Tag Archives: published author

The Word: Mike Feria Gives A Slice Of Himself To Us!

Where did all of this begin for me, you might ask? Well─ in an unlikely way. When I was a child, my imagination was a wild one, and much to my satisfaction, I’ve managed to keep most of it. Living back in South Florida, we lived in a neighborhood filled with other kids, and we spent the majority of our time outdoors thinking up ways of keeping ourselves entertained. As the years went on, I was the one that most kids wanted to come hang out with, because I always seemed to come up with the best games to play. Video games were still in their infancy, so we weren’t as chained to our television screens as later generations would learn to do.

            Much of my imagination stemmed from watching multitudes of films as a child, and I still remember the first time that I watched Night Of The Living Dead when I was around seven years old. I recall in detail being afraid to look out the windows at night because I was sure that I was going to see a horde of zombies staggering toward our house.

            It wasn’t until my brother and I started going to movie theaters on our own that I realized that storytelling was something that I longed to do, whether it be vocally, visually, or through the written word. Not knowing exactly where or how these movies came to fruition, I assumed for many years that it was the movie directors who wrote them. I never really had a desire to be an actor in film, but a movie director? That’s something I could get behind. Well, as the years went on, those dreams of mine began taking a back seat, but my love for the film never subsided.

            In my adolescence, I began having an affinity toward movies that intentionally dug around inside your head; movies such as Fight Club, Requiem For A Dream, Memento, and Seven. Those types of movies began setting me on a path that I would not take for quite some time, because life and other responsibilities take precedence.

            Fast forward to August 2016, the month I took the plunge into this whole writing life. My stepson accidentally pulled his PS3 off his bedroom dresser in the middle of the night, and that was the death of it. So, instead of fighting him over the PS4 in the living room, I took a step back and allowed him to have it. I retreated to the back of our apartment, opened a word document, and started pounding out words.

            Now, I claim to be a fairly intelligent person, but at the time when I started, I knew very little about the actual craft of writing. While we went through school, we had our assignments and whatnot, but creative writing was one of those things that were more or less water under the bridge. I had no real formal experience in writing, and I really wasn’t that big of a reader either. Also, I wouldn’t consider myself to be too much of a horror buff. I mean, I have watched pretty much all the scary movies over the past twenty-five or thirty years, but I never really saw myself as one who would be defined as a writer in the horror genre.

            The idea started out simple. I work in a creepy old warehouse, which used to be a textile mill in the early to mid-nineteen hundreds. I kept getting these feelings as though something was watching me from the dark spots, which felt like eyes everywhere because much of the warehouse is unlit. Some of my co-workers decided that it would be fun to prank me and began tormenting me with elaborate schemes. They even pulled things overusing the fishing line. Once I found out, I was pretty pissed off, but it also sparked something inside of me; a story that brewed deep down that I knew had to be told. As much as I wanted to punch those guys, I must credit them with getting my cogwheels moving. The rest is history for another day.

            If there’s anything that I learned from writing my first book, Passenger, it was to never be afraid to learn or to seek new information, because there are many techniques and methods to getting a novel completed. When I first started out, I wrote my first five or six chapters without knowing practically anything about creative writing. So, to avoid stepping into a bear trap, I took a walk backward and learn as much as I could about the craft before proceeding again. It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in all my life. This was also the time when all those years of watching film became more relevant because storylines stay relatively the same across the board, regardless. These movies also helped me learn when to dive and when to pull back because it’s a delicate dance of difficulties.

            Here’s the best advice I can give. There are two enemies with writing or producing anything of emotional or monetary value. One enemy is your distractions. The second enemy is YOU. When you sit down to do your work at the end of a long hard workday, unplug yourself from the social media notifications. I would say to keep your phone as far away from your station as possible. In your browser, the only thing that you should have open is the dictionary. As far as enemy number two goes, give yourself a break, and a much-needed pat on the back. You’re doing something that is dreamt of by millions of people who make millions of excuses for never doing it. Take the time to be proud of yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be tough getting other people to believe in you. One of my mottos is to be helpful, be humble, and be kind.

            Lastly, within reason, I say that you should be a “yes man.” Have a can-do attitude. If someone asks you for a favor, do your best to be reliable and dependable. Try going out of your way and dip your toes outside of your comfort zone. When the first live show I was ever a part of aired, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and this thing called anxiety was exploding through the ceiling of my apartment. It terrified me, which is strange because I’m an extrovert. After being on a couple more shows, it was like taking the dog out on a walk, and that feeling of dread was old news. Here’s a quote I heard somewhere, and don’t know who it’s from, but I’ll try to recite it as best I can ─ There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone. Best of luck to you, and happy writing.

