Saturday, September 9, 2023

Interview with Novelist Michael Willis


1.      What inspired you to write this book? In the latter years of my profession, I finally realized the truly unusual nature of my career path.  Even my colleagues and co-workers often remarked that I should write a book about all the crazy stuff employees do in the workplace. Often I heard “you just can’t make this stuff up”, following another situation that required my attention.  


2.      What exactly is it about and who is it written for? The book is about a seasoned HR Executive, who is ready for the end of his working days to arrive as he realizes that having to deal with employee problems and unexpected human behavior has become the main focus of his work life.  He questions whether he will make it to the end…little does he know that “other” more sinister obstacles to getting to the end, are right around the corner.  The book is for all those other HR professionals who get exactly what this character is going through as his career comes to an end. 


3.      What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? Hopefully an understanding of the life of an HR professional during and away from the workplace having responsibility for handling employee issues while trying to manage his own affairs.  All within a humorous but realistically serious setting


4.      How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? The title was derived from the question the main character continues to ask himself and the book cover design was chosen from the publishers catalogue depicting a person’s head being turned in several directions at one time, much like the behavior of some people


5.      What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!? Be true to what is in your head, what you are thinking and what you feel inside.  Write about what you believe is important, what anyone else may think. 


6.      What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  I continue to hear that with the increased streaming of visual media (movies, tv and podcasts) and popularity of Netflix and Amazon Prime (just to name a couple) there seems to be less interest in reading books, especially with those in the younger generations.  I think going forward, in order to be successful authors will need to think deeply about how to “paint the picture” within their writings.  Competing with these other venues may be a futile effort, co-existing might be the answer.  I used the services of a book publisher and it was invaluable for me.  I’m aware that many authors and writers self-publish their work which obviously saves them money.  The surviving publishers will need to offer more services to distinguish their business model. 


7.      Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book? Oh yes, I’ve had friends known acquaintances much like the characters I depict in the book. 


8.      How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? My son thinks I write like I talk, I’m not sure what style that would be in technical terminology, but he is probably correct in his assessment.  I write what I’m thinking and sometimes it’s a struggle to get that down in writing. 


9.      What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? Time, mostly finding the time.  Since I am still working part-time as an HR Consultant, time is of the essence.  At some point, I may discontinue the consulting work and focus solely on writing.  I really enjoy it, just not enough time to devote to it right now. 


10.  If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? This is the million dollar question...I think I am an entertaining writer, at least the few who have read my book have expressed this to me (hopefully, they’re not just being kind).  If entertainment is a key factor in getting your book read, then maybe I will have success.  In all honesty, I never had any delusion of grandeur that I would make a living as an author, I did this first book as kind of a “bucket list” goal.  But, I found out that it was actually entertaining for me…maybe that’s all that matters.

About The AuthorMichael Willis has served in the human resources field for 40+ years with various Fortune 500 organizations, municipal government, and private companies before retiring as Vice-President of HR for a Central Florida family-owned retail organization.  He earned a BA degree in Business Management from the University of South Florida-Tampa, Florida; has completed numerous human resources seminars and coursework; and held a Certification of Senior Professional in Human Resources with the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM). 

As an HR Consultant, Michael’s expertise, particularly within the employee relations arena and possessing senior level experience in employment resolution and work force enhancement matters offers a unique consultative approach in assisting organizations with resolving today’s HR challenges.   

This unique background and work experience provided the ideal incentive for masterfully developing the story line in his book, “Getting to the End”, about a seasoned HR professional who has been forced to deal with the dark side of human emotion and behavior in the workplace.  His written work is currently out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble and available in e-book edition.  His plans are to complete a trilogy of work, with this character, guaranteed to keep readers turning the pages to learn what happens next.

Michael currently resides in Central Florida, growing up in the Tampa Bay area with his parents and three siblings.  He is the father of four well-established children and a grandfather to three amazing grands.  For leisure, he enjoys fishing and biking as weather permits and car shows, special events and travel. 


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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