Bookish Ramblings · Chat and coffee

Chat and Coffee with Author Maxwell F. Hurley

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Hey fellow bookworms, Today I’m chatting with author Maxwell F. Hurley. His LIT series is available for purchase if you enjoy a fun supernatural YA story (check out my review).

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Let’s get the conversation going:

Me: 1. How do you structure your work, on a book by book basis or an overall plotline for the series?

Maxwell: How I structure my book may be a bit unconventional compared to most other writers. I’ve tried writing outlines, notes, etc., but that didn’t work for me.  The outline for the story is in my head. I have main points and situations I want to put my characters in.  The fun part is writing the story to connect to those scenes.  The series is scheduled for seven books.  Book IV is in the editing process now and I’m in the process of writing Book V.

Me: 2. Which has been your favorite book to write in the LIT Series so far?
Maxwell: Asking me which my favorite book to write was is like asking a parent who their favorite child is.   Each one is unique and has different challenges for the characters that it is so hard to choose a favorite.  The first book was exciting to write because I was establishing the characters and growing the relationships.  The second book was all about testing commitments along with the repercussions.  The third book put Alex in a situation to question if she is allowed to be happy with fear of what her life will bring to the ones she cares for. 
Me: 3. Is there a bit of yourself in your characters? Some traits that you share with them?
Maxwell: The character traits I use are taken from experiences in my life. A lot of the personality of the characters are snip-its from others or myself.  There is one interaction Alex has with one of the priests that I had during my military career.  I was asked my opinion by someone in charge and then I was yelled at for giving my opinion, it was one of those conversations that always stuck with me.  I wanted to make my characters real as possible, so if you know me, you can see certain traits of myself in multiple characters. 
Me: 4. Has your experience in the military influenced your books? Did you draw inspiration, Ideas from it?
Maxwell: The military is a great avenue for anyone to experience life. I think it is so important to travel outside your comfort zone.  People can travel to different locations, but won’t fully immerse themselves in the new surroundings.  I think people miss out by not doing that.  Authors write about what they know and, after 20 years in the military, I had no choice but to write stories in some of the places I’ve been.
Me: 5. Why a YA series instead of an adult one?
Maxwell: This is actually something people may not know. Initially, it was an adult series with a hard “R” rating.  I had actually written this without anyone knowing and after six months of sitting on the story, I finally got the courage to let someone read it.  He loved it, but he said I needed to tone it down… a lot.  I wanted to write a YA fantasy novel with realistic situations.  Then, the challenge was to write Alex with still having her mouthy attitude and other attributes, but describing it for a young adult. 
Me: 6. What do you think about how polarizing even the book industry has become lately?
Maxwell: The polarization of the Country is really quite disconcerting to me. My goal in my books is to not reveal to the readers what my political beliefs or viewpoints of current affairs are.  I think it is very irresponsible and arrogant as an author to influence young readers of my personal views.  I just want to tell a good story that all can enjoy.

Me: 7. Based on your experience what advice would you give to upcoming authors?

Maxwell: The only advice I can give to up and coming authors is prepare, prepare, prepare. Prepare your work.  My books were reviewed by five different editors and I still had people tell me they found mistakes.  Do not edit your own work.  Be sure to have multiple people read your work and accept all criticism.  No one wants to hear that his or her work isn’t as perfect as you thought, but it does need to be said.  Prepare for rejection.  I can’t tell you how many sleepless nights I had because it took me many months to be published.  I honestly felt like a failure.  I can’t tell you that you won’t either, but you may have to overcome it.  Prepare for reality.  If you get your book published, don’t think you are the next best thing.  The market is flooded with great stories.  There are so many different books out there, that getting local bookstores to carry/advertise your book can become quite difficult.  Even if they do, nobody knows who you are, so prepare to market yourself.  The best advice I can give, write for you.  Write the story you would pay to read.

Thank you so much to Maxwell for being so kind and granting me this interview.

image0Maxwell F. Hurley authored the young adult fiction series, “LiT.”   This supernatural series is set in modern times that tends to lean on mature themes.   He currently resides in the east-side of the state of Washington.

He grew up in the Upper Peninsula, Michigan before joining the United States Air Force where he retired after 20 years of service.  While serving, he conducted duties as military police, information management, and taught various courses as a training specialist. After serving in the far northern part of Greenland for a year, he was able to visit the Holy Lands such as Israel and much of the Middle East.

Maxwell’s novel series has received five star reviews from customers on Amazon with readers leaving positive remarks.  To keep up-to-date on all his upcoming projects, go to www.Facebook.com/MaxFHurley.

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As Always

Happy Reading

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