Interview with Bestselling Author Michael Tonello

Get to know Michael…

I grew up in Massachusetts. I traveled the world as a makeup artist and hairdresser until a chance job assignment in Spain proved fateful, and I resettled in Barcelona. Pressed to find a profession that did not necessitate working papers, I became a lucrative eBay luxury reseller of all things Hermes. I am a columnist for the Huffington Post and live in Barcelona. For more info, follow me on Twitter.

Let the conversation begin! 

What initially drew you to writing? 

In my particular case, it was the story—my crazy rollercoaster Hermes Birkin-hunting story—that made me “pick up the pen.” I have always been a reader of memoir, but I had never really considered writing my own until I realized that I was telling all these stories of my Birkin adventures and travels at cocktail parties, again and again, and getting quite a reaction from people.

How many words do you write each day?

Depends on the day….when I’m really “working,” it tends to be between 4-5 pages, but there are some days where it is more—rarely less.

Are you an outliner or a seat-of-the-pants writer?

Seat of the pants….pajama pants that is.

When are you the most productive? 

Definitely morning….but AFTER my first cup of Earl Grey.

What do you do to recharge your creative batteries?

I like to take a vacation somewhere warm….but I always like that anyway.

Are your characters completely fictional? Or do you base them off real people?

Although some of the characters in my memoir seem like I made them up, they were all real.

Where do you get your ideas?

My life.

What advice would you give young writers?

Don’t think that it is impossible to be published. People will tell you it is, again and again, but I am living proof that is not so.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

I found Stephen King’s book “On Writing” to be full of useful info….especially where he emphasized how important it is to grab the reader’s attention, and hold on….

Tell us about the book you’re working on.

It is called “Barcelona Native,” and it is another memoir, this time concentrating on my life and times in what I consider the most amazing city on the planet.

Describe your dream vacation.

A summer on the Isle of Capri with all of the people who were once part of my life, but have since passed away.

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