Today's guest blogger is Michele Hart. Thanks so much for being with us today, Michele. Please jump right in and say hi!
1. So, tell us a little about yourself? What is your typical day like?
I rise with the sun, and if I don’t, I just might get a big, wet nose stuck in my face. We have a new 45 lb baby in the house, a black LabraDoodle named Stealth Killer. She’s a sneak attacker, completely invisible on the black sofa. Then I’m in the chair before the One-Eyed Time Machine, my computer, for a few hours of e-mail. (yech) It’s amazing the amount of e-mail you’ll receive as a writer active in the industry. It’s taken me months to get back to writing! Promo takes up a great deal of my time. I work until I collapse each day.
2. When did you start to write and how long did it take you get published? How many stories did you finish before you were published?
I started experimenting with writing around 1990, wrote a huge story before joined RWA and learned how to write like a writer. Then the Real World stepped in for a while, and I went back to writing in 2005, didn’t start submitting until 2006.
3. What influenced you to write?
I can thank my close friend Torch for encouraging me to write. He passed on some Piers Anthony, some Roger Zelazny, and I was intrigued by the idea of writing a story that handled so many characters at once. So I tried it as a raw and inexperienced writer and ended up with a 270,000 word story, which is unsalably huge, three times a realistic size.
4. What inspired you to write romance?
Writing this unsalable mega-story, I’d decided writing Romance was a weakness of mine, so I joined Romance Writers of America, and RWA completely redirected me, pointed in all the right directions. I learned much more about writing relationships, a huge necessity for managing a roll call of characters.
5. What genre or sub-genre do you write? Why did you choose this genre?
I write Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance and Contemporary Erotic Romantic Suspense. I was a kid raised on Star Trek, Bewitched, and The Night Stalker.
6. What difficulties does writing this genre present?
Paranormal concepts require a bit different world-building that can get tedious to the reader, everyone at different rates. It’s not easy to decide what’s enough and what’s too much. I tend to over-explain and have to cut back.
7. What motivated you to write your current book?
One day I went to the grocery store looking atrocious, and it occurred to me to explore the idea of finding romance shopping in a store, looking one’s worst. Okay, that made it sound like going to the store looking atrocious was a rare thing. I do it twice a week.
8. How much time do you devote to writing each day?
Much less since before I sold. I’m just now writing something new and short, then I’ll get back to a Sci-Fi Romance Adventure. I really want six more hours in every day.
9. Tell us about your other works, books, stories, etc.
Looks Are Deceiving just came out with Siren Publishing. It’s an Erotic Romantic Suspense set in the Florida Heat featuring Elissa Baker and her hardcore secret plans involving the Scum of the Earth, and Greg Moretti, the steamy Latin lover who melts her ice. Shadows of the Mob lurk unseen, and someone’s about to get a bullet. ANOTHER someone. You Never See Everything.
Then, my Fantasy novella, No Funny Stuff!, comes out August 15th from The Wild Rose Press. No Funny Stuff! is part of a 9-novella anthology of the Greek Muses of Inspiration titled SONG OF THE MUSES, releasing all through June, July, and August. The stories are wonderful. Pick your favorite Muse and buy her story. My fellow Muse writers are talented story-tellers. I’m honored to be a part of the project. Anyone who loves mythology should read them all. You’re bound to love all 9 Tales of Inspiration.
No Funny Stuff! is the tale of Thalia, the Muse of Comedy, whose messenger messes up her mission and accidentally sets off a magical blessing from Aphrodite, the Goddess of Passion and Beauty. Thalia’s messenger and target are now in love, but the target is fated to die in days. The Muse just face Ares, the God of War, on his own battlefield to trick him into lifting an ancient family curse. Ares loves only one thing more than he loves bloodshed. And Thalia has to make it funny because that’s how she rolls!
10. What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m doing a short story set in space based on my puppy-love crush on my high school best friend, a real cutie with big bright blue eyes and a stunning playful smile. Saw him a few years later and he turned out so incredibly model-gorgeous, drop-dead hot and 100% married. Oh, heart-break. It’s gotta go the other way this time.
Gosh, I’d blush, if he found this on the Net! No names, no names.
Then I’ll go back to Alien Whip, a Sci-Fi Romance Adventure. I can hardly wait! There are excerpts on my Web site for anyone who’d like to read.
11. How do you write? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Is it your characters or your plot that influences you the most?
I was 100% pantser until the anthology, which took some organization with eight other authors. I’m a combo now.
I love developing the relationship. I believe in spending time motivating the characters. I don’t easily fall in love and I don’t let my characters do it either.
12. What was the most usual way you came up with a story idea? I mean, I’ve gotten a plot idea from a song I heard, from brainstorming with a classmate. What unusual thing caused you to think, ‘hey, I could make that into a story?’
I got a story idea from a news story, not an unusual way to get a story, but I brain-stormed a story aloud, and I’d talked out a great opening in about 10 minutes. It was a fun exercise and I’d surprised myself by the challenge. That’s how Alien Whip was born.
13. If you could spend an hour talking to anyone from any time in history, who
would it be? And Why?
Can I warn them of future events? Being a huge history freak, it would probably be John Kennedy. Just to meet them and learn who they are, that would be Alexander the Great. He fascinates me.
14. Tell us some of the things interviewers are saying about your story or stories.
Looks Are Deceiving’s getting great reviews, 4s and 5s. It’s still on the Best Sellers List right now almost a month after release. Several reviews are coming due soon, so LAD is really just blasting off. I’m very proud of the story’s success.
15. What is your all time favorite book?
Tough question. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley comes to mind first. Wings of the Storm by Susan Sizemore, A Moment In Time by Bertice Small, You Slay Me by Katie Macalister, Karma Girl by Jennifer Estep.
16. How do you do research for your books? What’s the most interesting bit of research you’ve come across?
I study pre-1st draft and all the way through. Coolest thing I ever learned was about a Tesla super-weapon called HAARP that can be used to take over the world. And it’s very real. You can learn about it in any search engine.
17. What advice would you give aspiring writers today?
Oh, dear God, be determined if you really want publication. If you thought the writing was tough, prepare yourself for nonstop work after signing a contract, way beyond just writing. Do yourself a huge favor and learn as many graphics and website-building programs as you can, so you’ll not have to pay for those services. Teach yourself to be a marketing machine on a shoestring budget. You’ll not be sorry.
18. How do you like your fans to contact you?
I’ll always be found at: http://www.ILoveShapeShifters.Com/
Thanks so much for the interview, Anna!