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Tuesday, 11 December 2007
Getting to Know Max Elliot Anderson
Topic: Author Interview
  Max Elliot Anderson the person:

1.  What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Humor, compassion, dedication

2.  How do you think others would describe you?

He cares about people, and he'd like to leave this world a better place than how he found it.

3.  Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

I'm most passionate about communicating concepts and ideas through professional, client-based, video production.

4.  Do you have any pets?  If so, introduce us to them.

We have a cat named Aubie, after the mascot for Auburn University. Aubie was wild when we got her, but she has become totally domesticated now. The funniest thing about her is she likes to play ball, just like a dog. The only difference is she doesn't bring the ball back. She'll race across the backyard, leap high into the air to catch the ball, and then she pounces on it. Aubie is a brown and black tabby. She purrs like a speedboat.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

We had Boxers when I was growing up. One day, someone stole our dog, Blitz. He was gone so long that my parents went out and bought a new Boxer. A few weeks later, when I came home from school, there was our dog, Blitz, nearly unconscious by the fireplace. His leather collar was almost severed, where he had pulled himself free, his feet were severely swollen from a long journey back home, and he was too tired to open his eyes. Seeing that big, lovable, sweet dog again was something I'll never forget.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

We lived out in the country in Michigan when I was a child. There were lakes nearby, and it was customary for us to keep swimming trunks on, under our jeans. This gave us the option to ride out bikes all over the place, and go swimming whenever we wanted to. One time, I raced on my bike toward the lake, along with several of my friends. We dumped the bikes in the sand, and ran toward the water, as usual. Almost without stopping, we'd kick off our shoes, pull off our pants, and hit the water without breaking stride. But, on this particular day, I had forgotten to put on my swimming trunks in the morning...oops!

7.  If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I already get to do this through my video production company. It has allowed me to travel all over the world, meet lots of interesting people, and produce award-winning video programs and television commercials.

8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

I think this is something best left to others who are more objective.

Max Elliot Anderson the writer:

9.   Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

This happened just after 9/11, when my client video production slowed down. I began writing, and shared my work with my father, who was the author of over 70 books. When he liked what he saw, that was the first step. Then my oldest sister, who taught creative writing at the university level, had a similar reaction. The final step was when my oldest brother, who is a voracious reader, loved my work. That's when I thought, "Hey, there just might be something here."

10.  What is going on with your writing these days?

A little over a year ago, I stopped writing in order to concentrate on building my platform, promoting my published books, speaking in schools, and exploring additional publishing opportunities. I located an agent, Terry Burns at Hartline, and this is opening some interesting doors. The truth is, I can't stand not writing, and look forward to picking that up again as soon as possible.

11.  What are your future goals for your writing?

I've completed a total of 35 manuscripts. I'd like to continue writing more stories like these, but, obviously, a wider market for them needs to develop before that would make much sense.

12.  Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Most of my writing is done from around 6 PM until 11 PM. I also like to write on holidays and weekends when video clients won't be bothering me. Before I start to write, I've completed all my research. But I don't write to an outline. The story develops right before my very eyes, as if I were watching a movie.

I won't start a chapter that I can't finish in that sitting, and typically finish two or three of them in each session.

13.  Why do you write?

I find that I can't, NOT write. I'm more at peace, when I'm writing, than at any other time in my life. Helping others discover a love of reading simply adds to that fire.

14.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

At first my inspiration was simply to write the kinds of books that I would have liked as a child. My father became an inspiration as well as a mentor, until his death nearly two years ago, at the age of eighty-three. I grew up hating to read. Now I write for other boys who might be growing up like I did. But the inspiration comes from the amazing responses I get from children and their parents when they tell me that one of my books was the first one they'd ever read all the way through. Not because they had to, but because they couldn't stop reading.

15.  How do you define your writing?

My books are a cross between the typical, linear page, and the highly visual world - with video games, TV, computers, and movies - where kids live today.

16. In one sentence-what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

Max Elliot Anderson's books are just as exciting and relevant now as the day they were written, still reaching out to reluctant readers.

Max Elliot Anderson the details:

17.  Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website?  Blog?

Author web site

Books for Boys blog

50 pages of reviews

18.  Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Through the author web site and/or the blog

19.  Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?


20. For new readers-what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Readers tell me that reading one of my books is like being in - not reading - but being in an exciting or scary movie. This comes from my highly visual background of film and video production. Readers will find lots of humor, dialog, and heart pounding action in my action-adventures and mysteries written especially for boys...but girls love them too.

In conclusion:

21.  Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers-what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

This is especially for people who have not been published yet. Understand that it takes time. It's common to read that many authors waited ten years or more before it happened. It seems like a sort of right of passage for things not to fall into place right away. And welcome rejections. They simply prove that you have at lease completed your manuscript - a task many never complete.

Then, just look at me. I grew up hating to read. I don't have the wealth of background to draw on from a life of reading good books. Yet, my books connect with kids. English was one of my worst subjects. It wasn't until I reached my senior year in high school that I got serious about my education. In college, my degree is in psychology, which I also find helpful in writing and character development.

So, don't get discouraged. If I can find a place in literature, so can you.

As long as you believe in yourself, it doesn't matter what anyone else says. Realize that sometimes, the people closest to us just don't get it, so they can be the most hurtful early on.

For us, it's a really big deal to step into writing, to pour out our insides onto paper, only to have others rip it apart. But if you have something important to say, it will shine through. Listen to, and learn from criticism, but never change who you are.

I write from my life's experience. The stories and characters become very real to me. Most of my books originate in places where I've lived, or where I've traveled to produce films and video program. I write because I love it.

You should only write if you love it too.

Max Elliot Anderson

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007 1:14 AM EST
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