Today I have the fabulous, fantastic (and rather shy) Michael Conn, author of Maxwell Huxley’s Demon. The premise of this book is mysterious and creepy, perfect for those who like a little scary in their reading library. The cover got my heart pulsing.
So without further ado, give a round of applause to the talented Michael Conn! *Star Wars Imperial March plays as author steps to the podium*
My name is Michael Conn. I am a married father of three. I have two dogs, and I live and write in Victoria, BC, Canada.
I’m not sure when the idea behind MAXWELL HUXLEY’S DEMON popped into my head, but I had been mulling it over for a couple of years before writing it. In the summer of 2011, I spent time at my family cottage in Ontario. My sister is a writer, and I read one of her latest books. Reading her book made me think that I should try this. I should write. I should write down Maxwell’s story.
I started with an outline – the complete story from beginning to end mapped out. I outlined all of the books planned in the series before I wrote the first book. In August, I started writing. I wrote the story from Maxwell’s point of view only, ignoring all the other characters. Then I wrote the story of each character in separate files. So I ended up with a short book for Maxwell, a book for Midge, a book for Kristina, a book for Catherine, and so on. With each of the books done, I weaved them together, taking scene from each point of view and layering them into the main novel.
Being my first book, I wasn’t sure that I could or would finish it. To help my chances of success I set myself a daily word count quota. 1000 words per day. I picked a thousand words because I was told a novel should be 80,000 words. So this will take me 80 days. I was optimistic.
Back in Victoria I treated the project like a job and wrote everyday with an eye on my quota. I found I could usually write 1000 words, but sometimes I also deleted 1000 words. There were days when it was hard to keep my net output up to 1000 words, but I usually did.
I don’t have a literary background. I worked as a software engineer for most of my career. My career started out providing me with a healthy creative outlet, but over the years this changed. Writing provided the creative outlet that I crave when work didn’t.
Eighty days wasn’t a bad guess. After 90 days I finished draft 1. After 9 months, I finished draft 31, the one I published.
Maxwell Huxley’s Demon is self-published for two reasons. One, I’m impatient and so have a hard time waiting on the traditional houses. Two, I’m impatient and wanted it out there. I felt that I could write the rest of the story until book #1 was published, so up on Amazon it went. Here is a favorite blog post of mine about the trials and tribulations of an Amazon book promotion weekend:
I wrote Maxwell’s story because I love action adventure stories, and I often find myself reading YA novels to satisfy this appetite. However, quite a few adventure books I have read over the last number of years seemed quite slow to me. My goal with Maxwell was to explore developing a character through action. I didn’t want to create a novel where the action stopped every time character development started. I wanted to see if I could do both simultaneously.
I am now partway through book two of Maxwell, but I have taken a break to write an unrelated novella with a working title of the Monster. My current plans have the Maxwell Huxley series finishing after five books.
Whoo Hoo! Thank you, Michael. Five books. What an admirable goal. And your story is so familiar among writers. We have normal jobs but there is a story lying within us, screaming to be written. Good luck with your books and will definitely add them to my TBR list.
Now everyone, here’s a bit about Maxwell Huxley’s Demon.
Description: In MAXWELL HUXLEY’S DEMON, when nine-year-old Maxwell Huxley and three others break free from their mountain-top “school” for gifted children – a place where kids mysteriously vanish when they turn ten – a fantastical chase around the world begins. Pursuing answers and freedom, Max unintentionally creates a new world: a world where friends and family meet their demons, where artificial beings come to life, and where nanotechnology is indistinguishable from magic. Maxwell pays a heavy price to discover what he was bred for.
Isn’t that cover great!
After your order your book, don’t forget to pop over and say hello to Michael. You can find him at the following locations, usually with a pen and/or a laptop close by.
Michael’s Bio: In addition to writing, I work as a senior software engineer and solution architect. I have always been intrigued by software security, artificial intelligence, and expert systems. From this acquired expertise came the idea to write MAXWELL HUXLEY’S DEMON.
- Special Saturday Post: Maxwell Huxley’s Demon (kristinastanley.net)