MICHAEL M. PACHECO
Born in the Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico, Michael’s parents promptly packed him up like precious cargo along with his siblings and moved to El Norte. Among the thousands of undocumented workers in the US at that time, Michael’s family was one of the few that could produce legal documentation if it was ever needed. Michael’s parents, his brother and five sisters drove northward to Washington State, never having been there before. Later, the family would grow to ten children. Six of the Pacheco children received Bachelor’s Degrees and two of them received Doctorates. Two of their children have PhD’s. The extended family numbers over 125 members.
Michael remained and established roots in the Pacific Northwest, graduating from Kennewick High School in 1971 and completing his Catholic education at Gonzaga University at which time he spread his wings and flew to Washington DC to start his legal education at Georgetown University Law Center.
While a student at Gonzaga he supplemented his income performing with a rock band back in the day when “Smoke on the Water” was still a new hit. This was a continuation of his rock days at KHS. He still recalls with fondness playing for a school dance in the KHS cafeteria. He later recorded two records (rhythm guitar and vocals) and was fortunate to get some airplay for one of them.
In 1977, Michael did a brief stint with the United State Marine Corps, completing basic training at the Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Soon thereafter, he decided to attend law school. Accordingly, he requested and was granted an Honorable Discharge.
During his legal studies, he caught the writing bug and began submitting articles to various legal journals. He was published in seven different magazine/periodicals. His specialty was Federal Indian Law.
As an attorney, he has served as a prosecutor, parole board member, and assistant attorney general for the State of Oregon. He now earns a living working as a legal assistant in a Salem law firm and as an author of fiction.
Michael has been married to Stacey Susanne for over twenty-four years, all in a row. Besides his full-length novel, The Guadalupe Saints, he has a novella, Seeking Tierra Santa (Summer Terror in Texas, which was released on May 14, 2011 (ISBN-13: 978-1460998472) after Michael won the Bookrix contest Get Me Published.
He also has two short stories to be published in the fall of 2011. Michael is currently polishing his fourth novel for publication. Interestingly, every one of his published works first debuted on Bookrix. He has done book signings local to his area and is scheduled to do a signing at Hastings Bookstore in Richland, Washington, where, he has been told, he’ll sit at the same table Sara Palin sat to sign her book.
Intrigued to read more? Here’s a little BookRix Q&A with Mr. Pacheco.
How many books or stories have you published? How have you published them?
I have two books that will be publshed this year, the Bookrix winner, Summer Terror in Texas, as well as The Guadalupe Saints. I also have a short story titled Nayeli's Nightmare, that was a top ten finalist in Bookrix's "My Best Fiction" contest. That short story will be published in the fall of this year 2011, by Label Me Latina/o, a new e-journal affiliated with, but independent from Georgian Court University in New Jersey.
Also to be published in the fall 2011, is my short story, Panis Angelicus. It will be appearing in the inaugural issue of The Gold Man Review (hard copy and online). The publisher requested its removal from any other website, so unfortunately you won't be able to find it anymore on Bookrix.
With The Guadalupe Saints, I followed the traditional path of sending out query letters and inquiries on publishers' websites. Just when I thought it was going nowhere (and having received tons of rejections), I got three different publishers interested in talking about buying the book. I got no takers from literary agents until after I had signed with Paraguas Books. Then, the Lori Perkins Agency wanted to talk but I politely declined the offer (though I did send them new material to consider).
As for the Nayeli short story, I was not really looking for a "Latino" publisher. It was mere coincidence that I came across the site of Label Me Latina, the e-journal, when I was web-surfing. I simply sent them a query letter with the story attached. Dr. Kathryn Quinn-Sanchez, Ph.D. is the editor who informed me that my story had been chosen for inclusion in the Fall issue of the journal.
How did you feel when you saw that you won the Get Published contest? Where were you when you found out?
I was ecstatic. I had placed in the top ten for the Best Fiction Contest as well as The Frightening Fiction Contest, but I had not yet won a contest until the Get Me Published Contest, so for me, it was a big deal. As a lot of Bookrix readers know, I work in a law office so I'm "hopping" all the time. When I got the news at work from Bookrix that I'd won the contest, I had to slow down and read the message more than once. What Fun!
What has been your experience with CreateSpace as a publisher?
Having only recently completed the preparation of my book, The Guadalupe Saints, with Paraguas Books, I don't have a lot of experiences to compare when it comes to publishing. But I can tell you this, the people at CreateSpace are very helpful and knowledgeable. The editors complimented me on my writing but they also criticized it where the book deserved the criticism. All of it was constructive. They are also sensitive to the idea that an author is an artist and as such, they try not to change the tenor of the work. In other words, they don't make your project "their" project. Emails and phone calls are prompt and responsive to questions posed. That sounds basic, but I believe it reflects well on their professionalism.
