Michael Young on Writing

Written By: Kellie - Jul• 08•11

Michael Young was kind enough to answer a few questions about his writing process and his new book ‘The Last Archangel’. Here. We. Go.

ReaWrite– Do you remember how the idea for The Last Archangel came to you? How long did you spend working out the details before you started writing?
Michael– The Last Archangel was less of a lightning strike and more of a gentle rain that pooled over some time. Some of my book ideas I spend a lot of time outlining, and some I just like to jump right in.  With this one, I jumped in after thinking about the concept for several months.

ReaWrite– You’re working with some very, very well established mythology, how did you decide what to take and what to leave/alter to make your story work?
Michael– Great question! I tried to avoid details that tied the story to any specific Christian religion, but rather tried to stick to details that a wide variety of people would accept. I also tried to pick some details that would be familiar to many people, like destroying angels, and tried to flesh them out in a new light. Destroying angels are talked about in the Bible, but not many details are given. That’s where imagination comes in, filling in details that make sense within the mythology.

ReaWrite– How long did the first draft take you to write?
Michael– The first draft took about a year.  I was going to school and working full time at the time, so it was a very slow process. I can write a first draft much more quickly now. Last year, I actually churned out a first draft in 50 days with the help of National Novel Writer’s Month.

ReaWrite– How many drafts did you complete before you started sending the book out to agents?
Michael– I went through two additional drafts before sending it to my publisher and then two drafts afterwards based on some of my editor’s feedback.

ReaWrite– Who else was involved in your editing process?
Michael– I had a personal editor, Mattie Tanner, who took one pass at the book and then I had an editor with my publisher, Meg Welton, who helped me make the final changes. My wife, Jen, provided a very helpful first read through as well. They all made it a fun process and really polished it up

ReaWrite– How long did it take you to hear from an agent? – How long after that was it before a publisher took interest in the book?
Michael– I went directly to the publisher that published my first book, “The Canticle Kingdom.”  It took them about four months to get back to me. In the meantime, I just went ahead with the other ideas I wanted to run with. I always tell people, don’t get into writing if you can’t stand the waiting game.

ReaWrite– Thanks again Michael for answering all this, it’s obvious it all paid off as you’ve got a great book to show for it.

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