Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Three Strikes and You’re Dead

My guest author today is Mike Draper, a former retirement plan specialist whose main clients were state and municipal police departments. During his forty year career, he heard a lot of police stories…

Where did the idea come from for Three Strikes and You’re Dead?

With certain baseball teams buying the highest priced players and usually dominating the sport, I wondered what would happen if someone wanted to help the little guy, the low budget teams. I also thought that with baseball being America’s number one sport, what if terrorists struck against baseball?

What genre does your book fall under?

Mystery & thrillers.

Are you character driven or plot driven?

I would say it’s plot driven but with a strong emphasis on the characters. The plot was the first idea but fitting the characters to that plot was an interesting challenge. If I had a murderer, I studied on the traits of a person who could become someone who would murder innocent people and feel a thrill about it. I also wanted this person to be gullible and could be manipulated by a cunning person who was the force behind the murders.
Is your book self-published or represented by an agency?

It is self-published, because I have lung cancer. I didn’t want to go the agent rejection process. My first novel – Splattered Blood – took over eight years before I decided to self-publish.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was the family storyteller in a family with nine siblings and over forty nephews and nieces. I also was an English major in college and always had a keen interest in reading and gradually developed the goal to write my own novel. When I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, I found writing was a positive step that kept me motivated.

What advice do you have for your fellow writers/authors about self-promotion and its importance?

Look into many publishers and realize that you get what you pay for so if you aren’t good at marketing, you’d want that in your publishing package. I would also advise a person to do a Google search to see if there are any complaints about a publisher before choosing.

What kind of books do you read when taking a break from your writing?

Mystery and suspense.

What is especially near and dear to you?

My wife, Diana, the love of my life for 48 years. She is a wonderful caregiver and companion. Diana keeps me motivated and shares in my joy of publishing and discussing books. She is currently in two book clubs.


I graduated from St. Michael’s College in Vermont and have a Master’s degree in teaching. I was in ROTC and spent four years in the Air Force, leaving as a captain. Thereafter I was a financial planner for over forty years, selling retirement plans to state and municipal employees. Many of the scenes in my books come from my experience with the law enforcement friends. I would also ask their advice to be sure a scene was realistic.

Selling retirement plans to state police officers enabled me to hear many interesting things that a police officer might experience. I am also an Amazon book reviewer so understand how to analyze character development and plotting. The third thing is that I know how to tell a story that would be interesting and captivating.


Three Strikes and You’re Dead is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris where copies can be obtained by calling 1-888-795-4274 ext. 7879. My web site is www.michaeladraper.com

Monday, 6 October 2014

Blog or Puppy - Is there a choice?

There are several reasons my blog has lain dormant for two months:
Karma born ~27 June 2014

1. I got really busy with [paid] editing jobs.

2. We went away on vacation.

3. Our basement was destroyed by a blocked septic pipe while we were away. The workers just arrived this morning to pack everything and put it in our garage. Insurance is covering - whew!

4. I was depressed about #3 - lost a good friend of 28 years. She wouldn't admit she knew what happened. Let's leave it at that. This after losing my best friend in the spring. Loss of trust is a deal breaker for me.

5. We adopted a gorgeous puppy who is full of energy and keeps us both hopping from about 5 a.m. until bedtime (around 9 p.m. now).

Friday, 1 August 2014

Reinventing Yourself: It's Never Too Late!

Claire Cook is a hybrid author: she's been published by legacy (mainstream) publishers and is also self-published. She is a member of a new and growing club among authors: she's given up her legacy publishing and is now thriving as an Indie author. Her current title - Never Too Late: Your Roadmap to Reinvention - is selling briskly on Amazon with 3.9/4 rating by reader reviewers.
Claire is the bestselling author of Must Love Dogs, which was turned into a movie starring Diane Lane and John Cusack. Claire was forty-five when she penned her first novel and fifty when she walked the Red Carpet at the movie premiere of her second. Talk about reinvention!
But, let's let her tell her story in her own words with an excerpt from Never Too Late:

I love happy endings, so nothing would give me more pleasure than to tell you that once you finally arrive at your reinvention destination, all your dreams will come true and you'll be living on easy street, set for life. Because that's where I am now, on the other side of that magical finish line. Boyohboy is my life perfect, and I can't wait for you to join me here in reinvention paradise. We'll have drinks! We'll chat about our stellar lives!
But I owe you the truth, and the truth is it doesn't work that way. There will always be challenges and, likely as not, they'll get even bigger. As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, "The only thing constant is change." Just when you're getting comfortable, the destination you've happily arrived at can suddenly start shifting under your feet.
That's what happened to me. I was cruising along, represented by a powerful literary agent from a mighty agency that I both liked and respected, published by a series of big New York publishers that believed in my books and helped me make them better, and receiving advances for my novels that were substantial enough to live well on.
And then the publishing world began to get rocky, just like the music world and the newspaper world and so many others had before it.