Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#Interview with author Michelle Muckley

Let's welcome author Michelle Muckley to The Writing World. It's great to have you here. 
 
 
 
 
1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
 Well, other than being a writer I have spent most of my adult life being a scientist working in the field of cardiology and working ridiculously unsocial hours.  I don't know how the first book ever got written.  I also love hiking, and watching movies.
 
2. What types of books do you write?
 My books are set in the thriller genre, but perhaps with a bit of a feminine touch to them.  I like to explore the characters emotional journey extensively, and purposefully write in quiet moments when we get to know the characters a bit more.  I like a race to the finish with a character I care about, not just a plot extravaganza.
 
3. Who's your main audience?
 Well, I'm from the UK, and live in Cyprus and my main volume of readers are from the USA.  I have a broad range of both male and female readers between 20 and 70 years old, so I don't think I have a very specific reader type!
 
4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
 OK, weakness first.  Planning, with a capital P.  I just don't get it right.  I plan, and then I change something within three chapters, and spend more time editing back for the corrections.  The last book which is as yet unreleased was planned a little better, but than half way through I lot my planning book, so it was like the planning never happened.  Several readers have told me I am good at creating vivid images, and creating suspense, so I'll go for those as my strong points.
 
5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
 I heard that real writer's don't get writer's block, but I don't think that's true.  It comes to all of us.  I am not one of these people who can write chapter three and then chapter 20, and then 15 and so on and so on, so if i get stuck I have to think my way around it.  Usually any sticking point can be directly related to question four's answer!
 
6. How many books have you written?
 Three.  One of which in the editing stages, and there are about two more currently orbiting my grey matter.  If I had some sense I'd get these down on paper before they disappear.
 
7. How many are published?
 Two, and I wish I knew then what I know now, because it would be so much simpler to start well!
 
8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
 Self published.  When I finished the first version of The Loss of Deference, I posted it out to several agents and suffered at the crippling knowledge that the envelope sat waiting for me on the doormat was another rejection letter.  But after I moved to another country, I decided it would be very difficult to start another round of searching for an agent or a publisher, and decided to give self publishing a try with a re-edited manuscript.  The rejections helped me realize the faults with the first manuscript too, because once I had got over the disappointment of the rejection, it forced me to critically evaluate what I had sent out.  It made me a better writer.
 
9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The editing process.  It's tough, but short of the initial writing of the story, it is the most important thing that sets your manuscript apart.  Nothing says amateur like a bunch of mistakes.
 
10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Usually horror and thriller, but I will read anything that catches my attention.  Generally I am not into biographies, and have never read a non fiction book all the way through, except for a textbook about ultrasound.
 
11. Who's your favorite Author?
At the moment I just finished Captain Corelli's Mandolin, and it has usurped any book I ever read beforehand so I have to say Loius de Bernieres.  I am planning to work my way through everything he ever wrote.
 
12. What's your all time favorite book?
Before Captain Corelli's Mandolin, I would probably have said 1984.

13. How long does it take you to write a book?
The Loss of Deference took me two years, Escaping Life took me two months.  Plus the editing.

14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
I really love my latest character, Ben Stone.  He is a scientist, good looking, and really quite the genius.  However he is just a regular guy that gets thrown into a crazy situation and has to learn a lot, and fast.  He finds both physical and emotional strength that he never knew he had.  I really like him.  Plus in my mind he looks a lot like Bradley Cooper, and that can't be a bad thing.

15. What is one of the most surprising things you've learned as a writer?
How easy it is to make mistakes.  You can read and read and read and still something gets through that shouldn't be there.  Typos drive me crazy.  I have also learned to be patient with myself. 

16. What does your family think of your writing?
They are very excited by it, and I have a wonderful husband who supports me with a lot of encouragement.  He is quite the cheerleader.

17. What does your writing schedule look like?
I write daily, except for the weekend.  It's the best way for me to be focused.  The only exception are the days when I have other tasks demanding my attention, like interviews and websites!  It's nice to have a bit of distraction though!

18. Do you manage to write every day?
Except for the weekends, or if Facebook keeps luring me in.

19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?
That a paperback version of The Loss of Deference is out within the next few weeks, and by early May, the next release should be live.  I just need a title.

20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Yes, listen.  I discarded a lot of advice when I started, thinking I must have a handle on my own work.  Instead, I should have taken it, and it would have helped a great deal.  Planning was part of that advice, so I guess I still have a few things to learn.......
 
 
 

1 comment:

Michelle Muckley said...

Thanks so much for having me appear on your blog! It was a pleasure to be here.
Http://www.michellemuckley.com

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