Leia asked Michael J. Sullivan:

Hi! I love your books, especially Hollow World. As an aspiring writer I was wondering when you got into writing and if you knew which book was the right book for publication?

Michael J. Sullivan Hey Leia,
I've always wanted to be an author, even as a kid. I used to type out stories on my sisters portable typewriter and then make covers out of construction paper and bind it all together with yarn. That being said, I never really thought it would be possible to do so though as I was terrible with spelling. In high school I would write stories for my friends and they coined the term "Sulli-speak" for words I had mangled beyond recognition. I kid you not I spelled evil wrong and it only had 4 letters!

I'd say any "serious" writing started when I was nineteen. At the time I was teaching myself to write by reading a particular author, and studying what he was doing and why. I had no intention on publishing those initial works...they were really just me teaching myself how to write.

At around novel number eight I thought I was pretty good and so I started submitting them. It didn't get picked up, nor did the next one, and so on. I eventually gave up figuring that none of them were "good enough" and I was just wasting my time. It wasn't until a decade later that I tried writing again. I did so only on the condition that I wouldn't try publishing, and instead just write something for myself and some friends. It was after my wife read the third book that she decided they really did need to "get out there." I told her I wouldn't jump back on the query-go-round, but if she wanted to - she could go ahead. At that point she took over all the submitting work to agents and working with publishers aspects. It's hard to say when a book is "right" for publication. The books I eventually broke in with were rejected by everyone, then accepted by a small press, and later self-published. Once it had a following we resubmitted them and this time they got a much different reception.

I guess the best thing I can say is submit a work, see what kind of feedback you get, but write the next one while you are waiting to hear...there is always difficult to know which books are "good enough" and which should be stuck in a drawer...but the more you write the easier it becomes to tell the difference.

Thanks for asking!

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