Monday, February 18, 2013

Post Review Interview With Author Mitt Winstead

Bio: Mitt has two books published - Evil in the Mirror and Day Stalker. When not writing, Mitt likes to spend quality time with his wife, three dogs and an evil parrot named Pickles. He also likes to ride Harleys and prospect for meteorites in northern Arizona and Quartzsite, Arizona.

Quote: "I am in the process of finishing my third book, The Phoenix Code, which will complete the trilogy. As you can tell from my books and blogs, writing is my passion. I measure success by the feeling I get inside when I read my own work. I say this with modesty and humility because if you don’t like your own work, how do you expect others to like it?"

First of all I want to thank you for doing this, it's always rather cool to me that I can talk with a writer of something that I have had the pleasure of reading.

The pleasure is mine....

Ah, well I thank you for that. So I suppose I will jump right on in.


I love that you choose the 1960's time frame, while not a child of that time, I grew up hearing about it from my parents perspective, and I couldn't help but smile when you mentioned the 52'Mercury, as my mother drove a 60's model Parklane in her youth. And I loved the star studded cameos; you couldn't have picked better looking men then Kristofferson and Williams. That said...

Q: What was it about that era that made you choose it as opposed to say a 21st century timeline?

A: Because I was born in Tucson and lived, there in the late seemed the perfect place and time frame.

You seem to have a strong hold on the "mind set" of the time, as far as the opinion of the War and the culture shock that the hippie lifestyle caused in people. Your characters all in all seemed not so into the Flower power. LOL

Q: Which side did you fall on, hippie lover or other?

A: I was a construction worker during the week and a hippy on weekends. My conservative background did not allow me to drop out and tune in. I walked a thin line....

That seems like it would have been an interesting lifestyle

Q: Your main character Jon was very colorful, and I wonder what made you decide to write him so flawed.

A: I knew a cop in Tucson who fit the bill perfectly. His name was similar and his style was exactly like I depicted. He was the kind of hero who fit in with the times...flawed, but honest about it.

Q: He seemed to be right on target, and I liked how his partner seemed to be his counter weight. The bond that they had was really tight, so why did you decide he had to go?
Might I add, I knew it was gonna happen, because your premise tells us so, but I was a wee bit teary eyed just the same.

A: Shock and awe...shock and awe - without it the book would be flat and like most murder mysteries. My first book needed to be different, exciting, and shocking!

You certainly got the shocking right from the get, the cactus was a great touch.

Q: I tend to be a bit of a research hound, and appreciate realism, could you tell us what if any research you did as to the crime scenes, and how you executed their setups and descriptions?

A: I Googled all my research for both books and continue to do so for the third. As for the crime scenes... I put myself into the scene and experienced what they should look like. I also depended on my real life identical twin for help in keeping the twinship connection real. My brother and I became the twins in the book--it was a horrific experience, but necessary for realism.

Q: I wondered about that, having perused your blog, and such, while you say it was horrific, I wonder...Wasn't it on some level also rather fun?

A: I would have to think on the fun part. It was exciting in some ways, but each death scene took a toll from my heart. No, I wouldn't categorize it as fun.

Q: That's surprising, to me, I wonder then what made you choose to write Murder/Mystery? Did you find other work of the type lacking in some way?

A: Good question...I really picked murder mysteries because after researching what books sold the best, it looked like the best genre to use. Sometimes the simple answers are the best ones. I wish I had spell check!

Don't worry about the spell check; I'll be sure to fix anything that comes up.

I feel like an idiot....

Don't. The only reason I spell everything correctly is because my computer highlights it if it's wrong... LOL

So your choice was purely from a marketing perspective, as opposed to a love of the genera. That is really rather cool to hear... and honest.

A: I was in construction for 50 years, the crash of 2008 enabled me to fulfill a dream, and that dream was to be able to write a novel. Now that part is fun...when I write, I feel alive like at no other time in my life!

Q: I know exactly how you feel. I get a rush when I see those blank pages fill up.
Were you particularly familiar with Murder/mystery before you started down it's slippery slope? Or did you have to get a few under your belt first?
If so, who? Not that I would know them, but my readers might! Personally, until now all of my Murder/Mystery came from film. I always liked the Agatha Christy adaptations. “Like Murder on the Nile.”

A: I can't wait to finish the trilogy so I can write something different. Yes, I did read Joseph Wambaugh and others, but Anne Rice was the real reason I took up pen and paper. The only problem was everyone and their mother was and still are writing vampire, ghost and fairy books....

My book are not Ms. Marple...LOL

*Raises hand with head down* I am guilty of that; Anne Rice has been my model since I was a tween.*

She is my all time favorite author...I learned how to put you in the scene from her. It is more like writing screen plays than novels.
But of course...but I crave original work.

It does explain where you gained your flourishes of description from, she and you paint glorious pictures, even if yours are a little more blood soaked.

True, but it's her fault!

I tell my Co-Author that all the time when he catches me channeling her.
Q: Do you find you can describe a flower in over 130 words?

