Amazon.com Talks to
The Online Transcript
Amazon.com: How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or
do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
MC: Prior to writing full-time, I was the Documentation Manager and
Technical Writer for Datastorm Technologies, the
developers of Procomm Plus. Although I enjoyed it,
technical writing can be dry I much prefer adding humor and opinion to my
Each book I write is designed for the same purpose: it fully explains a computer subject so that
the reader can avoid mistakes, save money, and do the job right the FIRST time.
Amazon.com: What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a
strong influence on you or your writing?
MC: My personal favorite author is Samuel Clemens, and his works have
influenced everything I've written. Someday, I'd like to say that my writing
shares his natural style, without the excess verbage
that so often fills computer books these days. His humor was unique, and I
never grow tired of it.
Amazon.com: Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours
a day do you devote to writing? Do you have a favorite location or time of day
(or night) for writing? What do you do to avoid or seek! distractions?
MC: I devote five to six hours a day writing. For me, writing is a
very focused experience, but I always enjoy classical music and I have a large
collection of over 1200 audio CDs.
I tend to write continuously, but after I finish
a chapter I usually play one of my classic arcade emulator games, like Ms. Pacman or Joust! It's part relaxation and part reward.
Amazon.com: Do you meet your readers at book signings, conventions, or
similar events? Do you interact with your readers electronically through e-mail
or other online forums?
MC: I have really enjoyed the book signing sessions I've done, and I
have met readers at conventions. I always welcome comments from readers in
email, and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amazon.com: When and how did you get started on the Net? Do you read any
newsgroups, mailing lists, or other on-line forums? Do you use the Net for
research--or is it just another time sink? Are you able to communicate with
other writers or people you work with over the Net?
MC: I've actually been online since 1983 or so, and I started running
my own BBS in 1984. My first book, RUNNING A PERFECT BBS, was devoted to this
great hobby... even with the virtual takeover of the Internet, it's still fun
to run a bulletin board. My BBS is
called The Batboard, and you can reach it on the Web
I first started to use the Internet for Archie
and Gopher work in 1993, and I do still use it extensively for research, online
gaming and Web surfing. I subscribe to far too many mailing lists. For me, the
Internet is my playground, and I've never been happier!
Amazon.com: Tell us about your hobbies, favorite places, where you've lived,
where you went to school, what jobs you have had, your last (or planned)
vacation, your favorite color/food/pet/song/movie, what books you'd take to a
desert island, what you intend to do before you die, or what you think of just
MC: Interesting and fun facts:
I've seen THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW over 1000 times, and I emcee'
the film about four times in my town every year. My favorite pinball machine is
KISS in fact, I bought one for myself! Ive visited Britain, Mexico, Norway
and Canada, and plan to
travel to Ireland and Germany
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