Profiles 2: Interview with Michael Robinson:
Student Assistant and New Author
By Lisa Hartman
Michael Robinson is a freshman majoring in philosophy at Coastal Carolina University. He also works as a student assistant at Kimbel Library. Recently Kimbel Library staff was excited to learn that Michael had published his first book, Bloodline!
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I was born in Elgin, SC on April 7, 1990. I’ve been asked on several occasions why I chose philosophy if I was starting a career in writing. I was looking for a way to broaden my perspective and thinking. Philosophy seemed like the best route to go.
Q: How about telling us a little about your recent book, without giving too much of it away.
A: Angels and demons themselves have always been perceived as ancient, but I decided to write a book on a modern perspective of them and how they interact and live in today’s society. In my book, they are real, very real. I’m basically telling the life of an angel and everything that happens to him and how he goes about living every day. He’s a teenager and he’s just finding out about what he is and what he has to do .
Q: When you wrote this book, who were your intended readers?
A: My intended readers …are mainly teenagers and young adults. Older adults could read them, but I don’t know if they would like them as much.
Q: Have you always wanted to write a novel? Have you been writing before?
A: I grew up thinking that I was going to become a zoologist. That’s why I majored in biology at first. Then I fell under a reading spell. I’ll get in and out of those. I was reading and I thought I have stories and I’ve always had stories that I’ve wanted to tell, but I just never thought about it. I was thinking that right now [writing a novel] would be the best route for me to go; because I think I can make it in this business…
It was a dream that initially spurred me into deciding to write. It was just a small scene and there was some music playing. To this day I cannot figure out what it was. It was a scene that was frozen in time. An angel and a demon were locked in battle, and music was playing. I got up in the middle of the night and just wrote it down. So, when I woke up, I just went from there.
Q: What was it like writing the novel? What was the writing process like for you?
A: I’ve always thought that people would just sit down and write a story. I’ve come to find out that it’s not that easy, unless you’re just extremely gifted. The outline itself took about a week and a half. So, I didn’t start writing until about a week and a half after I’d even thought of the idea. I’ve always been very anxious and I don’t like to wait, and I’m short on patience. With writing, I had to have patience, or else I’d have completely lost my mind. So, the writing process has taught me a lot.
Q; How long did it take you from the time you started your outline until the time you decided you were finished?
A: I actually started the book over Thanksgiving break, and so I had absolutely nothing to do for a week, but during finals I couldn’t write. When I went home for the Christmas break, I was writing constantly. I would just take food into the room and I wouldn’t come out for hours. The entire book itself only took a month to write. It took two or three to actually get the publishing started.
Q: How about your experiences in getting the novel published?
A; Well at first, after I’d gotten finished, I was just so elated that I couldn’t focus for a couple of days. Then, I asked a couple of friends and professors on campus. They told me “You’re 18, and right now agents probably wouldn’t take you that seriously if you’re going to send in anything. That’s just the way it is.” They told me my best bet was to get it self-published to show that my heart was in the game and that I actually had some ambition to get things done myself. They told me do that first and try to sell some copies, and then write your query and approach agents.
Q: Did you work with editors when you submitted the novel, and how was that experience?
A; I actually did work with an editor. She’s actually a good friend of mine., my pal at Xlibris Corporation where I got published. She told me there were very few problems with my writing. The problem is that I’d written a 60,000 word novel, so it would be nearly $1,000 to get it edited. She told me there was no reason for me to spend that much money, and to just go over it thoroughly. So she went over it and helped me edit it myself so that I wouldn’t have to pay all that money. I had it edited by friends who were English majors, but not an actual editor.
Q: Tell us about the reaction of your friends and family.
A; Well, it was a big surprise, not when I got it published, but when they found out I was actually writing to begin with. The people that know me and my family had known I’d always been nature-oriented, and I was always going to do something with biology. When I said that I’m going to be an author, it caught them off guard, and so they were skeptical at first. I got “this is probably just a phase” from a few of them. Then when I got it published, they were completely blown away. They just couldn’t believe it. My parents were going nuts, because their little boy actually got something accomplished. They were very, very happy.
Q: Will you continue to write?
A: I really do see myself becoming a writer. I’ve never been more, to put it simply, just happy. So I’m just having fun with it right now. I really do see me becoming an author one day. If I could just sell some and get my foot in the door, then I’m pretty sure that I could be successful. I do plan on continuing the Bloodline series.
Q: Where could we get a copy of your book if we would like to order one?
A: Right now I’m with Xlibris. It’s a self-publishing company. You can get it online at the Xlibris site. In a month it will also be on Barnes and Noble’s Web site, and Borders, and Amazon.
Q: Is there any advice that you’d like to give others who are interested in publishing?
A; Bloodline was very fun to write. Do not give up! There were times that I wanted to throw my laptop across the room, but you just need to stick with it. It’s important to be persistent and patient.
Editor’s Note: Michael Robinson’s book is available for $ 19.99 at https://www2.xlibris.com/bookstore/bookdisplay.asp?bookid=59010 ISBN13: 978-1-4415-1070-9 (Trade Paperback) ISBN: 1-4415-1070-2 (Trade Paperback) Pages: 143