Interview: Michael Colbert

Michael Colbert, teen author of Misadventures in Filgersville and the upcoming Stopping Angela Wheeler, will be visiting Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester for a signing and reading on Sunday, August 5, 2012 from 2PM-4PM.

Thank you very much, Michael, for taking some time to give us a preview of what to expect at your event at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!

For those who haven’t read it yet, can you tell us a little bit about your first novel, Misadventures in Filgersville?  What was your inspiration for it?

Misadventures in Filgersville is a middle grade novel that deals with the stereotypes middle schoolers may face.  Chris Hastings, the stereotypical dumb jock, is suspended from his sports teams by his parents right before his baseball team is going to play in the state championships. Chris makes a deal with school nerd, Melvin Moore: Melvin will tutor Chris and, in return, Chris will train Melvin in sports. Once [Chris] improves, he will be able to play on his team again. But, it’s not as easy as it seems. Along the way, [Chris] goes through many challenges: crushes, backstabbing friends, and his older brother. Will Chris get sports back and persevere through these hard times? Join Chris and his friends to find out.

In sixth grade, when I began to write this book, we discussed stereotypes in all different contexts, and they interested me, so I decided to put the stereotype of the dumb jock with that of the nerd and see what would happen when they’re forced to help each other.

How would you describe your writing process?  What is your favorite part – and what do you find the hardest?

I prefer to write my stories by hand; although this forces me to later type them, I enjoy carrying around a notebook and writing a story in that instead of typing in front of a computer screen. Writing the first draft is my favorite part of the writing process. I start with an idea and no notes and proceed from there. Once I’ve finished, I have to force myself to do several rounds of revisions, which I do not enjoy.

What has been the best piece of advice you received to help you on your path of being an author?  What piece of advice would you pass on to newer authors?

At a Worcester Writers Collaborative event, I was nervous about doing a reading from my book. Loree Griffin Burns had just gone, and I knew I had big shoes to fill, but she told me that an author should remember that he or she is the expert of what he or she has written; nobody knows the book like the author does. This maxim has really taught me to present my work with confidence.

How do you see writing fitting into the rest of your future?  How much a part of your life is it now?

I plan to write while in college. While I’m not sure in what capacity I while be writing, I will most likely continue to write stories for fun. Recently, I have written for the school newspaper and maintained a few blogs while also working on my own pieces.

You’re releasing your second book now: Congratulations!  What can you tell us about the new book?

I’ve been working on this book since 2008 and have devoted countless hours to writing, editing, and rewriting the story. Stopping Angela Wheeler tells the story of David Delfino who lost his mother as a child and, now a high school sophomore, fears his father’s imminent marriage with a cruel, heartless woman, Angela Wheeler. David plots to split the pair before the wedding, but this task is made impossible as he and his father do not get along well, and he also has to deal with the drama of high school.

Where else can we find your writing?  How can people find out more about you?

My writing can also be found in the Westborough Patch, on my website: www.misadventuresinfilgersville.webs.com and on my blog http://mcwriting-pad.blogspot.com/ 

Once again, thank you very much for the interview, and we look forward to hosting you at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester!

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