Writerly Wednesday Welcomes Michael Thal author of Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.
1. What is your favorite marketing task that has resulted in a sale?
I really enjoy book-signing parties. After my first two novels, The Legend of Koolura and Goodbye Tchaikovsky, published a week apart in 2012 by two different publishers, my daughter Channie hosted a book-signing party in her home for me. About 60 people showed and I was so busy my hand started to cramp up. Two months ago I had a second party for Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. This time we held the party in my home with equal results.
2. What do you like about your publisher or why did you decide to Self Publish?
I have two publishers, but my favorite is Solstice Publishing. Solstice is a hands-on publisher keeping close ties with their writers. They make sure their books appear on websites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many others. My Koolura Series can even be found on websites in Europe. Also, they have a Facebook page where they provide up-to date information and give their writers the opportunity to give feedback.
3. What do you have under your bed?
This morning I noticed a few dust bunnies. But if you’re referring to my next book, I’m currently working on the third book in the Koolura series, Koolura and the Mayans. Koolura is a middle grade child with extraordinary psychic powers. In the first book she begins to learn about them as she fights a stalker bent on her destruction. In the second book Koolura finds herself at a sleep-away camp in the mountains outside of Santa Barbara. After her first night’s stay, she wakes up powerless. What happened to her abilities and what’s with the weird boys and all those pranks? In the third book, Koolura attends her father’s wedding with BFF Leila, visits a Mayan ruin, and finds herself transported back in time.
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser when you are writing?
All my books are plotted out. However, as the plot moves forward, I find myself making changes and going off course following the lead of the characters.
5. Do you write in a bubble or do you prefer critique groups, writing buddies or other companionship during the process?
After I complete a chapter I get feedback from my writing group, The San Fernando Valley Critters. We meet once a month.
6. When do ideas come to you and how do you capture them?
The idea for Goodbye Tchaikovsky, a novel about a violin virtuoso who becomes deaf on his 12th birthday, came to me after I experienced a devastating hearing loss at the age of 44. By the time I turned 50 my right ear was completely deaf and my left close behind. I was curious how I would have responded to losing my hearing if I was a teen. My Koolura books were inspired by my daughters.
7. What is your favorite word processing program and what other tools do you use, pen, notebooks, white board, index cards, finger on fogged bathroom mirrors?
First, I take notes with paper and pencil. I usually draft my chapters that way, too. Then I rewrite capturing my ideas on Microsoft Word with my iMac.
Michael L. Thal, an accomplished freelancer, is the author of The Legend of Koolura and Goodbye Tchaikovsky. He has written and published over eighty articles for magazines and newspapers including Highlights for Children, The Los Angeles Times, and San Diego Family Magazine. You can learn more about him at www.michaelthal.com.
Michael lives in Sherman Oaks, CA. He’s the proud father of two adult daughters, Channie and Koren, and the grandfather of Arielle and Shaye.
Examiner Column: http://www.examiner.com/user-writinghigh2009
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback
Koolura has the ability to teleport, levitate, heal, and even fly. At Camp Saddleback Koolura wakes up drained and powerless. Who has stolen her psychic powers?
As Koolura searches for the truth about her power loss, she and the Chumash Girls have to deal with pranksters ruining their cabin and destroying their summer. Campers plan revenge but problems escalate as lives are threatened. Will Koolura and the Chumash Girls solve the mystery at Camp Saddleback?
Barnes & Nobel
Koolura padded into the empty bathroom. With no one in sight, she hooked her mind around the bar of soap three feet away willing it to float toward her. But nothing happened. She focused on the faucet over the sink to turn it on, but no water appeared. Panic filled her mind.
What’s the matter? I was able to do it last night.
Koolura tried to float, but remained anchored to the bathroom floor as if lead filled her PJ’s.
Stunned, Koolura thought, Oh my God, what’s the matter with me? I lost my powers.
Koolura 1 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1cNimZF
Koolura 2 Amazon: http://amzn.to/1c7Iu3k
Thank you Michael for being my guest this week. Come back next week and see who is in the spotlight.
Don’t touch anything sharp.