Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
It's great to be here! I'm author, Michelle M Pillow. I write in almost all romance genres and sub-genres.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
That's hard, because I can be pretty mean to my characters, lol. I think maybe one of the heroines from a paranormal romance because they get to see tangible proof that the supernatural exists.
What's your favorite genre to read?
If I've been working really hard, I like to get out of the modern romance genre altogether for a break. I love classics like Jane Austin, Wilde, Steinbeck. As for romance authors-Nina Bangs, Mandy Roth, Stephanie Rowe, Jaycee Clark, Melani Blazer, Jaci Burton.okay, this list is endless, lol.
Who or what influences you when you write?
I love research and my writing, even the futuristics, is often influenced by history and historical research. I'm also influenced by movies, not the movie itself per se, but the feeling you get when watching. I try to capture that feeling and hold onto it when I write.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
I multitask like crazy. Whenever my mind needs a break, I'm checking emails, updating myspace, wondering where in the house I set down my coffee and trying to think of a great excuse as to why I can't do the laundry today.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I do something other than writing. Normally, if the block is bad, I shift gears and go into promotional mode. That's how I built my new website (www.michellepillow.com), the new blog (http://www.michellepillow.com/authorblog/), designing bookmarks, book videos. Last year it was the myspace acct, lol. That way, even though writing isn't getting done, I can still be productive to my career.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
The book I'm working on now is the first Space Lords. It's the next installment in the futuristic series-Dragon Lords and Lords of the Var and Zhang Dynasty. In Lords of the Var 5: The Pirate Prince, Rick from the prince's crew angered a spirit associated with the Zhang Dynasty. In return, she cursed them with a very cryptic prophecy of their future lives. With only vague pieces, the men face a life of loneliness if they can't figure the puzzle out. Ironically, the only one who seems not to care is the man who brought the curse down on them.
Here's a sneak peek look at my next release (a joint with Mandy Roth), Pleasure Cruise 2, Coming May 2007 from Ellora's Cave.
An Excerpt From: PLEASURE CRUISE II: DATE WITH DESTINY
c Copyright MANDY M. ROTH AND MICHELLE M. PILLOW 2007
Date with Destiny: Book II in the Pleasure Cruise Series By Michelle M. Pillow, Mandy M. Roth
Academically-minded, uptight Anna only agreed to go on Date with Destiny, a campy game show, because she wanted to win an SUV. She never dreamed that accidentally selecting the wrong prize would land her on a cruise ship full of supernaturals. At least she's bringing someone along for the ride-her best friend Winter, a kooky free spirit with a penchant for mischief.
Andre and Christian, were-panthers and twin brothers, are polar opposites as far as personalities go. One views life as a party, the other is entirely too serious. But once they meet their intended mates, this night-and-day duo can finally agree on one thing-Anna and Winter will be theirs and theirs alone before they get back to shore.
The Powers That Be have ensured none of them will get off the ship until the two couples are mated. But as the brothers quickly realize, these human females mean to challenge them every erotically-charged step of the way.
"Don't you read the news, Winter? Do you know what kind of diseases are on cruise ships? They're like floating viruses, breeding grounds for any sickness you could imagine. My goodness, if they don't kill you with communicable diseases transmitted from person to person, the food will get you. I shudder to think how many forms of hepatitis could be contracted on this thing. Don't even get me started on restaurants at each port. You never know."
Winter rolled her eyes behind Anna's designer-suit-clad back and mimicked her talking. Her friend hadn't shut up about the cruise since she'd won it on the game show. Looking at the giant ship at port, along the Texas coastline, she didn't see Anna's floating virus. She saw a portal to fun. The blue ocean and warm, salty air beckoned them out to sea. Though they would sail around the Caribbean, the ship schedule didn't show them docking at any island ports-or so Anna said as Winter didn't live her life by adhering to schedules. Instead they would be trapped, adrift in paradise with nothing but the waves and, if her tea-leaf reading held true, scores of single, hot men. Could anything be more romantic?
Hearing Anna's loud, grumpy sigh, Winter said, "Everything happens for a reason. Why not have a little faith in the master plan? Maybe this cruise is your destiny."
"No," Anna said, matter-of-factly. "My date with destiny was a brand-new black SUV with brown leather interior and all the add-on features. Oh, and the complimentary Jet Ski to pull behind it. Not some floating deathtrap and a week of debauchery."
"You're planning on debau-on getting laid?" Winter arched a brow, hopeful her friend was finally ready to take a walk on the wild side of life. "By something that's not mechanical or requires batteries? Maybe you're right," she reached for Anna's forehead, "maybe you already contracted something."
