Interview with Mike Wells, author of WILD CHILD
APL: After all the work, all the delays, all the disappointments, how did you feel the first time you saw WILD CHILD on the Kindle Bestsellers List? I know how I felt when TREMOLO: CRY OF THE LOON hit the list. I’ll probably remember that day in great clarity for years to come. Were you alone? Did you have a family member nearby? Did you celebrate? Does it feel just as good now, or do you have new dreams you’d like to achieve?
MW: When I first saw WILD CHILD on the Kindle Bestseller List, it was on the Amazon book page, where it says “Number (whatever) in Thrillers,” and I was sure it was a mistake. I didn’t really believe it until I went to the Bestsellers page. I was at home, but my wife was upstairs and I started yelling at her to come down and see—she was just as stunned as I was. Of course I have new dreams—it didn’t go up to #1, only #3, so I would like to be able to say I’ve had a #1 Amazon Kindle Bestseller. Can’t do that yet!
APL: Tell us about your mother-in-law and how she’s helped your books sell. I read your blog about the topic and loved it.
MW: My mother-in-law spent about 10 years (until just recently) working as a gossip columnist and journalist for a weekly magazine in Latvia that is considered by some to be a bit on the sensationalist side. When the publication added its online version, she became an expert at the kinds of keywords and ideas that generate interest (clicks) by people. So she applied these same principles to my book titles, helping me come up with titles that will cause people to click on them and find out more about the books. Most people love my books when they get to the point of actually reading them—it’s getting them that far that is so difficult (I know you can relate, Aaron!)
APL: How does the name of your blog (The Green Water Blog) relate to your books?
MW: The “green water” is from my thriller, WILD CHILD—it’s a magical substance that two teenagers find in a cave, a substance that gives people superhuman abilities. I chose that for my blog name because sometimes it does seem to take a superhuman effort to conceive, write and especially FINISH a great book!
APL: You write thrillers and suspense novels, including books for Young Adults. Tell us about your genres and how you switch between them.
MW: Actually I don’t think about genres at all, never have. I only know the genre of a book when it’s done, and usually it’s not a perfect fit—more a matter of deciding which genre is closest. In fact I didn’t even know there was such a genre in publishing called “young adult” way back when I wrote WILD CHILD—it was the publishers who categorized the story that way because of the age of the protagonists (late teens). But people of all ages love the book—in fact I see no difference in the response it received from adults, young adults, or even children.
APL: Do you have a day job, and does it relate to your writing in any way?
MW: I have a part-time day job teaching various college and graduate school courses in creative writing and also entrepreneurship (starting your own business). I guess it’s pretty obvious that both these type of classes relate to being a novelist if you’re self-published.
APL: What’s your favorite setting to write about? Does it have a basis in your own life?
MW: I don’t really have a favorite setting, but I always write about settings that I have experienced first-hand. I particularly enjoy writing about places that I’ve been which have made a lasting impression on me, whether it is from their beauty, intrigue, danger, craziness, or whatever. Moscow and some of the other cities in the former Soviet Union/Eastern Bloc come to mind—I have included some of these in Lust, Money & Murder. So do exotic places like the Caribbean island of Aruba, where I lived a few winters and The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer is set. I think most readers enjoy stories set in exotic locales.
APL: Tell us a about each of your books and how we can buy them.
APL: Would you like to add anything? How about contact info and your websites.
MW: Thanks so much for the opportunity to be on your great blog, Aaron! Much appreciated. I wish all your readers well.