This time around, I have brought you an extremely lovely author, Michelle Hayes. She’s very open-minded, easy to get along with, and simply one of the nicest people I have talked to on Wattpad. Michelle is a Paranormal Romance and Mystery/Thriller writer. She’s here to, hopefully, share her secrets with us.
So, thank you for joining me here, Michelle. Let’s begin your questions…
1. Why choose paranormal? What guided you towards this genre?
Michelle: There is just something so mysterious, so powerful about the subject, that I am beckoned to write a romance in the root of it. I love anything that is unexplainable. It intrigues me, inspires my pen, and gives me a thrill when I’m able to spin something worthy from that genre. Paranormal for me, is limitless.
May: I know exactly how you feel. Just thinking about the possible creatures, monsters, and beings makes my fingers itch to write about them. People have created so much history and lore, research alone may take a while but it is so much fun. I love paranormal and will probably stick with it for a very long time, too.
2. Do you have any plans for publishing in the future? What avenues would you like to take and why in regard to traditional and self-publishing?
Michelle: I self-published, ‘Invoke’ in 2013 on Amazon. Since then, I have published, ‘How Deep the Roots Go’ (book one), and ‘The Vines of Blood and Ash’ (book two) on Wattpad. I am hoping to gain some momentum on this platform, and perhaps one day I will have it traditionally published. That is the sole reason I have not self-published it on Amazon as yet. I wanted to give it an opportunity to gain a following/reads, to see where it would go. Perhaps if the right person, at the right time, reads it, something wonderful may happen. I am querying agents, pitching on Twitter, and trying like hell to have this series fall into the right hands. It is my dream to see it on a bookshelf someday.
May: It’s a dream we all share. I am still stuck at the point where the first book is going through editing. I will most likely end up self-publishing the series, but I don’t mind. As long as there are people that enjoy the tale, I’m happy.
Personally, though, I would prefer to go hybrid. There are some works that I would like to be traditionally published and others that I’d prefer to self-publish. It is mainly because I want to try out different paths and see where they lead.
3. Since you are part of The Corner Booth, could you tell us a little bit about it and how it works as a group?
Michelle: I am so honoured to be a part of this group of authors. They’re magnificently talented, and lovely human beings. It was founded by Nat Bradford, his grand idea; his baby. He wanted to create a place where authors could collaborate and aid other authors in writing. We typically join forces every Sunday evening, discussing various topics on writing.
May: I will have to add a few links for the readers to check you guys out. The Corner Booth gives some really good advice. So, I think it would be very useful for others to come and take a look.
4. As usual, I like to take the writers and toss them a curve ball question. So, if you were trapped in a fictional story, which story would you pick and why?
Michelle: Now this is a grand question, May! I would say, Outlander. After all, who wouldn’t want to be trapped in a different time with Jamie Frasier? The reason behind my choice is the idea of time travelling has always interested me, and any man that can work a kilt like Jamie Frasier has my vote.
May: I would love to become Dr. Who’s (absolutely love Matt Smith and David Tenant) companion for a day. Sure, I’ll probably end up dying or running so much that I’ll be sweating buckets, but, at least, I would get to explore the worlds beyond this one.
5. I think I have said this before, your descriptions are mouth-watering. Could you share with the readers a few techniques you like using to make your descriptions stand out?
Michelle: Thank you for this lovely compliment, May. I’m totally flattered!
Honestly, it’s pretty simple for me. I just write whatever is in my head and heart, and go back to the passage later to make any revisions. I listen to music sometimes, where other times, it is just nothing but quiet. I want to evoke something from my readers, have them on the edge, not just reading the words I’ve written, but feeling them, if you will. For me, it’s imperative that I give detail, taking you on that journey, not just showing you.
May: That’s beautiful. How do you manage to answer every question is such a vibrant way? It makes me want to work on my descriptions all of a sudden. You’re a great influence, Michelle.
