“Everyone has unknown talents,” says Michael Anderle, whose latest addition to his How to Be a Badass… series collection, How to Be a Badass Vigilante: Book One, follows recent college graduate Kera MacDonagh as she continues to unlock her own gifts … the magical kind.
Anderle was 47 when he discovered one of his own hidden talents: writing. Now, not only has he published more than a dozen sci-fi/fantasy series but he has expanded his publishing company, LMBPN Publishing, to include additional “like-minded indie authors.”
We talked to Anderle about his various enterprises and efforts to support other indie authors, his collaborative approach to writing, and Kera’s latest adventure in How To Be a Badass Vigilante: Book One. (You can read our review here.)
Q: How to Be a Badass Vigilante: Book One, the latest in your “How to Be a Badass…” series collection, takes an almost cinematic approach in its narrative, following a large number of characters connected to each other in one way or another. What about this style is appealing versus limiting the perspective to one central character?
A: There are series I’ve enjoyed over the decades that include this particular narrative style. Further, as an author, I enjoy providing the viewpoint of other characters in the storyline, following the narrative wherever I see the story going. The ability (for example) to allow the reader to feel the fear of the hero approaching is heightened when we see the action from the antagonist’s point of view.
Q: Over the past few books, readers have watched Kera grow as a witch and a vigilante. What can they expect from “How to Be a Badass…” in the future?
A: The third trilogy, which includes Kera, is How to Be a Badass Detective. Here, Kera has had to grow up and realize that offering help doesn’t mean she needs to do it by herself. She moves forward with others that support her efforts to create change. Future potentials include new characters and new skills. For example: How to Be a Badass Druid.
Q: You’ve published about 10 books in the last month alone! How are you able to accomplish this?
A: Similar to James Patterson, I create dozens of story ideas where I am focused on the characters and the situations. From there, I have teams that help me pull together the books.
Our reader base has asked for consistent delivery of series titles, so one of the ways we publish is to only publish when we have completed writing the first three books. Many of our fans are voracious readers and appreciate not having to wait long for the next book in the series to come out.
Q: What are the benefits of engaging in this type of creative collaboration? How do you select authors who are a good fit for your brand?
A: The benefits are emotional, creative and, of course, the ability to consistently deliver stories as requested by our fans! The emotional benefit is sharing my opinions on how to pull together stories that fans (LMBPN fans) wish to read. Sometimes there are “Ah-ha!” moments in my collaborators’ eyes when they have pieced together something that has previously held them back.
Working with others allows me to expand and write in various genres. While I am a fast writer, there is no way for me to accomplish writing all of the stories in the time frame our readers ask for.
While writing skill is important, I find the best collaborations are those with authors who become friends.
Q: What inspired your decision to launch LMBPN Publishing?
A: Within a year of publishing my first series, there was a large enough fan base to grow the business to additional authors.
I’ve always wanted to grow a company, and with the support of my wife (who was instrumental in building our marketing and branding), set out to build a company that would not just publish my books but would offer an opportunity for other likeminded indie authors to thrive.
Q: You are the founder and moderator of 20Booksto50K® on Facebook. Why did you launch the group and how do you help the indie authors who join?
A: As I began to learn more about the writing process and the business side of self-publishing, I joined various industry groups to freely share what I was learning. Some advice I had provided on my success to other authors was rejected mainly because critics could not believe that the indie success I was experiencing was possible.
So in 2016, I made an offer to those who wanted to focus on the business aspect of publishing to join the Facebook group I named 20Booksto50K®. The Facebook page was created specifically to help a group of indie authors (and fans) learn more about indie publishing. I expected four people to join. Eighty joined that weekend.
With 47,000+ members, there are thousands of posts focusing on the business aspects of publishing and hundreds of members who answer questions. Membership is free, and it’s intended as a not-for-profit information-sharing site, so we do not allow anyone to come on to promote any services, sell any books, etc.
Q: What would you hope readers take away from reading Badass Vigilante: Book One?
A: That everyone has unknown talents. Everyone is special and perhaps all one needs to do in order to maximize what makes them special is to learn by trying something they believe could be fun and interesting, and perhaps they will uncover a secret talent (or talents) they did not know they had.
For me, one of my secret talents is writing stories. I first figured this out when I was 47 years old … but I am always learning and discovering.