Michelle Rowen Interview
Posted by Michelle on February 14, 2008
Michelle Rowen is another author who’s gone on my ‘must get’ list, as well as a few others on the forum! Her first book is about a fledgling vampire, and her latest is about a fallen angel. What more could you want?
Q. I have to admit that ‘paranormal romance’ is a new genre for me.. when you decided to write about the paranormal, why did you decide on a romantic angle, rather than a horror one?
A. I’ve always been drawn to urban fantasy – which is simply a fantasy story set in a modern city. And I love romantic stories with happy endings. I like the idea that the world we live in could contain the possibility of magic. All of these elements factor into my favorites for books, movies, and television. I was a huge fan of the show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which definitely had paranormal romance elements in it, didn’t it?). I guess I like my entertainment to have a little bit of everything: comedy, drama, adventure, fantasy, danger, romance, mystery… so that’s the kind of book I want to write. I look at my stories as stemming from an Everygal being thrust into an unusual world and how she goes about dealing with the chaos that ensues. For BITTEN & SMITTEN, I describe it as Bridget Jones meets Interview with the Vampire – not a typical “romance” novel – more quirky, with a bunch of different genres mixed in.
Q. There appears to be alot of vampire books around at the moment, covering a few genres. Why so you think they’re so popular?
A. Vampires have always been popular, I think. But lately, they have expanded in so many different subgenres – from dark to light, scary to funny — that I guess there’s “something for everyone.” Vampires have that “immortal” thing going for them. They are characters who can have tortured pasts. Big-time angst. They can be mysterious and sexy and enigmatic. They can be the hero but can also be the villain – depending in the choices they make. And lately, vampires can even be funny. There’s just so much you can do with a vampire (so to speak).
Q. Did you worry that there may already be too many vampire books around? (Obviously there weren’t, as yours has done so well. 🙂 )
A. I wrote my book going on three years ago, so vampire books weren’t really as prevalent as they are today. At that time, I was simply writing for my own entertainment, not necessarily to be published, so I picked a subject that I enjoyed reading. Frankly, I do think there currently are too many vampire books being published to cash in on the trend. I am hopeful that the genre will continue to be popular since I do enjoy reading and writing in it.
Q. Your second book moves on to an angel kicked out from heaven.. what’s next for you?
A. My next book will be the sequel to my vampire novel BITTEN & SMITTEN. It’s called FANGED & FABULOUS and will follow my main character as she continues to adjust to being a fledgling vampire. The book after that is a spin-of of the vampire books with a different character as the lead. I’m very lucky to have characters that are popular enough to warrant a “series” of books in the same world. And it’s more proof on how popular vampires continue to be in the publishing world!
Q. Do you think you’ll stay with paranormal romance, or are there other genres you want to write?
A. I love the genre I’m in right now, but I’m also pursuing young adult fantasy as well as darker urban fantasy. Basically I just love fantasy!
Q. What did you used to read before you started writing.. are you a personal fan of the paranormal?
A. I’ve read anything and everything. However, I must admit that I am partial to the paranormal. They say write what you love and I definitely subscribe to that notion. Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series is a definite inspiration. Other authors I adore are Tanya Huff, Lilith Saintcrow, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher and Rachel Caine.
Q. Have your reading tastes changed since you started writing yourself? Do you look for something completely different for a break?
A. When I’m in the middle of writing a novel, I try to steer clear from other similar books – ie: MaryJanice Davidson. I don’t want to be influenced, so I will either read nothing at all, or something completely different, like a John Grisham.
Q. Do you have an all-time favourite book, and what are you reading now?
A. One of my all-time favourite books is A KNIGHT IN SHINING ARMOR by Jude Deveraux. That was probably one of the first paranormal romances I read (it had time travel in it). I also have a strong fondness for NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman. As far as what I’m reading now… on my nightstand are “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer (teenaged vampires!) and “20 Master Plots – And How to Build Them (you can never stop learning! LOL)
Q. You have an attractive web site and blog, and I particularly like the booknotes. Do you think it’s important for writers and authors to grab the interest of internet users?
A. I feel that it is very important these days to have a well-designed, easy-to-navigate web presence. I base what I have on my website on what I’ve seen and liked on other authors’ websites. I’m on the internet all the time so I really appreciate updated content and interesting things to read, background on the writing, fun facts, etc. Also, I’m a firm believer in “try before you buy” so I provide three full chapters of each of my books, and have plans to do the same for those to come. A website becomes an interactive brochure of your work, and I think that is an asset for every author publishing today.
Q. In your booknotes, you provide a ‘soundtrack’ for each book. The lists sound great.. do they reflect your general taste in music?
A. Absolutely… I have to choose songs for my ‘soundtracks’ that I won’t mind listening to over and over and over again over the six months it’ll take me to write a book. So, if the songs aren’t my favorites, they will quickly be replaced by ones that are. I have nearly 2000 songs in my iTunes that I can choose from, so I just scroll through and pick the ones that remind me of what I want the book or characters to be like.
Q. A completely random question.. who’s your favourite muppet?!
A. That one’s easy: Miss Piggy. She’s my idol! She has one of my favorite quotes: “It is not easy to become beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” Too true!
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