Friday, November 16, 2012

Michael W. Sherer guesting on Type M

Our guest this weekend is author Michael W. Sherer. After stints as a manual laborer, dishwasher, bartender, restaurant manager, commercial photographer, magazine editor and public relations executive, Mike decided life should imitate art and became an author and freelance writer like his Chicago-based hero Emerson Ward. Mike has published six novels in that series and the stand-alone Island Life in addition to Night Blind. He’s working on the fourth book in the Blake Sanders series and Blind Instinct, the second in a YA thriller series.

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Top Five Reasons Not To Become A Newspaper Carrier

5. No job security. In case you hadn’t heard, newspapers—the printed versions, at least—are going out of business. Between 2008 and 2010, eight major newspaper companies went bankrupt, and hundreds of small daily and weekly papers closed or moved online with Web-only publications. Industry experts have predicted that half of the remaining 1,400 daily newspapers in the U.S. could close their doors in the next decade.

4. The pay sucks. In a competitive market like Seattle where there’s still one major daily newspaper and a relatively large readership base, carriers can expect to make, on average, about $1,000 per month. Experienced carriers with large routes can make as much as $1,500 in a good month. But factor in vehicle maintenance, insurance, depreciation, health care, etc., all of which carriers must pay for from their own pockets, and it barely pays to get out of bed some days.

3. The hours are terrible. Carriers go to work around 1 a.m. It takes from one to two hours to assemble papers, and another two hours or so to deliver them, depending on the route. The Seattle Times guarantees delivery by 5:30 a.m., and printed papers aren’t delivered to its distribution centers until about 12:30 a.m., so carriers have only about five hours in which to do the job.

However, the hours fall right in the beginning to middle of third shift—the graveyard shift. For most carriers, predominantly immigrants—The Seattle Times estimates that at any given time about half speak English as a second language—delivering papers is a second or even third job.

That aside, people who work the night shift have more sleep disorders, a higher incidence of serious diseases, including cancer, are more prone to accidents, and have higher rates of obesity and substance abuse than people who work days. In fact, the 15 million Americans who work nights are at higher risk for just about everything except skin cancer since they don’t see much sunlight.

2. The schedule’s a killer. Route drivers deliver papers seven days a week. No days off, no holidays. No such thing as time-and-a-half for working those weekends or holidays, either.

1. You’re more likely to be a crime victim. Carriers have been robbed, carjacked, assaulted and hit by drunk drivers. If you’re as unlucky as Blake Sanders in Night Blind, you might even be framed for murder.

I’m giving away a Kindle Fire HD and signed copies of books by Hank Phillippi Ryan, Allison Brennan, Amy Shojai, Traci Hohenstein, Eyre Price and J.T. Brannan to one lucky winner and 10 signed copies of Night Blind to runners-up. Come on over and get the details at www.michaelwsherer.com/events.htm.

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Former public affairs consultant Blake Sanders figures he’s fallen about as low as he can go after losing his job, his marriage and his only son to suicide. But when an elderly customer on his newspaper route is brutally murdered and Sanders becomes the prime suspect, he gets caught up in a maelstrom of murder and deceit involving a pre-Civil War secret intelligence mission, hundreds of millions in buried gold and a bio-weapon that could cause a worldwide pandemic.

When the only man who can help him is assassinated, Sanders finds himself on the run from the cops, a murderer and a shadowy rogue French agent. His only hope of staying out of jail is his ex-wife’s law firm. His only hopes of staying alive are his wits and a mysterious naval intelligence officer. But Sanders isn’t sure he can trust even them.

Night Blind is a breathless thrill ride on and under the streets of Seattle as one man’s quest for the truth turns to a fight for survival.

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