– A writer and YouTuber from the UK
Readers! Let’s give a good hearty welcome to Mike Jeavons.
He’s a writer and YouTuber from the UK, currently studying for a Masters degree in creative writing. In the past, he’s written for film, radio, web series, a little TV. The self-published author of two children’s books and his latest book, VIRAL, (not recommended for young readers) which debuted February 7th and is for adult readers only.
He’s agreed to visit and share with us today some dreams, some advice, and some reading recommendations.
Mike, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
A Niffler would be a great pet – not only are they cute, but they also have a knack for stealing valuable things. Who wouldn’t want a cute creature which frequently brings you gold??
I also think cheetahs are awesome. If I could domesticate a cheetah without fearing it might eat the postman or something, I would definitely adopt one.
Well, I’m not sure what a niffler says about your moral code…but at least you don’t want a murderous pet. So, at least there’s that.
What do you write and how did you get started?
I have quite a colourful history when it comes to writing.
Back in 2003, I wrote a novel called The Man at Fourteen Winchester Drive, a sort of YA/NA novel about a man who befriends the creepy old guy next door. I self-published the book on a website called Great Unpublished (which later was bought by Amazon and sort of became CreateSpace), and it was so poorly produced if you opened the book too wide pages would fall out. It was incredibly rewarding to see all that work become a book I could hold in my hand, but I was a stupid teenager and I didn’t know what beta readers, editors or proofreaders were, so the book is littered with errors.
I’ve learned a lot since then, so my next self-publishing effort came about a decade later with The Secret Circle of Imaginary Friends and its sequel The Imaginary Friends and the Box of Desires. Both are MG books, and are some of my favourite things I’ve written – writing for younger audiences is so much fun.
That’s not to say I didn’t have an amazing time writing Viral, my latest, an adult humour novel with a few sci-fi elements. The book flew out of my fingers, and with the help of Unbound and some generous supporters, the book is now available to read on paperback and ebook.
I’ve never been prouder of a piece of work.
Wow, children’s books and books about…porn-based, computer viruses killing people. I like to mix up the ages of my audience, but I’m not sure I could pull it off!
What do you like to read?
Like with my writing, I read quite a wide variety as well. I love YA, I’ve recently been reading the Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness. I also love work by Michael Crichton, Stephen King, and J.K. Rowling.
Solid choices for any contemporary science-fiction, horror, or fantasy writer.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
“Just write, then go back and edit later.”
Quite often I hear people telling writers not to edit along the way. This eats me up inside. If I’ve written something, then five minutes later I read it and decide that it’s terrible, then there’s no way I’m going to let it set there on the page being bad. I’m going to have to change it, reword it, develop it or cut it altogether.
Yes, you don’t want to get bogged down with the line edits whilst you’re still getting the story on the page, but you need to be producing the best possible work that you can.
I’ve read work from writers who have just blurted things out with no regard for how it reads, and I’d hate to be the one to have to go back and edit that.
Ha! I’m definitely one of those ‘just write’ people. But! I’m not a total pantser and I usually manage to actually use at least some of those paragraphs (or pages. Or chapters!), once they’ve been reworked.
SIDENOTE: My readers can’t tell, but I know. You’re also one of those people who HATE the Oxford comma. Luckily, on my blog, no one can see you skipping commas!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
The knowledge that I am a writer.
So often you see people claiming, “I’m an aspiring writer.” Have you ever written something creatively?
Then you’re not an aspiring writer, you’re a writer! Take ‘aspiring’ out of your bio right now.
You may not be a professional, full-time writer (very few people are) but you are most definitely a writer. Embrace it!
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Viral is my first adult novel, and it is out now!
It’s a funny, rude, exciting adventure through internet culture, memes, and viral videos. I wanted to write a book which continuously raises the stakes, and I think with Viral I’ve done just that!