10 Questions With…Michael Anthony
Front Row Lit wanted to see what makes writers tick. Our most recent installment of “10 Questions With…” features author Michael Anthony
- Tell us a little about yourself.
Here’s the typical third person bio:
Michael Anthony spent six years in the U.S. Army, including a yearlong deployment to Iraq. He first became an author at the age of 23 when he published a memoir of his wartime journals: Mass Casualties: A Young Medic’s True Story of Death, Deception, and Dishonor in Iraq (Adams Media, 2009). Because of Michael’s young age at the time of publication, he was the youngest war veteran author in the history of the United States, and his book received praise and endorsements from several U.S. war heroes, U.S. senators, world famous historians, psychologists and NYT best-selling authors—including a starred review from Publisher’s Weekly.
His additional publishing credits include a children’s book, and a non-fiction book containing works written only by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.
Michael holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing (Bridgewater State University, 2012); he is currently enrolled in graduate school and is working towards an M.F.A in Creative Writing (Lesley University, 2014).
He spends his free time volunteering for veteran charities, working on his writing, and blogging.
- When did you first decide that writing was in your future?
I never actually decided that writing was in my future, I just started writing and never stopped. I don’t think you can just one day decide that you want to be a writer; it has to be part of you. You don’t decide to be born or to be right handed or left handed. You just are. Either you’re a writer or not.
- Describe the process of finding the right publisher for your work.
The process was easy for me. I love to write and the whole process of pitching and selling a book, etc. It’s not my thing. So any publisher that will pay me and publish my work is the right publisher for me. I just like to focus on writing and let others worry about the rest.
- How would you describe your writing style?
I don’t know how to classify my style; but when I write, I try to write how I speak. So if I were telling you a story orally that’s how you get it
- What inspires your creativity?
Life, I guess. I live my daily life and any events that happen inspire events in my writing and any people that I meet inspire characters. I think it’s the same for a lot of writers; the only difference is different perspectives and interpretations, etc.
- How often do you get writer’s block and how do you combat it?
The concept of writer’s block has always confused me. I’m not sure what it is when people refer to it. I’m never at a loss of what to write, sometimes I’m just at a loss of how to write it. So if writer’s block pertains to the how and not the what, then I would say I get it every time I write.
The best way I’ve found to combat this type of writer’s block is to just have fun with your writing. I’ve seen too many writers who struggle to write and then they just mentally berate themselves. They fret. They worry and it just becomes this horrible experience. Instead, I say just have fun. Don’t be afraid to write something bad. Just write anything. If a person has writer’s block and can’t write anything, then writing anything would be the end of writer’s block.
- Along with praise for your art, rejection and negative criticism is inevitable. How does that affect your focus and momentum?
It was tough at first because you start to give up. But I’ve learned that if it’s constructive criticism that I can take that and use it to help turn me into a better write, but if it’s just plain criticism then I just ignore it. It helps having fought in a war, too, because it’s easier not to care what someone thinks after you’ve been through something like that.
- If you weren’t writing, what career path would you choose?
If not for writing, I probably would’ve stayed in the military.
- Please tell us a little about your next project.
I’m working on three different projects right now. But currently, this week, I’m working on a book about what it’s like to come home from war and the experiences a soldier goes through as he tries to reintegrate himself back into society.
- What advice can you offer to aspiring writers?
Write. I know too many writers who want to be a writer but they only write maybe, at most, an hour or two a week. I write, at least, an hour or two a day. All professional writers that I know write several hours each day, and all aspiring writers that I know write only an hour or two each week. We are what we repeatedly do. So if we spend most of our time writing then we’re writers. If not then not.
For more on Michael, visit www.MassCasualties.com
To order Mass Casualties, go to amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Casualties-Deception-Dishonor-ebook/dp/B002SV37A4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1336263109&sr=8-2
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