Paralysis – an interview with the author Michael Knapp

Hannah Jenkins

Tell us something unexpected about yourself!


I love to sing, and I’m kind of a karaoke fiend.




How did you get into writing?


I always read a lot as a child, but the first book that I remember really standing out to me as something different was “Cujo”, which I read at 8 or 9 years old. Ever since then, I have had a passion for both reading and writing. I let writing take a back seat while I was pursuing my culinary career, but it has stepped back into the forefront once again.




What are your top 3 books of all time?


Only 3? Wow. That’s an incredibly difficult question for anyone that is always reading or listening to books. Off the top of my head, three books that I can always go back to are; Steinbeck, “Of Mice and Men”; Stephen King, “The Stand”; and Neil Gaiman, “American Gods”. “American Gods” is new to the list within the last year, but it was a quick addition to my list of favorites.



Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?


I’ve experienced sleep paralysis a number of times, and it never fails to be a terrifying and panic-inducing experience. I thought about what could happen if there was more to it than just the current medical definitions, and “Paralysis” began to take shape.



How long did it take you to write this book?


From the first three drafts, to editing, to final revisions, Paralysis continued to evolve, and the process took about 2 years.




Have you got any writing rituals?


I tend to write in silence, with the exception of my dog snoring next to me. I know that other writers enjoy music, but I have always been a lyrics and vocals fan, so I tend to get distracted too easily. When I’m first getting into the story, I aim for 1,000 words a day, every day. As I get further in, I push it to 1,500 to 2,000 words a day.



How important is marketing and social media for you?


As an independent author with no real budget for advertising, marketing and social media are pretty much all that I have at my disposal to get my work out there. Getting your book in front of people that want to read it is one of the hardest parts of the process.



Do you read your book reviews?


I do, and it’s likely that I always will. If someone took the time to write a review, it means that they felt something strongly enough to put into words, good or bad.




What advice would you have for other writers?


Don’t try to be your own editor. Edit to the best of your ability through at least two drafts and a polish, hand your polished work over to someone else for a professional edit, then edit again. Also, “On Writing” by Stephen King, is one of the best books on the subject that I have read.



What are you reading now?


I just finished “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running”, by Haruki Murakami, and have “Gwendy’s Button Box” by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar, along with “The Handmaid’s Tale”, by Margaret Atwood, in my bag for a trip over the next three days. I’m a fast reader.


What’s your next step?


I’ve started three additional stories at this point, and one has finally caught my full attention. I don’t know that I’ll ever be fortunate enough to file my taxes with “writer” as my sole occupation, but whatever else I do, I plan to tell more stories.





Follow Michael on Twitter @knappma78

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