I’m delighted to be welcoming Michael J Sahno today who is chatting to us about his third novel, crime thriller Miles of Files.
Find out his inspiration, the scene he enjoyed writing most (and the hardest!) and more.
Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. He earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.
Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and has since written more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of topics. His work has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Entrepreneur, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, Money, Redbook and Woman’s Day.
Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ Hand, Jana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request.
Connect with Michael J Sahno
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Miles of Files in 20 words or less.
Dude finds out his boss is stealing from the company retirement plan. Mayhem ensues.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I once worked for a firm where the owner decided to “freeze” the company retirement plan for a year. No one could take money out or even put money in. The plan was ultimately closed, and we were able to get our funds out, but I always wondered whether the owner had taken any somehow.
What scene did you enjoy writing the most?
There are actually two flashback scenes, back to back, that I feel to be the best things I have ever written. They’re done in a kind of stream-of-consciousness style, which differentiates them from the rest of the text, but they have a beauty and power that seems like it’s quite possibly above my abilities. I’d say the original drafts of those scenes didn’t come from me; they came through me.
… and the hardest?
I struggled mightily with the resolution of the main storyline…for years, actually. I was literally stuck. It wasn’t writer’s block – I could write other things – it was more like pausing a video and being unable to “unpause” it. When I finally got the scene, it wasn’t terribly difficult to write, but I remained unsure whether it was the right solution or not. Most of the book was such a joy, it was difficult to be stuck in that spot for so long.
Did you do any research? What resources did you use?
Because the novel involves some degree of detailed knowledge of computer forensics, I had to do a ton of research. I used a variety of sources I found online for that. I also needed to do research related to the police procedural aspects of the novel, and I actually made a few calls to the local police department for that end of it.
How do your characters come into existence Mike? Do they have a bio?
I typically let everything happen organically, but for this particular novel, I did something a little different: I wanted to have tiers of characters like Charles Dickens did in Dombey and Son: primary, secondary, and tertiary. The tertiary characters are mainly commentators, who pass on information about primary and/or secondary characters. To ensure that each character was unique and different enough from the others that the reader could easily identify them, I went through the Myers-Briggs personality types and assigned them accordingly.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
I’d have to say John Gardner, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter S. Thompson, Balzac, Faulkner, & F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
Definitely not morning. My wife and I are both true night owls!
Do you make use of local resources for promoting your book Mike?
Definitely. I’m a big supporter of the library system, and have done events all around the area where I live. I even have an event lined up in my hometown next month, which will be the first time I’ve gone back to that part of the country for such a purpose. It’s great meeting new people, and it’s fun signing books for them. And in this case, I’ll be seeing some classmates from long, long ago! (always interesting seeing old classmates!)
Finally Mike, are there any tips you could share with new writers?
I think the main tip is just a reminder: writing is rewriting. I see these NaNoWriMo people online talking about writing a novel in a month, and I have to chuckle. I don’t know, maybe that works for certain genres. But if you’re striving to create a lasting work of art, you’d better buckle up and be prepared for a long, hard slog of years, not months. Even once you’ve got a good working draft, you still need to rewrite and edit extensively…and I say that from the perspective of someone whose first drafts are unusually solid.
Thank you for being my guest Mike.
Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 800 KB
Publisher: Sahno Publishing; 1 edition (10 Mar. 2017)
Paperback: 324 pages
In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn’t end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing.