Sunday, 3 February 2013

Michelle Zink Interview


Hello Readers. Welcome to our first Sunday of February. Today I'm chatting to author, Michelle Zink. Michelle  lives in New York with her four children.

Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers.
 It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.
Her next book, This Wicked Game, releases March 2013.

Represented by Steven Malk at Writer's House with Matthew Snyder at CAA for film.

To visit Michelle's website CLICK HERE

To join Michelle on Goodreads CLICK HERE

Welcome to Honey Bee Reviews, Michelle. I’d like to kick the interview off with some questions aimed at your Shadowguard series. Can you please tell those readers who aren’t in the know, just a wee teaser about the series?

The Shadowguard series is a steamy adult romance set in modern day upstate New York. It follows the Shadowguard, an elite group of warriors of angelic descent. The first three books follow each of the Montgomery heirs - Scarlet, Ivan, and Lily - as they struggle to balance the secrecy of their calling with the desire for love.

How long do the books take to write?
Each novella took me about three weeks to write. The plot was quick to develop because the world had already been built in one of my YA books, and I’d always planned a companion series centered around this plot.
How about edits?

There was quite a bit of editing with the first book, since it was my first foray into the adult romance genre, but after that things got easier!

Why do you think the Shadowguard Series has been so popular?
I like to think it’s because it has that classic mix of longing and heat that romance readers love together with a fresh take on contemporary paranormal that feels very real.
 How about the heroes in the series? Are they based on any guys you know in real life?
There are three heroes in the series - Rowen, Kane, and Ivan. And I WISH they were based on someone I knew!
I love their names. Can you tell us a few details about them; such as tastes in music and food?

 I’d say Rowen prefers hard rock and a casual dinner in a pub. 

Kane is an unapologetic romantic who likes to take his woman out to a beautiful, quiet restaurant with fine food.

You’ll have to read TEMPTATION’S FIRE when it comes out in February to get to know Ivan. ;)  

That's February 5th readers!! Not long to wait.
Oooh, they all sound pretty tempting to me J
  How about the heroines in your books? Do you ever give your heroine a few of your own traits? If so, can you tell us what they are and why you like your heroine to possess them?
All of my heroines are headstrong in their own way, which is definitely a train of mine. I’ll also give them some of my daughters traits, like Lily, who likes to bake and take care of people.
I think it’s important to represent a wide range of women, because to me, feminism isn’t about being masculine, it’s about the CHOICE to be whoever you want to be and the ability to be paid equally for your work. Even in 2013, there are women who love to cook and nurture and raise children, and there's nothing wrong with that. But there are also women who like to kick ass and take names - and there’s nothing wrong with that, either. Both kinds of woman can be smart and strong and independent, and these are the women I like to write about.
What is the most frustrating thing about being a writer and have you ever let your frustration make you give up on a writing project?
I think it varies from writer to writer. For me, it’s that I have too many ideas. I have to choose the ones that mean the most to me or the ones that I think are most timely for the market. I hate seeing ideas sitting on my hard drive, but there are only so many hours in a day.  The only thing that will make me give up on a writing project is if I really come to believe it’s not going to work. Otherwise, there’s no such thing as giving up, although I will put things aside sometimes to work on something else for a while.
 Michelle, can you share with us your most successful moment as an author?
I wouldn’t say there has been any one moment. Every day that I get to wake up and write for a living is a success in my book.
J Yes, that sounds good to me too. 
Who or what is your driving force?
Ohhh! You’re a tough one, aren’t you?! ;) Writing is so deeply personal, so very much a part of who I am, that the will to do it is just THERE. I suffer from bi-polar disorder, and while I’ve learned to manage it, my mind can be chaotic and noisy at times. I also suffer from anxiety, and while I’ve learned to control it with Buddhism, yoga, vitamins, and meditation, writing is still a sure bet to get me out of my own head long enough to calm down. I’d be a mess without it.
Michelle, I’d say that you’re the tough one J Your dedication to your craft is admirable.
Do you have a muse?
Truly, I don’t have any one muse.  
How about sharing a typical day in your life and tell the readers how you manage to combine your success as an author with your family life.

I’m a single mother, so it can be challenging, but I write pretty much every day. During the school week, I work from about 9am-noon (kids are in school), 3-5pm (I have to sneak this time in most days), and again from 7-9pm (kids are busy with homework, showers, etc, and they know this is my sacred writing time). If I need more time, it’s not uncommon for me to work again from 11pm until one or two in the morning. On the weekends, I usually get in a few hours from late morning to mid-afternoon, although one of my New Year’s resolutions is to give myself Sunday off whenever possible so I’m not working seven days a week. I’m still trying to find the right balance between work and family, but one of the keys is to be fully present in every moment - fully focused on writing when writing and fully focused on the kids when I’m with them. It’s harder than it sounds! And I’m still working on it.

