Author Interviews, Essays, Guest Blog, Misc

Michelle Abbott Interviews Jeru, MC of The Purple Morrow

The Purple MorrowThis is really interesting. Michelle Abbott, romance author and blogger, has interviewed Jeru, the main character of The Purple Morrow! I’m so proud of him–he did great! Read on to meet this great character and overall amazing guy.  

Note: Michelle moved her blog and as the interview is no longer available I decided to repost my version here.

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Today I welcome Jeru, the main character from The Purple Morrow.

Hi Jeru. How would you describe your story? Is it a horror, thriller, or maybe a romance?

Hi Michelle! It’s great to meet you.

(Laughs) As for your question, if you ask me, I say the story is a horror. I mean, all I wanted was to live the normal, quiet life of a clan hunter and trader, but all that got turned upside down once those damned Rovers ploughed into the south bent on destroying it and after the Purple Morrow showed up–night after night–in my dreams. Seeing the Morrow is pretty significant and when I finally found out why…! (Sips water and runs a hand through his hair). Anyway…getting mixed up with Kelen, the Rover commander who literally wanted my head, also sucked, as you modern people say. I still have the scars from our fights to prove it! But meeting him did cause me to meet my wife, Nyssa, so that part wasn’t bad (grins).

But if you ask Dyane she’ll say it’s a fantasy novel with action, mythological and romance elements. Not too heavy on the romance though! She’s more interested in lopping off heads and writing macho axe-and-sword duels than sending me off with Nyssa to some cozy love nest for pages at a time. You know, I’d been meaning to talk to her about that one day, but with running for my life and trying to understand the Morrow’s long-forgotten lore, I guess I just never got around to it. (Laughs)

Where is your story set? In another world, the past, the future?

My clan is the Wolf Clan, and it’s located in the lush forests of Marathana. That’s our continent. See, there are four main Clans, three of which broke away from the Mother Clan generations ago when three brothers decided to settle the south. Sage Clan, the wisdom and law keepers, settled in the mountains, while the Water Clan, from which our line of healers come, settled the eastern cliffs. Earth Clan, of which Wolf Clan is a sect, settled the forests. As a clan, we’re known for our stubborn loyalty, and for our dedication to tradition and to the clan’s common good. Marriage and procreation are key values and central to our survival, especially with the ever-present threat of Rover attacks, which is why my refusal to remarry after the death of my first wife was such an aberration. Also, it was foretold that Marathana’s saviour would come from my clan. That’s…where I come in. I’m still not sure how I feel about it.

Can you tell me something about the land you live in? It seems different from the world I know of today.

Well, Marathana is divided into the Northlands, which are populated by the greedy and destructive Northmen–the Rovers are their army of marauders, the Southernlands which is where my people live, and further down are the Deep Southernlands, which is largely desert. There’s a miserable little hole there called the Badlands. That’s where the half-breed spawns of the Northmen and Southernmen are sent because anyone found to have Rover blood is immediately exiled. That’s how hated the Rovers are. I’ll let you figure out how the half-breeds come to be; I’d rather not speak of things like that in mixed company.

Aside from that, I guess we’d appear pretty primitive compared to you: we’ve no lights, or cars, no ‘tech’ as I have heard some of you mention. But it’s a beautiful land of mountains and rivers and plains. Silver Falls is one of our most important and sacred features…though, sadly, it’s also the location of one of the saddest events of my life: the death of my first wife…um…next question?

For the benefit of the readers, what do you look like?

I’m 24, have black shoulder-length hair I often keep tied back, and have green eyes. Apparently, I’m the only living person with eyes this colour and they’re the sign of my destiny. As for the rest of me, I think I must be attractive since Dyane often describes me as having ‘full lips’, as being ‘lithe’ and ‘graceful as a cat’. I think there’s even a line somewhere in chapter six about my skin ‘glistening in the sun’ from sweat during martial arts training. (Grins and shows off delightful dimples and straight, white teeth) I don’t mind, though. I figure the more she likes me, the better my storylines will be! You know, the positive effect of strong inspiration and all that. (Laughs).

