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Michelle lives in North Royalton, Ohio, just about half an hour from Lake Erie and Cleveland. She graduated from Northwestern College, Iowa, with a BA in theater/English, and from Regent University, Virginia, with an MA in communication (film/writing). She has over 40 short stories and poems to her credit in fan fiction -- Star Trek, Highlander, the Phoenix, Beauty & the Beast, Stingray, among others. Her first professional sale was also a first-place win in the Writers of the Future Contest, with the short story "Relay."
Michelle has written a number of series set in two different "Universes". To make it easier for you I have detailed the two universes that we sell below. There is the "Commonwealth" Universe which has most of her books and "The Hunt". Michelle has also written other books, some of which will be coming out at Writers Exchange in 2011.
"The Hunt" Universe
Who are the Hunt? Children sent from an endangered world in another universe/dimension of reality, to protect them from a despot who wants to command their Talents. Given into the keeping of the Hounds of Hamin, the members of the Hunt have been separated by time as well as distance. They know each other by the scars -- rows of teeth marks -- on their wrists. Some have been in our world for decades, others have only been here for a few years. They have to find each other -- and soon, before more enemies show up to destroy them -- and find a way back home to save their world.
The Hunt books to date are:
The "Commonwealth" Universe
Almost all of Michelle's Science Fiction Novels are set in the Commonwealth Universe. To help us all keep track of the underlying story of the universe, and where the stories come in, Michelle has made this synopsis of her universe for us....
Pre-History: The Downfall
Before the Commonwealth existed, there was an expanding, multi-galaxy civilization, referred to by its descendants/survivors simply as "First Civ" or "First Civilization". Due to the combined effects of a too-aggressive policy of expansion, civil unrest, the inequality and abuse of the classes, and the categorizing of augmented humans (genetic engineering run amok) as non-humans (and therefore a slave class), First Civ disintegrated. Or as the more blunt historians prefer to say, it self-destructed.
The period of darkness and barbarism that followed is referred to as the Downfall. Various groups of people fled First Civ, as they became endangered or more powerful people tried to have them classified as mutants or non-humans, and either sterilized or made into slaves. Among them were the Khybors, the ancestors of the Leapers.
Some groups of people managed to get hold of ships and flee to distant galaxies. Using sleeper ships, they could spend centuries in travel and no one would age. This caused problems later, when different waves of refugees landed on the same planet, and the newcomers came into conflict with those who had been there for centuries.
Books planned for this section of the timeline:
Khrystal Series/Birth of the Khybors:
Fang and Claw
The Diaspora/The Colonies:
Null and Void/Lost Souls
The Saddle and the Sleuth
The Pirate and the Professor
The planet Vidan, presumed to be the center of First Civ's government, degraded into a world filled with petty city-states, and battles fought with gunpowder and swords. Tales of traveling to the stars were considered fairy tales within only two generations of the onslaught of the Downfall. Colony worlds were abandoned to starve or die of mutated diseases. The genetically manipulated inhabitants abandoned there by their creators/masters were left to create their own way of life.
From the chaos on Vidan, a holy scholar named Kilvordi discovered the legacy of their ancestor's arrogance lived on. He and others he gathered around him were the Undying -- able to regenerate at an incredible speed. Long-lived, seemingly young forever, and impervious to all but the most devastating diseases -- only drastic injuries could kill them, such as corrosive poisons, bombs, or extensive dismemberment.
Kilvordi and his followers put their legacy to good use, taking great risks and devoting lifetimes to regain the lost knowledge and technology of First Civ. The Church supported his efforts and established the Order of Kilvordi -- known more simply as the Order. The members of the Order kept their gift a secret and spared no effort to find others like them. They sponsored and protected various groups in the newly emerging Commonwealth, when the fears of mutation appeared in the first few generations of starflight. When Spacers first appeared, the fear of mutations threatened their lives. The Order protected the Spacers and made it possible for them to explore their gifts without being either turned into a slave class or wiped out entirely.
Books planned for this section of the timeline:
Lin of Sunsinger
Phoenix Under Glass
Within a century, Vidan was again reaching out to the stars -- sadder and wiser, and cautious, unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the ancestors. The Commonwealth was born, reaching out to lost colonies and establishing new ones, rediscovering lost technology and how to navigate the starways. Many of the lost colonies had not only survived but thrived -- and they remembered their abandonment and the harsh generations of the Downfall. They refused to join the Commonwealth, and instead formed their own confederacy known as the Conclave. These independent planets and star systems formed a profit-based alliance where smugglers and robber barons and petty chieftains flourished.
The Commonwealth is a representational government, headed by the Commonwealth Council, which convenes on the asteroid-based complex, Centralis. The Commonwealth Upper University is also located on Centralis, and serves as the final word in scientific, medical, historical and legal matters.
The Commonwealth is protected and served by two military arms: the Fleet, which provides general transportation services, colonial support and emergency aid, as well as protection against rebels and invaders; and the Rangers, who specialize in planetary survey, pre-colonization analysis, military emergencies, disaster relief and more aggressive action against enemies of the Commonwealth in general.
Early in the fourth century of space flight, the Scout Corps formed, aided by the Spacers and Leapers, to provide faster aid to colonies on the edge of civilization. They have full authority to act as police force, judge and jury. Aided by the Order, they are the explorers and special forces unit of the Commonwealth.
2. Spacer's Creed
3. Dead World
4. The Lady and the Order
7. Leap Ships
on Feb. 03, 2011 :
Fun little book. Well-written, easy read. The author portrays great visualizations with a minimum of text. I've hesitated getting the second book because they are each a bit short (or a bit pricey). But the setups here in this first volume could make for some interesting reading down the line, so I'll probably go read the rest of them eventually.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Sep. 13, 2010 :
Excellent read, I've finished this book in one go.
(reviewed the day of purchase)