Interview: Michelle Rowen

NRR:Can you share with us how you got started into writing?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer ever since I was around twelve years old. I just seemed to get a lot of story ideas and was never satisfied with movies or books. I wanted to do it my way. But getting started was harder than I thought. Well, starting was easy, it was the finishing that was hard. I took courses on writing, read a lot of books about writing, then finally when I didn’t have any more excuses, I got down to actually getting words on the page and not giving up when it got hard. I dabbled with a young adult trilogy, actually finishing it, before I started on the book that would lead to getting an agent and my first book deal – Bitten & Smitten – which was inspired from my love for all things Buffy.

How long does it usually take for you to put a novel together?

At the moment I’m writing approximately four full novels a year so I have to be very strategic about my writing time because I can’t waste any. I have it down to a science now -- sometimes it works out well, and sometimes it gets a bit tight. I write my first draft in six weeks. I take two weeks off to recover and get some distance from the material. Then I write the second draft in one month. Three months per book. I’m working pretty darn hard during this time. I sometimes say that my first book took me two years to write, but the same amount of hours I take now. Just spread out a bit more. Ideally I’d like about 4-5 months to write a book but I’m happy to get the chance to write lots of books.

How were you inspired to write Nightshade?

Nightshade, oddly enough, was inspired by Twilight and other vampire romances I’d read where the vampire hero is afraid to bite the defenseless but irresistible heroine because he was afraid he’d kill her. I thought -- what if biting her would kill him instead because her impossible-to-resist blood is poison?  That was the initial spark, but it was also inspired by movies like Blade and The Terminator.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Right now it seems to be reality shows that involve cake decorating or toddler beauty pageants. Thank God for TLC.

What is in your to be read pile?

I have so many books on my TBR pile that I may as well just call it a bookshelf. I’m extremely behind in the Darkfever series and trying to catch up. I also have a pile of novels I’ve received to judge for RWA’s Rita contest. I can’t say what they are but there are quite a few that I am looking forward to cracking open.

Can you share with us a little about Nightshade (of course no spoilers)?

Absolutely! Nightshade is the first book about Jillian Conrad, a woman who’s swept into a dangerous world she never knew existed when she’s injected with a serum that turns her blood both poisonous and irresistible to vampires. She is kidnapped from her normal life by an seemingly emotionless dhampyr assassin named Declan Reyes who wants to use her as a pawn to kill a vampire king. It’s a roller coaster of a book with a lot of thrills along the way. It’s a bit darker than what my books have been in the past, but it’s been a lot of fun and a real challenge to get the chance to push my boundaries a little. 

What can fans expect to see from you next?
If my readers enjoy Nightshade, then they’re in luck. It’s the first of two books and a novella set in the same world about the same characters. The story continues with the novella “Bleeding Heart” in the Primal anthology (out now) and then again in July with the full length Bloodlust. Readers who prefer the lighter side of my writing can pick up my third Harlequin Blaze, Inevitable, out in March, and the third and final Living in Eden novel, That Old Black Magic, will be released in December. Readers are invited to check out my website at www.michellerowen.com for more info about all of these books and more.

Thank you for joining us!

My pleasure!

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