Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Michelle Bellon's Interview!!

Hey everybody, welcome back! Hope you all had a great Sunday, and are pumped up for a great start to the week! Today, as part of the A to Z challenge, I have an author interview with Michelle Bllon, author of Rogue Alliance. Let's take a peek at the book first:

Trying to escape a horrific past, Shyla has immersed herself in life as a tough, sassy cop in the bustle of LA. When the case of a lifetime takes her back to her hometown of Redding , she is thrown into a world of organised crime, deceit, and bitter reminders of her childhood.

As Shyla’s path crosses that of Brennan, an unwitting and troubled sidekick to the ringleader she’s intent on taking down, she is forced to re-evaluate everything she believes about herself, her job, and what she knows about right and wrong.

Can she face the demons of her upbringing and learn to trust again? Her life will depend on it.

This Paranormal Romance sounds fantastic! Let's get to know the creative genius behind the book!

DSP: For starters, tell us a bit about you, we like to get to know our authors as a person!

Michelle: First I want to say thanks for having me. 

Six years ago I was working as a registered nurse and the last thing on my mind was writing a book. But I quit my job to home school one of my children who needed a bit more help with her academics. It’s important to me that my children succeed with their education. Anyway, during that time I started to have dreams that I knew should be written down. I’d never written before, other than college papers, and I doubted whether I could do it, but eventually I gave in to the nagging voices in my head and began writing my first novel. A few years later, that book, Embracing You, Embracing Me, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for young adult.

DSP: Nice to meet you! So tell us, where did you find the inspiration for your most recent book? 

Michelle: This latest book, Rogue Alliance, is so different from anything I’d written before. I’ve never written about a cop and I’ve never written paranormal. But one day I was daydreaming and an entire scene popped into my head. It was very intense and showed me the two main characters. Everything about them came alive in that one scene; their love, their history, their flaws and fears. An entire book was born of that one single scene. It was cool.

DSP: So, do you have any kind of ritual for writing? Such as, you have to write with music on, or you can only write when you’re completely alone, etc

Michelle: I’d love to say that I get to sit down and write in a quiet, lovely space while sipping tea for hours at a time. But that’s not the reality. I have four children ranging in ages from four to seventeen and so my days are very busy. I wait until evening, when everyone is in bed and, if I’m not too tired, I write at night when the house is silent. 

DSP: Who is your favorite character in your book, and why? How about the character you had the most trouble with? 

Michelle: I love Shyla. She is so rough around the edges and such a bad ass. But underneath all that is a very damaged, wonderful person. Brennan and Carmen bring that out in her. 
Victor, the bad guy, was probably the hardest. I wanted him to come off as very charming at first but gradually show his evil underbelly so the reader could really learn to hate him.

DSP: Now, when you sit down to write a book, a paragraph, or whatever you‘re working on at the moment, do you just sit down in front of the computer, or do you need an outline of some sort? Is there any other prep you need in order to organize your thoughts either before you write or in the process of writing? 

Michelle: My writing is usually very organic. I often have only an idea in my head, maybe a few scenes, and then I sit down and just let the words come. 

However, with Rogue Alliance, there was so much happening that about a quarter of the way in, I realized the only way to sort it all out and organize it was to make a rough outline. That’s the only time that has worked for me.

DSP: Do you foresee any more books to continue this story? If so, do you think we can get a taste of what’s to come? 

Michelle: Yes, definitely! I’m currently about a third of the way into writing book two for Rogue Alliance. I’m very excited about it. I feel like I’ve taken it up a notch with the twists and turns. Hopefully it will be a fun read.

DSP: Other than this most recent story, do you have any ideas for different books that might be published in the future? Care to give us a teaser? 

Michelle: The next three books that I intend to publish are Restless, a women’s fiction with romance, The Fire Inside which is literary fiction, and Jaded contemporary romance. My favorite is Jaded. Here is the blurb:

What lengths will a man go to for the woman he loves? What torment will he endure?  
Reed Dartmouth will learn the answer to those questions time and time again throughout his relationship with Jade Montgomery.  
When he first meets her as a young, gentle boy the heartache from losing his mother only a year before is still fresh and painful. Jade is different from anyone else he’s ever met; tough, sassy, and even a bit cruel. But she’s also the same as he is: she knows what it’s like to lose a parent.
Their friendship begins and a bond like no other is formed. Time passes and Reed learns that not only are Jade’s parents dead, they were murdered and she’s made an oath to one day bring them justice. No matter the price. 
As they grow older their love evolves but for Jade, old habits die hard and she can’t stop hurting those she loves the most. Even in the midst of searching for her parents’ killers, passion ignites and jealously burns as Jade tests Reed’s devotion for her. Will she push him too far?

DSP: Do you have any aspirations to be similar or comparable to another author? Why? 

