Today I am absolutely thrilled to launch a new series of Author Interviews that will embark with Michael Reisig, who recently released A Far Road to Key West (my review here), which as of July 13, 2017 is listed in the top one (1) percent of the books on Amazon.com. (And that is one uncommon feat!)
The man is nothing if not prolific! He has written sixteen books to date, most in an Action/Adventure genre, though he has been known to touch on sci-fi (which I’ve also enjoyed) and non-fiction. A Far Road to Key West is the seventh in the “Road to Key West“ series. Will Bell, one of the two main characters in the Road series, is a composite of one of his buddies, while the self-deprecating Kansas Stamps is the other. The thriller series carries a strong message of friendship, loyalty, and good-natured often humorous rivalries. The books are clean, well-written, well edited, and non-stop, fire-breathing action. Reisig also has three in the “Caribbean Gold“ series, which also carries his friendship theme. He consistently runs between 4 and 5 star ratings and his latest release has garnered an impressive 4.9 of 5 star rating. His covers are riveting and compelling and without further ado, I invite you to meet the modest, but talented Michael Reisig.
Please tell us about yourself:
I have been writing professionally for 20 years and to date have written 16 books. I am a former Caribbean adventurer turned newspaper editor, an award-winning columnist, and a best-selling novelist. My works have been optioned for motion pictures, sold to overseas publishers, and produced for ebooks and audio. I attended high school and college in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. After college, I relocated to the Florida Keys, established a commercial diving business, got my pilot’s license, and traveled extensively throughout the southern hemisphere, diving, treasure hunting, adventuring, and writing about my travels.
I can claim to have been thrown out of more countries in the Caribbean Basin than most people ever visit, and must admit that a great many of the situations and the characters in my novels are authentic (at least the ones for which the Statue of Limitations has expired) — but nothing makes a great read like experience…
How Much of Your Books Comes from Experience?
I suppose you’d say I became a writer because I had to. I had these tales inside of me that needed to get out. Some of them were mine, some belonged to others I knew, and some came from a place that I was graciously allowed to tap. I don’t think I considered writing a book until my late teens, but I was a teller of tales long before. I remember in the fourth grade, my teacher used to give me twenty minutes once a week, to tell a story to the class. I rarely had a subject preplanned. I simply relaxed, and the stories came. And so it is often today.
Truth is, for as much as I’d like to say this literary experience I go though is totally intrinsic, I’ve come to realize that a good part of these bursts of novelistic insight are simply not exclusively mine — sometimes, it’s more like someone sitting beside me saying, “let’s do it like this…” It’s both eerie and wonderful at the same time.
Nonetheless, I’ve had a really interesting life, and that, too, has helped. Much of the material in my novels — the diving, and the flying, the strange people and the foreign countries is derived from real experiences. You can’t really effectively describe being battered by a storm in a ship that’s going down, or crashing an airplane, or the mixture of fear and awe that comes with your first experience with a huge Hammerhead on the reef, or dealing with angry people and guns, unless you’ve been there.
In What Genres Are Your Books?
I write Action Adventure, because that’s what draws me most, but I also write humor, often woven into the adventure, because my old diving buddy, Bill Snell, taught me how important humor is in life. You’ll understand this better if you read “The Road To Key West” — the first of my “Road” books, much of which is true. My counterpart “Will” in all my “Road” novels is a composite of my friend, Bill. While we never really found treasure of the nature I write about, we certainly found enough in the way of artifacts and had enough wild experiences to make for many a barroom story.
How Much of Your Time Is Spent in Research?
As far as research goes, now I always research equipment, weapons, aircraft, etc., and the areas and the peoples of the places I write about, even if I’ve already been there, and even if I think I know the answer. Yes, I research! This latest novel (A Far Road to Key West) is a good example. (My review here.) I had heard stories from friends about the horrible prisons in Central America and the Caribbean (and had once found myself between a rock and a hard place regarding a prison in Haiti — they frown on people bringing in weapons illegally). But the one institution that stood out was Granja Penal de Pavón in Guatemala. I researched it and I had to agree, it had the terror of a Stephen King novel, so I used it in this last book.
Do You Use Beta Readers?
As far as Beta Readers (those who read the book before it’s published and offer suggestions), I probably have about five that I use consistently. Most people don’t understand how valuable pre-publishing or “Beta” readers are, and most folks have no idea how imperfect novelists generally are when putting a book together. These Beta readers are the rough sandpaper used on the hull of the craft before it goes to sea. The writer takes their corrections and suggestions, incorporates these, and sends the book to the final editors for the fine sanding. Any author who fails to use this process is likely to suffer a disappointing sail.
I am very, very grateful to these people, who give me their time to make my books as smooth as they are.
Have You Begun Thinking of Your Next Book?
As far as my next project, I’m only just beginning to give that some thought — “Soon come, mon,” as they say in the islands.
(Michael Reisig now lives in the mountains of Arkansas with his lady, Bonnie Lee, but he still escapes to the Caribbean for an occasional adventure. He can best be reached through his email: firstname.lastname@example.org – sign up for his newsletter!)
See Michael’s Amazon author page here:
Two additional Reisig book reviews here:
The Golden Persuader (sci-fi)
©2017 Virginia Williams