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3/22/2009

Six Questions with Michelle Rowen...

Today I welcome my special guest, Michelle Rowen. I met Michelle a couple of years ago after I read her fantastic debut paranormal romance novel, Bitten & Smitten, featuring fledgling vampire Sarah Dearly. Sarah was turned into a vamp after the blind date from hell, literally, and her adventures - and frequently, flights for her life - with the love of her life, Master Vampire Thierry de Bennicoeur, have continued into the 4th book of the Immortality Bites series, which will be released March 31st. The fifth and final book, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, will be out in September. *wails*

Not only is Michelle an entertaining writer of paranormal romances, YAs, and hot paranormal contemporaries, as well as edgy futuristic romantic suspense novels as Michelle Maddox, she's also a terrific person. I've asked her numerous writing questions over the past couple years, and she's always been helpful and encouraging. She's also pretty damn funny, too. ;)

Here's the blurb for Stakes & Stilettos, which Michelle is generously giving away a copy of to one lucky commenter!


Staked, cursed, and still single…

Newly-vamped Sarah Dearly wants her normal life back, but fate is fighting against her. She tries to get a nice, regular job and gets staked at the interview, only to be rescued by a masked vampire who calls himself the Red Devil. Then a wallflower-turned-witch curses her, making her a bloodthirsty, sun-allergic nightwalker — the worst vampire there is. As if all that weren’t bad enough, she can’t get married because her 600-year-old boyfriend, Thierry, is in a centuries-long marriage of convenience he can’t escape.


…it’s enough to make a girl start biting.

As Sarah’s nightwalker tendencies make her more dangerous, even to those she loves, she’ll have to counteract that curse, unmask the increasingly intriguing Red Devil, and — oh yeah – get a commitment from her man. But if that’s what it takes to secure her happiness, Sarah is ready…even if it means embracing her inner vamp to do it.


I've read Stakes & Stilettos, and it's a great book! Any book featuring Thierry makes the top of my list...I have a wee bit of a crush on him. *blushes*


Now without further delay... Michelle

1) Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Almost always. Since I was about ten and I started rewriting the ending of books I read to suit my own tastes. I originally wanted to be a movie star (movie star, not actress, mind you), but that evolved to writing. Less paparazzi.

2) Are you writing in your "dream" genre or sub-genre, or is there another you'd love to try?

You know, I actually am. I’m very lucky. Paranormal/fantasy, especially with the mix of humor and drama is my favorite genre to read and it’s a thrill that I’m able to write the kind of books I used to look for on the shelves. I also really, really love darker, grittier urban fantasy, and I got to try that voice out a bit with my Michelle Maddox title Countdown. I’d love to do more stuff like that in the future. As far as a genre I haven’t written in that I’d like to try...I might say contemporary, or books that have less focus on the romance, but I think my stuff will always have some element of supernatural + romance in them, even if it’s only a small piece.

3) If you'd never gotten published or if the contracts dried up tomorrow (God forbid) would you continue to write anyway?

Maybe a little. Like, short stories, etc. I always had an eye on being published from the very beginning – I wanted to share my stories and characters with others, so if that wasn’t even a possibility, I’d probably gravitate to another area of the arts that I’d get viewer/reader connection – acting, illustration, etc. Writing is such a solitary profession that I can’t imagine doing it long-term without any outside interest or feedback. I’m a sucker for validation. It makes me feel like I actually exist. LOL

4) In the Immortality Bites series, why is Thierry the right man for Sarah? Other than being sexy, sophisticated, and protective, that is. That you've said you always imagined he resembled Hugh Jackman doesn't hurt either, but that may just be me. ;)


Thierry is the right man for Sarah because he is her exact opposite – serious and haunted from the past compared to her light and optimistic hope for the future. They complete each other. I think finding each other was like finding that piece of themselves that was missing, especially in Thierry’s case. He’d lived 600 years without that bit of light in his life and when he found Sarah he didn’t really know what to do with her, only that he couldn’t live without her. It’s been a slow character arc for him coming to this profound realization over the four books they're in together of the five book series. She is the prozac for his depression and he is the weight that keeps her balloon from flying off into the clouds. If that makes any sense. ;-)

5) What writing irons do you have in the fire right now? And what can we look for next from you?

I’m lucky enough to have several irons in that roaring fire. The last two books in my Immortality Bites series are out this year from Grand Central Publishing -- Stakes & Stilettos in April and Tall, Dark & Fangsome in September. I have the first book of my young adult Demon Princess series launching in October from Walker Books for Young Readers. My first Harlequin Blaze, a super sexy paranormal romp called Hot Spell is out in November. And in 2010 I’m launching a new humorous paranormal romance series with Berkley Books about demonic possession starting with Living in Eden. And then I might slip into a small coma.