Michelle: I am definitely striving for great success in this industry. I know it is so tough now days but I believe that if I just keep working hard and hone the craft and overcome all adversity, then eventually I will have the success that I desire.

DSP: What has been the biggest high since becoming a published author?

Michelle: Winning my first literary award for my YA was a highlight, for sure. But I also love meeting so many other writers, agents, editors, etc in the industry. Social networking is a lot of work but it really does pay off and enrich a writer’s life. 

DSP: Have you named the computer you use for writing?

Michelle: Haha! No, but now that you mention it, I feel like I should. I’ll have to think about that. I’m terrible at naming things. 

DSP: Has becoming an author changed you, or the way you think about certain things? If so,how?

Michelle: Yeah, actually, it’s forced me to learn to be patient which has never been a strong suit of mine. In this industry nothing happens fast. It has taken me years of hard work to get even this far and I know I still have so much farther to go. It’s a long journey but so worth it.

DSP: What is your greatest fear about being an author? 

Michelle: Failing. I’m not afraid of rejection or bad reviews. I’m only afraid of not achieving the goals that I’ve set for myself. Some have said that I raise the bar too high and drive myself too hard. But that’s the only way I know how to do it. How else would I get where I want to go.

DSP: Which of the characters in your book do you feel is the most like yourself, and in what way?

Michelle: At first it was Roshell from Embracing You, Embracing Me. After all, I did base it off of some of my own experiences. But that is more like the me from my younger days. Now, I’d have to say that I’m more like Malea from Restless, which has yet to be published. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing because she struggles with a lot of personal demons, but it is what it is.

DSP: From the first word to the moment it became available for purchase, how long did it take you to write and publish this most recent novel?

Michelle: First word to publication was just over four months. 

And now, for something completely different…some slightly off-the-wall and possibly irrelevant questions to to really let inside the author's head!

DSP: Are you planning to bring sexy back?

Michelle: Jaded is nothing but heart-wrenching sexy. So yeah! 

DSP: If you could be any cartoon character for 24 hours, who would you pick and why?

Michelle: Bugs Bunny. He’s smarter than everyone around him and his witty sarcasm is unbeatable. But I kind of want to marry SpongeBob. That guy is funny and funny is sexy. J

DSP: How many ridges are there around a quarter?

Michelle: This question hurts my brain.

DSP: Do you believe in fate or destiny?

Michelle: Yes. I believe in fate and destiny but I also believe in free will and that we have the power, to at any given moment, alter our own destiny and change the course of events. 

DSP: How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Michelle: Uh, I still have yet to know exactly what a woodchuck is. Maybe I should Google it. Is it a beaver-ish looking thing?

DSP: What are your thoughts on string?

Michelle: Tangled.

DSP: Boxers or briefs?

Michelle: Boxer briefs!!! I feel very strongly about this. 

DSP: Thong, g-string/v-string, or other? If other, please explain.

Michelle: I plead the fifth. 

DSP: What is your favorite song?

Michelle: Silent Lucidity by Queensryche.

DSP: Do you have any tattoos? If so, how many, what are they, and where are they on your body? (PG-13)

Michelle: Yes. As Forest Gump would say- “That’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

DSP: What’s your favorite candy? Ice cream?

Michelle: Chocolate in any form is necessary. I love ice cream like a fat kid loves cake.

DSP: Would the 8-year-old version of yourself kick your ass or praise you for what you’ve done with your life?

Michelle: Definitely praise, for the most part. There would be an ass kicking for a few things though. 

DSP: If you could meet one person (real or fictional, alive or deceased), who would it be, and what one question would you ask?

Michelle: I want to meet Superman. I have a bit of an obsession with him. I wouldn’t ask questions. First I’d play the damsel in distress and let him save me then I’d jump his bones. Yep. Superman is hot!

DSP: Imagine you’re the sole survivor of a plane crash at sea, and you awake stranded on a deserted and uncharted island in the Bermuda Triangle. Nobody knows you’re there, and you have nothing but the clothes on your back. You’re all alone, and there’s terrifying sounds coming from deep within the jungle. Late that night as you’re starving, a large suitcase washes up on the shore. You open it up. What’s in the suitcase?

Michelle: Chapstick. I’m addicted. It’s a real problem. I should seek help.

Haha, love it! these were some great answers, and I think a woodchuck is much like a groundhog. At least he looks like one... 

So here's a bit more about Michelle, as well as where to find her and her book!

Michelle currently lives in the Pacific Northwest  with her husband and their four children.  
She earned her degree as a registered nurse in 2005, but found herself back in the home a few years later when she and her husband welcomed their fourth child into the world and so began her writing career.  
She writes YA, romance suspense, and women’s fiction. She has published four novels and won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award last year for her young adult novel.

Pick up Rogue Alliance on Amazon!

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