An image of what Jeru might look like--taken from anime Sword of the Stranger
An image of what Jeru might look like–taken from anime Sword of the Stranger

From the excerpt I read of your story, you seem sad and lonely. What caused you to feel that way?

Yeah, life hasn’t been kind to me. Ten years ago, the Rovers razed our village and my family and a lot of villagers were killed. It was lonely growing up in the aftermath of all that, especially as an orphan. Luckily, I had Lark, my best friend, and Mara, the healer, to help but I guess you never really come back from something like that, do you?

And, as I mentioned before, five years ago I married my first wife, Aliyah, only to have her die on our wedding day. I…thought it was my fault. A man’s supposed to protect his wife, right? Anyway, after all that I kinda felt like life had it out for me. I just closed off, lived quietly with my head down. Until the Morrow showed up and messed all that up!

www.mycix.com
http://www.mycix.com

Can you tell me more about the Purple Morrow? I know it is a butterfly that you have been dreaming about.

Well, butterflies are revered by the Clan as symbols of hope, change, second chances and so on. There’s some sort of mythology tied to it as well, and I spend a lot of book two unraveling what it’s all about. But basically, when one is seen in a dream or a vision, it’s thought to be some kind of sign. What’s also important is the fact that the rarer the butterfly, the more important the message or ensuing destiny. The Purple Morrow is the rarest of them all, so you can understand the trepidation I felt when it started showing up in my dreams!

I can tell your dreams disturb you. How long have you been having them?

For weeks! I felt so stupid being afraid to sleep for fear of dreaming about what is essentially a beautiful insect, but knowing its significance…anyway, they nearly drove me crazy! Poor Lark. He got the brunt of it all. (Laughs)

How did you meet your friend, Lark?

Oh, Lark and I have been buddies since we were kids. When my family was killed he sort of stepped in as big brother and best friend. He’s easygoing and fun and dependable– the kind of friend every guy wants watching his back. Half the time nothing he says makes any real sense, but when it came to getting me to see Nyssa as a possible wife, by some magic I’ve yet to understand, the man actually spoke sensibly. At the time, it was maddening!

What do you think are your best attributes?

I’m just a regular guy, an Everyman, trying to live right in a difficult world. I think I’m loyal and honest and I genuinely care about people. And even though it might take a while to get me going, when I know what needs to get done, come hell or high water, I see the thing through.

And what are your worst?

I’m stubborn. I get set in my ways and it’s hard to change my mind. I mean, it took the Morrow, Mara, Lark, Nyssa, nearly getting killed by Kelen more than once amongst other things to get me to accept the challenge the Morrow set for me. Yep, stubborn as a mule, I am!

Will you be appearing in any future books?

Yes! I’ll be in all the books since the trilogy is mostly the story of how I become Marathana’s deliverer. But in Wolf’s Bane, book 2, other characters take on larger roles and we see more of the other people groups living in Marathana. For example, Kelen, a crowd favourite, becomes co-main character as his role in the story and in my life moves to the forefront. What happens between he and I at the end surprised even me. I can’t wait for book 3!

WolfBane_Banner

Michelle, thanks so much for having my on today. I hope I did Dyane proud…and that she’ll remember it when it comes time to finish book 3 as in add more love scenes! (Coughs) Anyway, Michelle! It was great to talk about The Purple Morrow and the world I come from. I hope you’ll have me back when Wolf’s Bane comes out, hopefully sometime later this year (2014)…

Author Interviews, Essays, Guest Blog, Misc

Author Interview with Romance Writer Michelle Abbott

Romance author Michelle Abott

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 Ebook JPG - Copytechnically 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.

locked together

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

Email: michelleabbott@michelleabbott.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichelleAbbott4

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MichelleAbbottRomanceAuthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/michelleabbott

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!

Google+: https://plus.google.com/108843127772064472946