Interview with Michelle Frost

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Africa. I was born in Zimbabwe, but spent my early adult years in South Africa. Moving countries and being exposed to many different beliefs and cultures had a strong effect on who I am and what I write about. I'm very grateful for that.
When did you first start writing?
As in story-telling? Before I could write. I used to draw pictures and then dictate to my mother the stories that went with them. I started my first "book" when I was seven. I remember it was about a mermaid.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Wisdoms of the Light, is a sequel, but it evolved into much more. Both books, First Light and Wisdoms of the Light, are basically about how people cope with situations that seem hopeless. Do they give in or do they find ways to survive, or fight back? In Wisdoms that theme grew far bigger, and deeper, than I started out with in First Light.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ray Bradbury, Jane Austen, Douglas Adams, Dean Koontz and Richard Bach.
What inspires you to get out of bed in the morning?
Coffee. :-)
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first full story was an adventure story about me being a deep sea diver being attacked by an octopus. I was eight years old and I wrote it for English class. I was so pleased with the action scene I still remember the one portion about me, as the diver, using a fishing knife to fight off the octopus.

"I slashed and slashed again!"

I was a rather violent little girl... ;-)
What is your writing process?
I always start on paper. I finish books on the computer, but I cannot get creative that way. Everything good I've ever written started off on paper. I've started poems on grocery lists and written an entire short story on every surface of a Get well card while I was in hospital. My latest book started out on a thousand scraps of sticky notes, note paper and one envelope.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My mom used to read to me and my most favourite book was an old plain thing that held pure magic within its battered dull cover. Grimm's Fairy tales. They were the original versions of the watered down ones you find in Disney movies. Full of mystical symbolism and magic.
How do you approach cover design?
I make my own covers. My first book was first published with a cover chosen by the printers. I hated it and so, when it was relaunched, 2nd edition, I made sure it had a cover I wanted. I've done that for all my work ever since.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Why is easy, all my favourite books either make me laugh or think, or both.

Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach
The Green Light by Lloyd C Douglas
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Rosie is my Relative by Gerald Durrell
Published 2014-05-08.
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