* * * * *
Christian sighed, leaning forward as he peered into the suite's oval bathroom mirror. Combing his long brown hair back from his face, he pulled it into a neat ponytail at the nape of his neck. Not a hair was out of place when he finished. He had personal grooming down to a science.
He wore nothing but a towel wrapped neatly around his firm waist. His bare feet absently tapped on the floor as Andre started on his next '80s tune. His twin really wasn't a bad singer, if he'd just stop butchering the lyrics.
Suddenly the shower turned off and Andre hopped out, glistening wet as he strummed an air guitar and flicked his tongue in and out. Christian's brow rose as he tried not to watch Andre's one-man show. Though the event was oddly like a car crash-as much as one didn't want to look at it, the compulsion to do so trumped all restraints.
Andre didn't even seem to notice he had an audience, that or he just didn't care. Still humming softly, he grabbed a towel off the wall and haphazardly dried his hair then his body, not caring that he missed a few spots.
"Hey, let me get in here," Andre said, dropping his damp towel on the floor and reaching toward the neatly organized sink. He knocked down a bottle of cologne while grabbing the mousse. Squirting some hair product on his hand, he continued humming as he dropped the can in the sink. As Andre moussed his hair, combing the messy length only with his fingers, Christian picked up the fallen bottles. "Oh yeah, thanks, I need that."
"You have a bathroom in your own cabin."
"Oh, I know. But I sort of forgot to bring my toiletry bag. I don't have anything but my toothbrush next door. Well, that and my clothes of course."
"I gave you a list of what to pack."
"Yeah, and when I was out the other night, I ran into this foxy gal and needed something to give her my number with." Andre smiled. "It worked great, thanks."
Christian didn't dignify the comment with a response. He sighed as Andre grabbed his cologne and put it on, not bothering to recap it when he was done. Picking up after Andre as his brother strode from the bathroom naked he mumbled, "Just like home."
Andre ignored his grumbling brother and headed to his cabin in order to dress. Christian spent too much time being perfect. Andre was just the opposite. He liked music, movies, making an artistic mess and a well-written novel, especially the ones that had loads of steamy sex poured on each page. Who wanted to have an intellectual conversation when you could lie on your back and just let your mind drift aimlessly? Or watch the latest hottie ride you as her tits bounced in your face. Ah, this is the life.or at least it was, for soon I'll be a married man.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
Right now, Space Lords and Zhang Dynasty (New Concepts Publishing) books are at the forefront of my to do list. But, I'm also talking to Virgin Books about continuing a series I just started for the, Matthews Sisters. Bit by the Bug (Feb 07) and Along for the Ride (Fall 07) are the first two books in the series and three more are planned.
For Samhain, I'm continuing the Realm Immortal fantasy romance series and for Ellora's Cave, we just finished up edits on Pleasure Cruise 2: Date with Destiny.
In 5 years, where do you see yourself? -In general and in you're writing career
That's a hard question. I'm always on the lookout for new things to try. So long as I continue to love my job, I'll continue to do it. I've been thinking of getting back into freelance photography as well.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
I love the ones who struggle between duty/honor and love. You don't want a man who'll ditch responsibility for what he wants, but you don't want a man who'll give up love because of an out of proportion sense of honor. It can be a very fine line to walk.
What do you do for inspiration?
MP: I watch movies, read research books, try to start heated debates with family members, lol.
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I've hit a lot of them. I think as far as romance goes, I haven't done inspirational or suspense. I'd like to try a suspense sometime, but don't know if I'm the right girl for that job.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
One that people never forget.
What kind of research do you do for your books? Do you enjoy the research process?
I LOVE RESEARCH! In fact, I think that's why I write, so I can learn about new things. The nonfiction collection of my library actually outnumbers the fiction. My next book is often dependent on what I feel like researching next.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
MP: Hinders, because I don't like to be rushed-though I haven't missed one yet *knock on wood*
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I had great support in my husband and mother when it came to writing-they were really the only two who knew about it. Publication was more of a-I have these books laying around, let's try and see.
What would you like to tell your readers?
You all are the best!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
I think some of the worst advice are the "You have to definites". Writing is as individual as the people doing it. What works for one, doesn't work for all and I don't think we should try to force someone else's "way" if it's not for us. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have room to learn and grow. I think we should definitely listen to advice and ideas with an open mind, but weed through want doesn't work.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I have a notebook with random thought written down, but never use a formal outline. In fact, writing a synopsis before the books is finished seems odd to me-because really, I don't know everything that the characters are going to do to each other while I'm writing them.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
No, never have.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
The Mists of Midnight, NCP, April 2004
Thanks for having me! :)
Thank you for this opportunity!
Interviewed by Tammie King