Michelle, welcome to Turning The Page! I’m very excited to host another MuseItUp Publishing Author.
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here!
Tell us about your debut novel, Concilium. It’s urban fantasy and sounds different than anything I’ve read, and I’m looking forward to its release on July 27th.
Concilium tells the story of Les (Leslee), a young woman who saw a mysterious animal one night while driving home from a friend’s house. After her encounter she is attacked in the parking garage of her business. She soon learns from a mysterious stranger that the two events are related and the reason is something she finds unbelievable.
You write science fiction and urban fantasy–what sparked your interest in those genres?
It’s funny you ask that. I have never been a huge science fiction or fantasy reader. It isn’t that I don’t like the genres; I just read mostly thrillers and mysteries. So I was completely taken by surprise when my first “real” idea for a novel was an urban fantasy/science-fiction.
What’s the most difficult part of writing in those genres? The most fun?
The fun part of writing in the genre is bending and blurring the lines of what we know to be real with something fantastical. An urban fantasy is set in modern day life (think Twilight). So it is grounded in what we know to be true. The sky is blue and the grass is green and so on. But the fun part is adding the fantasy bit, the little twists that blur reality.
In Concilium the setting is in the present day in my home state of Michigan near a wildlife refuge that really exists, although names and locations have been manipulated a little to make them fit the story. But then there are the Imbibo and a few other goodies that don’t have a place in the world as we know it. That’s the fun of it.
The challenge is keeping the fantasy at a level that people will read the story and enjoy it rather than focus on how totally unbelievable it is. I mean, really, sparkly vampires? Who believes that? But the story entertained most people. The fantasy wasn’t too far out there that it overtook the story. Finding that balance is challenging.
Concillium isn’t the only book you have coming out soon. Tell us about PODs, releasing from Spencer Hill Press in 2013.
I actually have two books scheduled for release within the next year. Concilium: The Departure, the sequel to Concilium, will release from MuseItUp Publishing in November.
PODs is my debut young adult science-fiction romance. It will release in paperback on June 4th, 2013 – my son’s 12th birthday (good luck, I think). In it, seventeen-year-old Eva is one of a few chosen to live in an underground habitat (the PODs) built by the government. The PODs protect the residents from a deadly virus sweeping the Earth. When the virus is believed to be contained the PODs are unsealed and the survivors emerge to begin a new life. But when they leave the safety of the PODs they find themselves in even more danger than they were before for very different reasons.
With the trend toward self-publishing, what made you choose a small press?
I wanted the support and guidance they could offer. I knew just enough about self-publishing to know I didn’t know enough to do it on my own and do it correctly. I queried some larger publishers, but quickly set my sights on indie publishers. I found Muse and have been so happy with them and the people I’ve worked with. And the authors I’ve met are all wonderful. I can’t imagine trying to self-publish alone. I genuinely value each relationship I’ve made at MuseItUp. The same goes for Spencer Hill Press, which is also a small press.
Being an author is hard work, and being a debut author is even more challenge. What’s been the toughest thing?
Marketing. I’m not good at it. I’m not a sales person. I don’t like talking about myself and it’s hard for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger to tell them about my book. Some people are natural sales people. Not me. I’m the anti-salesperson!
Tell us about you. What do you do in your free time? Dream vacation?
If I’m not writing I’m spending time with my family. We like to play board games and cards. We also like to take day trips and explore our new home state of Texas.
My dream vacation right now is a cruise on the Disney cruise ship and a week a Disney World with my kids. When my kids have grown I’ll have more grown-up dreams, I’m sure, but right now I’m enjoying their childhood right along with them.
What’s coming up from you in the future?
I plan to keep writing as long as the ideas keep flowing. My family is very supportive and one of my kids or my husband will pitch me an idea at least once a week. My son is by far my best idea source. He averages two or three a week—usually all involving monsters in some form.
Currently I have a young adult paranormal romance on submission and I’m working on a young adult urban fantasy. In fact, it’s based on an idea my husband gave me.
Thanks so much for the interview, Michelle!
Thank you so much for having me. It was fun “talking” with you. I’d like to add that I LOVE to hear from my readers and other authors. I love comments on my blog and emails in my inbox. Whether you have good things to say, or constructive (that means nice) criticism, or even if you just want to say “Hi,” I want to hear from you. Here’s where you can find me on the web:
Michelle’s doing a very cool giveaway during her blog tour: the winner will receive a copy of Concilium and a $10 Amazon gift card. Be sure to enter!
Leslee hit a strange animal with her car. Now she’s marked for death.
It was a simple car accident – the animal didn’t even die – but it drew the attention of the Cruor Imbibo. Driven by their insatiable need to feed, the secret society of Imbibo has devoured the dregs of civilization for centuries. Afraid Leslee will expose them, and put an end to their meal ticket, the Imbibo want her dead.
The Concilium is Leslee’s only protection. Guardian of the ancient secret and the protector of humans, the Concilium fights to control the Imbibo and end their feeding frenzy. Miller works for the Concilium. Keeping Leslee alive is his next assignment.
Now Leslee is on the run, and the only thing between her flesh and the snapping jaws of the Imbibo is Miller. He and Leslee quickly form a bond, but will falling in love make Miller’s job more difficult? Because if he fails, Leslee will be next on the Imbibo menu.
The Cruor Imbibo are coming, and they’re coming for Leslee.
Michelle has been an avid reader since a young child. She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was her form of cruel and unusual punishment, she decided to do what she really wanted to—share her passion for reading and writing with others.
She wrote her debut novel Concilium in 2010. The sequel, Concilium: The Departure soon followed. Both will be published by Muse It Up Publishing with scheduled released dates of July 27th and November 2012 respectively. Her Debut young adult novel, PODs, will be published by Spencer Hill Press and is scheduled for release in paperback June 4th, 2013.
Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her husband, four children, a 125-pound lap dog, a very grumpy cockatiel and a cat that thinks she’s queen.
Michelle writes adult and young adult Sci/Fi and urban fantasy romance.