Interview with Christine Michels

When did you start writing?
I started writing at the age of 11 after having been a Nancy Drew fan for a long time. I ran out of Nancy Drew books to read, and decided to write my own sleuth novel ... in long hand, in a series of notebooks. The novel was called "Suzanne and her Pals at Mystery Cove". It's been lost over the course of time; and perhaps that's for the best. I'm sure it wasn't the masterpiece that I recall. :-)
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search out the books of favorite authors whom I've read for years. I discover new authors when I see an intriguing cover in some promotional material (I subscribe to lots of email catalogs and newsletters) and read the blurb to find that I'm further intrigued.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. It was the sleuth mystery mentioned previously. :-)
What is your writing process?
Usually I will get an idea that I let percolate in my mind for a few weeks, or even months. When I feel ready, I sit down and start writing. At this point, I know that nothing I'm writing will be published. Rather, what I am doing is getting into my main character's head. I may write a scene from his or her childhood, exploring the situations that made the person who they are. Or I may write a scene of them just sitting somewhere contemplating everything that is now motivating them. Basically, what I start writing is the backstory that will not go into the actual novel but which provides a necessary window into my character's soul. Once I feel I know my characters well enough, I start writing Chapter One. I usually write at least 3 chapters (or 36 pages or so) and sometimes as many as 7 chapters before I stop to outline. I force myself to outline at this point because I learned early on that I do like a bit of a road map once I get to that point. It's not rigid; if I decide to take a side trail, there is nothing stopping me, but the road map allows me to keep the end in mind.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't recall the first story I read because I started reading at a very young age. However, I DO recall the first book that had an impact on me. It was a children's novel entitled SHADOW CASTLE. I loved that novel so much that I re-read it periodically for years. And the tattered paperback is still on my keeper shelf. Why did I love it so much? It was pure escapism. It allowed me to leave my dreary ordinary life and visit, if only briefly, a fantastic world of fairy princesses and princes.
How do you approach cover design?
I often have a general idea of what I want before I contact my cover designer. I then provide her with descriptions of my characters, a brief synopsis of the story, and any ideas I have for the cover, and start working with her. She will provide me with her designs, and I tell her what aspects I like and what I think needs modification. Once we have agreed on the basics, she goes and buys the stock photography (we may use as many as 3 or 4 photos blended together with various blending techniques) and we go from there.
What do you read for pleasure?
Almost anything. I love Science Fiction (like the works of Michael Hicks), Westerns (Louis L'Amour), Suspense (Kay Hooper), Suspense/Horror (Dean Koontz and Steven King), Contemporary Fantasy (Jim Butcher), Romance (authors like Karen Robards and Nora Roberts) and ... well, the list goes on.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPad. I can read in any App on it so I can get books from any retailer.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work full time in local government from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, 5 days per week, so that takes up most of my time away from writing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The rights on all of my books had been returned to me from my traditional New York Publisher, and rather than leaving my work languishing I decided to re-issue them myself as eBooks, and then later as Print-on-Demand books. I enjoyed learning everything I needed to learn in order to do everything myself, with the exception of cover design.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Creating characters and creating new worlds. Sometimes my characters become so real that I feel almost as though I'm channeling their story. :-) In other words, I guess, the pure escapism of the creative process gives me the greatest joy.
Published 2013-11-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Beyond Betrayal - Western Historical Romance
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 105,350. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2012 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Western
Fugitive, Samson Towers took the identity of a dying lawman to become the sheriff of Red Rock, Montana, but his pursuit of the beautiful widow, Delilah Sterne, could destroy his new life. The lady gambler was drawn to the handsome sheriff. But as the truth was revealed, Delilah feared she’d played the wrong cards, and sentenced the man she loved to death. Could their love exist BEYOND BETRAYAL?
Danger's Kiss - Contemporary Romantic Suspense
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,780. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2012 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
A macabre poem was the first clue Kim Tannas had that her life was in jeopardy, but it was not the last. Turning to Sheriff Garrett for help, the young widow found her life complicated by small-town secrets, a troubled past, and an unwanted attraction to the virile cop. Kim was determined to bring her stalker to justice—until she began to suspect that her lover was courting her with DANGER’S KISS.
Beneath A Crimson Moon - Futuristic Romance
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 100,600. Language: English. Published: December 11, 2011 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
Singaia, a beautiful warrior, was focused on halting the flow of banned Earth weapons–until she was attacked. But the dangerously attractive Guardian that came to her rescue did not do so by chance, for he had his own mission, and planned to take Gaia with him, willing or not. Yet not even the ensuing battle for their lives was as dangerous as the undeniable desire the two felt for each other.
In Destiny's Arms - Futuristic Romance
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 113,130. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2011 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
On a quest to find her brother, Cadence Barrington crashed 2000 miles from her goal-and over 500 years in the past! Expecting to find the ruins of a lost civilization, she was surprised to find herself facing a hard-bodied warrior who was anything but ancient. But he refused to trust her and Cadence would have to work to convince the virile stranger that they belonged together IN DESTINY’S ARMS.
In Fugitive Arms - Futuristic Romance
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 121,380. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2011 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
When a mysterious explosion landed Stellar Legionnaire, Corporal Shenda Ridell, hostage in the arms of an escaping prisoner, she was completely unprepared for the perils that followed. For Logan Swan had no qualms about using Shenda in his bid to clear his name and save his life. Yet even as he searched for the proof he needed, they found themselves hostage to the dangerous desires consuming them.
Ascent to the Stars - Futuristic Romance
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Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 105,310. Language: English. Published: November 27, 2011 by Northern Fire Publishing. Category: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
When Coventry Pearce found herself captive in the arms of a dark and dangerous Thadonian warrior, she was intrigued...until he said he was taking her to Thadonia. And since the information he needed to save his world was contingent on keeping her safe, he refused to take "no" for an answer. But neither of them was prepared for the battle they'd wage against the burning desire that consumed them.