Today is a big day for yours truly….I get to interview the creator of two of my favorite characters, Sarah Dearly and Thierry….yes, folks.
Michelle Rowen is in the house! (and the hotseat!)
For those not familiar with Michelle’s work, here’s a bit about her:
National bestselling author MICHELLE ROWEN writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy, both light and dark, sexy and sweet, long and short -- it all depends on the story! She's won a Holt Medallion for Best First Book and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Vampire Romance. Her hobbies include writing, writing, and...well, that's about it. Please visit Michelle at her website at http://www.michellerowen.com/, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/michellerowen or at Facebook at www.facebook.com/michellerowenbooks.
And now…Michelle in my hotseat!
R: Hello, Michelle and welcome!
M: Thank you for having me, Rocco.
R: The pleasure is all mine (blushes). So….Tell us a bit about yourself, and how you became interested in writing?
M: I’m just someone who likes to amuse herself with stories of monsters, magic, and mayhem. I’m lucky enough to get the opportunity to write fiction full-time at the moment and am keeping myself very busy in both adult and young adult genres of fantasy and paranormal. How did I become interested in writing? I can’t remember the first moment, really – although I know as a kid I wished books and movies ended the way I wanted them to. At a certain point, I realized if I wanted that, then I had to be the one to make them up in the first place! So I did!
R: What drew you to the paranormal genre?
M: I really like escaping from reality whenever possible. Ha! Well, sort of. I really enjoyed escapist entertainment and realized that this is what I wanted to write to entertain myself and other people. I like the idea that this real but boring world of ours could possibly also contain some supernatural element lurking just around the next corner. And some of those traditional “scary” things could be nice and protective and ridiculously good-looking.
R: Tell us about your latest release, THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC!
M: It’s the third and final book in my Living in Eden trilogy about a female private investigator who is possessed by a sexy demon. He’s able to draw on her psychic energy to take physical form during the day and together they’ve been trying very hard to find a way to break his curse. This trilogy has been a ton of fun for me to write and I’m going to miss Darrak and Eden and their world. I hope readers who’ve been waiting for this finale ever since Something Wicked came out last October enjoy how it all ends!
R: I’m a huge Sarah Dearly/Thierry fan, (as is THE HUMAN) and excited about their new series coming out in 2012. What can you tell us about it, if anything? What made you decide to revisit these characters?
M: Thank you! I’m very excited about this new series, myself! The first book in the Immortality Bites Mystery series is titled BLOOD, BATH & BEYOND and it’s out August 2012. Basically, even though the original series ended at book five, my main character, Sarah, was very vocal about wanting to continue on. She is the character I’ve been writing the longest (since 2002 when I first got the idea for the book that became Bitten & Smitten) and has basically taken on a life of her own (and a Twitter account @SarahDearly). She wanted this opportunity. I pitched it to my agent, thinking he’d think it was a silly idea. He didn’t think it was silly at all! The first 100 pages poured out of me and it was the most fun I’d had writing in quite a while since Sarah’s particular sense of humor and outlook on the world is just so organic for me. I figured, if nothing else, I’d self-publish it if nobody wanted to offer me a contract. However, my brilliant publisher Penguin decided it was also a good idea and I’m thrilled that Sarah and her significant other will be on the shelves again next summer. Writing about Sarah’s future adventures is a labor of love for me and an absolute joy to write. Paranormal mystery really feels like the perfect fit for Sarah, possibly even better that her original journey through the romance genre. Or, as I like to call that now, “Season One.” ;-) The first chapter of BB&B is included at the end of That Old Black Magic as a sneak peek.
R: What was the biggest difference between writing a paranormal romance and a paranormal mystery? Which do you prefer?
M: The difference in the genres is pretty simple, really. It’s all about where the spotlight falls. In a paranormal romance, the romantic journey is the focus of the story (or a very large part of it). In a paranormal mystery, the mystery is the focus. There can be other elements, too, just like a big recipe. There is still plenty of romance, for sure. I’m not sure I could write a book that didn’t have some romance in it!
R: What writers in the paranormal genre would you say have made the greatest influence on your writing?
M: When I was first finding my voice, I was reading a lot of L.J. Smith, Laurell K. Hamilton, Tanya Huff, Neil Gaiman, and Christopher Moore. More recently, I’m inspired by writers such as Karen Marie Moning, Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, and Rachel Caine...just to name a few of my current faves!
R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
M: I took graphic design in college and was a designer for twelve years prior to going full-time with my writing. If I didn’t write, I would probably still be doing that.
R: Every writer has an “agent” story. How did you get your agent? How did you react when you got “The Call”, and what is your advice to aspiring novelists querying agents?
M: It’s seven years ago now, so the details are getting a bit fuzzy! I know my agent story is one of those annoying ones – since it didn’t take me very long at all once I got serious with my writing. I had an offer of representation from the second agent I queried...five days after I queried him. Been with him ever since! I think I reacted with a “Cool! Why do people think this is hard? This is totally easy!” Yeah, I was annoying back then. When we got the offer on my first book, I didn’t feel like it was real. I didn’t get really happy – I think I got scared since I hadn’t had enough time to properly prepare myself. Let’s just say, I built up the thick skin one needs as a published author AFTER I got published, not before. My advice to aspiring novelists when querying agents – research who you’re pitching, don’t just query anyone. Check out the acknowledgements of books similar to what you write since authors often thank their agents. It’s a great way to build your list of names to query. And double check the spelling of the agent’s name before you hit the send button!
