Monday, 6 April 2015

EXCLUSIVE - Interview with Melinda Michaels

A few week ago I featured the cover reveal for Golden by Melinda Michaels.  This week I was lucky enough to catch her for a few questions. If you want to find out more about Melinda and her writing then keep reading.

What inspired you to write Golden?

I have an affinity for fairytales and the constant role they play in our lives. We’re always looking for our Prince Charming and our happily ever after, but I found that constantly searching for something makes us unappreciative of what we have. I wanted to rework a fairytale to show that no one is perfect and happily ever after takes hard work and sacrifice, not just in a grand gesture sort of way, but in everyday life. 

What were the challenges in bringing it to life?

At first I was trying to make it a high fantasy novel, but I couldn’t do it authentically. I didn’t want to hurt the story by trying to make it something that it wasn’t, so there was a lot of back and forth trying to understand where it wanted to go. I had a hard time with that.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

Initially I’ll write down a paragraph detailing a whole story then put it away for a week or so. If it’s still nagging me after a few days, I’ll sit down and write an outline and synopsis. After that comes my least favorite part. I’ll write a very in depth character analysis for my main characters. If they flesh out in the analysis I know I have something and then I’ll begin writing.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

That depends! I wrote the first draft of Golden in two months, I wrote the first draft of its sequel, Roses in ten months. If I’m relaxed it is usually a faster process, but when I worry I scrutinize my work and it slows the process.

Did you always want to be a writer? Why?

At first I wanted to be an actor, because I thought I’d like to live in a movie. Then I learned there were directors who made movies, so I wanted to be a director. Then I found out that writers were at the creative center, so I wanted to be a screenwriter. When I found out all my favorite movies were actually books and I started reading, I realized what I finally wanted to do. This was all before the fourth grade so I guess yes, since I was nine years old I’ve wanted to be a writer. I think it was because I enjoyed living in my books, I could travel anywhere to anytime in history. I wanted to create worlds to live in too.

What jobs did you have/do you have before you began to write?

I’ve had a ton of jobs over the years, from waitress to assistant, to working in home health care. I was always writing though. Every free moment I got, I was working on my stories.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

That’s a good question! It may sound cheesy, but I would love to claim authorship to The Sneetches and Other Tales. I think The Star Bellied Sneetches is brilliant and I would be so annoying if I wrote it. I would brag all the time and all my friends would end up hating me.

If you could be character in Golden who would you be and why?

I would like to be Hanna and I relate to her awkward side, but there’s no doubt that I’m more like her friend Carly. I have a history of being overly dramatic and while writing it I was always agreeing with Carly.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character(s) from Golden?

I think Carey Mulligan would look most like Hanna, Jake Weary as Owen and I don’t know for William. He was pulled from several images and I’ve searched for his lookalike, but I can’t find him.

Many thanks to Melinda for taking the time to answer my questions.

About Melinda Michaels:

Melinda Michaels is the author of Golden and currently lives in Milford, Pennsylvania. A self-proclaimed historian with a rare sense of humor, Melinda finds an immense amount of joy in knowing useless facts, exploring historical places and drinking copious amounts of coffee. When she’s not writing she can be found researching obscured time periods for her own amusement or refurbishing old furniture.

Melinda loves Philadelphia and visits often to enjoy the city with her husband Andrew. Together they have three rambunctious pets. Archie the Beagle, Winston the Boston Terrier and Beatrice the cat.

Golden is the first in a Young Adult magic realism series.
Find Melinda Michaels on facebook, twitter, or her website. 

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