J. Michael Blumer


He's a long time storyteller who finally found time to become a writer thanks to encouragement from his family. Long ago, his children dubbed him an “alternative life form” because of his “creative” parenting techniques, such as making them sing their arguments. He’s married to a second grade school teacher which explains why his marriage has lasted so long. His wife knows just how to handle him. Mike lives in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife Jane, and the wildlife that wanders through their backyard.


Book Busters Book Club, Queensland, Australia

Sun Path Elementary School

Immaculate Heart of Mary St. Luke's School

Capitol Hill Magnet School

Plum River Library System

Elk River High School

Valley View Elementary School

Northdale Middle School

Merritt Creek Academy

Homecroft Elementary

Rutherford Elementary

Fairbault Middle School 

Many More


Interview with J. Michael Blumer
, Author, “The Book of Second Chances,” book 1 in “The Secret Books of Gabendoor,” fantasy series for young adults.


Questions About Writing & Your Career

  • Did you always want to be a writer?

    • I’ve always written, starting back in high school where I kept notebooks full of thoughts on life, musings and observations. In college, I took a creative writing class, but the instructor discouraged me and I dropped the class. It wasn’t until much later in life that I decided to write a book.

  • Do you have any advice for young writers?

    • The best way to learn to write is to write and to read. No matter what you write, think about your story and don’t worry as much about format and style. Those will come with work.

  • If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

    • I don’t earn enough from writing to support my family right now. So I’m an official “starving artist.” My day job was in a corporate office for many years. Now I sell cars, so I have more time to write.

  • Are you working on anything now?

    • I’m lucky and have a contract for a five book series called “The Secret Books of Gabendoor.” The first book, “The Book of Second Chances,” is available now. The publisher has the manuscript for book two, “The Book of Second Chances.” I’m working on book three, “The Book of Twisted Truths.” I also have an adult fantasy trilogy that I want to dust off, edit and try to have published.

  • What is your working environment like?

    • My children are grown and on their own. I took over one of their bedrooms and made an office with a desk and computer, bookshelves, and a nice comfortable easy chair. I also write up in the living room on a laptop computer sitting on a TV tray.

  • What is your working style?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by style. I do have trouble finding time to write. I can’t force it. Sometimes I don’t write anything for month. Then all of a sudden, I stay up until late at night and type out 30 pages.

  • Do you believe in outlining?

    • I believe in outlining for those writers who rely on it. Outlining doesn’t work for me. I never know what is going to happen next. I see scenes happen in my mind, usually when I’m falling asleep at night. I hear the characters talk and see them interact with each other. The next day, I start typing what I imagined and add to it.

  • What is your goal as a writer?

    • My goal is simple; I want to tell stories that people of all ages enjoy reading. I also want to encourage others to write.

  • What person or person(s) has/have helped you the most in your career?

    • The people who have helped me most are gracious readers who read my stories as I created them. They gave me ideas and encouragement to keep at it.

  • What's the best piece of advice you ever had on writing?

    • How to write a novel in three easy steps.

  1. 1) Type a sentence.

  2. 2) Type another sentence.

  3. 2) Repeat step number 2 until you come to the end.

  • What was your big break?

    • I wouldn’t call it a break. I worked hard, realizing that writing took as much effort and dedication as any profession. I also knew that chasing a dream isn’t always easy. After lots of hard work, the publisher, Windstorm Creative saw my work and offered me a contract.

  • How much of your writing is based on your own experience as a child or teenager?

    • Not in a straightforward way. I’ve always been a daydreamer and thinking up imaginary places, people and things. Some of those things from the past end up in my writing. I do a lot of it every day, for the stories I’m working on.

  • Do you prefer to write longhand, on a typewriter, or on a computer?

    • I use several tools. I do most of my writing on a computer, because I can type faster than I can write longhand and what I type is readable. I carry a tiny digital pocket recorder with me most of the time. When I have an idea, I record it. I have also been in situations where I jotted down thoughts and ideas on a napkin or other scrap of paper.


Questions About Personal Stuff & Fun Stuff

  • What are some of your hobbies?

    • I have too many hobbies. I’ve done bookbinding, stain glass, woodworking, model shipbuilding, sailing, and many more.

  • How does your spouse/significant other feel about your writing career?

    • My wife gives me the support I need. I’m a modest and low-key person. My wife is great and is my cheerleader.

  • What's your favorite movie?

    • I don’t have many all time favorite anything’s. Favorites change. Right now, I like Pirates of the Caribbean.

  • If your book, “The Book of Second Chances” was turned into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?

    • I wouldn’t want anyone famous. Just like the Harry Potter movies, they found young people who came from all walks of life. That’s what I would want.

  • What's your favorite (or least favorite) book turned movie?

    • Oh boy, another “favorite” question. “Treasure Island.” (The movie was a very long time ago.)

  • What is your favorite word?

    • Scritch. It’s a word from my story. It’s a shadow creature that steals things when you put something down and look away. You turn back and whatever you just put down is gone. Where did it go? The scritch took it or it was “scritched.”

  • What is your least favorite word?

    • Any words used to put people down or to tease them in a cruel way.

  • What's the one question that no one ever asks you and you wish they would? (With answer, please!)

    • The question is: Have you ever thought about teaching a class on writing?

    • Answer: Yes, I have. I really got discouraged by some of the classes I took and the “how to write” advice books I’ve read. They focused on the technical aspects of writing. I’d like to teach a class on the practical aspects of writing with a focus on story telling and having fun as you learn and progress.


Many Classes

Many Times

Many Places

St. Croix Valley Press

2008 Front Page

From Scrapbook

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