Michael Colbert – Misadventures in Filgersville

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book is Misadventures in Filgersville which I self-published in 2008. It is a middle grade novel which takes the common stereotypes of middle school and disproves them. Chris Hastings, the dumb jock, is suspended from his All-Star baseball team before the championships because of his poor grades. His parents enlist the help of Melvin Moore, the unpopular nerd, to tutor him. While Chris goes through the challenges of bringing his grades up in time for the game, he has to deal with all sorts of middle school problems.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am a native of Massachusetts and am currently a senior in high school. I’ve been writing ever since elementary school and published my first novel as an eighth grader. Throughout high school I have been involved in the writing community: I have won National Novel Writing Month and Script Frenzy and am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

What inspired you to write this book?

I began writing this book at the end of sixth grade. We discussed stereotypes very often in English and History class and they got me thinking. During the Lunch Bunch Writing Club I began to work on this story. I wanted to get to the core of what it means to be a middle school student and show that, sometimes, the way in which middle school students are depicted is not always correct.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Although I can write on the computer, I prefer handwriting my stories. I give each story its own notebook and will complete a full handwritten draft before editing or doing anything else. While I am typing the story, I begin to edit and rework it.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I am a huge Harry Potter and Percy Jackson fan. Even though these stories are fantasy, the manner in which they are written makes it all seem so realistic and plausible. I also enjoy Agatha Christie. Her mysteries are mind-boggling and leave her readers guessing until the last page.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

I am in the final stages of editing my next novel. This is a young adult novel and is about David Delfino who lost his mother in elementary school. Now a sophomore, his dad is going to remarry a shallow gold-digger. David wants to split up the marriage before it’s too late but has to deal with a lot of other problems in his school. I hope that it will be in stores over the summer.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Keep writing and don’t give up. Writing the first draft can be the most challenging part about writing a book but once that is completed, you have a baseline to work from. A first draft doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be a draft.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Readers ages eleven to fourteen may most enjoy this book.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can go to my website www.misadventuresinfilgersville.webs.com or the book’s page on Facebook, www.facebook.com/Filgersville, to find out more. I have my own twitter account as well which I use to update readers with information about events and news. Follow me @MJCFilgersville