My guest today is author Michael Chulsky. I’m tempted to say “new author Michael Chulsky,” since he just published his first book, but if you read the answer to my question about how long he’s been writing, you can see he may be a “young” writer, but he’s hardly a new one! Michael’s been writing novels since he was sixteen years old (awesome, Michael!).
Michael’s first published novel and brand-new release is The Descending Darkness, a YA paranormal story about a seventeen year old demon hunter turned babysitter. Michael’s been asked a ton of questions about the book (I totally get that – what a cool setup for a YA book, right?), but I thought I’d ask him a few questions about him and how he came to writing, what makes him tick. So without further ado, welcome, Michael, and thanks for being such a good sport and answering my (many) questions! Oh, yeah, and buy Michael’s book. It totally rocks! -Shira
Tell us a little about yourself Michael. Where did you grow up?
Hello everyone! I’m Michael (duh) and I’m obsessed with anime, cheesecake, and the relationships of fictional characters. It’s a disease. I grew up in a small town in New Jersey. It’s not much to talk about. 😛
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since Elementary school, more specifically, I’ve been a novelist since I was sixteen.
How did you decide to start writing professionally?
I started writing professionally when friends/family threatened me. Seriously. I was informed that writing was a talent…like an actual ability that not many people possessed – I didn’t realize it! After much persuasion, I sat down and started writing The Descending Darkness.
So now that you’re published, how does being a published author compare to what you imagined it might be like?
Before I was published, I assumed that writing would be perfect for me because I was a solitary creature. I didn’t have many friends and didn’t think I needed any. I thought that writing would be perfect because it meant that I didn’t have to bother with anybody. I was wrong. As a published author, I find myself socializing and communicating with more people than ever before. And I’ve found that authors are like a family and won’t let you just shy away to a corner…they’ll pull you over and make you feel like you belong. So very different from what I originally imagined.
How do you come up with ideas to write about?
The ideas are the easy part. I have a wonderful imagination and my mind never stops running, which sometimes gets me into trouble!
Are you a plotter, with lots of outlines and character studies, or do you wing it (pants it)?
I’m definitely a plotter. I usually write a few documents out where I brainstorm and figure out what I want for each chapter. I also write a character sheet up (sort of like old school D&D) where I list everything about the character. It doesn’t always work because sometimes (read most of the time) the characters don’t like what I originally have planned for them and have their own version of what is supposed to happen.
What do you like most about writing?
I like the freedom. You can visit different worlds, see things through the eyes of different people/creatures/beings, and you can write anywhere you want. It’s amazing.
What do you like the least?
The stress level. I’m a perfectionist so I end up rewriting a paragraph several times before my brain says: “Yup, it’s good.” >.>
Are you one of those writers who has a lot of projects going on at once, or just a single project?
I have a couple projects. I am currently writing three different WIPs. I can’t focus on one thing at a time. If I did, I’d probably go crazy.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to TDD, a YA F/F novel, and an LGBT anthology story.
What do your friends and family think about your writing?
They all think that it’s really cool and are happy for me. I’m glad to have such a supportive group of people in my life.
If you could meet any writer, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
I would love to meet Laurell K. Hamilton. She’s one of my favorite writers of all time and it would just be great to sit down and talk to her.
Thanks, Michael, for being such a great sport! Best of luck to you in the future – I hope you’ll come back and tell us more about those other projects when they’re published (because I know they will be!). -Shira
After going from demon hunter to babysitter, seventeen-year-old SHADOW has truly hit rock bottom. One week he’s slaughtering demons, and the next he has ten super-powered teenagers in his care. Shadow needs them, because without them he can’t hope to defeat his new foe. But he’s never dealt with other teenagers before. He never had a real childhood. He’s always been a loner. Hell, he’s tried the whole having-a-pet thing. It died.
Shadow’s mission: save the world and ensure his team survives the potential apocalypse. If MAEDARA, self-proclaimed fashionista and Queen of Evil, wasn’t trying to rule the world, it’d be cake. Now, not only does Shadow have to deal with teens more concerned with going to the mall than fighting evil, but also a villain who, in his opinion, makes Lady Gaga look like Mother Theresa.
Michael Chulsky grew up in New Jersey and has been writing ever since his fourth grade teacher let him create a class newspaper to channel his creativity. He is the author of The Descending Darkness and currently lives with his fiancé. When not writing he enjoys browsing Tumblr, listening to music, and devouring every piece of cheesecake that falls into his line of sight.
For stalking purposes:
Michael’s blog: http://michaelchulskywrites.blogspot.com