Friday, September 27, 2013

An interview with Mickey J. Corrigan, author of Geekus Interruptus

Marcy Margate has it all: she's young, rich, and built like Barbie. She isn't the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but the girl's got sass and spunk to spare. Plus, she's sizzling hot. When her marriage to a real live genius starts to dim and grow cool, however, she's tempted to fool around with the horny neighbor. It would be so simple just to revert to her former loose, single-gal ways, so easy to take the sleazy way out.
But Marcy loves her husband, even if Jess Margate is from the planet of the nerds. She decides to play it smart for a change. Using spyware and creative strategy, she plots to find out why her geek has been interruptus. Armed with the latest in miniature technology, Marcy plans to uncover the cause for the downtime in their love life.
A modern romantic comedy of hot errors and hotter apologies, Geekus Interruptus is a story for our time. Because these days, nerds rule. And geeks have guilty pleasures too, some quite different from our own.

Hi Mickey.  Welcome to Read Your Writes Book Reviews.  Please introduce yourself.

Hi Kim. I'm talking to you from sunny South Florida, where I live with my husband (also a writer) and son (a college student). My writing career began in grad school in Boston when I wrote my first textbook. I loved writing—it sure beat working a regular 9 to 5 job! So I found a writing job at Harvard in their School of Public Health, where I wrote a number of books (and tons of articles) on health. After that, I co-authored a cookbook with the chef at the White House. Then I wrote a book about artists with psychoneurological disorders, one about people healed from illness via otherworldly intervention, and other mass market titles. I wrote educational books for kids, published poetry and short fiction.  A few years ago I wrote my first romance novella, DREAM JOB, which was published by Breathless Press. It was so much fun, I've written quite a few more since.

What genres do you write?  What’s your favorite genre to read?

The romance novellas I've published so far are paranormal (DREAM JOB), crime/suspense (BABYSHARES), and romantic comedy (PROFESSIONAL GRIEVERS, ME GO MANGO,  GEEKUS INTERRUPTUS). Personally, I like dark humor so that's my favorite style. A little bit noir, with an edge. My first novel is like that. SUGAR BABIES is coming out in November with Champagne Books. It's set in the world of high end professional girlfriends, and is a sexy thriller. That one was fun to write. I'm hoping it will be fun to read. I also have a novel in press with Bottom Drawer Publications, a coming of age story for the New Adult market. Great genre, I love writing for that age group.

As for reading, I am eclectic in my choices. I love books! I'll read almost anything in any genre, if it is well written. Literary crime is a favorite. I'd love to read a New Adult literary crime book, if anyone knows of any…

What’s the life of a writer like?

The pros include working in a ripped pair of shorts and bare feet; being creative all day long; and having a blast communicating with other writers and fun readers. The cons (for me, at least) include living like a starving artist with a depressingly low income. Oh well, you can't have everything! I've been in the business a long time and it has become harder to make a living as book prices have dropped significantly. On the other hand, now you can switch genres easily, you don't need an agent, and you can communicate so easily with readers. Plus, there's always the chance you might get lucky and readers will find—and fall in love with—your work.

When Mickey J. Corrigan isn’t writing, what is she doing?  Does she have another job?

For many years, I've worked as a professional editor and ghostwriter. Most recently, I worked on a memoir for a woman with mercury poisoning and a diet book with the owner of a chain of weight loss clinics. I've edited memoirs, nonfiction books, poetry, short fiction, and novels. I love editing. It's so much easier than writing, and the pay is guaranteed!

On the side, my husband and I buy, fix up and sell the homes we live in. With two writers in the family, we need another source of income. People love to move to South Florida, so the housing market is pretty good here. My son has lived in six houses so far and he's only eighteen.

Your book GEEKUS INTERRUPTUS has just been re-released.  Tell us about the book.

GEEKUS INTERRUPTUS is a sexy, fun farce about a hot woman who is married to a genius. He's been neglecting her in the bedroom, so she thinks about returning to her bad girl ways, especially when a horny neighbor presents her with the perfect opportunity. But she decides instead to spy on her husband, who she really loves, and see if he's having an affair. She married a man she believed would never cheat. Geeks just aren't like that--or are they?

Marcy has a lot of spunk, and Jess is very appealing. I loved creating a wacky little mess for them to try to get themselves out of.

GEEKUS INTERRUPTUS was re-released, because you have a new publisher.  How do you go about finding a publisher and why did you choose to not go the self-publish route?