            If you would like to know more about my debut horror novel, Passenger, I will release it in October 2020 with Three Furies Press. I look forward to meeting and talking with each one of you. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about my journey.

https://www.facebook.com/mickferia – Main

https://www.facebook.com/MikeFeriaWrites/ – Author Page

https://twitter.com/MikeFeriaWrites – Twitter

https://www.instagram.com/mikeferiawrites/ – Instagram

thrilliterature.wordpress.com – WordPress

The Word: My Balancing Act – Scheduled Chaos w/6 Tips

I’m a work-from-home mother. I have been for more than five years now. I have been a writer in various forms, graphic artist, formatter, mentor, blogger, and done whatever I had to do to help my family using my God-given talents. I’m a survivor, love my family, and do what it takes to remain anything but a burden. I’ve paid my taxes and continued to do the best with what I got. With all that I do every day it certain has become a balancing act. Years ago, I posted my schedule that I knew at that time with timeslots included. Of course, this was a flexible schedule that always changed day to day or even week to week.

I’ve been asked in the past how I handle everything. That was part of the inspiration for the original Facebook share of my schedule in truth. I’m always curious how other parents handle their schedules with working from home as well. I’m in awe of others making it work too. Some days it feels like I’m spinning too many plates waiting for them to crash down upon my head with a miracle they haven’t yet. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and we’re a team. He understands I’m scheduling the chaos and I know he appreciates all my efforts. My Mother’s Day gift is usually a hug from my son and a ‘thank you for all you do’. Which means so much. It feels good to be appreciated.

I am my family’s secretary. I handle it all. I am the one answering the phone calls, making the meetings, scheduling the appointments, and working. I spend long hours at the computer and on phone handling calls. I am not sure if my restless nights due from my insomnia help me, but it gives me something to do when I can’t sleep. I take in consideration the dates and times of everything. When things just simply cannot be done and when things simply need to be handled. These help me in devising the scheduling.

The most important things to me for scheduling are that of what my family needs coming first. When things end, begin, when things are due. After knowing those things are handled, I start filling in the gaps with other things like my work hours. I take my working, graphics and writing, seriously so I schedule them as a any other job would. I give myself x-number of hours with breaks included. I am an agenda planner queen since high school.


An example of my schedule without insomnia

  • 6am – wake up
  • 6-7am – breakfast
  • 7-8am – check emails/phone calls/social media
  • 8-9am – cleaning/check social media/work begins
  • 9am-12pm – work/chores/answer any incoming emails/calls/social media
  • 12pm-12:30pm –lunch/chores
  • 12:30pm –2:50– handle more chores if any/work
  • 3pm – 3:30pm – finishing up anything that hasn’t been done earlier in the day
  • 3:30pm-4pm – another break/begin dinner arranging/finish up work for day
  • 4pm-5pm – catch up with spouse/check mail/deal with social media again
  • 6-10:30pm – family time

Coffee is happening throughout my day. If I have deadlines, I tend to drink more coffee.

Now if my insomnia has flared up most of the chores, emails, and online things have been handled in the middle of the night. For example, my blogging happens most at night. I have even been known to get a lot of work done in these quiet hours as my family sleeps. Work can consist of anything from writing to graphics and anything in-between.

My advice is balancing what’s important. Schedule time for your writing when you can. I’m not saying you won’t be tired. I’m also not saying that you must follow in my footsteps the way I do things, it’s what works for me and may not work for you. I know may freelancers, like me, work a day job along with freelance. More power to you and you have me in awe. Freelancing is my day job, my night job, and my whenever I have time job.

Tips I recommend:

  1. Loyally keep a calendar or agenda book to write down everything and keep dates organized.
  2. Prioritize what’s have to, need to, and want to do’s.
  3. Stick to your schedule as best you can daily, but don’t restrict yourself so much if emergencies happen you can’t recover when you’re able to return to the schedule.
  4. Set goals. Make a word count or page count, whatever it is you can handle and meet it. Even if it’s as small as just a few sentences or words. Something is better than nothing and it all keeps moving forward.
  5. Don’t be hard on yourself if you drop one of the balls you’re juggling. It happens to everyone. Remember to pick yourself back up and keep juggling along.
  6. Do not burn yourself out. Schedule yourself breaks. Too much time at a computer is bad for you. Take a walk, read a book, or even take a nap.