A: I can't, but that is because my work is more like staccato in music. I like to pound and pound until you beg for mercy.

Not begging for mercy over here, but certainly begging for more!
Madame Rice is quirky like that. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

A: Quirk? Hummmm, I don't consider my work quirky. I would say that I have a tendency to know when I have grabbed a reader and the last thing I want to do is let loose with an ending to the story.

Q: Growing up with a twin, what made you decide that the Twins should be your villains rather than the heroes, many authors tend to write themselves in as the main long run character, you went the other way completely.

A: I believe most identical twins hover close to the dark side. We had rather dark simultaneous dreams and would discuss them in the morning when we were young. Strange? Perhaps, but research says otherwise.

That it does, and the connections of your characters is apparent, they posses a darkness and realism that was very creepy.
What would you say was the hardest scene to write?

A: I would say the murder scenes were the toughest, but the sex scenes were hard in their own right - especially the rape scenes.

You did exceptionally well with the gore, and yet stayed very tasteful in connection to the rape.
But as you said, shock and awe!

A: Some would beg to differ... I have been likened to a very sick puppy. I take such comments as a compliment because they could not put the book down until it was completed!

Q: I'm sure you've gotten soo sick of hearing that! LOL It must be a thrill to know that your work is being well received.

A: Indeed, but until the economy improves sales will continue to be dismal.

Fortunately, people in any economy who want intelligent reads will never truly be lacking. But I'm sure writing has given you the freedom to spend more time with your Harley.

Q: Did you own the Harley-Davidson FLH touring bike, so loved by Angie and Jon?

A: Oh, yes...and I made that ride with a beautiful lady - this was not fiction!

Haha, I was gonna ask if you did the research for that one!
I'll assume that is a YES!

A: Yes.... LOL

Having spent time on the back of a Harley or two in my time, I have to say that it was fun to read, and a great break from the rampaging of the twins. You have a way of breaking up the gore that is truly refreshing.
So I've been to your website, because I'm thorough like that, and I saw that you have a Skype Class, tell me a little about how you got into that?

A: Just an idea, but no one has taken advantage.... :(

Q: Well I am going to be sure to post the links to it, so what do you want to do with it?

A: I think helping newbie’s write their first book would be exciting and fun. Lord knows I made all the mistakes...why should they? I know from experience that the Internet is a minefield. I would like to see people not make the same mistakes as me...besides - teaching is the best way to learn!

I couldn't agree with you more.

Q: What in your opinion was/is the biggest mistake new authors make when trying to get their work out en mass?

A: I think the biggest mistake newbie’s make is thinking that someone else is going to promote their work and that it won't be long before they are famous.



It is a hard lesson to learn, and as an Independent Author harder still.
But I wouldn't trade my independence for a contract that would slice and dice my work, what made you decide to go the Indy Route?

A: I researched all the possibilities and knew that I wanted to be my own man and that success is not always measured by fame and fortune. I lost my twin brother December 10 and I promised him I would finish the trilogy. After that? Who knows--I now know I can write anything and be successful....

(I was aware of your loss, and didn't wish to press it out of respect.) I think that the sale of a single book is an awesome thing, the sale of and completion of an entire Trilogy in such a short time is more awesome still. Evil In the Mirror and Day Stalker out now, how long until we see the next installment of the Trilogy?

A: I will finish it in early summer... I haven't felt like writing, but the urge is returning and I have much of it already finished. Of course, proofing and editing will take more time--yuck!

I can certainly relate to that! As I'm sure all writer’s can.
You seem to be very passionate when it comes to your stance on writing, opinionated in the ways that this world has changed,(not for the better)and more than willing to share your advices on all of these things. From War to texting, it seems all of it is up for grabs on your blogs.

Q: Generation gaps can be disenchanting, how are you trying to bridge the gap to expand your audience? Are you even trying?

A: I am not trying to bridge the books are what they are and my blogs are what they are. My opinion is that no one has to read any of my writings. This point of view is not from arrogance or some kind of attitude - it is from spending too many years kissing ass and not caring to do that any more. LOL Good night dear lady...and thank you again.

Thank you so much for taking the time and going on this little adventure with me and my readers of the wee hours!

You are most welcome!

Below you will find links to Mitt and his other work, and keep your eyes open for more this Summer!

As always Cheers! Happy Reading! And Happy Writing!

Click below to be taken to any of the awesome arenas where you can find more from Mitt.

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The In Dreams... Series, The Roads Trilogy, is the accumulation of almost eight years of writing. Begun in 2006 after a D&D campaign

ended S.I.Hayes took the world and created the Unavoidable Road. It took five years as

Shannon spent many months at a time in an undiagnosed Bi-Polar fog.

In 2010, she finally found the help she needed and she has been writing feverishly ever since

The first book wast over 130,000 words, so she decided that it needed to be smaller if only tonot scare readers away form an unknown book that was so thick.

Thus the first trilogy was born.

In between she became the CoAuthor to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother Meets The Real World, of the Preternatural, Several blogs and her own website.