Interview With Author Michael Embry

# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

Greetings. My name is Michael Embry. Although retired from the daily grind of the formal workplace, I remain busy as a novelist. I’m the author of 15 books including 11 novels, three nonfiction sports books, and a short-story collection. My latest novel was released on Sept. 1, 2021, the fifth in my John Ross Boomer Lit series. The title is “Reunion of Familiar Strangers.” I spent more than 30 years in journalism, as a sportswriter, editor, and news reporter at two newspapers, a national news service, and a magazine. I live in Frankfort, Ky., with my wife, Mary, and two rescue dogs, Bailey and Belle. I’m also the father of two sons, a father-in-law to one daughter, and the grandfather to four girls.

# What inspires/inspired your creativity?

I’m avid reader who also loved to write. I’m more of an ambivert who communicates best through writing. It was a goal of mine to be an author, beginning when I was in high school. I always admired those who could spin creative stories that could capture someone’s undivided attention. I didn’t have the experience nor the expertise at the time but was determined to acquire the necessary tools to realize my aspiration. Other mediums inspire me as well, such as photography, music, movies and art.

# How do you deal with creative block?

I generally give myself a rest. I believe my body and mind are telling me something when I encounter creative block, or as most writers call it, writer’s block. During the break, I think about what I want to accomplish in a story and sometimes realize it’s not a good idea and turn my focus on another path. There’s more than one way to express an idea or thought in writing. That’s a reason authors spend so much time rewriting.

# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?

One of the biggest mistakes is not to have the manuscript edited by a good editor. Readers can be unforgiving when they see grammatical errors and typos in a book. Another is to have a shoddy cover. That may be a turnoff for readers on an otherwise good story. One other thing comes to mind is promoting and marketing. While most authors don’t like the marketing aspect, it’s something that must be done unless they want to their beloved work to fall into a black hole.

# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I work with a graphic artist on my book covers. I provide her with insights about the book such as plotline, description of characters, and primary timeline. I want her to capture the essence of the book. The same goes for the book titles. I generally work on a title for quite a while. Sometimes the title may come from a passage or quote in the book, other times it may be a few words that reflect the story.

# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

I generally don’t read reviews because what I’ve written is in the past and I’m on to something new. I don’t want something negative, and sometimes meanspirited, affecting my creative state of mind. I have received feedback in talking to readers and try to explain why something was presented in a certain way. I do listen respectfully to what they have to say, and perhaps it may seep into the next book I write in a series. However, I’d like to add that I also respect reviewers for taking the time to rate and review my books. As a reader, I always do the same with the books I read.

# How has your creation process improved over time?

As I have aged, I know my output has slowed a bit. I find it a bit more physically and mentally tiring to sit at my computer for more than two hours at a time. On the flip side, I have learned through the years to stay more focused and make use of the time I have set aside for writing. I have found out that I generally spend the same amount of time rewriting now as I did in the past. In the end, it all probably comes out in the same amount of time.

# Do you tend toward personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?

I believe it’s probably a combination of the two in that I write the story I want to write but I want the finished work to be something that readers will enjoy. I know I can’t please every reader, and even myself because most if not all authors are entirely pleased with the completed work. I also believe that as a writer you strive to make it the best it can be because you are sharing your story with others.

# What role do emotions play in creativity?

I do get into my characters and feel what they are feeling in a scene. Sometimes I will put it aside and think (or dream) on it for a while if something doesn’t feel right or comes across as superficial. I seek as much realism as I can in my fiction.

# Do you have any creativity tricks?

I’m not sure it would be considered a trick, but I do believe in writing every day while working on a novel. I do that until the very end, then let it rest for a few weeks before going back and giving it a good read without any editing or rewrite. After the read, I go back and fix what is wrong. Another “trick” is to listen to your editor. My editor picks up on things that I missed the first time around.

# What are your plans for future books?

I’ve written five books in my John Ross Boomer Lit series. I totally enjoy writing these book as they examine the trials and tribulations of the protagonist and his wife after they retire. I often refer to the novels as coming-of-old-age stories. So my future plans are adding books to the series as John and Sally Ross advance in life.


# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself

My wife or friends would be the best people to ask about my quirks. I am a collector of music, books, and some odds and ends. I used to collect coffee cups from various places I visited but that got out of hand. I also gave up collecting baseball caps. I do like wearing hats, and I have a few of those, so that may be a little quirky. I also have a shed full of memorabilia I collected through the years such as concert posters, programs, political buttons, newspapers and magazines from historical events.

Website: www.michaelembry.com

Social media profiles: Kentucky Author Michael Embry | Linktree