This is the blog of children's book author and elementary school teacher, Stacy Barnett Mozer. I blog about my own writing journey, the journey of other kidlit authors, my classroom, and talk about books. Thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts are always welcome (and encouraged).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Interview with YA Author Mike Purfield

M.E Purfield was raised in the Jersey 'burbs. At 18 he moved to Jersey City to attend The School of Visual Arts film program in NYC. He has never returned to the ‘burbs. Since then he’s done some script work for low low low budget films and even directed a few shorts.
Before publishing novels, he has toiled around with many short stories in many genres at many venues until he decided his strengths lie with Young Adult fiction, contemporary and noir fantasy.
When not practicing the art of Potty Mouth, he spends his time raising his son, being married, watching horror films, and listening to punk music.
You can always find him at mepurfield.livejournal.com.

Each of your books are so different in theme and topic. How do you come up with your story ideas?
To be honest, I dont know. They just come to me. My brain is weird. It's like these stories and voices keep popping up in my brain. Sometimes they are influenced by real people in my life like in Party Girl and sometimes by something I saw in the news like Miki Radicci. Then from there my imagination takes over. I ask questions or dream up cool scenes. I don't write anything down as far as outlines. I just take notes. I have a lot of the major plot points that I need for the story in my head. And always, when I sit down to write, the book never comes out the way I planned. Other scenes that I never thought up of pop into the prose and it just takes life. Then by the time I get to the end, the themes become clear and I'm able to pare it down so the beginning of the book can match the end.
And keep in mind I have many stories going at once. So it's pretty busy up there. Do I sound psycho yet?


Miki Radicci is the only character you've decided to write about in a series. What makes hers the story you want to tell again and again?
I don't know. For Miki she satisfies my craving for noir crime fiction and bio fiction. Also, I don't see characters like her in YA fiction. For me I dont think I'm telling her story again and again since I try to make each story different and focusing on her emotional growth for each one. If anything Charles Bukowski and Jack Kerouac's Deluoz series inspires me to carry on Miki. Currently I only have three and each one is totally different. As well is each one I have planned after that. I'm experimenting with this by placing her in a new crime that isn't necessarily sparked by her, but will change her in some way at the end. When and if I ever finish, you can sit and read all of them and get the sense of one epic story and a life that changes and grows into an adult.  
Each of your main characters are teenage girls. What do you do to get into their head and write from their point of view?
I don't do much. Of course I always try to think what a girl would do in a situation, but mostly I keep in mind what I would do amd what the character needs to do for the chapter. Plus I find it a challenge to write female characters and enjoy the objectivity of not having to reveal myself. Or maybe I'm still revealing myself. I don't know.

All of your books are self-published. Why did you decide to go that route?

I have always been interested in indie film and music and surround myself with a DIY esthetic. All my heros are on the outside and happy there. I enjoy the freedom of experimenting and congratulating myself when things work out. Also, mainstream publishers are not interested in my books; at least that's what agents are saying. Not that they arent marketable, but just that....hmmm I don't know how to answer this without sounding like an egotistical dork...
The bottom line is, readers like/love what I write and I write for myself so there must be others out there who like to read what I would like to read. So for now I'm happy with the decision.

How do you prepare your books for self-publishing? Do you use a self-publishing company or do you do it all yourself?

I do most of everything myself: editing, cover design, marketing. I distribute through Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, and Createspace. After I finish writing a solid draft, I submit it through a long process with my writing groups and get various kinds of feed back from them. I revise, then proof a few times, then send it to a proofreader who I hire, then I proof again, and send it out into the world. Maybe it's wrong that I do so much myself. But so what. No one is going to know my story better than me and I enjoy being professional. And so far it seems to be working.

What advice would you give to someone who is deciding whether or not to self-publish? Is there anything you did when you published your first book that you would do differently with all you know now?
If you're going to self-pub, make sure it is not your first book. I started after my 8th. My point being: writing is a craft and it takes time to perfect and understand. Also it takes time to show a part of yourself to the world that you wouldn't show anyone else, least of all your grandparents. Also, be patient and practice failure, it's the only way you can achieve a level of success.
Is there anything I would do differently? Hard to say. The one thing I learned about self-publishing is that there is no right answer for marketing or story. You don't know what is going to turn someone on or what marketing plan is going to work. But that's the great thing about it: experimenting and being creative in all aspects. Sometimes you're not going to get results and then sometimes you get them when you dont do anything. Like everyone else in publishing, you are not going to know how or what a reader is going to go for. But at least you have a longer time and less risk trying with self-publishing than with traditionsl.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about you and/or your books?
*shrugs* I think I said enough about me. My books can speak for themselves. :-)

Blurb for Angel Spits:
YA Urban, Noir Fantasy

Street tough Jersey City girl Maggie Nieves witnesses her older brother fall to his death from the roof of Christ Hospital. Everyone says it is suicide. Not Maggie. She saw someone up there with her brother. A girl...with wings.

Maggie searches for the winged girl and unravels a mystery hidden deep in the city that not only affects her own destiny, but the fate of a dying little boy.

Blurb for A Black Deeper than Death:
A young adult, urban noir fantasy.

In this fast-paced and gritty mystery, Miki Radicci is not only a 16-year-old famous artist, but also a psychic who can feel people’s emotional and physical pain. When she accidentally experiences the murder of a prominent NYU business student, Miki attracts not only the attention of the police but the killer who threatens her and her family.

Miki must now hunt down a killer by delving into the victim's secret life and follows an urban underground trail of goth modeling, a snuff internet site, and low level criminals.


  1. I will have to tell my 7th grader about his work. She might like his books!

  2. Thanks for an interesting interview. Self publishing is a scary field for me. Susan at Pen and Ink

  3. Very nice book. I am very interested about online books and I am searching about the gymnastics books.


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