MICHAEL KROFT: I ENJOY SHORT STORIES FOR THEIR QUICKNESS AND SIMPLICITY
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Michael Kroft is a master of short stories. He already published two full novels – On Herring Cove Road: Mr. Jew And The Goy Boy and Still On Herring Cove Road. We’ve got a chance to speak with our next feature author about his latest book.
– Michael, What is your second book, Still On Herring Cove Road: Hickory, Dickory, Death, about?
– My second book is a story of friendship and loyalty. Dewey Dixon finds himself living in the poorer neighbourhood where he befriends two interesting kids and as their friendship grows, they find themselves on a collision path with a killer preying on children.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– After I was finished with On Herring Cove Road, I decided to use the same characters for a second story involving a friendship among kids, instead of between the boy and the old man. There just seemed like another story worth telling in there.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– By far the biggest challenge was getting the Maritime accents consistent and just right. I didn’t want them too strong as to overwhelm the reader nor too subtle to be missed.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Well, during the book, the reader sees Dewey grow in maturity from beginning of the novel to its end. He comes out of the events much more confident with himself, mentally stronger and much less naive. Dewey’s character is a mix of parts from people that I have met throughout my life, children and adults.
The second prominent character named Blue is the opposite of Dewey. He’s full of self confidence and when he takes it on himself to confront the killer, his actions leave him less confident, fatherless, homeless and broken. Blue’s character is taken from someone I grew up with.
– How much time you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– It’s finished now. Once the final draft was proofed one last time, it took about a week to get the digital and printed formats (regular and large print) up on the book store sites.
– Who are you?
– I’m a forty-seven something man from Halifax, Nova Scotia, who currently lives on Montreal. After graduating with a B.com in Accounting and MIS, I spent most of my working life in the IT areas of manufacturing, corporate sales, educational sales and product management.
– You are a fan of short stories, why you prefer to write them, instead of a novel?
– I enjoy short stories for their quickness and simplicity; though, some of mine have been longer than one would be expected for short story. The plots are simple, there are fewer characters and the twist at the end comes quickly. Short stories have an almost immediate completion gratification compared to my first novel that took years to complete.
– May you describe your satisfaction, when your novel was finally published? What did you say to yourself?
– I’m not sure the satisfaction was straight forward when my last novel was complete. Each rewrite got the story a little closer to the final product and after the last rewrite and then several proofings, I was just glad to have the novel finally finished. Its completion was a rather anticlimactic.
I think there was much more jubilation when I finished my first draft than when I finally completed the novel, if I can even say completed since I know if I went over it again, I would end up changing a word here and there and probably rewriting a small section. It never really feels finished.
– What are your writing habits?
– In the evenings, I have a two part process, edit and clean up what I had written the night before and then write like a mad man, ignoring grammar, spelling and sentence structures. The next evening it will be cleaned up as I look at it fresh.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the book and do you plan another one?
– I don’t know if one is ever satisfied with sales of their books. Mine sell ok, but that’s to be expected from the lack of marketing I have been doing. I don’t plan to put much energy into marketing them until I have finished my third novel Marvin’s Memoirs, a humorous and dark story of a man’s present imitating his dark past. I haven’t even setup a website yet.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your book?
– Not much right now. I’m waiting until the third novel to put the energy into it and spread the costs and revenues over the three novels.
– If you have a chance to ask yourself one question, what it would be? (Don’t forget to answer, as well)
– I would have to ask myself why I write Novels. Why do I put the enormous number of hours into them and why do I try to make them the best I that can. I think the answer is that I love doing it. It’s certainly not for the money, so it must be due to the passion of just doing it.
– As an avid reader, what are your top 3 expectations when you open a book by an indie author?
– I expect to find few grammar and spelling mistakes. I expect to have the writing style keep me interested and I also expect the beginning to keep my interest long enough to get to another point that grabs my interest.