I considered self-publishing the book. But I knew that I just didn't have the fan base to create enough of a readership on my own. I'd been working on other projects in press with Bottom Drawer Publications, so I asked them if they would look at Geekus. They loved the book and did an amazing job with a quick turnaround. New (really cute) cover, quick copy edit, and boom, the book went back on the market. They also cut the price from $3 to $1.49. The original publisher, who closed up suddenly with no warning, had overpriced this little novella.

We’ve briefly talked about the price of books.  I don’t want to make the mistake of speaking for everyone.  But in general, readers don’t understand the publishing world and prices or how you determine how long to make a book.  For instance, if a book is 30 pages long, readers aren’t generally going to want to pay $3.99 for an ebook.  Can you shed some light on the whole process for us?

As the author, I don't know exactly how my publishers price their books and I have no say in that. But I do know that publishers have to pay a significant chunk of the cover price to the third party retailers (like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.), so they can end up with no profit if they don't price right. After all, they also have to pay their editors, cover artists, marketing staff, rent and taxes and all the other overhead. The bigger publishing houses can afford to toss out free or very inexpensive books because they will make up for their losses with their blockbuster hits. The small indie presses can't do that. They need all their books to sell--just to stay afloat.

When I saw your readers' comments, I really thought about the pricing issue. Because I agree that 99 cents seems to be the kind of price today's readers are willing to pay for a short book. Lots of books are available at that price, or for free. This can be good as it encourages reading. It's also bad because a lot of people just collect low-price books and store them without ever reading them.

Free and almost free books devalue the product. This is threatening the book industry as we know it. If the industry underprices or gives away too many books, soon enough the publishers will fail and the only option for writers will be self-publishing. Yes, it makes some writers successful and wealthy, but only a very few. And self-publishing costs money, it's demanding, and can prove to be a full-time job. The self-published writers I know complain they can't afford to hire an editor, and they are so busy publishing they have no time or energy to write.

I love working with the independent digital presses. At no cost to the writer, indie publishers provide really excellent editing (even us editors need editing, believe it or not!), great cover art, and marketing assistance. Authors then make money on the back end. On a book that sells for $1.50, I might take in 40 cents per copy. Gotta sell a lot of books to make enough to pay the phone bill!

So I hope readers will pay a dollar more for their books to ensure that they get a professionally edited, professionally packaged product. Our participation can help to keep the publishing industry alive. This provides writers with publishing options, and readers with quality products.

Thank you for the explanation.  What else do you currently have in the works?

In November, SUGAR BABIES, a sexy thriller, will be released by Champagne Books. Bottom Drawer Publications is publishing another romantic comedy, the novella NORMAL, as well as a coming of age novel.

Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me Mickey.

Thanks for asking me. I appreciated hearing what your readers thought about the price of my novella when it was $3. I agree with them that this price was way too high! I hope $1.49 is a better price for everyone.

GEEKUS INTERRUPTUS can be purchased from Amazon

You can see Julie’s review of Geekus Interruptus here.

Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan lives and writes and gets into trouble in South Florida. The tropics provide a lush, steamy setting for hot romance and Florida pulp.
Mickey's stories have appeared in several anthologies and online publications. Novellas include the cyber romance Dream Job (Breathless Press, 2012), which has been compared to The Matrix and the Twilight Zone; Professional Grievers, a romantic comedy that highlights love affairs at funerals and wakes (Breathless Press, 2013); BabyShares, a quirky financial crime romance (Secret Cravings Press, 2013); Me Go Mango, which combines girls gone wild with some delicious mango recipes (Champagne Books, 2013); and Geekus Interruptus, a hot marital farce for smart adults (Bottom Drawer Publications, 2013). Sugar Babies, a novel, is a sexy thriller (Champagne Books, 2013). The Ghostwriters (Bottom Drawer Publications) is a unique coming of age romance.

Places to find Mickey J. Corrigan:

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  1. This one sounds like a great read, and I like how the interview was a little more in depth than the usual ones ya know? Adding this to the tbr pile!
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. Thank you Kimberly. Mickey and I had some back and forth conversation about pricing before and we both really wanted to have people understand it.

  2. This book has been on my radar for a while. I love the title and the idea that the geek gets the hot girl. I think I like the original cover better though. :)

    1. Hi Judith.

      Thank you for stopping by. You're right, the title of the book sounds good. But as far as the cover goes, I like the new one.


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