Author Interview and Free Book Giveaway!

Hello all! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I’ve been busy, busy, busy. But I’m making up for it now by bringing you Blogs-Of-A-Bookaholic’s first EVER author interview and book giveaway! This is groundbreaking news people! It almost makes me….dare I say …a more professional blogger? Mwuhuhu.
Michael Cargill is a fellow WordPress user, and aspiring author. He is here to share a little bit about himself, and promote his new book Shades of Grey! He is also offering a grand total of TEN copies of his book to give away, so please make him feel welcome.
Let the questions begin! :)

What made you decide to take the leap and self publish?
I used to send stupid emails to people at work and some of those people said I should write a book. In the end I decided to publish some of the stuff that was in the emails and Diary of a Dork was born. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to do it but after that I realized how easy it was to do. Diary of a Dork isn’t actually a story or anything, it’s just off-beat humor that is very different to my other books. Some of the characters in it live on in spirit on my blog though…

Who is your favorite author?
My favourite author is definitely Stephen King.  About 18 years ago I read Pet Cemetery on a whim and was hooked almost from the start. His characters are immense and the bits of humor that he throws in are genuinely funny. Some of his more recent output isn’t up to scratch compared to his older stuff but every author goes through bad patches. Sure, in his photos he looks a bit… odd… but he has the perfect face for radio.
Haha, I will admit SK does look quite creepy in his author pictures!

Do you have a ‘writers cave’? (a place you always sit and write from) and if so, what would we find in it? (e.g. coffee, computer, crumpled pieces of paper etc)
Not really. More or less anywhere with a keyboard will do for me. Generally speaking I don’t write for hours at a time, I do it in smaller chunks as I find it too easy to get distracted by things. The only bits of crumpled paper you might find are those that hold bits of old chewing gum. I go through that stuff at quite a fast rate.

If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?
The ability to pause time would be FANTASTIC. I could have a lie-in every day and win every argument by giving myself time to think of something to say. I am not sure how it would work for things like food or water. Could I go swimming in the sea or would the oceans be ‘paused’ solid? I could even find out if Lady Gaga is a man or not.
Haha that sounds like a great idea for a book!

If you could be a character in a book, who would you be?
Is it cheating to say Batman? I love old Bat’s, he is great. He just doesn’t care. Take some people hostage and he will shatter your knee. Mug someone in an alley and he will knock your block off. Steal a bread roll from one of those ‘all you can eat buffets’ and he will just give you a smacked bum. Justice is always served.

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
It’s largely practice to be honest, much like riding a bike. Don’t get caught up with dos and don’ts in all the writing guides that exist. In fact ignore those writing guides until you have developed the knack for writing. There is no point tangling yourself up with a load of arbitrary rules before you have even started. Also the editing process is almost as important as the initial writing period. No writer can reel off perfect prose right off the bat. After you have written a story there will be plenty of time to correct any mistakes you have made. If you read something back and see lots of mistakes don’t get demoralized as it is perfectly normal. The fact you can see the mistakes is a good thing. Professional writers are nothing without their editors and sub-editors poring over every sentence.
Those are some great tips, I’m sure they will be very helpful for those who want to write!

I noticed that each of your stories in Shades of Grey featured someone from the military, why did you choose to do this?
I have to confess, this question took me by surprise; it certainly wasn’t something I intended and I hadn’t even realized it! Well spotted though. It might be my inner child showing – I find technology and big machines fascinating, especially things that make loud noises and explosions. I love reading about war, WWII in particular, as it is so interesting. Have I often watched YouTube videos of the army blowing things up? Yes. Do I play computer games that involve blowing things up? Oh yes. As a youth did I buy bangers for the express purpose of blowing things up? Oh by Jove yes.

Explain why people should buy your book Shades of Grey twenty words or less:
Each story is very different, giving a perfect mix of suspense, action, thrills and humor. It’s had great reviews too!

So I know all you lovely people are intrigued to hear about this giveaway. :)
What’s that you say? You don’t know how giveaways work? No worries, I’m a newbie at this too! Basically I TRIED to set up a widget through Rafflecopter which looked quite scary  as it had one of those creepy looking self destruct in five seconds timers! Haha. BUT it turns out WordPress doesn’t support the widget or something so it’s not working.
So, if you are interested in the giveaway, simply mention that you would like to enter in the comment section below, and be willing to give out your email address to me when the time comes (you don’t need to give out your address or anything like that). I will then use a random number generator to pick the ten winners, and those lucky people will then be given a code for the book so that they will be able to download it for free. Several formats are available including PDF for those that don’t have Kindle’s etc!

