Monday, December 19, 2011
Meet Guest Author Michelle Pickett
Welcome to my blog, Michelle. Michelle is also part of the MuseItUp team of authors I have been proud to be introducing to you. She is relatively new to the Muse, and her book Concilium, which is an urban paranormal fantasy is being released in April. This is her very first guest author appearance anywhere and I am thrilled she is making her blog debut here!! Please give her a warm welcome and write lots of comments. The poor thing informed me she fell down the stairs and injured her ankle. So she is on pain killers and must keep her foot elevated. So she will be checking in here frequently.:) To make it worth your while to comment, since Michelle doesn't have any edited copies of her book yet, I am going to give away a free story to the lucky winner of the comment drawing.
So here she is and I know you are going to want to read her book after you have learned more about her and the book.
Michelle has been an avid reader since a young child. She began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where she earned a degree in accounting. Deciding she’d like 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.
She hopes her writing will show her four children, as well as other children and adults, hard work can result in the realization of dreams.
Michelle was born and raised in Michigan. She now resides in a small community outside Houston, Texas with her wonderful husband, four children, a 125 pound lap dog, and a very grumpy cockatiel.
Michelle has graciously consented to an interview.
You grew up in Michigan. Was it hard to adjust to living in Texas?
Yes! When we moved to Texas my husband and I were living in a small town about two hours northwest of Detroit. It had two red lights downtown. Our subdivision had three roads in it. I was very much a small town girl!
Houston is the fourth largest city in the US, it is very different from the small town in Michigan I was in love with.
Another thing I really miss is autumn in Michigan. I loved watching the trees change colors and smelling fires burning on the brisk fall nights.
I felt the same way when we lived in LA for ten months. You never know how much you miss the changing of the seasons until you live with only one the whole year.
When you were younger you read a lot. Who were your favorite authors as a child?
Shel Silverstein, anything by the authors of Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys, Wilson Rawls who wrote Where the Red Fern Grows. There are so many, it’s hard to list them.
Were you influenced by any person or author in your writing?
Yes, my grandmother influenced my writing. I never saw her without a book. When I’d spend the night with her, she’d always take me to the library and we’d read all weekend eating blueberry pancakes. She’s passed on now. I wish she could have been here to see Concilium get published. I like to think she’d be proud.
When did you start writing seriously? Tell us the reason you began writing.
As a child I kept a diary. As I got older I’d write in my journal nearly every day, but it wasn’t until college that the “voices” really started demanding I let them out. I’d write a chapter or two of something, but never pushed myself to stick with any of the stories until Concilium.
Do you have a set writing routine?
I try to keep one. I work on marketing in the morning; although I have trouble knowing how and where to market. I find it the hardest part of the writing process. In the afternoon I take care of everyday things. I write mostly at night when everyone is in bed and the house is quiet.
Now that all four of my children are in school all day I’m trying to write more during the day and actually sleep at night!
I ask this of all authors who visit here. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter”?
I think I fall somewhere in between. I know where I want to start and where a story will end, but the middle is usually a blur so I’m definitely a pantser when it comes to the middle. I get an idea and run with it.
What was the reason you decided to write Concilium?
I think the characters made me write them. That’s hard for some to understand, especially those that don’t write. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could finish something.
Tell us a little about your favorite character in the book.
This is an interesting question. My first thought was Leslee or Miller, the two main characters. Although I love them, I’d have to say Brooks is my favorite. He’s a supporting character and Millers best buddy. He’s a happy-go-luck type and likes to tease the others, but he is a hard worker and fiercely loyal. He and Leslee become close in the book. Their relationship becomes even stronger in the sequel.
How has your life changed since you got your contract for Concilium?
Actually I’m still waiting for someone to pinch me and wake me up!
The major change is now people know I write. I was what I call a closet writer. My husband didn’t even know I wrote until I began writing Concilium. I finally had to tell him what I was doing so late at night. My parents didn’t know until Concilium was finished and I was nearly finished with the sequel. And friends didn’t know until I signed the contract for Concilium.
How are you promoting your book?
Right now I’m trying to build my following by blogging and visiting other’s blogs. I have a facebook page (www.facebook.com/michellepickettauthor), twitter (Michellekp), Linkedin and Good Reads accounts.
I have a website solely for Concilium (www.conciliumbooks.com) where people can watch the book trailer and read the first chapter. They can also sign up for email notifications of things like blog interviews, release dates and so forth.
I also promote the book, as well as others, on my author website: www.michelle-pickett.com
Did you use a critique group to help with your book? Do you think writers need critique groups?
I did not use a critique group or beta readers while writing Concilium or the sequel, Concilium: The Departure. I was so new to the writing community I didn’t know they existed.
Since I didn’t use them I’m not sure how much they help or hurt an author. I am doing a beta read for another author and enjoy it a lot.
Do you have an agent? Do you think authors need agents?
I do not have an agent, although I’m looking for one. I think agents probably have some pull in the publication process, but I don’t think it is essential for an author to have one, especially with the growth of indie publishing houses and e-publishing.
Concilium is an urban fantasy. Do you write in any other genres?
I do! I’ve written a middle grade adventure, Chess Club Superheroes. I’m currently trying to decide the best way to publish it.
I’m putting the final touches on a young adult sci/fi romance called PODs. I’m excited about it.
I’m also dabbling with an adult mystery/romance.
Do you have plans to release a sequel to Concilium? What are your other WIP’s?
Yes. MuseItUp Publishing, the publisher releasing Concilium, just accepted the sequel, Concilium: The Departure. It is scheduled for release in November 2012.
Congratulations!!! I don't think anyone knows this yet, so this is breaking news!!!
My current work in progress is titled Little Flowers and is an adult mystery/romance. The first chapter is posted on my author website. I’m excited about it, but it’s been challenging. Not only is it the first time I’ve written in the genre, it is the first time I’ve written in third person.
Tell us one thing no one knows about you.
Well, I’m going to cheat a little on this question. My family knows this about me, but I don’t think anyone else does. I am a firm believe that the book is always better than the movie. I make my children read a book before seeing the movie. My daughter had to read the four Twilight books before she was allowed to see the movies. My ten year-old son is reading the Harry Potter books so he can watch the movies.
That being said, I sure would like to see Concilium made into a movie!
The forest was her sanctuary – now it holds her nightmare.
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 other dimensional creatures, the Cruor Imbibo. Driven by their insatiable need to feed, they have secretly devoured the dregs of society 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 Miller fails, Leslee will be the next human on the Imbibo menu.
Because the Cruor Imbibo are coming, and they're coming for Leslee.
There is no excerpt, since the story is still unedited, but the story looks very unusual. I'm looking forward to reading about Leslee and hope she does escape from the Cruor Imbibo!!
Thank you, Michelle, for being my guest and please leave a comment for Michelle to win a free story from me.
Until the next time, thank you to all who continue to follow me. The contest for a free book of my YA novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, is now officially over. I will be announcing the winner by tomorrow. Thank you to all who left a comment on both blogs. It's been a lot of fun!
My Blog Talk Radio Show, RRWL Tales from the Pages is on this Thursday afternoon at 3PM Central (4PM EST) with past guests reading their own holiday stories. Please tune in to hear this special show!!!
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