Michael Riley a.k.a Editor and Overall Badass General Manager and the guy who keeps it all rolling
Our Loss Anthology is about more than just creating an anthology. It was an idea turned into a collaboration and a way to understand writing, the publishing industry and how loss affects life every day. Bridging creativity and inspiration in the writing world, five people from all across America came together to create Our Loss. Hundreds of writers and authors have already submitted content and the deadline is just over a month away.
How did each member get involved?
Somehow, somewhere Aaron Pasker convinced five different voices to join the executive team (or as Aaron would say, coerced into joining) to edit, design, publish, and market a brand new anthology.
Here are six questions with Michael Riley our Editor and overall badass, general manager and the guy who keeps it all rolling–or “the guy who does stuff,” as he would say.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself: Where are you from? What do you enjoy outside of writing?
A: My name is Michael Riley and I currently live in Palm Harbor, Florida with my wife and two dogs. I wish I could fill this section with all sort of interesting and unusual facts about myself, but in reality, I lead a pretty mundane life. I ran a couple of marathons a few years back, but I’m not sure that could be considered fun nor would I ever suggest that anyone attempt it.
I can usually be found at home hiding from the world, on a beach with my dogs, or with my wife and close friends huddled around a dining room table playing endless rounds of spades.
Q: About your writing: When did you realize you were a writer or when did you fall in love with writing? Have you published before and where? What are your writing dreams and goals or what do you enjoy writing the most?
A: I used to write as a child through my teenage years, never with the goal of publishing and rarely with an intention to share anything with anyone. It was a way to pass time and an avenue to express my overactive imagination. Years passed, I married and raised a family, and writing was a hobby largely forgotten. It wasn’t until fairly recently when a close friend suggested out of the blue that we write something together that I rediscovered the agony of putting thoughts to paper. I currently have a novel underway and have developed a love for writing short stories and flash fiction, probably stemming from my notoriously short attention span. I have just started the submission process of several pieces.
Q: How did you hear about Our Loss Anthology and what made you get involved?
A: Aaron beta read a story I had written and asked if I had interest in submitting it to an anthology he was in the very early stages of putting together. A conversation followed centered around my thoughts about the project, and while I have no prior experience putting one together, I do have considerable organizational experience in a business setting. I guess he liked some of my ideas because the next day I found myself on the team.
I really don’t remember accepting the offer, and I am starting to think I may be here against my will. He keeps saying that he is a benevolent overlord, almost in a hypnotic, brainwashing sort of way, but I am starting to have my doubts.
Q: Do you have any advice for the writers submitting to Our Loss Anthology? Any advice to aspiring writers in general?
A: Be different. Take a risk. In a theme such as this, there are endless possibilities, yet the majority of people will offer variations on just a few basic ideas. Inevitably, many of those works will blend into each other and become more or less indistinguishable from the crowd.
My best piece of advice for submitting to this anthology, and for writing in general, is to think outside the box. Give your audience something they aren’t expecting. Also, develop your characters. Make me care about them and their struggle. A connection with a character will last much longer in my mind after I close a book than elegant prose
Q: Where can we find you and learn more about your writing and projects?
A: I actually don’t have an author site as of yet. That is something I will be changing soon.
Q: What is your favorite book, author or quote from a book?
A: I grew up reading Stephen King (I lived close to the library and would check them out and smuggle them home hidden in my backpack), still my favorite, went through a Tom Clancy phase, and recently started reading Chuck Palahniuk, of which I am becoming a fan.
Tune in next time for 6 questions with another team member