Hi Michelle, thank you for taking the time to have a chat to us here at Midnight Echo. I love the title of your latest novel, “Lady & The Vamp”, how did you come up with it?
Michelle: Thank you! Some of my books have started out with one title and I’ve had to change it on the back end, but Lady & the Vamp never had another title. It came about when I was watching Lady and the Tramp and I just had an a-ha moment. I checked if anyone else had used the title and was surprised that I was the first to think of it!
Scott: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer and what inspired you to start writing?
Michelle: I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was a kid, maybe 12 years old or so. I was inspired to start writing when I became frustrated with the way some of the movies and books I devoured ended. I was at the whim of the creator. I realized that if I wrote my own stories they would always end the way I want them to.
Scott: Did you begin writing short stories, and if so, what was the first story you had published and where, or did you get straight into novels?
Michelle: I dabbled in a lot of writing in the beginning, but it was always novels that held the greatest interest for me. The stories I wanted to tell could rarely be contained at shorter lengths. The first story published for me was Bitten & Smitten, which was a full-length paranormal romance novel.
Scott: I really like the Shadowlands realm you have created as a dimension between humans and the Underworld. How did you come up with this idea?
Michelle: In the books, a teenager finds out her father is a demon, and the king of the Shadowlands. When I came up with the idea originally, I wasn’t going to pull any punches. I was going to make him the head honcho of everything -- the king of Hell itself. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this might not be accepted by readers as I wanted it to be. I wanted him to be an estranged father, who’d been thought ill for leaving his unborn child alone for so many years, but not actually a bad guy when all is said and done. But he was still a demon, no getting around that, which brought up the question about whether or not he was evil. So I created the Shadowlands, which is a buffer zone -- essentially a barren wasteland containing a castle and not much more -- between the human world and the Hell worlds, and it acts as protection for our world so we’re none the wiser about the danger lurking very close by.
Scott: You have written a Young Adult series, Demon Princess, and the adult Immortality Bites series, do you have a preference for which market you write for and how different is the process writing for these two markets?
Michelle: I love both the YA and the paranormal romance genre. I really couldn’t pick just one -- I love writing both. My first love when it came to reading fiction, however, was YA. I don’t honestly approach the writing any differently between the two -- the only difference really is the age of the protagonist and the themes on which I’m focusing.
Scott: Do you have a favourite character you have created and why?
Michelle: My favourite character of all that I’ve created is probably Sarah Dearly, the vampire heroine of my Immortality Bites books (except for Lady & the Vamp, which features Quinn and Janie). She was featured in my first published book, Bitten & Smitten. Most characters aren’t quite as “alive” as Sarah is in my head. Sarah tends to be very opinionated, even eight years after I first created her. She can be quite a handful! For example, I had in mind a different Mr. Right for her, but she chose the other guy in her love triangle, and I’m glad she did. Immortality Bites is a five book series because of that decision! She knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid of going after it. It’s definitely an admirable quality -- even in a fictional character!
Scott: What is a typical day of writing for you? Do you have a goal for achieving a certain amount of words or hours per day?
Michelle: When I’m working on a first draft I try to do at least 10 pages a day, but I’m gentle with myself unless I’m on a very tight deadline. Sometimes the muse can be cranky if pushed too hard. I’m at the computer more hours a day than I’d care to admit, though. I don’t tend to start any serious writing until noon, but my writing day can and often does go well into the night if the words aren’t flowing easily.
Scott: What are you reading at the moment and who are your 5 favourite authors?
Michelle: At the moment I’m reading Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning and Sins of the Soul by Eve Silver -- both fantastic books. My five favourite authors currently (in no particular order) are Suzanne Collins, Neil Gaiman, Laurell K. Hamilton, Stephenie Meyer, and Stephen King.
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Here at The Fringe Magazine we publish Short Stories, Flash Fiction, Poetry in all genres and reviews of books, roleplay games, music and movies.
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- ► 2011 (753)
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