This week we caught up with Michael Needham to discover the specific inspiration behind his autobiography, and to get an insight into his upcoming project...
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I'm a 45 year old from the Scottish Borders.
I work for an energy company taking calls and I love to travel - I was actually on a cruise to Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scottish Islands when travel restrictions were starting to be announced and had to finish the holiday a few days early.
What first inspired you to start writing?
I began writing within days of discovering myself, as an adult, to be dyspraxic and dyslexic. My writing gives me some closure and acceptance of who I am and what I can achieve. Yellow Spaghetti has a wide appeal though and most of my readers just enjoy reading autobiographies. A significant amount of the book is about my own travel adventures.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I remembered that a friend of mine had used Rowanvale to get his book published and that was what prompted me to get in touch with them. I liked the attention to detail, and the proofreading process involved with publishing blew me away in terms of applying 'spit and polish' quality to the book.
It makes me proud to see that my book is currently rated 5 stars on Amazon and when it was released, in its category it was ranked number 7 in the Amazon charts.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
Autobiographies mainly around high achievement, books about historic cruise ships and travel. Fiction-wise, I like murder mysteries.
Which work are you most proud of?
Writing Yellow Spaghetti and getting it published has, to date, been my greatest personal achievement. I talk in my book about other personal achievements through work, finishing the London Marathon, my education and drama-related successes.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
It can be daunting when looking at your writing as a whole but it's easier to focus when you look at bite-sized sections. Focus on the chapter you are on, then the next one etc. What I was amazed about is, because my book is my own story I seemed to be able to write easily, things just came to mind without any issues. I never hand-wrote anything I just got the laptop out.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
There is a book called How to Survive on a Desert Island, I think that would be the most useful book to have in that situation!
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
The sense of pride, I think a lot about the achievement of this.
What’s next for you?
I have started writing my next book called Travelling in the Dark. This is about visiting countries with a dark present or past. I have been to most of the featured countries. I still have to go to North Korea, Cambodia and Vietnam though, to allow me to complete this.