So why not give it a go? There are ten copies to giveaway, that’s good odds people! :P After all, how often is it these days that you can get something for free? ;)

Any questions about the giveaway please feel free to contact me by using the comments section in my blog below :)

So in the wise words of Warner Bros, “That’s all folks!”

*PLEASE NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS FOR VOTING. :)

You can contact Michael by:
Sending a Tweet his direction: @MichaelCargill1
Liking him on Facebook: Michael Cargill
His fellow blogging domain: Regular updates of sarcastic and irreverent nonsense.
Discuss books with him on Goodreads and discover his other works: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5239593.Michael_Cargill

Image Source:
Book cover: http://michaelcargill.wordpress.com/

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59 thoughts on “Author Interview and Free Book Giveaway!

  1. Hi Michael, Stephen King is fantastic at creating vibrant characters. That’s why I love his book The Stand so much. Best of luck with your writing career.
    Hi Becky I would like to throw my name in the hat for a copy.
    Thanks.

    • Phewwww! Yay, the first entry. :) I was so worried when I posted this, I suddenly thought….wait….what if no one wants to enter :s

      Thanks for entering, I will let you know the results in about two weeks, good luck!

    • Hello there Emma and thank you very much.

      I have only read the ‘normal’ version of The Stand rather than the unabridged one – any idea if it adds much? I am actually reading 11/22/63 at the moment and it’s good stuff so far.

      • I haven’t read the normal version, just the uncut one several times. It’s a hefty read at over 1400 pages and I think it’s been updated so the action seems more modern rather taking place in the 70s. I haven’t read 11/22/63 yet. Last King book I read was Under the Dome, again great characters but didn’t like the story/outcome so much

  2. Awesome interivew, he sounds like a cool guy! Odd quetion, but is Michael living in Britain? Only, I have an article due in next week and I wanted to write about authors who are self-published digitally rather than go the traditional route and my tutors said I needed someone from Britain to make it more relavent?
    Also, go on then, I’m putting my name forward too! :)

    • Ta. :) It was really fun coming up with the questions, and hopefully Michael enjoyed answering them too!
      I was so excited that I even created my own little author banner for potential other interviews in the future teehee, I’m such a nerd :)
      Yes, I believe he is currently living in Britain, he’s a pretty chatty guy so he’d probably be happy to help. You should be able to contact him at any of the links on the post. :)
      Wooo, glad to have you on board, good luck with winning!

      • Haha, I noticed the banner! It’s pretty nifty! *Lets out a long masssive sigh of relief* Excellent, thanks!! I have until next Wednesday to finish my Harry Potter thing and write another two articles for a different unit, then I have to hand in a 60 page magazine the week after that! Feeling a little bit crazy at the moment haha!

        This is a totally good idea by the way, I hope you manage get more stuff to keep it going, both the interviewing and the giving away of free stuff :P

      • Haha, blimey that does sound pretty stressful, I’ve been struggling with deadlines etc myself recently, I’ve got an art exam in a week and a bit so there’s lots of work for that, I can definitely relate! Yours sounds far worse than mine though, I hope you manage to complete it all, but don’t forget to have some breaks as well. ;)

        Thanks, :) hopefully it will be the start of a something good!

      • Ahh, art, what do you have to do for it? I remember back in college when I was having my exams in the gym or carrying on with lessons as normal and my friend was doing art and he had to disappear for about three days working on his piece (it had something to do with barbies and barbed wire haha)

      • Ahhh yes art has a habit of doing that :L
        Yeah it’s a 12 hour exam so basically I do disappear for three days like your friend. It’s torture I tell you! Torture!!!
        Babies and barbed wire….hmmm interesting, I bet that would be quite cool. I do Art Graphics, your friend sounds a lot more like Art and Design :) In my one we have to do a load of book work during the term which builds up to a final piece that we have to create in the 12hrs we’re given. Mine’s going to be a billboard on overcrowding, hopefully it will turn out okay. :S

      • Oooh, it sounds pretty cool! But I have no idea how you can put up with 12 hours worth of it, or even how you come up with the ideas for stuff! Is it one you came up with or are you following a brief? I stupidly signed up for a law NCTJ exam next month and it’s my first one for three years!

      • Haha, to be honest, I don’t really :P I can’t stand art anymore, I’ve just had enough of it now, it’s so much work!
        Well we’re given a topic e.g this year it’s Combinations and Alliences and then we have to come up with stuff that could relate to that e.g people and venues, pen or paper, or ummm…food and drink etc, and them your piece evolves from there, and as you go along you choose what you want your final piece to be e.g. a poster, billboard, stamps etc and what message you want it to convey. Aggh, I feel exhausted just talking about it! :P
        Oooh what’s a law NCTJ exam? I’ve never head of it.

      • Oh no, it’s a shame when it gets like that :( maybe in a few years time you’ll start to really like it again, you know when you’re not being pressured to create something that’s going to be marked!
        Ah okie dokie, sounds difficult! Good luck with your exam! Oh, it’s basically an exam on law for journalists so like defamation, contempt of court and everything that can get a journalist and their newspaper in trouble, NCTJ it’s just the accrediting body, it’s the National Council for the Training of Journalists. Apparenlty it’s a good qualification to have on your CV :P

      • Yeah hopefully :)
        Oooh sounds interesting, and impressive! I bet there really interested in that kind of stuff at the moment with the levison enquiry going on etc.
        Thank you, and good luck to you with your deadlines. :)

  3. Yo Becks! Thanks for hosting this, you am the best in the world.

    About the Rafflecopter thing; Thinking about it, I have only ever seen it on Blogger and self-hosted WordPress sites rather than the free WordPress sites us cheapskates use.

    Also… you kept your art stuff quiet! Come on, get it photographed and put up on here.

    • Haha why thank you, twas my pleasure. :)

      Yeah, it’s strange, it doesn’t mention anything about it on the website either, it says it’s compatible with WordPress but when I looked on the WordPress forums etc it mentioned exactly what you’ve said. Well I guess that’s our price for being cheapskates!

      Haha did I? That’s probably because I’m not actually that good at it, but I try. I’m actually thinking about doing just that, to celebrate when I finally finish art for good. So you can have that to look forward to Michael! Don’t get your hopes up though :S

      • Speaking as someone who is utterly horrendous at art, your stuff will be better than anything I can do I am sure.

        By the way I am very relieved that I no longer have to Goodreads stalk you any more.

      • Haha what are you talking about? Everyone can draw stick men, that’s art enough on it’s own! :P Especially when you go to art galleries where supposed art is crumpled up pieces of paper which is somehow meant to represent womens rights. Art people confuse me :L

        Haha, me too.

  4. Micheal’s comment about just writing and then edit later reminded me of something my old English teacher used to say about an approach he called “the stream of consciousness approach.” Basically, you do just like what Michael said. You’ll keep writing and not worry about editing much later. While editing is a huge deal, the content is bigger than that.

    Awesome interview and I never thought about possibly having the ability to pause time…what a great power that would be!

    [Also, please throw my name into the fishbowl. If his interview is any indication of how he writes, I can't wait to read it!]

    • You know I think I’ve vaguely heard of that – possibly even off your blog if you wrote about it haha. :) It sounds like a great idea to me, I think I’m one of those writers (I use the term writer very vaguely, I don’t really consider myself one) that likes to nitpick at everything, so just going with it and writing non-stop sounds like a potentially much more effective way to write to me! I like that phrase – stream of consciousness, I think I’ll remember that. :)

      Will do, and good luck! Thanks for commenting, always great to hear from you.

  5. I’m reading The Stand right now! (the Stephen King thing made that pop into my head) And I really like it so far- his On Writing memoir is really great as well.

    Wanting to be Batman is awesome and there should be no shame about that. He’s the goddamn Batman, after all.

    Great interview! And definitely check out the book, people!

    • Any idea which version of The Stand it is? ‘Normal’ or unabridged?

      I have decided to re-read all of King’s books recently. I want to see if my previous fanboyism was because they really were good, or simply because I was a young ‘un at the time.

      • I think it’s just the normal; from what I can tell having eyeballed the unabridged, the one I have is considerably shorter. I honestly can’t imagine having an even longer version to deal with (though I’m kind of busy at the moment, so that might be why).

