NAW Interview With Mik Everett

Mik Everett

Mik Everett is an American Regionalist author, editor, and mother who divides her time between Wichita, Kansas; Boulder, Colorado; and any one of several small towns in the canyons above Boulder which are too numerous to name. At any given time, she may in any of these places, or at a truck-stop on some highway. Her work goes wherever she goes. She writes novels, essays, short stories, and poetry, as well as non-fiction articles; she edits manuscripts; and she devotes her free time to promotion of independent literature. In addition to freelance editing, she edits for Kleft Jaw Press and co-runsSyntactics, an open mic event in Wichita, Kansas.

NAW-  How long have you been writing? What made you decide that you wanted to become a writer?

When I was four years old, I told my grandmother that I wanted to grow up to be a ‘bookmaker.’ I started telling people I would be a writer as soon as I learned the word.

NAW- Tell us about your book ‘Memoirs of a Homeless Bookstore Owner.” How did you get the idea for the book? 

I opened an independent bookstore in 2012 and became homeless in 2013. I blogged through the trials and tribulations of both events, and repeatedly I was told by my readers that I ought to write a book about my experiences. I doggedly rejected this idea, preferring instead to write poetry. I changed my mind and decided to write the memoirs of my life as a homeless bookstore owner during an Open Mic night at our bookstore, in which one of my favorite writers, Dustin Holland, indicated plans to follow the same path that led my family to homelessness. I wanted to refute the misperception that success– as an author, or as a bookstore owner, or anything else literary– would guarantee financial security. The book was originally self-published, but is being re-published by Unknown Press later this year.

NAW- Tell us about your other book ‘Turtle’? What made you write non-fiction?

I wrote Turtle over the course of about seven years, beginning with my journals when I was 14, after my grandfather attempted to rape me. I wanted to offer insight into how a family that appeared so normal could go so horribly, horribly wrong.

NAW- What do you do when you are not writing?

Usually, I’m still writing. Or editing. I edit for Kleft Jaw press. I also run Syntactics open mic group in Wichita, Kansas. I try to spend as much time as possible with my daughter, in between pretending to be a successful author and stocking merchandise at a local grocery store.

NAW- How difficult is the entire publishing process for a self- published writer?

Not nearly as difficult as marketing. It’s easy to produce a book. It’s difficult to convince others that it’s worth reading. It’s even more difficult to convince others that it’s worth paying for.

NAW- Tell us about (If a Writer Falls in Love With You) You Can Never Die?

It’s a pet project that stems from my biggest claim-to-fame, a quote that I never meant to stand alone, yet has seen immense popularity on the internet. I’m hoping to collect the stories of other writers and produce an anthology.

NAW- Please name your 5 favourite books.

How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely

Tombstone Factory by John Dorsey

Women Warrior: A Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Tollbooth by Bud Smith

NAW- What are your upcoming projects?

As mentioned, I’m trying to turn You Can Never Die into an anthology that will showcase a diverse sampling of authors, old and new. I’ve always got a project in the works as a Kleft Jaw editor– Right now, I’m editing Ryder Collins’ upcoming book, ‘I am hopscotch without hop.’ I also have a novel coming out through Kleft Jaw in 2015. I’ve tossed around a couple titles– “Yellow Hibiscus” and “The Poet’s Handbook of Modern Witchcraft.” It’s about a failed author who returns to her hometown after a stint with homelessness. She accepts a normal job at a normal grocery store, only to discover that during her absence, her hometown has been overrun by militant poetry gangs. I’m very excited.


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