6) Now the fun stuff...If you had to pick, would you rather date a vampire (and which one) or be a vampire yourself? (For the purposes of this question, Twilight's Edward Cullen is a viable choice, even if his portrayer is a wee bit young. ;))

Well, this is one of those “that depends” questions. It depends on what kind of vampire we’re talking about. I’d love to be the kind of vamp I write about – that are a lot like humans except for immortality, a bit of (hygienic) blood drinking, and some extra sensory stuff. I wouldn’t want to be a murderous monster who can’t go out into the sunlight which is actually what Sarah, my main character in Stakes & Stilettos, gets cursed with – poor dear). So, yes, I’d like to live forever if I could do it on my terms. But if I could only have a vamp boyfriend, I’d have to go with Spike from Buffy. He was the perfect mix of bad boy and guardian angel. And just for the record, the divine Robert Pattinson is 22 and anything over 20 is completely viable. ;-)

Now it's your turn. Comment on this post by midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, March 25th and you're in the running for a copy of Michelle's latest novel, Stakes & Stilettos. As someone who is lucky enough to have already read S&S, I can tell you you're in for a treat!

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! To commemorate her visit, here's a pic of one of her favorite vampires, Edward Cullen from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. He's pretty, even if he is young. ;)


Want to find out more about either of Michelle's alter egos? Visit http://www.michellerowen.com/ or www.michellemaddox.com

30 comments:

garnigal said...

Fantastic interview. I especially liked the last question and Michelle's answer to it.

I'm looking forward to enjoying adding some new Rowen books to my library in the next couple of years!

SoulGirl said...

Fab interview, this is an author I too need to get on board with, this series sounds fantastic!

And hey, lol -- we all love a bit of Edward -- he's not technically that young right lol -- he is a vamp LOL.. that's my story and I am sticking to it!

Good job on the interview... its great to get an insight from the pro's... always great.

Christina Phillips said...

Stakes & Stilettos sounds hilarious! I love the sound of Thierry and if he resembles Hugh Jackman even better!!!

Good luck with all your releases this year, Michelle!

TaraLeigh said...

Oooh---I guess I better get crackin' on the first book. It's in my TBR pile. You know me--have to read in order! Obsess? Me? Noooooo.
;)

Thanks for talking with us, Michelle! Great interview, CP. I knew you could do it!

Krista said...

It is very odd for me to have insight into characters from the authors themselves, as I read mainly classic novels, so this interview was great! I've only read the first two books so the interview really sparked my juices to reread them and get the others. I am, however, sad to learn that the series is coming to an end!!

Tarotiste said...

Really loved this interview! I enjoy paranormal romances very much and part of me has wanted to be a writer for years. (I started a couple times but it is much harder than it seems!) I've recently started writing online in amateur forums and this interview was really interesting to me. I totally get the need for validation that was mentioned. Just having a few people say they enjoyed it means so much. Even small constructive criticisms are nice to help you grow.

Also, I loved the explanation of the reason why she and Thierry fit so well. Very cool.

Thanks for making this available! The internet is such a wonderful thing...
I can't wait to read more from Michelle!

Clare

Kaye Manro said...

Great interview, Cari! Michelle's books sound so good. Thanks for introducing her books for the rest of us to enjoy!

Good luck Michelle!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Great interview, funny book. Good luck :-) And, yeah, I'm an Edward fan myself....sigh.

The Goddess Hathor said...

The book looks great; I'll have to add it to my pile as well. Why is it that my pile now reaches nearly 6 feet tall, and three across? Oh yeah, I have to work :) Thanks for posting the interview. I was particularly interested in the "would you still write if you never got published" question. It's nice to see that published authors are thirsty for feedback, too :)

~ Hath

Amy Ruttan said...

Great interview ladies.

And I concur Cari, Michelle is one of the most helpful and approachable writers out there. :)

Jeanne St. James said...

Just got the 1st book of the series, "Bitten & Smitten" and can't wait to read it.

Great interview!

jeannestjames(at)yahoo(dot)com

hzilionis said...

Wonderful interview! Edward Cullen is cute to look at, even if he is a tiny bit (lot) emo.

I liked the question you asked about being or dating a vampire. Can't we have both!

HZilionis (at) gmail (dot) com

Kimber Chin said...

Ahhh.... I didn't realize 20 was the cut off date. A whole new world awaits.

Awesome interview! Loved it.

Lisa said...

Hi Michelle, I have been a fan of The Imoortality Bites series since I picked up the first book. But I have to say I am bummed that the 5th book will be the last! I also am interested to hear if plan on any sequels to Angel With Attitude-I just loved that book! Thanks for the interview. and thanks to Vari as well!
Lisa M.

Helen Hardt said...

Hey Ladies -- Great to meet you, Michelle! How exciting that you have a Blaze coming! Your paranormal series sounds wonderful, too. I'd love to hear more about how you switch between writing Blaze-type stories and YA. Is the transition difficult?

And Robert as Edward? Nice! (I'm getting ready to start a cougar story -- love the inspiration!)

Helen
www.helensheroes.blogspot.com

Michelle Rowen said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone! :-) And thanks to Cari for letting me come and visit today!

