Mike Downs Interview

Passion is a sustaining element in my life. Passion for living, for producing good work, and for expanding my abilities. After a forty-year career of professionally racing sports cars, writing became a passion. As an avid follower of American history and early auto racing, I have combined the two in my novels.

What inspired you to write?
I needed a passion to replace racing. I had written magazine articles in the past and wanted to try and capture in words an era of racing and people I enjoy.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
It evolved over a long period of time.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I have a basic outline but I do not let it get in way of letting action and characters go where they want. As an example, in The Sounds of Deception novel, I had planned for the Nick Devin character to be the main focus. However, as the story and characters developed, Agent Keys asserted himself to take over that role. I liked the change and decided to let Keys have his way. He also gets the lead in a second novel, Agent Keys Steps Out, that will be out this summer. 

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
I work alone and have encouragement from my wife, who also does the editing and cover art.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Getting all the research I want.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
The satisfaction of seeing a scene in my mind's eye and being able to put it into words that are enjoyable to read.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am working on my 7th novel and eager to get to the 8th.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I study it to see if it has merit. If it is something I can learn by it's fine. If not, I discount it.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
My first job. The joy of making money, and the agony of delivering morning and evening newspapers.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Simplicity is the essence of design. That came from an instructor at school and has served me well over the years designing and building racing cars.

What is your favorite show on TV?

Favorite movie?
John Huston's Maltese Falcon

Favorite book?
Miller by Griffith Borgeson

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
The Wright Brothers
Harry A Miller
Thomas Jefferson
Lewis and Clark

Is there a talent you wish you had?
Play the Piano

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I ride a bicycle to work everyday.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Born to strive