Six Questions with Michelle Rowen...Part Deux

This is my second interview with Michelle, but honestly, I could probably keep asking her questions for oh, the next five years or so. ;) She's fun, witty and a great writer, AND she's got a boatload of upcoming releases that she'll be talking about with us today. Not only that, she's generously offered to give away a copy of Tall, Dark & Fangsome to a lucky commenter! In case you didn't know, T, D & F releases tomorrow, Tues. Aug. 25th, but comment for a chance to win your very own copy! Winner will be picked Tues. night.

Want to know a little more about Tall, Dark & Fangsome, the 5th and final book in Michelle's Immortality Bites series?

Immortality Bites.

Sarah Dearly’s vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn’t obey his orders – that includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp via her bite so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.

Making things worse are Sarah’s growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side…but is it for real? Will Sarah’s dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally get the chance to live happily ever after with Thierry…forever?

Sounds delish, doesn't it? I've been following this series for two years now and still haven't come to terms with the loss of Thierry, but Michelle assures me that her demon, Darrak, in The Demon In Me will soothe my wounded spirit. I'm sure she's right. ;)

Onto the questions!

1.) Tall, Dark & Fangsome is the last book in your Immortality Bites series. (sob) Did you always envision this story wrapping up in a 5 book arc and plan it that way from the beginning? And for those of us dying to Sarah and Thierry get the happy ending we've all been waiting for?

Yep, it’s the last, I’m afraid! (sob indeed!) You know, when I first got the idea for Bitten & Smitten -- sparked from the thought of ‘what if Bridget Jones was a vampire?’ back in 2002, I figured it would be one book. Then when I finished writing it, I enjoyed the characters so much I felt it might have the legs to be a trilogy (and, in fact, mentioned this in my agent query letter). The ideas I originally jotted down for what would potentially befall my fledgling vampire were very different from what actually happened in the series. My characters had minds of their own (specifically about the love triangle in the first two books). New ideas started sparking and catching fire. However, I knew at book three that it would be a five book series and planned the last two books accordingly so all ends could be tied up as neatly as possible.

Do Sarah and Thierry get an HEA? Nice try, Cari! You’ll have to read TD&F yourself and see how it all turns out. I’m very anti-spoiler. ;)

Yes, I can admit it. I tried to trick Michelle into a spoiler. Foiled again. LOL

2.) Hot Spell, your November Harlequin Blaze, is about paranormal investigators that discover more than ghosts during their overnight in a haunted house. ;) Can you tell us a little about it, and do you have plans to write another Blaze?

I’ve always enjoyed Blazes: fun, sexy stories that seem to focus very tightly on the hero and heroine’s burgeoning relationship. My vampire series is definitely PG as far as the steamy stuff, so I wanted to test myself and see if I could write something hotter if I chose to. Turns out that I’m quite comfortable spicing things up, as long as the plot specifically calls for it.

HOT SPELL is about Amanda and Jacob, paranormal investigators at the same agency who are fairly convinced that they hate each other—despite that annoying attraction that’s always been between them. Just as Amanda’s about to quit her job and leave town, they’re partnered together on one last job—assessing a haunted house that contains an enchanted clock that, at the stroke of midnight, makes it impossible for them to resist that attraction they’ve always felt for each other. It’s an out of control desire that continues to burn long enough for them to think that maybe they haven’t just been enchanted, but cursed as well. I like curses. They seem to turn up frequently in my books. LOL

I had so much fun writing this book that I’m more than ready to write another one sometime soon. We’ll have to wait and see what the future brings!

3.) You're now working on three serieses at once. Whew! Just typing that makes me tired. For the writers among us, how do you juggle them? Do you do complicated story bibles, or are you more of a pantser?

Gosh, when you put it that way, it kinda makes me tired too! I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time right now, and you’d be surprised how many pages you can produce if you’re not doing anything else! So that definitely helps in my multi-book production levels.

Right now I’m working on a new paranormal romance series, a YA fantasy series, and just started an urban fantasy duology. A duology is only two books. That’s hardly a series! LOL. I just have a hard time thinking of ideas that are totally standalone. My characters, more often than not, desperately want more than one book to stretch their legs.

I have a story bible for my YA series that keeps track of characters traits and locations, etc., but find that rereading the previous book will help get me back into that world. When I’m writing, I only focus on one project at a time, so I’m not really juggling everything in my head—I’m immersed in the world of my current characters.

