Interview with Author Michael J. Sahno

My guest today is Michael J. Sahno.  Hello!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you here again. 

Hello! Thanks for having me.




Oh, of course! It's an honor.


Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Miles of Files is a humorous thriller about a guy who finds out that his supervisor is stealing from the company retirement plan. He’s faced with a dilemma: do I go to the owner and tell him, knowing he might not believe me – the evidence is rather thin – or do I just say nothing and try to live with myself?

Wow! It sounds fascinating!

Is there anything specific that inspired you to write Miles of Files?

I worked for a company at one point where they actually put a freeze on the retirement plan for a year. We couldn’t add to it, but couldn’t roll it over into an individual retirement account either. An unnerving situation, to say the least.

I can imagine... :(

Let's try a different question, all right?
If this book was made into a film, who would you cast in it?
Wow, that is a great question, but a tough one, too! I actually stopped and wrote a blog post about this question because I wasn’t sure until I did a little research. I’d like to see Michael Pena as the lead and Kevin Spacey as the bad guy. 

Well, that is quite the cast! 


How about some general questions?
When reading, do you prefer traditional
printed books or ebooks? And why?

I have always loved printed books, and I’m old enough to have spent a lot of time in bookstores. I love the smell of books, curling up for hours with a novel. Still, I do end up reading more e-books these days just because of the nature of the business.

Understandable! I like print copies as well.

So, what are you reading now?

The amount of free time I have is really limited, so I don’t get to read as many other authors as I used to. I did just finish a terrific novel by another American author named Sherry Parnell. It’s called Let the Willows Weep.

Cool! Great title!

When you get an idea for a book, what comes first usually? Dialogue, the characters, a specific scene? Or do you plot it out before you write?

I don’t plot it out, but other than that, I don’t have a nice, straight answer. The first book started with characters that sprang to life fully formed in a scene that just tumbled out, the second began with dialogue from the narrator, and the third one was kind of a combination of everything: dialogue, scenes, character sketches, and eventually some plotting out ahead of time. It was weird.

I think every project takes a different approach, at least in some ways. I consider myself a hybrid author; I am a pantster to a point, but then I break down and write a full outline before I research and finish writing the novel.


So, what do you have planned next, Michael? Or is that a secret?

It’s a secret. But no, seriously, I’m going to put out a FREE e-book of short stories for anyone on my email newsletter list. That’s anyone who’s already on it and anyone who joins. Visit to sign up.

Sounds like a plan! We definitely look forward to your new collection! :) 

Is there anything you'd like to add? Any advice for new writers?

You might feel like giving up right now, because you’re stuck halfway through a major project, or you’ve never been published, or any number of factors. Just keep getting up and doing the work, and don’t quit five minutes before the miracle happens!

Such great advice!
Well, thank you for visiting, Mike!
Thank you for having me here!

It's my pleasure, of course! Thank you so much. :) Happy to have you here any time! 
Readers, here is the blurb for Miles of Files.

"Riveting." "Fascinating." "Hilarious!"
In Miles of Files, the main character, Paul Panepinto, an employee at Flambet Insurance, learns that his manager Graham Woodcock is stealing from the company. Paul struggles with whether or not to report the boss at the risk of losing his position. Eventually, Graham fires Paul anyway and Paul is forced to pursue justice, but the story doesn't end as expected. Readers move through a fast-paced adventure with many twists and turns, including high points, drama, comedy, and an edge that Sahno captures through his writing. 
Here is an excerpt.

AT 5:38 ON the morning of his forty-first birthday, Graham Woodcock awakened to the sound of a cat retching. He heard three distinct thumps as the cat’s larynx contracted, then a sound with a different quality, liquid, gurgling: no doubt the discharge of some vomitous hairball. Or, worse, an entire meal. He saw it in his mind’s eye as he glared through the dark at the red numbers of the alarm clock.
When he finally decided to rise—after another hour’s sleep—he was roused not by the urgency of cat puke, but by the urgency of the breakfast hour. Not his—the cats’. One of them leapt on the bed and nuzzled his outstretched hand with phony affection, a clear message: get up, get up. Giddyup.
Graham crept into the kitchen, trailing the cats in darkness. He scanned the floor to avoid any cat vomit that might be there, but there was none. He flipped on lights and fed the cats, then wandered from room to room in search of vomit. Nothing.
He sat down to eat his breakfast, and everything was fine until one of the cats began to move its bowels while Graham was finishing his cereal. It was Truman, no doubt, whose bathroom routine was maddeningly predictable.
He decided to ignore it and finish the cereal in spite of the odor. Then Truman strutted into the kitchen, waving his tail like a dog. Somehow he’d managed to snake his tail across the gloppy pile of excrement in the litter pan, and a streak of it glistened in his fur like a grotesque flag.
“Bloody hell.”
The cat approached the breakfast nook, still switching his tail back and forth, and each motion left a faint brown brushstroke against the cream-colored paint. He created his own masterpiece right beneath the kitchen counter.
"NO, no, no. Shit,” Graham said, then realized the irony. He picked the cat up by the scruff of the neck—the only way he could hold him without getting himself painted—and carried him into the bathroom. “You little bastard.” He swallowed the urge to slam the cat against the wall.
“I hope this isn’t an indication of the kind of day it’s going to be.”
But it was. On the side of the bathtub stood a cockroach the size of Graham’s thumb. He froze, dropping the cat as the roach scampered down into the clean white tub. “Christ!”
He cranked the hot water all the way on to drown the brown beast, which swam around with frantic leg movements. At last it succumbed to the boiling hot water and floated toward the drain, which was too small for it.
“Why the hell did I ever come to this godforsaken swamp?” he muttered. “All I ever wanted was a nice house in the hills and a bit of crumpet on the side. Now I’m stuck in Florida with the cast of Deliverance, killing roaches that look like Harley fucking Davidson motorcycles. If it weren’t for the 401(k) program, I’d bloody well sod off.”
The Harley Davidson was dead now, and Graham grabbed it with a wad of toilet paper before flushing it. Unfortunately, he’d scalded himself in the process, and small pink welts like fever blisters rose on his arms.
He remembered the cat, and knew it was too late. Sure enough, as he walked from the bathroom he saw light brown feather-strokes at odd points on the burgundy carpet. Some were barely visible, like the first one he stepped on—with his bare foot, of course.
“Happy fucking birthday,” he said between his teeth.

Purchase Links:

Thanks, Michael! We'll be sure to check out this riveting, humorous thriller!



Author Bio


Michael J. Sahno began writing stories at an early age. He earned his Bachelor’s from Lynchburg College and later went on to earn his Master’s in English from Binghamton University.

Sahno became a full-time professional writer in 2001 and has since written more than 1,000 articles on a wide range of topics. His work has appeared in a variety of national publications, including Woman’s Day, Entrepreneur, Redbook, Money, and Fortune.

Mr. Sahno has written and published three novels: Brothers’ HandJana, and Miles of Files. He is the founder of Sahno Publishing and available for professional speaking engagements upon request.


Michael's Books:



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