Q&A Interview with CM Michaels!
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What is the worst thing you’ve written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
I made my first serious attempt at writing a for publication novel my sophomore year in college. It was never finished, largely due to the initial feedback I received from a couple close friends and family members. While I’ve certainly learned a great deal about writing engaging prose, putting together well thought out plot arcs, using proper grammar, etc. since then, the biggest lesson I took from this was not to be so easily discouraged, and just how much time and effort I would need to invest in order to achieve my goal of becoming a published author.
Why did you start writing and when did you decide to go professional?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, mainly due to the outlet it provides for my overactive imagination. The first book I shared with anyone outside of friends and family was a children’s novella written when I was 14 called The Bat Boy, which I still have tucked away in my closet. I was one of five lucky students selected to read our short stories to local grade school children. Of course at the time I felt anything but lucky—I was so nervous reading in front of forty or so people that I could barely keep track of what page I was on.
I decided to pursue a career as a professional writer almost four years ago, while writing the first draft of what would ultimately become Dangerous Waters. The more people I shared sample chapters with, the more encouraged I became that I was crafting a novel with broad appeal, but I knew it would never be as good as it could and needed to be for publication if my writing remained only a hobby.
Do you write in more than one genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
I enjoy writing in both the Urban Fantasy and Fantasy genres. I find Urban Fantasy writing to be a little easier. By being rooted in the “real” world, it provides the author and reader with an established foundation to tie the magical / supernatural elements into. If, on the other hand, your world is full of carnivorous jasperia vines, soul stealing mist clouds and all manner of unique creatures, you need to get the reader’s head around these elements in addition to introducing the main plot and your central characters. On the other hand, Fantasy writing provides a blank canvas for the author which is incredibly endearing to me. I hold Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Days of Blood and Starlight) in high regard as a Fantasy Author and have learned a great deal from her writing.
Do you read other author’s books when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
Absolutely! I’ve found that continuing to read while I write helps keep the creative juices flowing and further hone my narrative voice. I read mostly in the same genres I write in. Some of my favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor, Tessa Dawn and Yasmine Galenorn.
What is the most difficult part of the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing..etc.
For me, while querying can be a bit of a bear for sure, the most challenging part is the editing. Changes I make that seem brilliant one day I often second guess the next, and while editing for grammar and word repetition, it’s all too easy to extract the life out of the text.
If you could have the same type of career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one! Can I select two? I’d choose Kelley Armstrong due to her wildly successful Otherworldseries, which is still my all time favorite, and Abbi Glines, who has achieved so much, including making it onto the New York Times best seller list, from a similar starting point as my own writing career. She has also never lost the intimate connection she fostered with her readers like so many authors do once they’ve had a taste of success.
For Emily Waters, a nature loving small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.
The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend, whose family takes her in and prepares her for the unimaginable life she must now embrace. Clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister” and her new supe sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters. Not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey, one that ends with her leading a war against all humankind.
Author of Dangerous Waters
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