Welcome to Michelle Pickette, this week’s Blog Ring of Power guest. Here’s what she has to say about herself:
I’m a wife, mother, author, reader, although not always in that order. I write young adult urban fantasies, science/fiction, paranormal, and young adult and new adult contemporary romances. Reading was one of my earliest passions, writing soon followed. I began writing seriously during college where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Why I chose a career that frowns on creativity remains a mystery.
Red Bull or Monster Khaos are my coffee of choice. I’m addicted to Reese’s peanut butter cups and peanut butter M&Ms and eat way too many while I write (I’m currently trying to kick this habit). I have an abnormal obsession with hoodies and can’t write without one. I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows. I’m a hopeful romantic; I love a swoon-worthy ending that will give me butterflies for days. And books that keep me thinking of them long after I’ve finished the last page.
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now live in a sleepy suburb of Houston, Texas, with my extremely supportive, not to mention gorgeous husband, three school-aged kids, a 125-pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.
PART 2: THE WRITING LIFE
What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc. I’m what most authors call a “pantser,” meaning I don’t follow an outline. I just write what comes to me as it comes. Sometimes I write the middle of a story before I write the beginning. Or I write the ending scene first, which happened with my current work-in-progress.
I try to follow a regular routine, but creativity doesn’t always work the way we want it to. I wish it came with an on and off switch sometimes. Generally, I get up at 6 AM and get ready for the day. I take my kids to school at 7:45 AM and then I do some social media things, answer emails, ETC. until 9-9:30am. Then I start writing or editing, whichever I happen to have scheduled for that day.
I always use a computer unless I’m away from home and have an idea hit me. Then I scribble notes out on anything I can find, including my hand one time. I do all my work at home.
How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life? I love what I do so I try not to complain, but it is hard sometimes to balance life and work. First, it’s easy for my family to “forget” that I’m at work during the day because I’m at home rather than away somewhere in an office. Because of that, I get a lot of interruptions. And when a person is interrupted during a thought/scene, it is almost impossible to get that scene back. You can never quite remember it exactly how you had it before you were interrupted—at least that’s my experience.
Second, because I’m home I’m the person who’s responsible for all the errands. I take the kids to the doctor, I grocery shop, I take the dog to the groomer…you get the idea. It’s a time-suck out of my work day. And since I live in the sticks…way out there…most errands take a 45 minute to an hour drive.
So to balance things, I make sure that appointments and errands are done on one day of the week (if possible). And I remind everyone the night before when I know I’m going to have a particularly busy day the next day. I ask them to try to keep their interruptions to a minimum. In other words, unless you’re bleeding, vomiting, or have lost an appendage, please leave mommy alone. LOL! But in all honesty, my family does a lot to help me and they try to respect my work time as much as they can. I’m blessed with a very supportive family and that’s really how work and family is balanced—having a supportive family.
When do you write? I try to write during the day when my kids are at school and my husband is at work, but my creative juices don’t always cooperate with me. There have been times I’ve gotten up at 2 or 3 in the morning because I’ve had an idea and I needed to get it on paper right then. So, scheduling is difficult for a writer.
What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written? A man at my church found out I was an author. He’s trying to write a middle-grade book and asked if I would help him. I said I’d try, but middle-grade wasn’t my age group. He started asking what I wrote and I showed him some of my work. He thumbed through the pages of the zombie attacks and his eyes bugged out. He said he would have never guessed I’d be a zombie writer. He thought I’d be a flowery, lovey-dovey, romance writer. I wasn’t sure if that was a compliment or not. I just smiled and told him zombies make the world go ‘round. To which he replied, “I guess you really can’t judge a book by its cover.”
What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment? The strongest criticism was that I was racist in my portrayal of a character, which was not only completely untrue, but unfounded.
The strongest compliment was (this is quoted verbatim from the reader): “I’ve been hard pressed to find a story that captivated me. Last week I came across your book while intensely searching for my next adventure. I opened the book and was totally sucked into the story. I couldn’t get enough! Eva is so strong, so brave and refuses to live as a victim. I love her and all of the characters that you brought to life. I feel like I’ve been on an exciting adventurous vacation and I didn’t even have to leave my home. I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the story, the escape and the adventure. I’ve Found many books that I love, but I’ve NEVER been moved enough to write to an author…until now.I can’t thank you enough for the gift that you’ve shared with me. I just wanted for you to know that your writing changed me, made me feel a little more badass, a little more “Eva”, if you will. I’m so excited for The Infected, and to dive head first into more of your books! You are officially one of my favorites, I’m so glad to have stumbled upon your amazing work. Thank you, a million times, thank you!!!”
How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews? I had a particularly negative review of PODs. It was almost a personal attack rather than a fair and constructive review of the book. I took that really hard. I have to say, It really, really bothered me for days. Finally I decided that reading negative reviews wasn’t something I was able to do. I don’t have thick enough skin to read them.
Now, that’s not to say that all negative reviews are bad—they aren’t if they are given in a fair and constructive way. In fact, they can actually be very helpful to authors. They help us hone our craft and focus on areas where our writing is weak and it builds our confidence when a reviewer mentions that our writing excels in one area even if it could use help in another.
Is your book in print, ebook or both? Both
Please let us know where your readers can stalk you:
- Website: www.Michelle-Pickett.com
- Email: Michelle@Michelle-Pickett.com
- Blog: www.michelle-pickett.com/blog
- Facebook page: www.facebook.com/michellepickettauthor
- Goodreads author page: http://goodreads.com/michelle-pickett
- Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/michelle_kp
- LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michellepickett
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/+MichellePickettauthor/posts
- Pinterest: http://about.me/MichellePickett
- About.Me: http://about.me/MichellePickett
- BlogLovin’: http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/5222595
- Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michelle-K.-Pickett/e/B008QWUA5O/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1392760710&sr=8-2
From the bestselling author of PODs comes an unforgettable tale of action, intrigue, and following your heart in the midst of betrayal.
MILANYA: It’s hard being good all the time. Everyone needs to be bad once in a while. But for seventeen-year-old Milayna, being good isn’t a choice. It’s a job requirement. And it’s a job she can’t quit. Born a demi-angel, Milayna steps in when danger and demons threaten the people around her, but being half angel isn’t all halos and happiness. Azazel, Hell’s demon, wants Milayna’s power, and he’ll do anything to get it. But he only has until her eighteenth birthday, after which she becomes untouchable.
With the help of other demi-angels, Milayna thwarts the trouble Azazel sends her way. Fighting with her is Chay. He’s a demi-angel who’s sinfully gorgeous, and Milayna falls hard. But is Chay her true love…or her nemesis in disguise?
Because when she learns of a traitor in her group, there’s no one she can trust…not even the one she loves.
Buy Links for Milayna: