Michael King – Author Interview

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

The Dreamz Friendz and the Magic Well is a bedtime story about four magical children and their pet dragon that live on a far away planet. The four friends discover a magic well that teaches them to make their dreams come true by practicing five important life lessons. These lessons are about positive thinking, imagination, sharing, appreciation, and the Law of Attraction. Colorfully illustrated and entertaining, The Dreamz Friendz and the Magic Well will make bedtime fun.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am originally from Upstate, NY and found my way down to Miami, FL where I now live. I have been writing as a hobby for several years and recently launched my first published book for children ages 3-7. My background is very diverse and I have held several jobs over the years from a teacher’s aide to a corporate sales executive. I am partially retired at 32 due to my success in investing in equities.

What is interesting about me is that I am living my dream. I originated from a very blue collar middle class city and now live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world full of sunshine and interesting people. I am also in the process of being signed by one of the top modeling agencies in the world at 32! I never give up on my dreams.

What inspired you to write this book?

I found myself one day sitting in my office very unhappy. I was working as a highly paid sales executive for a large blue chip corporation and closing million dollar deals. The money was great but the job was simply unfufilling. So I quit one day after reading several self improvement books that changed my outlook on life. I took a leap of faith that I was scared to take in the past. I decided I wanted to inspire children to follow their dreams and shoot for the stars. In a sense, my dream was the dream of teaching others that you don’t have to settle in life. What better age to start than kindergarten?

A huge part of my inspiration was all of the inner city children I worked with in my college years as a teacher’s aide and my nephews and nieces. I love the natural positive energy that children have and how enthusiastic they are. I love to motivate people and building self-esteem is important for young minds in my opinion.

How did you choose the title?

I chose my title based on the night time theme of my product line. You will notice that the words dreamz and friendz (defined on the first page of the book) are made up and similar in nature to the over 2,500 words created by Dr. Seuss.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

Now that is a big list! However it only made the victory that much sweeter. The very first obstacle I faced was almost signing a contract with a vanity press that would have been a big mistake. For new authors, please be very careful, there are many vanity presses out there that prey on new inexperienced authors.

Next, I made the decision that I did not want to seek a traditional publisher to help me based on what I read about the odds and time frame. I believed in my message and art so I financed everything right down to the first 5,000 copies of my book inventory. I set up a “work for hire” agreement with a company that I used to design my website in order to develop book illustrations. Developing the illustrations for my book was a very time consuming process that took eight months to complete. Not only did I work with a group of artists for the development of the illustrations, I also worked with a separate graphic designer to for the final layout and specs. It was a challenge to convey my ideas to two separate parties working on the same project located half way around the world from each other. I was the project manager and at times there were communication issues.

The proofing process was somewhat difficult as well and very stressful. You can imagine if you are investing a large chunk of your finances into producing 5,000 picture books that you want everything just perfect. So naturally the proofing process took longer than expected, but it was a great learning experience along with many sleepless nights.

I am going to stop here so that I don’t make my experience out to be that difficult. We are very fortunate to have the Internet available to us for research and networking these days. When in doubt on any subject matter, Google is your best friend.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I have always been extremely artistic and creative. The first time I considered actually going through with writing and producing a book was about five years ago. Unfortunately, I listened to my fears instead of my heart. So, I tossed out the story and never went through with producing it.

Five years later I was ready mentally, spiritually, and financially to go ahead and follow my dream of writing my first children’s book.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I like to write at night.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I am a pretty deep guy….

Lotus (princess/girl) – Named after the rare Komarav lotus flower and is also a symbol of the sun, of creation and rebirth.
Opal (star fairy/girl) – Precious opals are very rare and fine examples are worth more than diamonds.
Scion (wizard/boy) – I just love the name and think it sounds very futuristic and strong.
Dante (angel/boy)- Named after a young child that passed away from cancer. To honor his memory.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

Yes, the whole process was a learning experience from a spiritual and business standpoint. Above all, I learned to put trust in myself and god. Faith is an incredible tool if you truly believe.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing. It is the obstacles in life we overcome that make us who we are today.

“Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new” – Albert Einstein

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

My favorite books in no particular order are:

A. Self Improvement
B. Spirituality.
C. New Age.

My favorite book of all time is The Secret of the Ages by Robert Collier. I am also a big fan of Eckhart Tolle and Napoleon Hill.

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

I am in the beginning stages…. there are two possibilities right now. That is all I can say.

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

Never give up. If this is truly your dream then go for it. You will surely have your ups and downs but keep your eye on the prize and don’t let the setbacks bother you. Learn from them and press ahead.

I believe we can be successful at anything we put our minds to if we truly enjoy the subject matter. Would you write a book if there was no money involved? Is writing your most burning passion? If yes, then what are you waiting for? Life is short.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

Typically children ages 3-7 or their parents. My book is a bedtime story picture book.