Do I know where my series are going -- like, did I know how TALL, DARK & FANGSOME was going to end when I was writing Bitten & Smitten? Nope. I find when I write a book it often turns out differently than my original outline (I am, most certainly, NOT a pantser in this respect), and will naturally lead the way to an idea for the next book I never would have thought of beforehand. For example, when I introduced Gideon Chase, the leader of the vampire hunters, in the second book of my Immortality Bites series, I had no idea he’d play a growing role in each of the books that followed it. He was just supposed to be a distant threat—one of many Sarah has to deal with. But opportunity presented itself and I went with it because it felt right. Plus the fact he happened to be a gorgeous billionaire definitely helped. ;) I guess I’m a “trust your gut” kind of writer, which is kind of funny since that’s one of the main story themes I explore in my books.

So long story short: I carefully outline each book before I start writing, but I have no idea where the series will eventually lead down the road. That’s as scary as it is exhilarating!

4.) And one more writing question - what do you wish you'd been told before you sold your first book?

That JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are the exceptions to the rule? Ha. No, seriously, (although that is a valid point), let me think...

You know, it’s funny, but absolutely nothing comes to mind. I’d researched the crappola out of this industry as I was aiming toward getting an agent. There weren’t a whole lot of surprises for me along the way.

I guess I can say that it was a difficult, albeit obvious realization that not everybody is going to like my books. Bad reviews happen to every author and it’s not personal, yada yada. In fact, the most popular authors have some of the worst reviews (check Amazon if you doubt that!). If 1000 people review your book, a good 100, at least, are going to hate it. This is why there are so many choices in fiction—to cover so many different tastes!

I guess a good piece of info to have going into publication is write what you love. Not just because it makes the path to publication easier on you, but because once you’re published that is what, more than likely, you’ll be expected to produce on a regular basis. Don’t write a paranormal just because it’s the hot genre if you secretly hate paranormals. Because if you get published, your editor is going to want more paranormals in a very similar vein (no pun intended). It sounds simple, but it’s not. You can very easily paint yourself into a corner time-wise writing things that you’re not totally gung-ho about—and then have zero time to focus on what you really want to write.

Luckily for me, I am writing exactly what I love, plus, because I’m fairly prolific (able to write 4 books a year without freaking out...well, much), I’ve had the opportunity to explore my darker side a bit (with my Michelle Maddox book, Countdown, and my new urban fantasy duology which will be written under another pen name) as well as keep writing the lighter books that have become my Michelle Rowen “brand.”

5.) What can we look forward to next from you? After Thierry...I mean, Tall, Dark & Fangsome, and Hot Spell, that is.

Well, I have a new paranormal series starting up next year with Berkley Sensation. It’s a romantic look at demonic possession. :) The first book is titled THE DEMON IN ME (May 2010). My heroine, a psychic who has recently inherited half-ownership in a detective agency, is possessed by a sexy demon who needs her help to break the curse he’s had for 300 years. (See? Curses rock!) Luckily, he’s able to draw on her psychic energy in order to take form during the day, but is bound to her body at night.

I’m beyond excited about this fun new series and believe that the hero, Darrak, is my favorite so far. Don’t tell the others, though. They’re very sensitive. ;)

I also have a YA series, DEMON PRINCESS, starting up this October about a sixteen-year-old girl named Nikki who finds out the father she’s never met before is a demon king from another dimension. This also has a hero to die for, Michael, but since he’s only seventeen, I won’t admit any major authorial lust for him. *whistles innocently*

6.) And just for you think they were right in not recasting Jacob for New Moon? I know you were Team Jacob in the books, but it seems as if you've crossed over to the other side for the movies. (For those that don't know, Michelle is a wee bit of a Twilight fan. ;))

A Twilight fan? Who, meee? *more innocent whistling*

Yes, I was all for replacing Taylor Lautner as Jacob in New Moon with someone older and taller and super-sexy-hot. I have since decided that Taylor is perfect for the role, he has fought like a wolf for it, and despite his baby face, has a killer bod and seems to have great chemistry with Kristen Stewart, according to the trailers which I’ve seen...oh, a few (hundred) times. However, this casting decision has forced me to officially shift to Team Edward (for the movies, anyhow), since seventeen is just...too...darn...young. Robert Pattinson is 23. Which is perfectly acceptable to me. ;)

To order Tall, Dark & Fangsome (you know you want to!)

Want more of Michelle? You can find her at

Thanks for stopping by, Michelle! And don't forget to comment for a chance to win!


Amanda Ashby said...

