WriterViews is where writers learn from experienced mentors.
Hi, WriterViews is produced by Michael Alexis and hosted by Lauren Tower Barnes. Michael is a Canadian, law grad, and entrepreneur. He sold his first business in 2010. Lauren is from the US, and is pursuing a masters in writing. We created WriterViews to help people that love to write become more successful by learning from experienced mentors. We do that by recording video interviews with successful bloggers, authors, and industry insiders.
The WriterViews Promise:
The WriterViews promise is to give you the specific tips and strategies used by the most successful writers in the world.
The WriterViews promise is to help you overcome all the obstacles of having a writing career you love.
The WriterViews promise is to connect you with the tools and resources used by the pros.
The WriterViews promise is to show you specific, actionable steps to be successful at writing.
The WriterViews promise is to help you get started, earn more traffic, sell more books – whatever stage you are at.
The WriterViews promise is to show you a balanced blend of writing techniques, marketing strategies, and monetization methods.
The WriterViews promise is to help you find your passion, your voice, your life through writing.
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I’m Canadian on my passport, but a citizen of the world in my heart. That’s important for far more than my tax residency. It means you’re probably going to see me spelling things like a Canadian. i.e, My favourite interviews are the ones with most vigourous dialogue. As for my globe trotting nature, at the time of this writing I’m selling everything I own (my oh-so-good-for-sleeping Tempur-Pedic bed is already gone). Almost everything. I’m keeping my laptop, microphone and a small backpack full of clothing. Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those sites where I show you everything I own. You don’t need to see my socks. Why the exodus of stuff? Because I’m going to live in China for a bit.
I’m writing this About page in detailed, long form on the advice of some of the most successful internet entrepreneurs I know. The idea is that by taking a personal tone, and sharing a little bit about myself – you and I can start to relate. I think there’s a better way to relate: send me an email: admin[at]writerviews.com. I’d love to hear about your blog, the book you’re working on, your favourite way to spend time away from the computer – anything. Sometimes businesses email me asking if I know any bloggers they can hire. I’d love to refer you – just introduce yourself.
23 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me:
- I was a vegetarian for about two years. It didn’t work very well for me. I still don’t like eating meat. Every time I look at the grocer’s meat counter I see cow. I eat a tonne of eggplant. It’s delicious.
- I love babies. If you gave me a baby I would sing to it all day long. I’d sing about Puff the Magic Dragon, and about down by the bay where the watermelons grow, and about three little speckled frogs sitting on a speckled log. I love babies.
- I once pretended to be a male model.
- I can read, write and speak Mandarin Chinese. 当时后我是大学生我学习中文八个月。我的教授，李老师 , 是非常好的老师。她叫我艾来喜。然后我到中国住四月。我在南京大学学习一个月。我在贵阳教英语。我爱中国。
- I like plants. I carried two big palm trees home from Ikea over 20km away. My apartment’s plant/space ratio peaked at 1 plant per 13 square feet. I like plants.
- Some people call me Big Michael. Mostly my adorable little cousins. They aren’t that little anymore.
- I like helping people. I mean, I really like it. The people I like helping most are those that are working so hard at something they love.
- I have a law degree. Here it is:
- I don’t have a Facebook account. I did until they banned me. My account was verified with government issue photo ID and my credit card. I didn’t have an account picture, any info filled out or any friends. I setup ads that linked to an affiliate product. That’s probably not allowed. I don’t know. They won’t tell me.
- It took me twenty-six years to understand that you need to start small, think big, and take action to get the momentum going.
- I’m not very good at math. I was top of the class until grade 9. Then I couldn’t do it in my head anymore.
- Being responsive is super important to me. I always try and respond as soon as I receive an email.
- My favourite book is Gulliver’s Travels. If Lilliput was a real place, I’d visit it.
- My favourite book is Frankenstein. There’s that one chapter where FM is first discovering the world, peaking in houses, observing people. The imagery is so vivid that your brain can see it.
- My favourite book is Of Mice and Men. I cried at the end.
- My favourite book is 1984. It makes me want to expand my vocabulary.
- My favourite book is Life of Pi. Dude has a good imagination.
- My favourite book is I Will Teach You To Be Rich. I haven’t finished it yet, and I’m already saving for retirement.
- My favourite book is Interview Your Heroes. Read it and you can do interviews exactly like we do.
- The last time I visited China, my friend Igor and I ran up and down Huang Shan in like eight hours. It’s supposed to take a couple of days. Mountains look awfully big until you reach the top.
- I designed WriterViews.
- If someone is smoking near me I hold my breath until they are gone. I don’t want cancer.
- I’m obsessively positive. If you think something sucks, tell me and I’ll help you find the good in it.
But, enough about me.
Lauren Tower Barnes:
Lauren here: the girl with a story for everything. (Not such a bad characteristic for a writer, right?)
You may have noticed me telling the writers I interview that I love talking with people. It’s true: my husband, friends and family tease me all the time because I can make friends quickly, just about anywhere. But then, I suppose that’s what happens when you grow up in the military. I’ve lived in several US states as well as overseas in Germany. I didn’t learn German there, but I wish I did. Languages and accents fascinate me, probably because my family moved around so much. I also think moving every few years taught me how to relate to others as a way to make friends. I try to use those skills in my writing, too.
When I graduated with a B.A. in English several years ago, I had no idea what career path I wanted to follow. I’d always loved to write, but never really had a particular goal in mind. So this past Winter, I decided to do something about it. I applied to graduate school and started a blog with the intent to interview writers about what their jobs were like. Then Michael asked me if I wanted to kick things up a notch and interview writers via Skype– I was all for it! I’ve been amazed at the amount of time and energy he has to put into this project and still work on others.
As I mentioned, I applied to grad school. I got accepted and in the Fall I’ll be starting a program in Professional Writing, which I’m very excited about! Meanwhile I’m also trying my hand at freelancing, which I hope to continue doing for years to come. I’m loving WriterViews and all the great tips and personal stories I have the fortune of bringing to you on our site.
Maybe one of these days I’ll dig up 23 things to share about myself. For now I’ll leave you with 10:
- You may notice I don’t spell things like “favorite” and “color” with a u (even though I think they look fantastic that way). I notice it, too. I like languages, accents, spelling and words in general.
- When I speak or listen, I see the words spelled out in my head, always in some typed font–never in handwriting.
- Je parle un peu de Francais, mais j’ai besoin de penser avant de repondre aux questionnes.
- Entiendo un poquito d’espanol, but I studied it years ago, before learning French. I’ll most likely respond in French by accident if you ask me a question in Spanish.
- I love to dance.
- I like the way it feels when the keys click as I type. It’s very similar to the feeling of stepping on a crunchy leaf in the Fall.
- People always think I’m way younger than I am. That’s fine by me . (Unless they judge me– or my husband– based on it…yes, I want to have my cake and eat it, too.) (Okay, so sometimes it’s funny when people think I’m too young for my hubby. We’re the same age.)
- I’ve visited France, England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Austria and the Czech Republic. (I could try to say I’ve “been to” Canada too, but really I just had an overnight flight delay at the Sheraton attached to the Toronto airport. My husband and I plan on changing that someday.)
- I’m also a glass half-full kind of person. Some people find this annoying, but I don’t mind that because if they’re annoyed at me, they’ve usually forgotten about their original problem.
- I firmly believe that people are meant to interact with and help one another; I believe the fact that life is so much more vibrant when experiences are shared is evidence of this.
Okay, so now you know a whole lot about us right? We want to know about you too! Please either introduce yourself here, or email us.