Interview with Michelle Janene

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I get up to see what new adventure I might encounter during the day. What event, thought, or idea might spark a new story in me
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I teach middle school full-time, and I have two crazy dogs who keep my life interesting.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I find them in many places. Friend recommendation, Bookbub, Fussy Librarian, Ereader News Today, Bookzilla, and Facebook's Inspired reads, Twitter, and others.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was my escape in high school from being an extreme introvert. It's still saved in my computer. Titled, Angel, it's a fantasy with a superhero feel.
What is your writing process?
I get a thread of an idea, from something I read, or watched, or have seen. Then it runs in my head like an every growing movie for days and weeks. Before I start writing, I pick out names for the main characters, then find photos on Pixabay, Foter, or Google images that look like who I have in mind. I save a document with the pictures and names and have it minimized on my desktop as I start to work. I'm a pantser (a seat of the pants writer) and other than the mental planning I make no outline or other pre-writing.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not the title, but the author. It was Stephen Lawhead, and one of the Pendragon series. I hated reading as a kid, even struggled with it. I fell in love with reading and Christian Fantasy because of Lawhead.
How do you approach cover design?
I get a rough idea of what I want, collect a few images from Pixabay, Foter, or 123RF and send them to my cover designer. She runs with it from there and we make adjustments as she goes. She is great and makes it look so much better than I ever dreamed.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Anything of Stephen Lawhead's medieval fantasies. Great worldbuilding, rich in time period history, completely engrossing.

Fate's Fables by T. Rae Mitchell. Unique fables with a great twist. Completely sucked me in. Dying for the next one in the series.

The Elsker Series by S. T. Bende. Modern tale with Thor. Well done and fun to read. One of the fastest series I've every read.

Feyguard Series by Anthea Sharp. Though YA I loved it. Girl gets transported to the Fey Realm through a video game. Fast paced and full of great characters.

Anything my Siri Mitchell. Deep historical fiction with a Christian theme. Made me fall in love or hate with the characters.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mostly medieval fantasy, though I like general fantasy, historical, and action adventure for a change of pace.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I stink at marketing. The goal for this year is to do that better. Not just for my fiction books but for my Bible curriculum and my business too. I need serious help. Haha
Describe your desk
Well, the desk in the office is formal, often messy with scattered paper and used more for banking and other business. Most of the time I write on my laptop in my extra wide recliner with a dog laying on either side.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a small gold rush town in Northern California. My parents still live in the house I was raised in since the age of 3. It was quiet and calm. I find I write best in the calm and quiet, which is harder to find in the city. I miss lots of nature right outside the door.
When did you first start writing?
I dabbled writing one story as an escape in high school, but I never dreamed of being a writer until about seven or eight years ago. Now it's all I want to do.
What's the story behind your latest book?
That's a hard question because I have the one I just posted on Smashwords, the one I am submitting to my critique group, the one I just finished for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month), and the one I just started planning to write. This last one is a twist on my favorite fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
After going to several conferences, I kept hearing that my writing was good but agents and editors didn't know 'where I fit on the shelf'. I write fantasy, but there is a ton of real medieval history in it--so it doesn't fit on either of those shelves. God's Rebel is a woman's emotional journey, but women's fiction is modern. It has fantasy elements but there are based more on Spiritual warfare than wizards, dragons, and elves.
The lack of what the editors and agents saw as a clear genre and the knowledge that I would be doing most of the marketing myself anyway convinced me I didn't need to split my meager earnings with an agent and publishing house.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords allows me to cover more markets so more people will have access to my books.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The freedom to be and do anything. Say what I can never think of in the moment. Fight the battles that terrify me in real life. The fun and joy of creating something that is different and unique.
Published 2017-01-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hidden Rebel
Series: Changed Hearts, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,690. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Religious
Can a foreign warrior find the mythical weapon needed to save a kingdom from unspeakable evil? God sent Aria on his mission, but what if He has more in mind than the saving of just a kingdom?
Rebel's Son
Series: Changed Hearts, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,360. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Fantasy, Fiction » Christian » Romance
One man’s struggle to earn forgiveness. On the cusp of receiving his spurs and becoming a knight, Prince Shane, the heir apparent, learns he isn’t who he was raised to be. He embarks on a journey to discover the truth and retain the crown. But when his search digs up an evil that threatens his family, and his very soul, can Shane put things right? Can he earn redemption?
God's Rebel
Series: Changed Hearts, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 99,790. Language: English. Published: January 8, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Historical, Fiction » Christian » Fantasy
Mariamne battles with good and evil only to discover she is her own worst enemy.
Mission: Mistaken Identity
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 41,070. Language: English. Published: July 13, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Adventure » General
Mission: Mistaken Identity a cup of action with a shot of humor that teaches one woman what it means to really live.