Great post - though I can't quite believe that it's the last Sarah book - waaaaaaah. Thankfully I finished reading Demon Princess a few weeks ago and she does YA as awesomely as she does everything else. Phew!!!!

Shelley Munro said...

LOL - Amanda and I were talking about you at our conference in the weekend and how prolific you were. I'm looking forward to the last Sarah book. Your YA sounds great too.

J.K. Coi said...

Hi Cari!
Hi Michelle!

This is a great interview. I love Michelle's books, just as much fun as she is! Although I think you're downplaying the pulling-out-your-hair reality of trying to write for so many different editors at once. You're crazy, but if anyone does crazy well, it's you :)

ColleenFL said...

I love the Immortality Bites series! I'm sad its ending. I can't wait to read T, D & F.

HockeyVampiress said...

Sorry to hear this will be the last one.... great interview.... and even with the age thing I have to stand up for the opposite view.... In the books I was team Eddie but in the movies I am team Jacob.... but don't get me started on Bella.... there is one I would have liked recast...

Penny said...

Great interview! Thanks for the sneak peak at the Demon in Me, Michelle!

Vanessa said...

I'll be sad to see the series end but am excited for what's to come.

Great interview. Thank you for posting

Helen Hardt said...

Great interview, ladies, and Michelle, your Blaze sounds wonderful. I'm looking forward to it!


Cari Quinn said...

Thanks so much for answering some questions today, Michelle. I know the winner of T, D & F is going to love it! :)

tetewa said...

I'm sad the series is coming to an end but can't wait for the latest release!

Razlover's Book Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

Hello Cari!
Hello Michelle!
I loved the interview. I tried to switch my day off from Monday to Tuesday.. just so I could get my hand on TDAF and read it in one sitting.. damn work... I am so glad that Michelle can be a full time writer now.
I have read Demon Princess. I loved it. Will post a review closer to release date.
I haz major sadness for the end of the Immortality Sucks series being at the end...

Lifkdasux at aol dot com

donnas said...

Great post. I love this series and am sad to see it go but cant wait to read the new ones coming out. Congrats on the release. Cant wait to get the chance to read it.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

elnice said...

Hi there! I followed the link on Michelle's blog to this site, great interview! I am so sad this is the last Sarah book. I was a bit bummed in book 3, but that worked out ok so I have high hopes for her and Theirry. Veronique needs a muzzle or something though.

Jasmine said...

Love Michelle, can't believe this is the last Immortality Bites book. But can't wait to read the new ones too. :)

Sewicked said...

Do you think that you'll ever write another book in Sarah's universe? If so, will Sarah have a cameo?

rissatoo said...

Can't wait to read T,D &F... but sad the series is ending. But as long as Michelle keeps writing, we'll have great stuff to read! :) Yay!

Barbara said...

Sorry to say goodbye to the Immortality Bites series, but it's great to know there's more good stuff in the works to look forward to.

Michelle Rowen said...

Thanks for the comments everyone! :)

Shelley... I know a few authors who put my production levels to shame. I know one author who wrote 12 books in one year!

J.K.... I have perfected my crazy. It's like second nature now.

Elnice... had it gone according to my original outline for Bitten & Smitten, Sarah would have ended up with Quinn and Thierry would have sacrificed his life to save everyone. But characters do have minds of their own. Don't they? LOL

Sewicked... will there be more from Sarah? I have nothing planned right now, but if the opportunity presented itself to write her again I'd certainly take it. :) My new books are in different universes to the Immortality Bites one so cameos are out for the time being, I think.

Ashley said...

Great interview! While I've never read any of these great books, I've heard a lot of great things about them. Maybe this is the push I needed to go out and find them. :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing Interview!
Just my luck though. It was only two days ago when I "discovered" and read the first 4 in the Immortality Bites series and by tomorrow (because I am so going to Borders & buying it) I'll have to say good-bye? Sigh. Sarah's sarcasm and Thierry's attempts at "knock-knock" jokes will certainly be missed.
Looking forward to the new projects though!

Christina Phillips said...

Great interview, Cari and Michelle!! I love the sound of the new series - and I absolutely love curses too!!!

TaraLeigh said...

Great interview CP. *muah* I know you were so very excited for Michelle's return to your blog.

Thanks Michelle, you were insightful as ever. I think I'm going to be taking that 'write what you love' to heart in my writing from now on.

I'm really sad that Thierry and Sarah are over. *sniff* I just recently 'found' them and I still have some time with those two.

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