R: Can you still find time to read yourself? If so, what’s on your TBR list?
M: I’m reading the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa right now. It’s fabulous. Anything that includes funny, talking animals gets an automatic thumbs up from me. I also have Leisel and Po by Lauren Oliver on my TBR pile. This book is a middle grade (by the author of Delirium, fabulous book) and it’s one of the most gorgeous books I’ve ever seen. I knew I had to buy it. I’m sure when I read it, it’ll be fantastic too! But so, so pretty!
R: Which of your books would you like to see as a tv series/movie, and who do you envision playing the main characters?
M: I think I’d like to see ALL of my books made into movies or TV shows – as I’m sure any author would say about her books. ;-) A couple characters I have cast in my head include Darrak from my Living in Eden series played by Ian Somerhalder; Sarah Dearly from Immortality Bites played by (a younger) Sandra Bullock, and Thierry played by (a slightly younger) Hugh Jackman.
R: You’ve written both adult and YA. Which do you prefer and why?
M: I don’t prefer one over the other. Each has its pros and cons for me as a writer. It really all depends on the story. Some are meant for younger characters who are experiencing life and struggles for the first time, some are meant for adult characters who have a different set of challenges. I want to continue writing for both adult and YA indefinitely if I’m lucky enough to do so!
R: What other writing genre would you like to try that you haven’t yet? Historical, screenwriting, etc?
M: Honestly? I don’t really aspire to write anything but fantasy and paranormal. Maybe someday, but nothing else is even poking at me right now.
R: What advice would you give new writers just starting out?
M: Quit your day job. Ha! No, I’m just kidding. PLEASE DO NOT DO THAT. But don’t give up on your writing; write what you love to read; read a lot; join a writing group like RWA (and a local chapter) to find writing friends and inspiration. And if you start to hate writing, quit! The journey is seriously the best part of writing since the destination is never guaranteed. So enjoy the view as much as possible!
R: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
M: Quit my well-paying and secure day job to try to become a full-time writer. That was CRAZY. Writing books is NOT the most dependable occupation! (To say the least.) But I’m glad I took the leap! Sanity is totally overrated!
R: What one thing would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
M: I don’t cook. In fact, I’m a cookophobe. Even grocery shopping intimidates me. If I can’t microwave it or it isn’t some form of Kraft Dinner or scrambled eggs, I’m useless in the kitchen. USE. LESS. It’s sad, really. (R: Yes, the Human hates cooking as well...she just ordered a pressure cooker...let's see how that goes, Meow!)
R: What place in the world would you most like to visit and why?
M: Currently, I’m a bit obsessed with Egypt. I love that sort of thing and always watch shows about archeology on the Discovery and History channels. I just want to see the pyramids in person! And ride a camel!
R: If you could meet any famous figure, past or present (does not have to be a writer) who would it be and what would you say to them?
M: Oprah. I would ask her to please be my best friend. I bet she gives her friends the best presents ever.
R: You’re Canadian – what do you find is the biggest difference between Canadians and Americans, if any?
M: Other than how we say “about” and that we have cooler looking money, it’s like we’re the exact same.
R: And now, a little something Icall…Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Day.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Meow!! (R: Ha, a woman after my own heart!)
Beach or Mountain? Beach.
Vampire or Werewolf? Vampires are sexy and dangerous. Werewolves are hairy and smelly. Enough said.
Favorite Drink? Diet Coke.
Favorite Book? Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning.
Favorite TV Series? Currently: Vampire Diaries. All time favorite: Buffy. (M: See a theme here?)
Favorite Movie? Romancing the Stone. (R: Not DRACULA????? or the original BUFFY?????)
R: Finish this sentence: If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be _______
M: Somebody who’s on an all-inclusive vacation right now in Hawaii. And who also looks fantastic in a bikini. :)
Michelle, thank you so much for a fantastic interview! Keep up with all her news at http://www.michellerowen.com/, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/michellerowen or at Facebook at www.facebook.com/michellerowenbooks.
And now, folks, it’s your turn. Michelle has consented to give an autographed copy of THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC, out in bookstores today, to one lucky person!
To enter, just leave a comment on this blog along with your email address. Below is a list of things you can do to get extra entries. The contest closes midnight, December 8, winner announced on Friday, December 9! What a nice Christmas present, meow! (or Boxing Day, whichever J)
To get extra points, you can:
Follow the Human, Toni LoTempio, on Facebook
Follow moi, Rocco, on Facebook (Rocco, Sci Fi Blogging Cat)
Follow moi, Rocco, onTwitter @RoccoBlogger
Blog about this contest
Tweet About this contest
Mention this contest on Facebook
Please leave a list of what you’ve done in the comments section, for example: Hey, Rocco, I want to enter to win a copy of Michelle’s TOBM! I’ve tweeted about the contest, I’m following you on Twitter and I’ve friended the Human on FB. CaptainAmerica @aol.com
The more points you have, the more time your name goes into our random selector! So, OK, what are you waiting for! Get going!
Coming up: More on KNTR, Nathan Fillion, Dark Shadows and….my Christmas list! More news on my new role as an official NO reviewer! Plus...my upcoming Blogaversary celebration!
SCI FI BLOGGING CAT
SCI FI BLOGGING CAT