Welcome to the forty-eighth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers and more. Today’s is with military action adventure author George Mavro. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate the author further. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here.
Morgen: Hello, George. Please tell us something about yourself and how you came to be a writer.
George: I am an air force retiree having spent 24 years in Law Enforcement and Security and I was stationed in Europe for 22 years. I have a Masters degree in International relations and also teach part time government for a junior college. The Balkans is an area that always fascinated me. The area has been the cause of many wars last century. I finally decided to write a military action adventure novel that takes place in that region.
Morgen: What genre do you generally write and have you considered other genres?
George: I write military action adventure novels. So far I have not considered doing another genre.
Morgen: What have you had published to-date? How much of the marketing do you do?
George: I presently had my first novel Operation Medina, The Jihad which was just released and Operation Medina, The Crusade which is being released in late July. I am presently trying to ramp up my marketing via Yahoo, LinkedIn, Facebook and I am planning to do a couple of book signings.
Morgen: Have you won or been shortlisted in any competitions and do you think they help with a writer’s success?
George: No I am planning to enter. I believe that they can only help a writer.
Morgen: Do you have an agent? Do you think they’re vital to an author’s success?
George: No I do not have an agent. I have been working strictly with my publisher. An agent can be helpful to get you the big book contracts but they don’t have to be vital with one’s success.
Morgen: But working directly with a publisher is great. Are your books available as eBooks? If so what was your experience of that process? And do you read eBooks?
George: Yes my book is available on Kindle at Amazon.
Morgen: What was your first acceptance?
George: My present book.
Morgen: Have you had any rejections? If so, how do you deal with them?
George: Like any author, lots! I just kept on trying.
Morgen: Very wise. What are you working on at the moment / next?
George: I am working on a World War 2 novel that begins with an American student stranded on the island of Crete just before the German airborne invasion.
Morgen: War novels are extremely popular. I volunteer at a Red Cross shop and we have a ‘war’ window every autumn and usually sell out before the next display is due. Do you manage to write every day? What’s the most you’ve written in a day?
George: Not always. I try to write as much as possible. The most I have written is a couple of pages.
Morgen: What is your opinion of writer’s block? Do you ever suffer from it? If so, how do you ‘cure’ it?
George: It’s all in the mind set. Everyone has suffered some forms of it. I cure it when I go to bed at night and let my imagination run wild and think of solutions.
Morgen: I’ve heard a few people do that and it sounds like a good idea. Do you plot your stories or do you just get an idea and run with it?
George: I get an idea and run with it.
Morgen: Many of my interviewees have said that too. How do you come up with the names of your characters?
George: I think them up as I go.
Morgen: Do you have pieces of work that you think will never see light of day?
George: Well any of one’s work may never see the day of light but no, nothing in particular.
Morgen: What’s your favourite / least favourite aspect of your writing life?
George: My favourite has been when I saw my name on a book title that is in print. Least favourite has got to be rejections.
Morgen: If anything, what has been your biggest surprise about writing?
George: The actual ability to finish writing a novel.
Morgen: What advice would you give aspiring writers?
George: Keep writing, never give up. Have many people read your work and listen to their criticism and act on it. Keep trying to get published.
Morgen: Absolutely. A successful writer is one who never gave up. What do you like to read?
George: Historical novels, Military action adventure, Science fiction.
Morgen: In which country are you based and do you find this a help or hindrance with letting people know about your work?
George: I am in the US. It’s a help because there are many publishers around.
Morgen: Are you on any forums or networking sites? If so, how invaluable do you find them?
George: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter
Morgen: Where can we find out about you and your work?
George: My publisher is Total Recall Press and my books can be purchased there (http://www.totalrecallpress.com/ProductInfo.aspx?productid=9781590957493). My work can also be found on Amazon.
Morgen: What do you think the future holds for a writer?
George: Be ready to see the paper book market shrink. EBook and kindle is the new way and cheaper.
Morgen: Thank you, George, for taking part.
I then invited George to provide an extract of his writing:
General Muhammad Kemal, president of the Islamic Republic of Turkey, a middle-aged man of stocky build, gazed out of his downtown office window at the distant gleaming domes of the great Byzantine cathedral of Aghia Sophia. The majestic structure built by the great Byzantine emperor Justinian in the 6th century, prominently stood out in the early morning smog filled skyline of the bustling new Turkish Capitol. It had seen many a great empire rise and fall through the millennia. It was now witnessing the birth of another. Kemal’s office located on the top floor of the ministry of defense building also served as his unofficial residence when he was away from the presidential palace. The office was outfitted with the latest in computer and telecommunication gear. With the press of a button, he could communicate with any of his military commanders in the field. The General’s desk was cluttered with empty coffee cups; he had spent most of the night working on the final details of his plan. The draft was ready to be presented to the Revolutionary Committee for approval, not that any one of them had the courage or the power to defy him. He would though ask for their rubber stamp of approval, to make them feel that they still had some vestiges of power left. Kemal was looking forward to seeing the look on the committee members’ faces when he revealed his ambitious plan to them.
George Mavro is a 24-year Air Force, security force veteran. He served over 22 years stationed in Europe, eight of those in Greece. He holds advanced degrees in Government and International Relations. He presently lives in Florida with his wife and two sons were he works as Information Security Officer for a major financial institution and also teaches online government course for a community college.
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