Yes, I'm also sad to say good-bye to these characters. But five books is just about perfect for the story arc I wanted to tell. And writing a longer series while keeping the romance aspect fresh is super hard. Fangsome ends in a satisfying way, all ends are definitely tied up. But I promise that I have plenty more new and fresh characters coming up in the future to take the place of my darling vamps. ;-)

Helen... I'm more inclined to write YA as my voice and writing preferences tend to move more toward "sweet" romance. My reading preferences lean toward the sexy side, though. I wanted to test things and challenge myself with trying my hand at writing a Blaze. I love reading Blazes and found that writing one was super fun and as long as the sex isn't gratuitous and actually fits organically into the plot, it's not really that much different than any other writing. It's all about the characters, for me, and that's what easily separates the two genres. My teenagers aren't focused on sex. My Blaze characters are! LOL. I did separate my website into two different categories now -- one for YA and one for adult -- to keep my publishers happy since I'm writing both under the same pen name. :)

Zita said...

Great interview, Michelle! And not a single "eh" in there. Go Canada! LOL

By the way, about (aboot?) your Immortality Bites series: I would rather it didn't end so soon. Do something about that, will ya? KTHNX

RebekahC said...

I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of this series yet, but I've been meaning to for ages. It sounds so completely up my alley it's not even funny! And the new YA book you have coming out later this year (The Demon Princess one) sounds killer. Can not wait!

Thanks for the blog post and for sharing a little more about yourself. :)

RebekahC

darbyscloset said...

Wow, I'd like to read the man in the pic, is he up for grabs? : )
Okay about the interview, fun and I felt like at first he was telling my story.... wearing heels and only attracting "heels"..I was a professional single for a loong time.
Love a chance to read this book,
thanks for the giveaway!
Darby
darbyscloset at yahoo dot com

Amanda Ashby said...

Can't. Wait. For. More. Sarah Dearly!!!!!!! Michelle rocks bigtime!!!!!

donnas said...

Great interview. I cant wait for Stakes & Stilettos to come out. I love this series.

Marie Burton said...

Please add my name for the giveaway, I appreciate it.
marieburton2004 at yahoo

nyc-coyote said...

I loved this interview. It's always so interesting to have the author's thoughts on writing, on their characters, and even on such little things as which is the yummiest vampire (I'm voting for Henry from the Blood Ties books/series myself.)

Just as wonderful as the interview was Michelle's post here in the comments. I appreciate reading her distinction in the types of romances. I especially agree with the tenet that "as long as the sex isn't gratuitous and actually fits organically into the plot, it's not really that much different than any other writing." I've been saying that for years! Okay, so it was to excuse what I was reading/writing, but I still meant it. LOL!

Thanks, Cari for posting this interview. I'm one more person who's going to be adding these books to her pile. :)

-Stas
ktfcoyote(at)optonline(dot)net

Michelle Rowen said...

Zita... if my publisher begged me for another Sarah book, I'm sure I could be convinced. Just get 80,000 of your friends to buy a copy and we're definitely in business. ;)

nyc-coyote... ooo, I love Henry from Blood Ties, too (more from the series than the books. Oh god, I just know that officially makes me a cougar, right??)

Earlier comment from Lisa... no plans for a sequel to my angel book (see what I said above to Zita and it also applies here - lol). There will be lots of demons coming up from me, though. And possibly some angels to balance things out. ;-)

~THE OPTIMISTIC PESSIMIST ~ said...

Great interview! It is always interesting to find out a little bit more about a favorite author.
Please don't enter me in the contest for I am fortunate enough to have already read S&S! It was awesome. And did a little review of it. Wow Sara has really gotten herself in a pickle this time.
I love Thierry, and Stakes and Stilletto's has made me love him more.... melt....
I am not so patiently awaiting the next installment Tall Dark and Fangsome!!!

http://passive-agressiva.blogspot.com/2009/02/stakes-and-stillettos.html

TaraLeigh said...

Wow!!
Look at all the replies! Total success with the interview!

*muah*

Cari Quinn said...

Thanks so much to everyone who stopped by to talk to Michelle! I know whoever wins S&S will love it - and Thierry - as much as I do. :)

Case in point...a couple weeks ago, I had a dream where my house was on my fire. Not fun, obviously, but it was a slow moving fire, apparently, because I had time to grab my important belongings before I left. I remember frantically searching for my signed copies of Lady & The Vamp and Stakes & Stilettos, and wouldn't leave my burning house till I found them. My own writing? Didn't even blip onto my radar. Sad, but true.

So, yeah, great book! :)

Michelle Kuo said...

Haha I really liked that last question! Honestly, I didn't like Robert all too much in the movie (hope no one shoots me for saying that!) but I am absolutely in love with Edward Cullen himself! :D I remember I would totally obsess over him when I read the series. I mean, who DIDN'T obsess over him?

mammakim said...

Great interview, I love your answers

JBJBounce said...

Have to admit I haven't read any of these, but they WILL be on my buy list the next time I'm at the bookstore.

Loved the interview Cari, always enjoy reading the views of the author on their characters and especially finding out about their need for feedback. Thank you.