Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
I'm a writer who writes in between playing Mom to two girls, wife to one computer geek, doggie whisperer to one neurotic dog, and servant to a diva kitty in a house in the `burbs full of naked Barbies.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
I would be Sarah. Sarah is from Blood Lines: Blood Kiss and has appeared in some form in all the Blood Lines books, except Currents. She's a strong woman, which she finds out in Blood Kiss, with immense powers. Yet, she also has this naivety that I don't think she's ever going to completely lose, no matter what happens to her. And she also gets Nick Mancuso, one very hot hero.
What's your favorite genre to read?
I'm a sucker for paranormal romance. I grew up reading Stephen King with a healthy dose of Kathleeen Woodiwiss and Harlequin. So I tend to enjoy my romance with a little bit of bump in the night as it were.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
On a good day, I get up, shove out all the other humans, plop myself at my desk with the cat by my laptop, turn off the internet and let the writing take me. Those are the days I love. These are interspersed with days where one or more other humans stays home to distract me. It is very hard for me to write a love scene at the kitchen table with an eight year old sitting in the chair across from me.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
The Sixth Curse of Spring is a sequel to the Six Curses of Christmas, though it does stand alone. Deidre is stuck in a maple tree, spitting out curses to keep her tree's owner, Mckenzie, away from Jake, her childhood neighbor and a tempting crush. Will Deidre's Sixth Curse of Spring keep the lovebirds away from each other? Or make them more determined to find a springtime romance? Loose Id just accepted The Sixth Cursed Halloween, which completes the trilogy. It is Deidre's story, and if you think she sparks in The Six Curses of Christmas or the Sixth Curse of Spring, just wait until this story.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
Thriller or romantic suspense. Something along the lines of Tess Gerritsen. The original Blood Kiss was much more a paranormal thriller than a romance.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I first got serious after several starts and stops about four or five years ago. I started learning my craft and doing more of that than I'd ever done before. I met several friends on a loop for Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunters. They encouraged me to submit. Also, my husband pushed me quite frequently to do something with my writing. He knew I loved it, that it made me happy, and he wanted to see me put myself out there.
So, I went to the Romantic Times in St. Louis in 2005. Through pure chance, I met with an editor from Loose Id. They asked to see the full manuscript of Blood Kiss and accepted it for publication. There was a scream heard round the world on the day I got that email.
What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
The best advice I've ever received is give yourself permission to write badly. You can always go back and fix it. The only thing you can't fix is a blank page. It's been a godsend to take this advice on days where the words don't want to come, my characters turn their back on me, and I'm not feeling the muse. I make myself sit and write and know this part won't be perfect but I can fix it!
The worst advice I've received is all the "rules." Don't do this. Don't do that. Some rules are necessary but I see a lot of rules being broken in published works.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
For the most part, I just start writing. Usually I know in my head, I need to end up at points A, B, and C. But I don't always know every turn the story will take to get there.
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
Probably the best way is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do have a website: http://www.mechelearmstrong.com
I have a forum that I plan to get active over the next few months. We'll see how far I get.
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King