Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies
Conclusion of Interview with Michael Mendoza
How long did it take you to complete this book?
I worked on this book for four or five years writing, re-writing, editing and re-writing again. I know authors who pump out a book a year, but that isn’t me. But it does take some self-discipline to keep at it. My friends would sometimes make fun of me saying, “Are you still working on that book?” But I just couldn’t make myself stop writing it. It was too much fun.
How much research, if any, did you have to do for this book?
Well, I did not keep track of the hours I spent in research, but it must have been hundreds of hours. I not only had to research what C.W. Rickard’s letter said to make sure he was accurate in his recollection, but I had to research much more about the Civil War. For example, he mentioned he put away the fife and picked up the rifle to fight. So I had to research what Union fifes were like and what music the fifers were expected to play. Then I had to find out what kind of rifle he picked up. Just that one sentence, therefore, could take hours to research. Thank God for Google.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
The names of the characters in this story came from the records of the 24th Iowa Infantry Company G. I did have to make up the names of some support characters like the runaway slave. I met a man whose ancestor was a slave before the Civil War and his name was Freeman, so I just adopted that in my story. I guess you can say that I get the names that are invented from people I meet along the way. In the project on which I am working at the moment, I sometimes look on line for a list of baby names. I just scroll through them until one hits me.
Do you ever become bored with what you are writing? If you do, how do you get past that point?
No, I have never become bored with what I am writing. I get frustrated sometimes because I don’t know what is coming next or how to express it. When that happens I just sit and write. If it turns out to be baloney, I just hit delete. But eventually, something pops up to help me out of my dilemma. I suppose the same would work if I got bored. I would just write until the feeling passed and something exciting happened in the story.
How do you manage to balance your time between family, friends, and writing?
I picked up a “Do Not Disturb” door hanger someplace. Usually, I write when my wife is at work. And I try not to work at night when she is home, but if I have an idea that I need to get written down without distractions, I just hang that on the door. If I am working on some part of the story that can wait, I stop and focus on my family.
Do you have any advice for writers who are striving to be published?
I think the only advice I can give is that writing and publishing takes longer and costs more than you anticipate. You have to send your work out over and over again. Be prepared to hear nothing back or at best get a rejection letter. I have this advice which is a quote from Winston Churchill.
Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
Sir Winston Churchill, Speech, 1941.
Thank you, Mr. Mendoza, for giving such interesting answers to the questions I asked.
If you would like a copy of Glorious Reality of War to read and enjoy yourself, I have provided an Amazon link below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Binion. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Binion for details.
Website copyright © 2013 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.