Me- You were able to land a publishing deal through a pretty non-traditional route. You posted The Ark on Amazon's Kindle Store and it really took off, becoming more popular than the books of some well-established authors. Do you think your success is indicative of where the publishing industry is headed?
BM - I think many careers will take off from the self-publishing and e-publishing world like mine did. In fact many authors have already done so. Look at Amanda Hocking and Bella Andre, both incredibly successful self-published authors. Amanda Hocking started off by self-pubbing and then inked a two-million-dollar deal with St. Martin's Press, while Bella Andre went the other direction, from a traditional publishing gig with Bantam to now enjoying tremendous sales as a self-published author. It's an exciting world, where authors have more options and negotiating leverage than they used to, and I think that will only grow.
Me - Your books are the type that I have a tough time putting down because they're moving so fast and the action is intense. Do you experience the same thing when you're writing them? Or are you pretty regimented in your writing schedule?
BM - I don't have a strict writing schedule. I tend to be more goal-oriented than time-oriented. I spend a lot of pre-writing time on the research so that when I get down to the novel, I have a good idea where it's headed. Then when I'm actually writing that novel, I try to finish a chapter a day (5-6 pages), and I put a cliffhanger at the end of the chapter, which makes it exciting for me to get started the next day. However, even though I do much of my research ahead of time, there's always room for those story epiphanies during the writing process that are like jolts of adrenaline. Sometimes those require rewriting earlier chapters, but they're definitely worth it.
Me - What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer and conversely, your biggest weakness?
BM - I think I'm best at the action, pacing, and cliffhangers that keep you wanting to stay up reading just one more chapter. As a tradeoff to keep the story moving, I don't spend a lot of time on scene description, just enough to give the reader a sense of place. I want readers to bring their own imaginations into the equation, which means I won't win any awards for a lavish chronicle of the unique settings in my books.