MIKE BOCKOVEN

Updates and Inspiration

Feb
10

First off, I want to thank all the new folks who are reading. Since the paperback release of FantasticLand, I’ve received a really good number of tweets and messages talking about the book and I want to really thank everyone who has reached out. It’s not an exaggeration to say I think about these messages every day and take motivation from them.

For the new folks who have been asking, here’s what’s going on with a possible filmed version of FantasticLand: A producer named Andrew Dabb who works on the CW show “Supernatural” (happy 300 episodes!) currently has the rights and is going to be taking a shot at turning the book into a movie sometime this spring. It’s the sort of thing that is still very much hypothetical but I believe he gets what makes the book cool, from my point of view, and I live in hope. If anything happens you’ll probably hear my sonic yelps of joy from whatever part of the world you live in. Plus I’ll post it here.

There’s also a producer working on turning my second novel into a television show. Again, any updates will be posted immediately after I’m done freaking out and hugging strangers on the street. 

My third novel is currently under consideration from my publisher and I should have news in the next little bit. Obviously I don’t want to talk too much about it before the contracts are signed but it’s a nasty little bit of stand alone horror that I really enjoyed writing and can’t wait to have out there. I had some really tough, fair and extraordinarily helpful beta readers and the book is in a pretty solid place, from my perspective. Expect more than one knife murder and a fairly inventive way to do something terrible to someone with the leg of a chair. 

Finally, I want to share an odd situation I found myself in that you might find helpful in your creative endeavors.

A few weeks back I was asked to be an “interesting person” at an event put on by a local museum. The gist of the evening is you grab a cocktail, sit at a table with one of 20 or so “interesting people”, have a 10 minute conversation and move on to the next one. That’s a lot of pressure to be interesting and not a lot of time to do it so I landed on starting the “conversation” this way: According to the Gallup organization, six in ten people say they want to write a book at some point in their lives. I then had those who felt like they were in that 60 percent raise their hands. 

Not a lot of people would admit to it, which I found odd, but often times people who didn’t raise their hands were the ones with the most questions. How do you find an agent? Where do you start coming up with ideas? How often much do you write a day? What’s it like working with an editor? They obviously had given this some thought but…then what? Did they give up? Are they ashamed to admit it? Are they working behind the scenes and don’t want to name their efforts until they have something to show for it?

I don’t want to say that the power of “naming it” is some profound, magical incantation that will motivate you and move your ideas forward to the next level. Far from it. I still suffer from imposter syndrome fairly hard core and calling myself a “writer” still feels weird.  But I will say that being on Goodreads and engaging with folks who reach out and going to book clubs and sitting down with strangers to talk about your novels where young people murder each other with sticks and arrows has taught me that no one is going to laugh at you. If you tell people you’re writing a book, or that your goal is to be published more often than not you’re going to get a positive response. Besides, if you fear negative feedback, writing is something you might want to reconsider.

So I take it back. Maybe there is some power in naming it.

Take from that what you will. If you are in the market for encouragement, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. I love hearing from writers and any “advice” I can provide is worth exactly what you pay for it.

-Mike

Paperback and Podcasts

Nov
27

It’s been a while. Here’s what’s up.

FantasticLand is now in paperback – For a few weeks now my first novel, FantasticLand, has been available in paperback for those of you who want a copy you can beat the hell out of with impunity. You have my permission. I think the book is more than pulpy enough for a paperback, to be honest.

The BlumHouse Podcast Gave Me an Embarrasingly Great Review – If you’re the podcast sort, the Shockwaves Podcast gave me a really, really complimentary review of FantasticLand on their latest podcast. Shockwaves is from Blumhouse, a company I like a whole hell of a lot. Here’s a link:

http://podcast.blumhouse.com/episode-122

Another book is coming – I submitted my latest novel to my agent recently and am working on an edit before we start shopping it around. I don’t want to say too much yet but I think it’s a bad ass idea that will be a lot of fun if I can pull it off.

Finally, if you want a signed copy of any of my books, let me know at *protected email* or shoot me a message on Facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear from you.

 

-Mike

I Wrote A Novel In 45 Days

Sep
08

I’ve always had reservations about NaNoWriMo.

There’s nothing wrong with it and I like the concept of getting your work down so you can fix it, but it was just never for me. Slow and steady, that’s how I would write. Until I didn’t.

I’ve written a few times about writer’s block, which is not exactly what happened to me. In my case, it wasn’t that I didn’t have ideas or that when I sat down to write those ideas wouldn’t come. It was that I got to a point where everything seemed more important and when I did write it was hard to grab a flow that carried me to the next day. As a result, I didn’t write a book last year, the first time in three years that didn’t happen.

Getting back into it was starting to bear fruit and I was plugging away at a sequel to one of my earlier books when I got an idea for another project. It wasn’t my strongest idea or my best idea ever but it seemed like something that could definitely play into my strengths as a writer, as it were. I also came up with a nice hook that got my brain really working.

I’m not sure when I decided to really tear into it, but I started a 1,500 word a day diet. Every day, no matter what else was going on, I was going to knock out 1,500 words a day on this thing. And I did it. On Thursday I finished the first draft of a new novel. I don’t want to go into what it is quite yet other than the elevator pitch, which is “The Shining in a Comedy Club,” but I do want to share some random thoughts I had while I wrote this book.

-My joke is I wanted to “finish the book before I convinced myself it was a bad idea” but I think there’s something to that. Giving the book a read now that I’m done I saw a few places where I could have gotten hung up for weeks had I not just plowed through and moved on.

-Parts of the book aren’t anywhere near as good as they need to be, but there’s excitement in going back and trying to fix them. Tearing through the book like I did I am still fresh on where those are what what I need to fix.

-As always, the wonderful Steph Romanski helped guide the story as it went. I know this doesn’t work for everyone but having a friend read the book as it’s being written is invaluable to my process and also keeps me going. To be clear, this isn’t an “edit” but rather a “the story is compelling, keep going” sort of thing and without it I wouldn’t have a book on my computer waiting to be edited.

-Finding time for 1,500 words is a bit of a challenge but I only fell behind twice – once because of circumstances and another time at the end where I ran out of gas a bit. When you have a goal in mind and you know how long it takes every day to get to that goal, that helps a little bit.

-Being a discovery writer REALLY helped because I wanted to know where the story would end up. Not knowing the end kept me interested.

-Some days suck, but not as many as I thought. In those rare days when the days really sucked I dove into other sections of the book that I knew were coming in order to meet the word count for the day and stitched them into the narrative later.

-Trying to plow through a book quickly left little time for research but I was able to do enough to where substantial changes weren’t going to have to happen. I think. I hope. I’m pretty sure.

-I can’t wait to get it edited and submitted but that wasn’t what gave me a kick in the ass to get the book done. At the end of the day, I think it was the story.

I let you know how it’s going and, worst case scenario, it might end up on this site at some point. Or in bookstores. Hard to tell, but the first draft is done and that’s worth a small celebration.

 

-Mike