Friday, May 21, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Michelle Rowen


Michelle Rowen knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she saw Joan Wilder finish her book and celebrate with her cat on "Romancing the Stone". By the time she was 20 she had plenty of beginnings, but she'd never gotten past the thirty page mark...and her characters inevitably ended up in a diner deciding what to order.

She went to workshops, bought books and thought--why does it all seem so difficult? She hadn't finished a book, and was walking around calling herself a writer. Why did she think she could get published? Because she loved the ideas for her books...and that led her to focus to write something she loved to read. Since she'd devoured YAs as a teen, she decided to pen a trilogy. Needless to say she sent it out on rounds, but only got back "complimentary" rejections.

She refocused on a scribbled note that read--"What if Bridget Jones was a vampire?" With that idea and a kick start from The Writer's Digest Novel Writing Course she finished the manuscript in a year. Michelle sent it out and the second agent that saw it offered her representation. A week later she had a 2 book deal with Warner. So she's proof you can get an agent by being in the slush pile...all you have to do is make your work shine!





Michelle now pens paranormal romances, urban fantasy, futuristic romantic suspense and young adult fantasy. Her novels have garnered her spots on the Waldenbooks/Borders Group romance bestseller list as well as a Holt Medallion in 2007 for Best First Book!

To her credit, she has written the Immortality Bites series, the YA Demon Princess books, and this month she'll be launching a new paranormal series--Living in Eden--with THE DEMON IN ME.

Michelle lives in Southern Ontario and is the current President of Toronto Romance Writers.









What spurred the Living in Eden novel, A DEMON IN ME, after your popular Immortality Bites series? What prompted you to switch to demons and witches in lieu of vamps?

I enjoyed writing my vampires, but I was ready for a change. I’d been playing with the idea of a woman possessed by a demon who turns out to be the hero of the book. I added in witches since I’d never written about them before. I like to keep things fresh. I think if every book I wrote was about vamps, I’d get bored.








Why do you think it's important to mix humor with paranormal/urban fantasy elements?

I think every story needs a bit of comic relief to keep things from getting too intense or dreary. For my work, humor is important since I can’t write any other way. I just wrote a book that I found to be very dark, very different from what I normally do, and the bestselling author I sent it to for a cover quote commented that it had the Rowen trademark wit. I’m like....what? Death and destruction ain’t witty. But it’s not the subject matter, it’s the voice. Even if the storyline is dark, my writing voice trends lighter -- which is a good thing, I think, and helps to add an extra dimension to what might otherwise be dark and depressing storylines.






In the event you decided to write a self-help book like one of the characters does in THE DEMON IN ME, what would your area of interest be?

Dieting. I think I know so much about this subject I could probably teach a class on it.










If you had to choose a favorite TV show or movie that has influenced your work, which one would it be?

Hands down, it would be Buffy, mostly because I loved how that show mixed humor and drama, which is what I attempt to do in my books.






Are there any must haves you need to write or something that really gives you a good vibe for certain scenes?

I need to have complete silence since I’m easily distracted.










As a multi-published author what have you found to be the biggest reward, and the most eye opening negative aspect?

I find the work itself is the reward -- getting the chance to make stuff up and get paid for it. Sometimes it’s as close to magic as real life can get. The realities of how difficult it is to make a living is the most eye openingly negative aspect. Writing really doesn’t pay as much as you might think it does and the Stephenie Meyers and J.K. Rowlings are one in a million. But it doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying anyway.




Do you have anything else on the horizon fans need to know about? Conference appearances, new titles or signing to attend?

My second book in the Living in Eden series, SOMETHING WICKED, is out in October 2010. In 2011, I’m taking my voice a bit darker with my vampire urban fantasy NIGHTSHADE. This new world will encompass two books and one novella in an anthology about the same characters. The third book in the Living in Eden series, THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC will also come out in late 2011. I’m going to be attending the RWA National Conference in Orlando at the end of this July and there’s a big charity signing every year that’s open to the public -- I’m really excited that it will be held at Disneyworld. Can’t wait! I’m also going to be at the Polaris 24 convention here in the Toronto area in mid-July.





Want to learn more about Michelle--her thoughts on writing, FAQs, fave links and quotes? Visit her website at http://www.michellerowen.com/!

If you post a comment or question below you'll be entered in a drawing to win a signed copy of THE DEMON IN ME. If you don't have an e-mail address listed as part of your Blogspot Profile, please include it in your comment!





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5 comments:

Barbara E. said...

I enjoyed the interview, great questions. I loved Michelle's Immortality Bites series and I'm really looking forward to reading her new Living in Eden series.

Angel said...

Thanks for the interview! I really like the Immortality Bites series, I still need to read the lastest release!
dukesangel002(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jan Summer said...

i have all of Michelle's work so far in my collection. really liked her first series, enjoy her teen one so far, and definitely would love a copy of The Demon in Me. :)

Pamk said...

great interview and please countme in for the contest.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

Lil said...

I am intrigued by the idea of a heroine who is possessed by a demon who turns out to be the hero of the book. That is an incredibly unique storyline. Some humor in my books is always welcom since reading is my way to relax at the end of my day. You are a new to me author but will certainly search out your titles.