Author Interview & Book Giveaway: When the Lights Go Out by Max Elliot Anderson

Welcome back to Author Max Elliot Anderson.  With the 10 year anniversary of September 11th just a couple days away Max is here with a giveaway for his new book When the Lights Go Out.


Max Elliot Anderson writes action-adventures & mysteries for readers 8 and up, especially boys. But girls like reading them just as much.
Max has written thirty-five action-adventure & mystery manuscripts for readers eight and up, especially boys. Seven of these books, Newspaper Caper, Terror at Wolf Lake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, and Legend of the White Wolf have been published. In the next few months, they will be republished. Those are expected to be followed by many more.

You can learn more about Max & his books by visiting his BLOG or his WEBSITE.


When you were 12 years old what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought I’d like to be a forest ranger. I like the outdoors, especially in mountainous areas like the Rockies. But I grew up in a family where my dad produced Christian films, and life took me more in the visual arts direction.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Butter Pecan

What’s your favorite music genre? Favorite artist? Song?
I grew up on rock ‘n’ roll, but switched to country music when rock significantly changed. Much of today’s country music reminds me of some of that older rock music.

Is there anything you need in order to write? (ie Chocolate, quiet, music)
My writing is done to a strict set of elements. The door to my writing room is closed. A candle is lit and placed right next to the computer monitor. Props and photographs are prominently placed around my desk to give the flavor of what’s being written. And most importantly, I play mood appropriate music for the scene I’m writing. Winter stories are written in freezing, cold weather, summer stories when it’s blazing, hot out, and scary scenes are always…always written after dark.

Night owl, or early bird?
It’s impossible for me to sleep in anymore. I’m not sure how that happened, and I’m not happy about it. But I write primarily at night. It usually starts around six in the evening, and I’ll write from one to three chapters in one sitting. However, I write as I go. On one book, Legend of the White Wolf, I was so interested in seeing how the story would turn out that I wrote the whole thing in just three days; day and night.

One food you would never eat?

Favorite Cartoon?
It’s a really, really old one called “The Pin Cushion Man.” Click Here to see it on Youtube

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?
I’m pretty happy with this one, in spite of all the turbulence. Signs seem to be pointing to the end of time being not that far away, and I think it’d be fantastic to be living when Christ calls us home. Technology today also makes our work as authors so much easier. We think nothing of emailing an entire manuscript, as a file, and can evaluate book covers from our publisher, receive contracts, and communicate with our agent and editors all by email.

Do you prefer to write on the computer or with paper?
I prefer to write on a computer, but not a laptop. I like the discipline of sitting in a chair and pounding out a story in the same surroundings every time. But, when it comes to reading the manuscript, I can only do that effectively with a printed copy in my hands.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?
NASCAR, although I’m beginning to think that the sport needs to do something to retain fans and attract new ones. My adult son and I go to the Daytona 500 each year, and my favorite driver has always been Jeff Gordon since he entered the sport.

Are you a loner or social butterfly?
Loner is a pretty harsh word, but I’m no butterfly either. I enjoy the solitude which is the writing process. The various online writer’s groups, and social media sites help to keep me connected.

How do you react to a bad review?
It really depends on where the review is coming from. If it came from a reviewer, I’d have to balance it with who they are and what they represent. If a reader were to give a bad review, then I think it’s more serious because it would indicate that I missed it with a particular book and that reader. Fortunately, I haven’t gotten any reviews like this so far, and feel fortunate about that.

If not a writer, you would have been?
I would have been, and still am a video producer. The market has slowed dramatically in recent months, due to the economy, but I’m always ready to dive into the next client video production or television commercial.

What do you do when you are in-between books?
A lot of marketing and promotion, along with looking for other publishing opportunities. We can’t sit back, just because we’ve published a book because it’s after publishing that the real work begins.

Where is your favorite place to read/write?
In the quiet of my writing room.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Kids who are 8 – 13 today, know little or nothing about what happened on 9/11, so When The Lights Go Out includes a brief description of what happened on that day, and they can understand why it’s important in their lives.

What do you find so appealing about the genre you write for? Would you try writing for a different genre (if the author hasn’t already)?
Some have suggested that we baby boomers are people who refuse to grow up. There’s some truth in that, at least in my experience. Most of my writing is for kids from 8 and up. It’s a fun age with lots of excitement and adventure. In some ways I suppose I’m reliving parts of my equally exciting childhood experiences when I write. But I have written for other markets including Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul, magazines and online sources.

What is your favorite quote?
“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” by Mark Twain

What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that?

September 11, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Recent events in Pakistan have the entire world talking about it. And yet, when teenagers and twenty something young people were interviewed on the street a few days ago, many knew little about what happened. It’s even worse when elementary school children are interviewed. Some have suggested that curriculum should be developed to better teach about 9/11.
Max Elliot Anderson has written a new book, “When the Lights Go Out”, for young readers.
“I speak in schools about my action-adventures and mysteries for kids,” Anderson said. “What I found is that children, who are eleven, twelve, and thirteen today, and were only infants in 2001, know little or nothing about 9/11 or the significance of what happened. So I wrote an adventure that briefly incorporates the events of that day, within a larger story set on a military base.”
In Anderson’s new book, Peyton Aldrich has just moved to a new army base with his parents and younger sister. He doesn’t understand why his father has been sent to such a rundown place in the middle of nowhere. After all, his father was a colonel, with top security clearance, who completed the elite Ranger school. And his training had also been in Army Intelligence. Yet, here they were.
Peyton was never allowed to ask his father anything about what he did in the army. Nor was he allowed to ever get in the way. There were many secrets that his dad couldn’t even tell his own family.
Peyton idolized his father. One day he hoped to grow up to be just like him. His father had told him that the army may not be for everyone, but after what happened on 9/11, somebody had to help keep the country safe.
Peyton finds two friends. Gill is the son of the motor pool sergeant, and Dave’s father is the base chaplain. Together they decide to train like Rangers and search for some kind of mission they could do. Little did they know that a mission was about to put the boys right in the crosshairs of a dangerous terrorist plot when a secret weapon would be delivered to the base on its way across the country.
There was no way Peyton could tell his father what he knew. After all, it could cost him his job. Peyton, Gill, and Dave have to take matters into their own hands, and they do.
Will the terrorists find out who is trying to expose their evil plan? Will the boys be able to stop them? And what will happen to Peyton’s father when the general finds out what the boys did?
When the Lights go Out is a story for kids, and their parents, so we never forget 9/11.
“My book is dedicated to the people who died on that day,” Anderson said. “The dedication reads, ‘To the memory of 9/11, and the people who lost their lives that day, so we never forget.’”
“When the Lights Go Out” will be released on August 1, by Comfort Publishing, located in Concrod, NC.
“We’ve done a good job of informing students about other historic events like D-Day and Pearl Harbor,” Anderson said, “but now it’s time to tell them about 9/11. My new book will help in that process.”

Video – When the Lights Go Out
When the Lights Go Out blog 

Giveaway Details:
Max is offering a reader of this blog the chance to win a copy of his book When the Lights Go Out.
Giveaway is open to those with a US mailing address.
Last day to enter is October 5, 2011.
To enter leave a comment on this post.