Why the pen name, landon?
When the Diary Contest was announced, I probably did what a bunch of other contestants did. I started imagining my entry. I began running through my mind what a typical diary would look like. In fact, one bookrix reader and I exchanged messages about maybe leaving in some typos, because a real diary would have those. However, in the end, the grammarian in me forced my hand to use proper English and full sentences (for the most part).
If you read my diary entry, Too Young For Murder, you'll see that Landon, the writer of the diary, never discloses his ethnicity, but I suggest throughout the entries that he is Anglo. The accused murderer is Latino. This was done intentionally so that I could play on that theme if the story was expanded into a novel (always thinking ahead). By using the name Landon, I "psyched" myself and got into the mood of writing the entries from the perspective of a young anglo man obssessed with a murder case and the culture of the Hispanic community.
Is there a writer you look up to?
Yes, there's quite a few. Among the living, I admire the writing of Luis Alberto Urrea as well as Philip Caputo and Sherman Alexie. From those that have passed, there are too many to name.
How did you get into writing?
I began writing during my high school and college years. Some people may be surprised to learn that English is my second language. When I began grade school, I spoke only Spanish. I studied Latin and Russian while in high school and used that knowledge to add flavor to my fiction writing.
What kind of music do you listen to most?
I listen to all kinds of music. The majority of it is pop, though I have been spending more and more time listening to the classics, Schubert, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and the like. In my college years, I was in a rock and roll band as the lead singer. I even recorded two records and got some airplay on the local radio stations.
Would you like to live in another time period? Which one?
Having been raised in our western culture, the concept of christianity has played a large role in my life. Thus, I think it's natural for me to wonder whether I would be a believer of Christ when he walked the earth or would I be a doubter. That time period intrigues me. I am working on my fourth novel, titled Titus of Galilee, set precisely at the time of the Passion, when Christ was crucified.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be a bestselling author? Who would you dedicate your bestselling book to?
That is one of my goals, to be a best-selling author of fiction. My dedications always tend to include my wife and I have no doubt they will continue to do so.
Have you ever included a real-world experience you’ve had into a story?
Actually, the short story Panis Angelicus (in BookRix) was inspired by a supposedly true event that happened to my father when he was a young violin player in Mexico. I suppose you could say that the storytelling was a real-world experience for me.
At what age did you start writing?
I was first published at about the age of 12-13, I can't remember exactly. I wrote a Christmas story and it was published in the local newspaper. I've never stopped writing.
How has writing changed your life?
Writing is part of what I do in my regular job, so I never really leave it when I go home, kind of like when I was in school. I wrote term papers for the teachers but I wrote stories in my dorm room for me. It has become an integral and therapeutic part of my daily routine, a fun one at that.
Do you have any offline supporters, readers or editors who review your work?
I belong to a writing group of eight writers, all fiction enthusiasts. We use the group as a forum to critique each others writing as well as to socialize. I really appreciate their input on a whole range of matters beyond the mechanics of writing.
How are your early works different from your current?
My early works don't have as polished dialogue as my more current works. I attribute that to a slow and gradual learning curve. I love to read, not only novels and short stories but instructional materials on the craft of writing too. My POV control is vastly improved from as recently as five years ago. Plot development will always be a challenge.
What was the best praise you've received so far for your work?
Perhaps the best praise I've received (and it's happened several times) is when people compare my writing to established authors, such as Tony Hillerman, who was a prolific writer on stories set in the southwest.
Do you prefer to write on the computer or do you use pen and paper?
I write mostly on paper. I then edit as I type the material into the computer.
What inspires you?
Almost anything and everything. I can be sitting in court watching a court proceeding and a full story runs through my mind. Sometimes when I'm mowing the lawn, an idea for a short story pops up and the grass gets only half-mowed.
Have you ever had writer's block? How did you overcome it?
I don't really get writers block that often. With me, it's usually the opposite problem, too much to put in written form of what is in thought only.
What genre do you prefer reading?
I'm into religious intrigue, suspense, thrillers, the John Grisham types. Dan Brown is a little on the fringe for me though I enjoy his work. I guess mainstream literary novels is also descriptive of what I enjoy reading.
What book are you currently reading?
Rain of Gold by Victor VIllasenor
Which author on Bookrix do you like to read the most?
Boy, you're putting me on the spot! But it's a direct question that calls for a direct answer, so I won't weasel out of it and say, "Oh, there are so many!" I like to read PaigeCarter followed by Felixthecat (Patrick) in a close second.
How did you first hear about BookRix?
It was by mere chance. I was looking for the New York Times website where you can read first chapters for free and somehow I stumbled onto Bookrix. (Probably the word "free" got me there.) I haven't left since.
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 13.06.2011
Alle Rechte vorbehalten