Updated: Aug 15, 2019
Today in Writer's Corner, we meet Michelle Crow.
Amanda: Hello Michelle! And welcome to my blog. I hope you’ve been well and writing like a storm.
Michelle: It's been a storm alright, but writing has been a bit on the back burner with all the crazy life has thrown my way. Still, I did manage to work on a project for an upcoming anthology today and it felt great to be writing again.
Amanda: For those who do not know, Michelle and I co-wrote a book called Concealed Power and it’s the first of a trilogy. So this is an interesting turn of events where I get to interview you now. So where do you want to start?
Michelle: In the beginning…
Um, let's start wherever! I'm game for anything really. My kids are all out of the house for the moment so there's a brief moment of sanity to be had here.
Amanda: Motherhood and writing. It’s hard to get the right balance if there is actually a balance at all. Tell us, what a day of writing looks like for you as a mom?
Michelle: When I am lucky to get any writing done it might look like: wake up and rush the kids to school or childcare, try and ignore the ridiculous pile of laundry and mountain of dishes, stare at a blank screen for about thirty minutes, make some coffee, drink the coffee, and then write about a paragraph before it’s time to pick up the kids. Wash & Repeat.
Amanda: That’s hilarious and so true. I can relate. Let’s talk about writing in general. How do you get from idea to published book? Tell us everything about your process.
Michelle: I actually love writing prompts and will search for some juicy ones when stuck on a blank page. I'm a bit of a pantser and so I will a lot of times jump in and just write whatever plays out in my head and hope it's a cohesive jarble. I did recently adopt JK Rowling's style of outlining, but we'll just have to wait and see how helpful the method is when I finish a novel!
Amanda: What do you find most difficult about your process?
Michelle: The middle. I can figure out how to start and how to end a book but then it's getting from point A to point C that's the problem.
Amanda: And are you a world builder or character creator? Tell us more about that?
Michelle: Character. I always start with a character I'm mind and build the world around them. World building isn't my strong suit, yet.
Amanda: Have you ever put someone you know into a story?
Michelle: Maybe. *wiggly eyebrows*. So, most of my characters I design and then afterwards realize there are similarities to individuals in my life. I haven’t directly inserted anyone into a story that I know though.
Amanda: How many unpublished and half finished pieces of writing do you have hidden in your writing place?
Michelle: Lol. Oh man.
Amanda: (Laughs). I knew that question was going to get you.
Michelle: Well over 30 started pieces. Some with only a few paragraphs to a few having almost 100 pages in. Problem for me is, I tend to get distracted on the journey to point B. That blasted middle!!
Amanda: Okay, you’ve pointed out that middle twice now, so I’m guessing it’s a sore spot. Let’s flip it. What’s the best thing about writing?
Michelle: I can be somebody else for a while. A witch on a quest or a bounty hunter pirate who becomes a powerful witch thanks to a cursed bracelet...and...oh, that's a WIP I've got going. (2 pages in wooohoo)
Amanda: Your first writing check… what did you spend it on? I bet it was books!
Michelle: Lol. Nope. Try fast food for the kids. Healthy, right?
Amanda: Whatever gets the writing done, I say! Does writing energise or exhaust you? How do you prepare for it and what do you do after you’ve had a writing session?
Michelle: It definitely energizes me but I have to find a way to come down from creative euphoria.
Amanda: At what point in your life did you say, right that’s it, I’m a writer?
Michelle: Probably in 2017 when I met a brilliant Aussie who is my best friend, soul sister, and twisted dark half!
Amanda: Really? It wasn’t before then?
Michelle: Well, I have written my whole life but it wasn’t until recently that I realized ‘okay, yeah, I can do this, I am a writer.’ My husband is my biggest fan and (dare I say) cheerleader (ha), and he has always been in my corner. But. It wasn’t until my bestie came in a reaffirmed that I am a badass writer that I finally accepted my own truths (brilliantly, exciting, and wonderful truths they are).
Amanda: Any advice for other writers?
Michelle: Just do it. Don't let your dreams be dreams. Thank you Shia LaBeouf GIF for putting it so accurately and eloquently.
Amanda: What about advice for readers…. if that’s a thing?
Michelle: Don't leave a review on a book's Amazon page about the condition of the book. That's a separate entity you need to contact, preferably the seller directly or Amazon. Your reviews on books should only be about the content of the book. Did you enjoy it? Why or why not? Was the pacing great? Writing style? What about the characters, the language, setting? Simply, I loved the book, the book was okay, or even the book wasn't great are acceptable over the 1 stars out there saying the book received was in poor condition.
Amanda: That’s very true. So what are you reading right now?
Michelle: Everything. All the books. Several Indie author Rogue novels actually. (Always Darkest by Jess & Keith Flaherty, The Phoenix Host by CK Miller, Fragments of Light by Beth Hodgson) I'm also reading non-fiction to learn about becoming a literary agent, and some trad published titles. I'm always reading at least 10 titles lol.
Amanda: Ten! That’s amazing. Are there any books that impacted on your own stories or writing practice? How did it change you?
Michelle: I love Brandon Sanderson. Hands down, he's my favorite author and I think his incredible talent for world building and characterization inspires me. JK Rowling's background and path to publishing and literary fame is also inspiring. Then there's Stephen King's On Writing where I learned to stop giving a damn about the 'rules' and to just write, write what I want to read, and most importantly don't give up just because 80 rejection slips are falling from a screw in my wall.
Amanda: Perfect! And what are you working on right now?
Michelle: A short story piece for the Rogue Christmas Anthology, a 5-part romcom novella series, a 7-part scifi/fantasy series (think Lara Croft meets Firefly meets Indiana Jones with magic), and a 13-part graphic novel series with my main squeeze Tink (also in the short for the antho), oh and a new one that is a romance with mythology and paranormal elements…..ha. Then there is The Hidden Truths Trilogy book 2 and all the other delights we have planned for the rest of eternity. Maybe we will finish them before we die? Probably won’t tell all of our stories...no matter how hard we try LOL.
Amanda: That’s brilliant. You definantly are a magical writing storm. I can’t wait to see all these projects unfold. And can you tell everyone how they can find you.
Amanda: Thanks for coming along today, Michelle. This has been a hoot!