Today we get a chance to meet Michael Twist the author of Touch of Beyond.

When did you decide to become an author and what impact has this had on your life?
I knew I was a writer from a fairly early age because I constantly framed backstories around people I encountered. The problem was that while I considered myself a writer, I did precious little actual writing (shelved a few novel attempts and finished a short story here and there). Five years ago I lost my mother, and it was like a switch went off. Since then I’ve written five screenplays, a two novels, and nearly a hundred short stories.
Writing has been a fantastic outlet for me and contributed enormously to my happiness and sense of well-being. Fortunately, I have a very supportive family that has encouraged me to pursue my passion for writing.

Tell us about your latest work and what motivated you to write it:
My latest writing project has been a YA novel featuring two disadvantaged youths on opposite sides of the country. Their stories are somewhat parallel in that they both grow and flourish with the help of mentors. I suspect my motivation for writing the book is twofold. I have taught for 18 years in a socioeconomically challenged district and had the privilege of working with some truly quality people. One of the themes espoused in several of my short stories is the notion that money is not requisite in terms of being honest, decent or dignified. My (as of yet) unnamed YA novel will convey that sentiment as well. The other motivation for writing this novel has to do with attending more meetings than I can count where educators have wrung their hands in despair over a perceived inability to get teen boys interested in literature.

What are your future aspirations as an author?
While I suspect that the short story will always be closest to my heart, I have been saving my strongest idea for a novel I hope to someday write. Among my greatest hopes is the thought that someone in the film industry might find one of my stories worthy of inspiring a film. I’d love to see a brainchild of mine on the big screen.

Where do your ideas come from? What experiences or aspects of your life influence your writing?
My story ideas come from so many different places. Quite often they start with an ethical dilemma, where I find myself unsure of how I would handle a given situation. Sometimes ideas are inspired by current events. Other times stories arise from forces that seem destined to conflict. At least half a dozen stories have been inspired from my nearly two decades in the classroom.

What do you do to improve yourself as a writer?
Great question, because it forces introspection on my part. I find myself constantly rewording sentences in my mind. I’m not even aware I’m doing it until I realize I have turned off the car stereo so that I could concentrate on a particularly troublesome combination of words or phrases. Additionally, I read my material out loud. This, quite often, breathes new or different light into a sentence or bit of dialogue, in particular. Lastly, and most importantly, I read other writers. Failing to do so would turn my own writing waters brackish in fairly short order.

I am currently reading Michael’s book of short stories Touch of Beyond and will post Stitch’s review soon. So watch this space!!!

I would like to thank Michael for dropping by on Stitch Says and wish you all the best for your future aspirations!