Misha Burnett has little formal education, but has been writing poetry and fiction for around forty years. During this time he has supported himself and his family with a variety of jobs, including locksmith, cab driver, and building maintenance.
His first four novels, Catskinner’s Book, Cannibal Hearts, The Worms Of Heaven, and Gingerbread Wolves comprise a series, collectively known as The Book Of Lost Doors.
More information can be found on his website: https://mishaburnett.wordpress.com
Which authors have influenced you?
Mostly the New Wave Movement of the 1960s and 1970s. William Burroughs, Phillip Dick, Samuel Delany, Tim Powers, Tannith Lee. More recently, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Charles Stross.
Which are your favorite literary genres?
None of the above. I like books that break genre boundaries. Recently people have taken to calling that “slipstream fiction”.
What makes a book/story special for you?
The characters, plain and simple. I don’t care much what the story is about, what grabs me is who the story is about.
Where do you live? Did your hometown/country/culture influenced your story?
I live in St. Louis, Missouri, although I have lived all over the country, mostly in the Southwest. My culture is blue collar American—people who work with their hands and keep the machine running that keeps us all fed. It very much influences my stories. My heroes are people who face problems squarely and get things done, regardless of what anyone else is doing.
How long you needed for writing this book/for your first draft/ for your revision/editing process?
Each of my books took about a year to write, while working a full time day job. I don’t revise or edit or write in drafts. I start at the beginning, work through to the end, and then I’m done. What you see on the page is pretty much exactly as I wrote it the first time.
Did you hire a cover artist/editor/proofreader?
Nope. My roommate took the photos and I made the covers. I had beta readers who pointed out typos, which I fixed.
What have you learned while writing and publishing? Did unexpected things happened?
In the writing process a lot of unexpected things happened. I had no clear idea of where I was going with the story, and it kind of unfolded as I went. I didn’t even know that I had finished the series until about a month after I published the last book and realized that it was the last book.
Best piece of advice for first time writers?
Nobody cares about your book. That sounds discouraging, but it’s really not. It’s very freeing. I read a lot of posts from new authors asking “Will readers like this? Do publishers like that? Will an agent want the other thing?” The answer is nobody cares. There are seven billion people on this planet and most of them will go to their graves without ever knowing that you exist. Write for yourself, or give it up.
Where can readers contact you in the internet? Do you have a blog/website?
What are you planning to write/publish next?
I’m not. I’m doing a series of reviews of for a publisher’s website, focusing on what I consider to be forgotten classics of speculative fiction, and I’ve written a few short stories for various collections, but right now I have no plans to write another novel, much less a series.