        From what I’ve read and heard of his stuff, it’s very hit or miss, which is kind of to be expected when an author has written as many books as he has. I’ve only read bits and pieces of one of his more recent ventures, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon but it was pretty solid from what I read. I can’t imagine re-reading all his books, though; good luck with that!

    • Cool, I’ve been wanting to read some Stephen King for ages, I’ve bought his book 11/22/63 and I’m also planning to get a hold of IT by him as well for my Eclectic Reader Challenge. I presume you will be doing a review? If so I look forward to reading it.
      Thanks, it was fun to write, and Michael made it easy by giving some great answers. :)

      • I’ll be reviewing, yes (assuming school doesn’t kill me- I have a boatload of things to deal with and have only done two of them, though I suppose two is better than none). 11/22/63 was amazing- I was reading it but didn’t get to finish it because my stupid library told me that it had been requested and I’d have to give it back more than a month before it was actually due.
        Good answers always help- being a journalism student, I know that way too well :)

      • Good, good. :)
        Awwh no! That is one of the downsides to libraries, how irritating!
        Awwh, it seems that everyone is struggling with school work at the moment, it’s that deadline squeezing time of the month. Good luck getting them done, but make sure to have a few breaks inbetween to reward yourself. All work and no play makes Introverted Analyst a dull day. ;)

  6. Hello, Michael. Gratz on the new book! Oh, by the way… there’s no end to the amusing talk about blowing things up around my house. I mean, who can resist a great explosion, right?

    Becky, thanks for this post, and please put my name in the hat.

    • Thank you, it was quite an exciting step forward me thinks, hopefully I will be able to bring you some more in the near future! ;)

      You most definitely can enter, and good luck with winning! :)

  7. I would be exceedingly greatful if it would be at all possible to put my name forward for this apsolutely increadible book giveaway. Thank you for a really insightful interview and i shall be adding the book to my to-read list soon!

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    • It sure is possible, I will put your name in for the draw. :)
      Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it, means I did my job correctly ;)

      Good luck with winning. :)

    • Thank you :) Although it was mostly down to Michael’s great answers of course ;)
      Oh really? That’s cool, makes you realize how small the blogoshere is! Hehe.

      It certainly does suck, I wish they could have mentioned it on the website before I took the time to make it all. I had to edit my blog post as well because of it. Grr.

      Thanks for entering, and good luck on winning a copy!

  8. What great advice he gives and I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets distracted! Yes, you can include me in the hat, Beckster. And love the new banner, very je ne se qouis!!!

    • I thought so too! I think I need to put it into practice. I’m always concerned that my lack of writing knowledge, for instance recently I heard that adjectives are really bad? Or is it adverbs? I get them mixed up……but I use them SO much, we were always told to use them in lower school, and well, now I don’t know how to AVOID using them and it’s driving me a little crazy! :)

      Hehe thank you, thank you *bows* Good ol’ Photoshop does come in handy sometimes.

      Yayyy, :) I shall put your name in, and good luck with winning!

      • Well ain’t that a coincidence… I actually thought of an idea for a blog post (haven’t written it yet). I thought of calling it: ‘I’m an adverb slut and I know it.” He he, don’t worry you have company with this one… ;)

      • Oooh well I hope you follow the idea through, I’d certainly be interested and excellent name! Adverb slut, haha love it, I’m going to remember that one.

        Well at least I’m not alone, I never knew there were so many rules to writing….when I was younger I just….well wrote haha.

  9. Hi Becky, after your suggestion and Michael’s comment too on the review section – please can I be entered into the giveaway …. :-)

  10. Hey,
    Nice interview Becky. Maybe you should become a professional blogger or something instead of going to university :) tehe
    Interesting answers as well, Michael. Some good points in not trying to go by rules to write a book which I will take on board and fingers crossed that one day I will be as brave as you are in publishing the book I am currently writing. :S
    Also I wouldn’t say no to a free book so put me in for the draw :)
    xxx

    • Thank you :) Haha mabe I should! ;) But I would have no idea how to go about it….and there are so many other great bloggers out there that are so impressive, and I’m just lil old me… maybe one day, I can hope!

      Awesome! I will include you in the draw. I hope you win!

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