Friday, August 23, 2013

Max Elliot Anderson Stops By The Book Loft

Welcome back Max! Congratulations on your story contribution to Chicken Soup for the Soul, From Lemons to Lemonade. Is there a story behind the book?

Editors say this book, “Will inspire, encourage, and motivate you to turn any sour situation into a better one with its 101 personal stories from others who turned a negative into something positive.”

This was a nice writing project because it gave me the opportunity to tell how I came to write adventures and mysteries for kids. It’s a classic story of how when one door closes, another opens. We just have to be ready to walk through that door and embrace the opportunity. In my case, a career of professional video productions, for a stable of industrial clients, came to an abrupt end soon after the attacks of 9/11. Still, I never would have guessed that the new door would open to writing books for kids. The title of my story is, Who Would Have Thought?

What’s the last thing you wrote?

The last thing I wrote is a true story for a proposed anthology about miracles and near-death experiences. My story is called, “A Scar to Remember.”

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

I like middle grade fiction the most. This is a fun age, but it’s also a little young for having to write about some of the more adult issues faced by a writer of books for young adult readers.

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

I believe writer’s block is very real for some people. There are even some well-known authors who speak of writing as nothing but pure agony. Personally, I’ve never encountered writer’s block, and there are a few basic reasons why. Before each story, which always begins with a title, I tell myself the story into a small recorder. I used to tell my kids lots of original stories when they were growing up. So now, I visualize telling them each of the new stories that later become manuscripts. The notes are typed and put away and never consulted until the first draft is finished. This allows the basic story to go through me two times prior to writing; once when I tell it, and the second time when I type the notes. It also gives me a beginning, a middle, and an end. There are lots of other surprises along the way, but at least I can start out with a road map.

Do you type or write by hand? Computer? Typewriter? Legal pad?

I prefer to work at a PC, in my writing room, with the door closed. This includes a lot of props for the story, a burning candle, and a few other rituals that help get me in the mood for each scene. I like to write winter stories when it’s freezing outside, summer stories when the weather is blazing hot, and I only write the scary scenes after dark.

Do you archive everything you write?

I do. Guess I’m just paranoid about losing original material.

What’s your favorite thing that you’ve written?

That’d be a little like asking which is the favorite of my children or of my two granddaughters. I like each child for who and what they are, as individuals, and I like each piece I’ve written for similar reasons.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?

I try to focus on only one project at a time. When I commit to a short story, full manuscript, or magazine column, that is my single focus until the first draft is finished. I won’t start something new while working on another project.
Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?

Not at all. Sometimes, when I’m writing a scene, my fingers can hardly keep up with what I’m seeing in my head. The last things I want to be thinking about at that time are proper grammar or punctuation.

Does music help you write?

Most of my life has been involved in film production, video programs, television programs, and TV commercials. In all of those, music has been of primary importance. That’s probably why I have always listened to mood appropriate music for each scene I’m writing. I carry this idea into my classroom presentations where the students close their eyes, listen to a piece of music, and then tell me what they see. I find music to be a great motivator in writing, in setting the mood, and, again, in helping to fight against writer’s block.

How do you find the time to write?

Since writing is my near-fulltime work, it’s less of a problem than for others who might have other work or young family responsibilities. But writing is probably the most enjoyable work I’ve ever done, so finding time to do it isn’t that hard for me.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

I have contracts for 10 more middle grade adventures and mysteries. Of these, three are nearing their release dates.

“The Secret Tunnel” This is the first of 6 books for educational publisher, Chestnut Publishing in Toronto. Along with 5 others, it’ll be sold to schools and libraries. This book teaches kids honor, and the importance of a good name.

“This Property is Condemned” This is the 4th book in the Sam Cooper Adventure Series from Port Yonder Press. It involves crooked developers trying to take away an old woman’s crumbling mansion. Sam and his friends decide not to let that happen. In the process, they have to take on City Hall, county government, and less than honest developers.

“The Great Cave Caper” This is my 7th book with Comfort Publishing. It teaches about how greed can get a person in more trouble than they ever imagined. Three friends on a camping trip, go into a cave to keep two bank robbers from getting to their hidden loot.

Thanks for stopping by to share all your news with us!

Connect with Max Elliot Anderson at:

Max Elliot Anderson is giving away a copy of Chicken Soup For The Soul: From Lemons to Lemonade . To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You can enter the book giveaway twice—once on each Spotlight post for the author. Please note: The giveaway is for U.S. addresses only.


bonton said...

Love the Chicken Soup books!

Thanks for the opportunity to win one, Max.


cjajsmommy said...

I loved this interview. Max has such a different way of producing a book but it makes so much sense! I know one young man that would probably love his books. For now though, I would love to win the Lemons to Lemonade book. djragno (at) hotmail (dot) com

apple blossom said...

thanks for posting about this book

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Anonymous said...

I would love to win Max's new book. Sounds like a good one. Enjoyed this interview. Thanks.

Linda Kish said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. I love these books.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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