For me, descriptions just come out as well. I try to see the scene from a camera’s perspective and figure out what’s important and what’s not. I tend to leave out non-important bits (or things I believe to be irrelevant). My main series concentrates on action and drama. Not enough time for the characters to study all the drapes. Although, I bet they wish they were staring at drapery sometimes.
6. Some authors keep notebooks while others have a million folders on their laptops. How do you keep track of the worlds in your head?
Michelle: Funny you should ask that. I was just cringing at my dining room today. There are probably about fifty sticky notes plastered over my dining room table, currently. In fact, to those that are my FB friend, you will see a picture I posted a while back. I am old school when it comes to note taking. I have sticky notes, as well as a note pad. I do not rely on my computer solely for notes. I do, however, have a few folders on my PC that I refer to, but my sticky notes are my go to for reference.
May: Stationary shops must love you! I have a crazy amount of notebooks just taking up the whole shelf…or two. My laptop screen has 3 massive sticky notes that probably span about 30 pages – all for different things. Then there are folders on my laptop that are for every book. I pretty much do everything, depending on where I am.
7. Fire or Ice?
Michelle: Definitely fire!
May: You know, with the way this winter is going, I would totally agree on that one. I don’t like the cold.
8. Do you use any software to help you edit your works before making them available on Wattpad?
Michelle: I only use Microsoft word, my eyes, and a spellchecker. An Editor is on my wish list.
May: Ah, I’m more adventurous than you in that respect. After finishing a chapter, I go over it with “Grammarly” – a Word add-on. It tends to find a lot of the typos (but not all). Then I read over it to try and find the rest. If I’m properly editing a draft, I end up asking my two writer friends for help with human editing and I put the text through an online application called “Autocrit”. It really helps find repetition but is slightly pricey.
9. Do you have any advice for the aspiring authors that are just starting out and don’t know where to begin?
Michelle: Never give up. Cast aside self-doubt, naysayers, anything/anyone that doesn’t want to see you succeed in your dream. After all, you’re not writing for them, you’re writing because there is something inside of you that has a desire to come out. Commit to write, find a reputable platform, build your following, and just go with it. Remember, nothing worthwhile comes easy. Sometimes we have to fight like hell to attain it.
May: Sometimes, I feel like a knight wearing armour. It’s funny but I believe it’s a fitting way to look at what you’ve said. Never giving up is hard for a lot of people. I have times where I would overwork and want to just get away from writing for a day or two. Thankfully, I have disciplined myself into going back into work right after. Without writing, I think I would feel pretty empty. So, even though there will always be people that are not happy with our work for one reason or another, I think it is also important to keep learning, to press on, and have fun. Without fun, what’s the point, eh?
10. Please share any of your ongoing projects.
Michelle: Invoke is completed and published on Wattpad, and is also available for purchase on Amazon.
‘How Deep the Roots Go’ (Book One) Only available on Wattpad.
‘The Vines of Blood and Ash’ (Book Two) Only available on Wattpad.
May: Thank you so much for taking part in this interview, Michelle. I’m really happy I asked you. As always, I’m going to provide a blurb for one of Michelle’s books. This time, it’s for her book “How Deep The Roots Go”. Also, she was kind enough to provide us with her book trailer link. So, you guys, enjoy it!
“How Deep The Roots Go” blurb
How Deep the Roots Go, is book one of a series. It is a story with elements of love, paranormal, suspense, thriller, and, of course, supernatural. This story is inspired by Temperance Augustine, a young woman who was born into a holy blood line and carries the Second Sight. But with every gift, there is a levy to pay.
Temperance is only subjected to images that bear evil and coming events of sin. Her eyes and mind never see the good in humankind. This was always −and something she just accepted as being a vice, but one she learned to embrace.
Suddenly at the age of twenty − one and at the beginning of Mardi Gras, her visions are quelled, and she must discover why. She soon meets Roman, her Guardian – her destined mate – the one man she is forbidden to love, and one that will help her unveil the truth and her fate.