Over the last few months, Dropped Pebbles has had the privilege of interviewing authors from various genres. Today we have the great pleasure of featuring Michelle Abbott, our first Romance author! Please take a few minutes to read more about Michelle and why she is so passionate about writing and her preferred genre, Romance.
It’s so great to have you with us today, Michelle. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the countryside in the UK. I’m mum to two adult boys.
Are you interested in other forms of artistic expression besides writing? Where does writing fit in, and why are you drawn to it? What keeps you motivated/inspired?
I occasionally knit, I don’t know if that counts as artistic expression. I enjoy photography. Writing is something I’ve always been interested in. I used to write poems as a teenager and I kept a diary, though that was mostly full of proclamations of love for whatever boy I had a crush on at the time. I had pen pals across the world and I’d hand write every letter. I’ve always found it easier to express myself on paper than in person. My love of writing is what keeps me motivated, I genuinely enjoy it.
Ah, yes…I remember writing similar poems back in the day…
What forms of writing (short stories, poetry, novels, essays, etc.) and genres do you prefer and why? What can you never see yourself writing?
I prefer to write novels or novellas and right now, my genre is romance because it’s what I love to read and I enjoy exploring emotions and feelings, romance seems to be the best outlet for that. I can’t ever see myself writing horror.
As a reader, what do you think makes a good story? What’s one thing a ‘bad’ book taught you to not do in your own writing?
For me to enjoy a story, I have to believe in the characters and feel their emotions as if they were my own. The things ‘bad’ books have taught me, is not to describe every little detail. I hate it when I have to skim pages because I’m bored, or when a book is super long because an author has taken twenty pages to describe something that could have been said with one page. Also to show rather than tell the readers what my character is feeling. I once read a fictional book that involved abuse and when I’d finished I honestly felt nothing, I didn’t care less about the character because the author hadn’t shown me what the character was feeling, instead just telling me what had happened to her. It may just be me because that particular book has rave reviews.
No, I don’t think it’s just you. I think most people prefer to be drawn into a story for the experience, rather than to be ‘told’ what they should be feeling.
As a writer, what elements do you find are the most crucial to include in your stories? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I’m all about emotion, I want my readers to feel what my characters are feeling, so I always try to show that and I believe it’s one of my strengths. My weakness is probably that I don’t include enough of a back story. I like my stories to be fast paced and not bogged down with what I consider to be unnecessary details.
Who/what are the biggest influences in your writing? How do they influence what your write?
I can’t name anyone in particular, but no doubt I’ve been influenced by the many good romances I’ve read over the years.
What draws you to your preferred genre? What do you think makes your genre unique? And why is it so popular? (Or perhaps less popular than it could be?)
I’m drawn to romance because it’s a genre I love to read and because it has maximum potential to explore emotions and relationships. I’m not sure that romance is unique because other genres can have romance in them too, it’s just not the main focus of the story. Romance is one of the most popular genres, and I guess that may be because readers can escape from reality and experience falling in love all over again.
Can you tell us about your books? What other projects are you working on?
In Chains is a dystopian style romance, book one of a series. It’s not technically dystopia because it’s set in the world as we know it, with one major difference; those with Neanderthal DNA are kept as slaves. It’s legal and government run.
My heroine, Savannah, has just escaped a violent relationship, she has self-esteem issues. My hero, Kayden, is her brother’s slave. They are both ‘damaged’ and they give each other love that neither of them has ever known before, but Savannah’s brother does not want his sister involved with someone he sees as property, he’s determined to keep them apart.
I’m currently working on the sequel, Locked Together, which I aim to publish at the end of September 21013. It continues Savannah and Kayden’s story and brings it to a close.
They sound great! I hope everyone reading will dash out and buy them! Readers, click on the books covers to see where they can be purchased.
Why is promoting other writers important to you?
I know how difficult it is to get noticed in such a big pool, so I like to help other writers when I can. Of course I also hope that people visiting my site to read about other authors, will notice and be intrigued by my own book.
What do you find is the most difficult aspect of writing and how do you cope with it?
When I know what I want to say but can’t find the right way to explain it. When that happens I just write it the best I can and continue with the story. I come back to it when I edit and usually by then I can re-word it in a way that pleases me.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
My favourite writers are those that write characters I can believe in, like, and become attached to. I like writers whose characters are flawed in some way, or who have had a hard time. I can’t possibly name all my favourites but a few that spring to mind are C.J. Roberts, S.C. Stephens and Jamie McGuire.
What advice would you give to new writers, especially those looking to break into the market?
I’d say write the best book that you can. Learn from writers whose books you enjoy. Promote, promote, promote, it’s not enough to just write a great book, the market is flooded and readers need to be able to find your book amongst the many.
How can readers get into contact with you?
My website: http://www.michelleabbott.com
Michelle, it was a pleasure getting to know you today and I wish you all the best with your books. Readers, if you enjoyed this interview as much as I did, please leave Michelle a message below. Or, visit her at one of her sites. I know she’d love it.
Have a great week, everyone!