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A New Collection of Questions & Answers about recent publications


by hilandmum

An interview with PhilipM

I read an earlier version of his story and I'm glad to see it will finally be published on April 3rd.

What is your recently published book and what it’s about?

The book is Khan's Game and my pen name is P Marcus Bernhardt. The background of the book is the assassination of Osama bin Laden by Members of SEAL Team Six. Al Qaeda has not forgotten. Ahmed Khan leads a hit team to the United States to kill the parents of SEAL Team Six members. Preston Pettigrew, a retired Marine, is a parent of a SEAL Team Six member who went on the operation. That makes him a target. A target who fights back.

What was the timeframe for writing this book?

It took me about three years. I was taking classes at WVU and submitting chapters to a couple of groups I was in. It eventually came together as a complete book.

How did you find your publisher?

My publisher is MuseItUp Publishing in Montreal. Lea Schizas came to one of the Wednesday or Sunday night chats we had way back then. I kept her information and, when the book was ready, sent it to her. She liked it and selected it for publication.

What/who inspired you to begin your writing journey?

My wife has always supported me through several schemes, so she was first. Two folks at WVU really got me on the right track. First was my initial mentor in F2K, Janet. She challenged me to write better and provided valuable inspiration.
Second, was Peej. She provided urging to keep writing the book. And, third, were all the wonderful members of WVU. The many who read several iterations of the same story and provided invaluable feedback. I can't imagine writing a book alone.

Where do you find your ideas?

Most come from the stories in the news. Many times, I read a story or hear it on the news and say "what if?" And there comes an idea. It might not show up immediately, but it's churning back there, somewhere.

How do you write?

I sometimes wonder that myself. I use a computer because I can't read my handwriting and wouldn't expect anyone else to read it, either.

Where do you write? Any places that inspire you?

I have a room over the garage that has been my office for years. Since I gave up working for a living, it's now my writing room. I guess you could call it inspiration - many of my ideas come to life when I'm walking the dog.

Favorite part of writing? Least favorite?

It may sound strange, but I really enjoy editing my drafts. It's enjoyable to turn really bad writing and questionable word choices into something someone might want to read. I think my least favorite part of writing is the time it takes from idea to finished product. I think I work for about $0.07 a day.

What keeps you writing?

It's enjoyable to put a story on paper. To sit in front of a computer screen and keyboard and see a story show up keeps me doing it.

Which do you find the hardest, the first sentence or the last?

For me, starting most any project is the hardest. I'm a pretty good procrastinator now that I'm retired and I can put off most things with the best of them. So the first sentence is the hardest.

What were your 1 or 2 biggest learning experiences or surprises throughout the publishing journey?

My biggest surprise was how long it takes to get it published once it's accepted by the company.

What are you working on now?

My priority right now is marketing Khan's Game. I'm also trying to figure out how to turn it into a series. To do that, I'm looking at which of the main characters would provide me with the most stories.

You can find Phil's book at MuseItUp and on Amazon  

Or connect with him by Email 


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