When did you first realize you wanted to be a
I worked in the City of Tampa housing program and decided that some
housing employees could use a how-to book. I wrote a book on housing
rehabilitation, and the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment
Officials published it. That was the first of many how-to books related to
housing. They aren’t listed with my more recent books since it was so long ago.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on the book. Most of the how-to books take one to three
months since they relate directly to my personal experience and I have all the
information on hand. The relationship book took much longer because it’s a
complicated subject, and I was not as confident as I would be on how-to topics.
What is your work schedule like when you're
It’s always flexible. I usually have several things going at once, so I
have to stop writing to take care of other things. I don’t experience
difficulty stopping and starting my writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing
Probably my ability to stop and start writing at any time.
How do your books get published?
Except for my first book published by NAHRO, I publish all my books.
Where do you get your information or ideas for
The information for all my woodworking and handyman books comes from my
twenty-five years of experience in the woodworking and homebuilding and
remodeling business. The material for my relationship book also came from
personal experience in intimate relationships.
When did you write your first book, and how old were you?
I wrote my first book in 1976 when I was 37 years old. Housing
Rehabilitation: A Guide For Municipal Programs and NAHRO published it.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like to read, go on walks and sometimes work in my shop repairing or
What does your family think of your writing?
Other than my wife, Barbara, most family members express no interest in
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your
I learned many things, but the two most surprising were how I could
share my knowledge with others concisely and how difficult it is to sell books.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written ten books during the past ten years and another eight
during the seventies. I guess my favorite is Relationship because it is so
different from my others.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a
better writer? If so, what are they?
Read a lot. Learn all you can about writing—study grammar. Rewrite,
rewrite, and rewrite. Edit, edit, and edit. Have people whose writing skills
you respect read your work and comment and then listen.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Not as much as I would like. I do get good comments from my woodworking
and handyman books. Mostly they’re comments about how the information was
helpful and profitable. I got surprisingly good remarks from my relationship
Do you like to create books for adults?
All my books are for adults, and I prefer to write for them.
What do you think makes a good story?
Since all my work is non-fiction, there’s not much attention to a good
story. However, in my woodworking and handyman business books, I do share some
stories from life experiences.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew
I don’t remember. I started working construction with my dad at age 12,
and he was a taskmaster. My goal then was to leave his business. I managed to
do that at age 22 by going into business for myself. In my 30’s, I used my
construction experience to get an excellent job with the government for several
years and then began writing books and a newsletter about my experience. I also
did consulting for local governments across the country.
Any books in the works?
I’m considering a couple of rewrites to modernize the topics but no new
books at this time. I spend almost all my time now publishing books for other
authors. Since 2008 I’ve published about 100 books with my company Positive
Imaging, LLC, and am changing that to Mikael Publishing.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to grow my publishing business, Mikael Publishing. We provide
personalized publishing services to authors in all genres.