Sounds to me like you’re doing a terrific job. My hat is off to you J
You’ve mentioned your children; if any of them wished to become writers, what advice would you give to them?
To write A LOT. Writing isn’t something you can do every now and then if you want to make a career out of it. It’s something that’s a part of your daily life, and doing it regularly is essential both to make you better and to produce work that gives you a shot at making a living.
You briefly touched on one of your New Year Resolutions; can you tell the readers what your other goals are for 2013?
Personal; take Sundays off, to meditate daily, to expand my yoga practice, to eat vegan Mon-Thurs (my family went vegetarian last year).
Professional; finish two projects that are currently at the 35,000 word mark (about 1/3 of the way complete).
Wow. Certainly sounds like a busy year ahead for you, Michelle.
My professional list is woefully short, mostly because there really is so little you can control in this business. You can’t control whether someone likes your work, whether it is a critical or commercial success, whether you sell all your books. All you can do is write, so that’s what I’m going to do.
How about a quick spot of trivia before you leave us?
Music or silence while you write?
Music while I draft, silence while I revise.
                                                Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon.
Hot chocolate or ice-cream?
Ice cream! Although REAL hot chocolate is hard to resist on a cold night.
What is your strength?
My will. As my mother says, I can accomplish anything through sheer force of will.
What is your weakness?
Internalizing everything. I think too hard, analyze too much. I’m learning through Buddhism that it’s better to just accept what IS without working so hard to label or define it.
Vamps or wolves?
Neither. Sorry. ;)

Best TV show?
Six Feet Under. Without a Doubt.

Worst TV show?
Any of the reality shows that highlight greed, rudeness, tackiness, mean-spiritedness, or negativity in any form.
Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Michelle. You’ve definitely tempted me with the Shadowguard series.


Temptation's Heat:

When Rowen Black is assigned to the elite unit of angelic assassins known as the Shadowguard, he thinks his biggest challenge will be overcoming his less-than-stellar reputation. But that’s before he meets his match in Scarlet Montgomery.
Beautiful, strong, and with a temper to match Rowen’s own, Scarlet is focused on the Shadowguard and her possible future as its leader. She’s become an expert at keeping her personal life separate from the Guard, all too aware that as the boss’s daughter, fellow warriors see her not as someone to be respected, but as someone to be protected.

Avoiding entanglements gets a lot harder when Rowen saunters into the room. Rowen puts the bad in "bad boy." Their connection is hot, visceral, and instantaneous.
When the pair are assigned to a joint investigation, they come face-to-face with their undeniable attraction, forcing Scarlet to consider that the connection is not only physical, but a destiny written in the halls of time.

Buy the book on Amazon HERE

Temptation's Kiss:

Lily Montgomery is perfectly happy taking care of everyone else. That is, until her friendship with Shadowguard warrior, Kane Dawson, begins to blossom into something more.
But Lily has a secret. One that will keep her from ever making her feelings known to Kane.
One of the Shadowguard’s fiercest warriors, Kane has a soft spot for Lily. A long-standing member of the Shadowguard, he can’t figure out when his feelings for Ambrose Montgomery’s youngest daughter morphed from brotherly affection into desire and an unfamiliar longing that feels a lot like love. 
Kane holds himself in check knowing that Lily deserves better. A man in a suit, dinner at six every night, rosy-cheeked children who won’t have to worry that their father might be killed by one of the Legion’s wraiths. 
But when the pair are thrown together by a set of circumstances beyond their control, they are forced to confront their growing passion and decide if love is worth the risk of baring it all.

Buy the book on Amazon HERE

 Temptation's Fire:Maggie O’ Reilly has her hands full. It’s all she can do to hold down her job at small-town newspaper and pay the nursing home bills for her deteriorating father. But a lead on a story from Ivan Montgomery might be just the thing to win her the promotion -- and raise -- she needs to secure her father’s care.

Ivan Montgomery isn’t exactly Mr. Popular. As the son of Ambrose Montgomery, head of the Shadowguard, Ivan has a reputation for being surly and confrontational. But somehow Maggie’s spirit and vulnerability make him want to be a better man.

Too bad a future between them is impossible.

As an outsider, Maggie can never know that Shadowguard Security is a front for the Alliance, a group of angelic descendants who keep mankind balanced between the forces of light and dark. And that means she can never know who -- and what -- Ivan really is.

But as the pair come closer to solving the mystery of who is framing the Shadowguard for murder, their attraction becomes impossible to deny. When a confrontation with a deadly foe forces them to face their feelings -- and their passion-- they will have to answer the question; can true love survive the ultimate secret?

To join Michelle on Facebook CLICK HERE

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To visit Swoon Romance CLICK HERE


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