’t begin any other projects until at least May because I’m concentrating on the market, promoting and publicity of Short Story Pro Market 2017 until then. And to repeat what I said earlier, the Short Story Pro Market is a brand that will have an annual edition, so I will begin working on the second edition for 2018 later this year.
8) What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
Well, I have numerous options. I’m on several social media sites, I have a blog and a website. I’ll list everything below.