Today I welcome Michelle Rowen to the blog. She is the author of the snarky and humorous Immortality Bites series, Living in Eden trilogy and her newest foray into the Urban Fantasy world: the Nightshade series. Among other books, Michelle has also written a young adult series: Demon Princess. You can read my review of Nightshade here.
1. When did you first start writing, and was there something in particular that inspired you?
I dabbled with writing from the time I was about twelve years old, but wasn’t disciplined until I turned thirty. I think I was originally inspired to write because I was dissatisfied with the stories I read and wanted them to end differently or for something else to happen than what happened. That’s my earliest memory of wanting to be a writer, anyway, since I wrote what could only be described as Enid Blyton fan fic at that early age. And it’s still a great thing about being a writer....my books turn out the way I want them to—most of the time, anyway. Sometimes my characters step up and change things, but most of them can be wrangled back into good behavior. So, yes, I’m a writer because I’m a total control freak. LOL
2. What first attracted you to the paranormal/urban fantasy realm when it comes to writing?
I guess I just like to avoid reality whenever possible. ;-) I tried writing contemporary romance for a while, but—I hate to say it—I got really bored with it. That has more to do with my imagination, rather than the genre itself, of course. There are plenty of fascinating contemporaries out there. But to really capture my interest as a writer, there needed to be something else in the mix, and paranormal fit the bill. As I was trying to find the right idea to devote myself to, I was reading a lot of Laurell K. Hamilton, L.J. Smith, Anne Rice, Tanya Huff...and watching Buffy and Angel on TV. It was inevitable that I’d start writing in the fantasy genre. I guess the idea that magic could really happen and monsters might not be scary, but sexy, really appeals to me.
3. In regards to your own characters, who is your favorite and why?
That is a hard question—whenever I’m writing a book, the characters I’m writing are my favorites. I love Jillian Conrad from my Nightshade series because she’s a survivor unlike anything I’ve written before. Her strength and tenacity continually amazes me. As far as “fun” characters to write, Sarah Dearly from my Immortality Bites series is an entity unto herself and thinks she can boss me around. Sometimes she succeeds—like when she said she wanted to be in more books. She succeeded since I’m now writing at least two paranormal mysteries starring her and her significant other (Blood Bath & Beyond will be out August 2012). My favorite male character to write is Darrak from my Living in Eden books, since he constantly cracks me up. I miss him already, since I’m all finished with that trilogy (That Old Black Magic is out in December). He’s not quite as loud as Sarah when it comes to writing more about him beyond that, though. I think he’s ready for a nice relaxing vacation.
4. What other genres (besides your own) do you enjoy reading?
I actually don’t read too far outside of my own genres at the moment, which is shameful, I know. But I love urban fantasy, young adult, paranormal romance. I’m getting a bit more into mystery...but still, my preference is still the paranormal kind. Yikes. I need to expand my TBR shelf a bit, I think! If there’s another romance genre like, it would probably be historical, since it’s completely different from what I write and I have no interest in writing it...therefore I can just enjoy it!
5. If you could not be a writer, what would you be?
Previously, I was a graphic designer for a dozen years, something I still do on occasion. If I could do something different than that, I’d love to be a photographer—fashion photography. Shooting for magazines and ads. I can also do my own retouching in Photoshop from being a designer. Fun!
6. As a reader I know how difficult it can be to name a ‘favorite’ book, would you mind listing your top three? (Past or present authors)
I can name my favorite series right now, since I only recently discovered it. It’s the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning that starts with Darkfever. I’m so in love with it that I’m reading it for a second time right now. That has never happened before. So, so good. Once I would have said The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, but in retrospect I wasn’t all that happy with book three. However, the first book is definitely a favorite and always will be. And I have to say that the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead is a favorite, and not just because I wrote Vampire Academy: The Ultimate Guide! (out November 15th!) ;-)
7. What are some must haves when you sit down to write?
My number one “must have” for when I’m writing is silence. I have the concentration of a hummingbird, so anything is a distraction for me. Other than that, I’m good to go. Provided I’ve had at least one coffee to start off with... :-)
8. If you became trapped as a character in a book or series, which would you choose and why? (Any book, any series, new or old)
My favorite books have some of the most harrowing and dangerous situations for the characters to endure, so that’s a tough one! However, I think it might be worth it to be trapped as Mac in the Fever series just so I could get to know Jericho Barrons up close and personal. ;-)
Michelle's Newest Release:
For those who feast on blood, Jillian Conrad is a fatal attraction. After being injected with a serum that made her blood both irresistible and deadly to vampires, she was used as a pawn to assassinate the vampire king. Now, the vampires want her eliminated.
Hunted and unable to return to her old life, Jillian desperately seeks to prevent the poison in her veins from killing her. And she must find a way to help her dhampyr protector, Declan, whose exposure to the serum has split his personality into one part uncontrolled desire, and one part stone cold killer.
But an even greater danger is rising. The Amarantos – a secret society of vampires – is seeking the infant daughter of the slain king to complete their quest for true immortality. And if they succeed, no one, living or undead, will escape the darkness.
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Michelle has kindly offered up a signed copy of Bloodlust to one lucky commenter (Canadian and US addresses only please)! Michelle will also be popping by to answer any questions you may have to feel free to leave a comment for her!
Rules For Entry:
- Contest closes Friday July 22, 2011 12AM EST.
- Canadian and US addresses only.
- Fill out the form below, I will not count a comment as an entry.