Part 2 of my Interview with author, Michael Saad

Photo # 8 - Mike Sailing Along Queen Charlotte IslandsQ. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

MS. When I’m working full time, especially with teaching, with all of the marking, lesson planning, and numerous ‘extra-curricular’ duties we have going on in our profession, it is very difficult to find the time and energy to write. As a married family man with small kids, my family has been very supportive of my ‘hobby time’ of writing, but it still can be an insurmountable task to balance work, family time, and writing. I want (and need) to spend time with my family, and I want (and need) to focus on teaching, so quite often writing will (and should) take a back seat to that.  That being said, I have gotten up at 3 or 4 AM some days to write, often during holidays, just so I can squeeze it in, and balance writing with my other responsibilities.  It is not an easy thing to do, but when you truly find a hobby you like – whatever it is, in my case it’s writing, you are willing to do that if it means being able to get that ‘hobby time.’

Q. What’s your best advice to other writers for overcoming procrastination?

MS. There’s a number of things. The consistency of writing – that is, doing it every day – can certainly help you to build flow and enthusiasm in your work. However, most of us – certainly those of us who do not make writing our careers – are unable to have the advantage of being able to write every day.  So I think the key then is to have a piece or project you believe in, but also have definite parameters in place for the size and scope of your project.  Don’t try and write the great Canadian novel, for instance, if you truly don’t have the time to do so.  Work on a short story instead.  Also, if you just find yourself not believing in your work, and don’t have that passion for it that perhaps you thought you did now that you are part waySaad.China through your first draft, then perhaps you need to let it sit and start another piece.  Quite often, the piece left incomplete is still sitting on my hard drive in limbo, or left stewing in my mind for me to either revisit it someday, maybe with a new angle in mind, or for me to abandon altogether in digital ‘development hell.’  And, in my experience at least, that’s been perfectly okay because it’s helped me overcome what otherwise would have been procrastination on a floundering project…

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters?

MS. Honestly, they just pop into my head. There’s no real rhyme or reason to them. I see them in the oddest of places – when I’m driving on the highway, sitting on a plane, walking on a trail.   I don’t necessarily see them in whatever plot I conjure up in my head.  I often work backwards that way, at least with fiction.  I envision the character before the plot.

Q. What first inspired you to write your stories?

MS. Growing up as an only child, I developed a natural inclination to reading. It was a solitary activity to kill time. I had a lot of comic books, and it definitely started there.  I became so enamored with the comics of the early 1980s, all the Marvel and DC titles primarily – Star Wars, Avengers, Superman, Spiderman, Star Trek – that I began envisioning myself taking part of those imaginary worlds, where I was either the main character (e.x. Batman) or I was telling the story with those characters.  My parents and family used to wonder why I would spend time wandering around aimlessly, pretending I was fighting, or jumping over buildings.  They called it “the jump.”  Well, that was what I was doing – acting out my comic book stories.  My later love and future appreciation of more ‘mature’ literature stemmed from that, as did my inspiration to write stories.  Just to clarify, I still read those comic books!  I really am just a big kid in an adult body!

Join us for Part III of this in-depth chat with Michael.  Missed Part I? click here

DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with  best-selling AUTHORS!  A long awaited interview with Kathleen Grissom (The Kitchen House) May’s author was Jordan Rosenfeld.  Robyn Carr is July’s author.

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