Today, I welcome Max Anderson to A Bed of Roses… Thorns Included.
He’s not my normal guest, but I decided we should branch out a little and see what happens. If you have young boys (like I once did), you’ll appreciate today’s guest.
Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling reader. After surveying the market, he sensed the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys.
Using his extensive experience in the production of dramatic motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Mr. Anderson brings that same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. His books include different characters, setting, and plot as well as traditional series.
Several middle grade books are published, more are under contract, with additional manuscripts completed. Young readers have reported that reading one of his books is like actually being in an exciting movie.
When did you first begin writing?
Most of my life has been spent in the production of dramatic and documentary films, corporate videos, television programs and commercials. And I’m a visual learner. So, growing up, I didn’t spend a lot of time reading. This was interesting because my dad was the author of over seventy books, but I never read them growing up. As my audiovisual work was winding down, I began thinking about other creative outlets. I was also interested in why I hadn’t enjoyed reading as a child. Then, about fifteen years ago, I decided to write the kinds of action-adventures and mysteries I would have enjoyed when I was young.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This varies with each project. My book for adults, The Sense of Humor, took over ten years. And a young adult book, Tracy’s Choices, which has just been published, took almost as long. Both of these projects had unique circumstances causing them to take so long. Most of my projects for kids take about three months from the time I begin writing until I’m satisfied with them after a few drafts. I worked over the summer to finish the most recent one.
One of my books, which will soon be republished, is called Legend of the White Wolf. The first draft on that one was finished in just three days. I began in the evening, and the next thing I knew, it was morning. So I just kept going. I don’t outline. For me, writing one of these adventures or mysteries is like watching a feature film appear in front of me. I suppose that comes from all those years of productions. In the case of Legend of the White Wolf, I just couldn’t wait to find out how the story was going to turn out.
I write that way as well. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Again, this differs with each project. Several of my middle grade books take place in locations where I’ve shot a film in the past. Actually having been in a location helps to set the scenes and keep descriptions accurate. In other cases, I’ve used the Internet, library, newspaper and magazine articles, and sources like those. I’ve called to talk with experts and some have sent me printed materials and videos to help with my research. I don’t spend a lot of time researching the middle grade books because they are mostly stories I make up as I go. For The Sense of Humor, I interviewed many people. The same was true for Tracy’s Choices. How I go about research, and how long it takes, depends on the needs for each individual project.
Tell us about your latest book.
One of my publishers just released six of my middle grade mysteries and adventures. Each is a standalone story with different characters, setting, and plot. The titles for these are Shadow, Last Chance, Troubles at Timber Ski Lodge, Shake island, Whispers in the Graveyard, and Scanners.
Information about these books and others can be found at http://middlegradeadventureandmystery.blogspot.com
Tracy’s Choices – https://tracyschoices.blogspot.com/
Middle Grade Adventures & Mysteries – http://middlegradeadventureandmystery.blogspot.com
The Sense of Humor – https://yourhumorsense.blogspot.com
Thanks for stopping by, Max. You’ve given is plenty of reading options today.