Friday, February 10, 2012

Dishing it up with Michelle Scott

Today, I’m dishing it up with Michelle Scott. Michelle’s stories have appeared in such places as Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, All Possible Worlds and Realms. Her fantasy novel, The Dragons of Hazlett was nominated for a 2009 EPPIE Award. Her YA novels include the vampire romance, Blood Sisters, and the fantasy Uncommon Magic and An Anthem for the Battle Lands. Michelle’s latest release, Straight to Hell, is now available on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?

Michelle: Straight to Hell is an urban fantasy about a woman who dies, is sent to hell, and discovers that she must become a succubus. It seems that her great-great-great-great-great grandmother made a deal with the Devil in order to escape being hanged as a witch and, unfortunately for Lilith, the deal mandates that every female in the family serve the Prince of Darkness. Now, Lilith must balance her life as a single mother with her new occupation as the devil’s handmaiden. Luckily, she meets a very yummy incubus named William Darcy who takes her mind off her misery.

JET: What drew you to fantasy and young adult genres?

Michelle: Although I love reading all kinds of books from fantasy to historical fiction, I’ve never been able to write a book that doesn’t contain a touch of the supernatural. No matter how much I try to write a realistic story, sooner or later magic crops up. I write adult fiction as well as YA, but my YA stories were written for my daughters. They had been begging to read my books, so I wrote stories that were suited for them.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Michelle: Being patient! Back when I started writing, I never imagined how much time would be involved. This isn’t simply a matter of being patient with the publishers and the publishing process (although, that takes a great deal of fortitude!), but I’ve come to realize that I cannot rush a story when I’m writing it, either. If I want to produce the best fiction I can, I must let the story work itself out, and that can take time.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Michelle: I’ve had a number of wonderful moments, but the one that I’m most fond of is my very first publication of a short story. I’d been submitting my stories for quite a while, but when I received an acceptance letter in the mail, I was overjoyed! The magazine has long been out of print; however, I keep a copy of the issue in which my story appeared in my office.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Michelle: There have been so many! The first author I was infatuated with was Laura Engles Wilder who wrote the “Little House” books. That was the first series that I read beginning to end. After that came James Herriot who wrote all of the books about the life of a veterinarian in England. Both of these authors took me to places and times that I could not have visited on my own. I was an avid reader as a child, and it was my love of books that made me want to become a writer. Since then, I’ve changed my tastes to speculative fiction writers such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Anne Rice, and Charlaine Harris.

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Michelle: I had written stories all my life, but it wasn’t until about twenty-five years ago that I actually decided to take a crack at writing. My husband and I had moved to Detroit for his job, and I was newly married, unemployed, and very lonely. We lived in a ‘garden terrace’ (aka basement) apartment in a bad part of town (Detroit has a lot of those.) I didn’t quite dare leave my apartment on my own, so while my husband was away, I started to write to keep myself occupied.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Michelle: Well…for Straight Shot, the upcoming sequel to Straight to Hell, I asked my sister-in-law, an avid gun collector, to take me to the shooting range. Until then, I’d never shot a handgun in my life! It was more fun than I’d anticipated, and my sister-in-law proved herself to be a saint when I pestered her with a million questions about guns.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Michelle: I’ll go with my current project – the Lilith Straight series. Until now, I’ve never written a series, and after working so intently on this project, I’ve fallen in love with the characters. Which is good and bad. I’m glad that there are enough crazy antics to fill these books, but I’m going to be mighty sad when the series comes to an end.

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

Michelle: Know your audience. This was a bit of advice I’d heard when I began writing but, unfortunately, I passed it off thinking that a writer should give in to her whims. (What was I thinking?)

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten...starting with...Paper or Plastic?

Michelle: Paper

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Michelle: Steak

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Michelle: Mountains

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Michelle: Jazz!! (sorry)

JET: Leather or Lace?

Michelle: Ooh…both please

JET: Angels or Demons?

Michelle: demons

JET: Paper or Digital?

Michelle: Digital. Always!

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Michelle: Pass the cheese, please!

JET: Twilight or True Blood

Michelle: Oh, Eric Northman, how I lust after thee.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Michelle: Coffee. With lots and lots of cream (not skim milk).

JET: Thank you for indulging me and taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Michelle Scott and her work at the following places:

Goodreads       Amazon        Barnes & Noble     Smashwords

Thanks for swinging in!

Until Next time,

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