Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 2:25

Beautiful Shining People | Imagining the future in conversation with novelist and author Michael Grothaus

Michael, I am such a fan of your work as a journalist and SAS and novelist, and I'm so happy that you are here on Swell with us and so excited to talk about your latest novel, Beautiful Shining People. Thank you for being here

#authorinterview #novels #speculativefiction #journalism #tech

Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 0:59


And your first novel is about a woman who talks to God and their secret connection and is a psychological thriller, which was super fun. And now we have beautiful, shining people, which is speculative fiction. I admire writers so much who are able to do so many different things with their craft. Could you tell us a little bit about how you started out and also how you ended up how that journey and your work has led you to writing your most recent novel?
Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 1:11


And I think it's such a beautiful theme and topic to discuss, because I think about failure often as a form of resistance to societal norms or oppressive cultures or expectations, which is partially why I love talking and writing about it and thinking about it. Could you speak a little bit to how failure or rejection has informed your own life and experience, either as a writer, creative artist and human being?
Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 1:00


I'm curious if it felt like a completely new challenge with each book, or if there was any sense of a deepened confidence or feeling of knowing what you were doing by this latest novel, or if really each book had its own set of challenges and it felt like kind of starting from the beginning. What have you learned from each of these and how have they impacted each other? And do you have any advice for writers, whether they're just starting on their first book or onto their third?
Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 1:17


We would love to hear anything that's kind of on your heart and mind upon the upcoming release of Beautiful Shining People. Congratulations again on another really interesting, exciting book. I am so excited to share it with my own reading and writing community and really looking forward to listening, listening and learning from you. Thank you
Michael Grothaus
@MichaelGrothausΒ Β·Β 0:04


Well, thank you for having me. I'm so happy to be here on Swell
Michael Grothaus
@MichaelGrothausΒ Β·Β 4:11


Ah, sure. I started out on my writing journey by going to film school. At the time, I thought that was the best way to tell stories, but I quickly grew tired of the film industry. I learned that the ability to tell the story you want to tell in the way you want to tell it in Hollywood is extremely constrained due to the cookie cutter process they tend to make most content with
Swell Team
@SwellΒ Β·Β 0:15

Welcome to Swell!

Michael Grothaus
@MichaelGrothausΒ Β·Β 2:11
Sure, you need talent to succeed, but even those writers with talent are rejected and face failure after failure, sometimes for years or even decades, before they get their work published. Most novelists who are now household names faced years of rejections from agents and editors and publishers before their books made it big. And these writers only succeeded because they didn't let this thing of failure stop them from chasing their goal
Michael Grothaus
@MichaelGrothausΒ Β·Β 3:00
The ironic thing is, of course, this viewpoint of not being concerned about the reader actually ends up being in service to the reader. They benefit from it. And that's because the most interesting, unique stories come when you write from your heart, which is what you do when you don't write to make readers or agents or editors or publishers happy
Michael Grothaus
@MichaelGrothausΒ Β·Β 1:40
So though if I could end by giving one other bit of advice, it's this. So never kill your creative energy by rambling on about your project to others before it's finished. Save that energy for the page
Bowie Rowan
@bowieΒ Β·Β 2:43

@MichaelGrothaus thank you!

Michael, the timing of this conversation and me listening to your responses couldn't be any more magical for a variety of reasons that I won't bore you or anyone with other than to say how you talked about how your personal experiences, not only in work but as someone moving through the world and how it's informed your novel. Writing was such a reminder to me to trust in the process and trust in what I'll call kind of like checkmark moments