Interview with Author Michael R Jenet
Michael R Jenet
I am thrilled to have interviewed author Michael R Jenet, who shared with us details of his writing life, his book ‘Trouble Comes In Threees‘, which will be released on 26th October 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.
Michael Jenet was born in Belgium and moved to the United States when he was seven years old. He is an eight-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force. A self-described “recovering corporate CEO”, he now devotes himself full time as the publisher for Journey Institute Press.
An international best-selling and award-winning author, his first two books were in the self-improvement genre: ASK: The Questions to Empower Your Life, and A Better Life. He lives in Colorado with his wife and family.
1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?
When the COVID-19 Pandemic started, I created a writing group with daily writing prompts to help keep peoples’ minds off what was happening. I wanted writers to post their responses to the prompts, so I began to post my own as a way of encouraging more people to do so.
The first time I wrote about DI Scotte I thought it was just a simple response to that day’s prompt, a one off like all the other ‘prompt responses’. Suddenly people began asking ‘what happens next’ and so, over time, I continued the stories whenever a prompt would inspire me. Every idea for each installment came simply from that day’s prompt and the books sort of wrote themselves.
2) How did you plan out the plot?
At first, again because this happened spontaneously and not quite planned, I was keeping itin my head. Then I began to jot down notes (about characters – what they looked like, who they were in the story, titles etc.) at the end of each ‘installment’ so that I would remember the next time I wrote one (installment). This was critical because I wasn’t writing the stories every day.
Each day’s writing prompt would elicit writing from me that often had nothing to do with these stories. It might be days or a week between writing an installment so having the facts close to hand helped. The plot itself for each book grew organically. With the first book I didn’t know how it was going to end until about 2/3’s of the way through.
3) When did you choose the title for your book?
It was only after prompting from family and friends that I gather these stories and put them into a book that I even thought about a title. Since I am a publisher I at least had the final say, though I actually had several titles and posted on Facebook and Instagram asking my readers and friends which one they thoughts was best. That’s also how we chose the book cover.
4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?
I always name my characters by ‘feel’. Most of the time I have an idea of what the character is like (looks, sounds, how they act etc.) and I try to think of a name that fits them in my mind. If a character is from another country I’ll do some research on names for people in that part of the world. Either way, I’m always trying to find a name that feels right to me in terms of each character.
5) Can you give us a hint to any sections that you removed?
I can’t say there were sections that were removed because these stories all started out simply as short prompt responses. If anything, in the re-write, I added things to flush them out a little bit even though I always wanted to keep the overall stories more short form than full on novel length. The decision to put the first three together meant I had to leave out the fourth one (which had already been finished) though that necessitated writing the fifth(which is almost finished).
6) What made you choose this genre?
The first ‘grown up’ book I ever read was a Dick Francis Mystery. I was hooked. I’ve always loved mysteries of all kinds and especially British Mysteries. Perhaps because my mother is English. I watch all the BBC and British TV Mystery shows and read as many as I can. To write in this genre as my first fiction foray just felt right.
7) How long did it take you to complete your book?
The VERY first prompt response was posted on July 9, 2020 and the last prompt response for the third story in this volume was November 18, 2020 so I suppose you could say three books in this collection were written in four months, though obviously it took three more years to publish but that was mostly not worrying about it until the pandemic was over and then getting nudged by family and friends to do it.
8) Can you describe your book in three words?
The chase begins.
9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Imposter Syndrome. Writing is a very vulnerable art. Words matter to authors and because they are our words it’s easy to compare ourselves to others. Writing is also a permanent art that once published is not easily hidden and to put oneself out there into the public eye with so much other material to be compared to is difficult indeed.
10) Why should our readers pick your book up?
Because of the way this series was created, I wanted to make these stories fast paced, withmemorable – relatable – characters. Not overstuffed like some novels can tend to be with multiple red herrings and obtuse clues hidden not quite in plain sight. I wanted to create people the reader can care about and invite them to go along on the journey of the stories with them succinctly and excitingly to the conclusion which hopefully wasn’t too obvious from the beginning. If that appeals to your readers, I would invite them to pick it up and see how I did.
Publisher – Word Binders Publishing
Pages – 248
Release Date – 26th October 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8987506653
Format – Hardcover
Someone has been killed and the murderer is leaving a trail of body parts all over England. Is a drowning victim a one-off, or part of something much more sinister? And a brutal killing captured on video launches the search for a deranged killer who enjoys their work.
One detective in pursuit.
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1) Do you have a writing buddy?
I have three pets (dogs) though oddly enough, as I began to put these stories into book form, I was given the third dog as part of an organization in Colorado called Bodhi Battalion that matches service dogs in training with Veterans. As such, I began a year long training with my (now) constant companion, Minny the Super Dog (Her name is really just Minny but I happen to think she is a super dog).
2) Do you have any writing quirks?
I’m not sure I would say it’s a quirk, though I do need to be able to focus. That doesn’t mean silence (I often use music of various types to set the mood for whatever scene I happen to be writing).
I often would write late at night, however, because that’s when the rest of the house was asleep and peace would reign. Though I also sometimes wrote during the day when the house was empty so that too varied.
3) Where do you write?
When I wrote my first two books (non-fiction) I wrote all over the house, typically in places where no one was, so it was quiet. Now, I have an office where I do almost all of my writing and where these stories were written during the pandemic. My desk is an Autonomous ergonomic self-rising/lowering desk which is far too messy to show you. I will, however, give you a photo of my back wall with some bookshelves and the printed sayings I have plastered all over.
4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?
I think I’d play the Southampton Coroner in the opening of book 2. He only has two or three lines, and he interacts with the main players in that scene so it would be fun. Plus he’s mostly in SOCO garb so no one would know who I was. 😊
5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?
“WHO do you think you are?” said the Owl, “WHO writes three books into one and doesn’t include a single animal as a pet to one of the many characters? ”Flapping his wings the Owl continued, “WHO would conceive of having a location in the United Kingdom where animals abound, and especially in the southern part of the country and yet exclude animals in the story? “Perhaps,” the Owl pondered, “you are someone WHO doesn’t like animals? Perhaps your purported claim to love dogs is, dare I say, simply a dog whistle to throw those of us WHO love animals off the scent (pun intended)? ”The Owl puffed up its chest and prepared it’s mighty wings for flight. After spreading them wide and testing the wind resistance he turned his head right way round to look at me in the eye before taking flight, “You would do well to remember that there are those of us WHO read books only want to read books by authors WHO recognize the value and importance of all animals in the world, real or imagined.” And with that the great bird took flight into the darkening sky.
A big thank you to Michael R Jenet for sharing his writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.