This Week’s Feature Author Interview with
Hi Briana Michaels, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
Hellloooooo readers! I’m Briana Michaels, author of the paranormal romance series Sins of the Sidhe. I have two hilarious kiddos and a husband who is my soul mate (*cue the sappy “awe” noises). We live on the side of a mountain with one cat, twenty-seven chickens and a TON of wildlife. When I’m not writing I like to spend my days out on one of our trails soaking up nature, down at the creek fishing, or in front of a bon fire reading. I also enjoy gardening – mostly food, little flowers because… well… I like to eat. On that note, I also love to cook and bake so my friends call me the Kitchen Witch. Food is never in short supply around here. Same can be said for plot twists, bread, and wine.
I would say my writing can be dark with a bit of humor. I embrace my dark side but I’m too much of a goofball to not have some funny things come through in my writing. Maturity is overrated sometimes, ya know?
When did you start writing and why?
I started writing about two and a half years ago. You see, I’ve had a figure in my head for several years. When I’d close my eyes, he’d just sit there on the ground, one knee up, back against a brick wall, and stare at me. His name is Adam and it took me a long time to figure out what on earth I was to do with him.
One night, after going out to dinner with my husband, I said, “I’m going to write a book.” That was all it took. Just saying those words catapulted me into another universe. I’d never really thought about being an author before. But the truth is, there’d been something lurking under my surface and it was desperate to come out.
I went home that night and started writing. Adam was pleased. He introduced me to all the other characters and has allowed me to be their voice. Once I started writing my first novel, I realized this was what I was meant to do with my life. Suddenly, there were dozens of characters eager to tell me their story – as if they’d all just been waiting for me to take the plunge down the rabbit hole that must have been in front of me for a long, long time. It hasn’t slowed down one bit, either. If anything, it’s gained momentum.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
I have to pick just ONE favorite? No way. I love them all for very different reasons. SHATTER has the Hot Scot with a romance level that just about sets the pages on fire. SHINE is Adam’s story and is so fast-paced you forget to breathe. PASSION has some fantastic lessons and romance and emotions that choke me up every time I think about certain scenes. BARGAINS takes emotions to another level – Tables turn, circumstances change, suspects are running around every which way… and then the bombs drop one by one and what you thought your figured out was alllll wronggggggg. Now, with the release of IGNITE on July 7th, I am excited to bring introduce new concepts I have yet to read in another book. I’m not saying these theories aren’t out there, but I’ve never heard them told quite this way before.
Each book comes with female characters who stand on their own two feet. They’re strong, independent, and stubborn as mules. Several are business owners of some kind. They all support themselves. And they fight for themselves. I’m all about a damsel in distress, but I’ve yet to meet one in my universe.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
The title for my latest book is IGNITE. The two characters I focus on in this story have zero interest in finding a soul mate. As a matter of fact, they detest the idea. Neither wants to be tied down, or tied to, another person. So they deny it. Fight it. Ignore it. But passion, love, infatuation, even a simple little teensy weensy crush… it all starts with a fire in your gut. That warm electricity that flows through you and makes you sizzle. What happens if you try to extinguish it? What happens if you pour gasoline on it? What happens when it consumes you?
Oh, did I mention the male in this story can burst into flames? Literally. Yeah, so there’s that, too. (Can someone start singing “Come on baby light my fire”?)
Who helped you with the cover? Or did you design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
All my covers are done by my husband. Some days I swear he’s a mind reader. Or a wizard. Each time I write a book, there comes a point when the cover flashes in my head and I know just what I want. My hubs takes my ideas and turns them into reality. After reading a book of mine, you can go back and see the cover for exactly what the art represents – from the background all the way down the font color.
What are some of the themes of your story?
I mentioned each of my books has a lesson– whether it’s a wee bit of advice that I’ve learned the hard way in life or food for thought. But there is one recurring theme in each book I write: Everything. Happens. For. A. Reason.
My stories are woven together intricately. The good, bad and the ugly all have a purpose. You can’t take anything for granted in my books, just like you shouldn’t take anything for granted in life.
I also take at least one concept and weave it through each story. For example: Falling. In PASSION, I take falling and use it every which way I can – A fallen warrior, falling down the steps, falling in love, falling for a trick. You get the idea. AND, since my series is called Sins of the Sidhe, I try to focus on one “sin” for each book. SHATTER is greed. SHINE is envy. PASSION is wrath. BARGAINS is vanity. And IGNITE is gluttony. Of course, there’s a multitude of other issues woven in the mix, and not all these “sins” are a bad thing. Guess it depends on who you are and what you want out of life.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
I’m a total “pantser” and I say that while face-palming myself. I wish I could be one of those authors who can make an outline, lay it all out, chapter-by-chapter, and know what comes first and how it all goes down. THEN STICK TO IT. But I’m most definitely not that writer. If I made an outline it would be a waste of paper, sticky notes, and gel pens. The way I write is this: I see the beginning, a little of the middle, and the end. That’s it, folks. I don’t have to write it down because it’s in my head like a memory. That’s how I know it’s the right path. If I forget the scene, then it wasn’t meant to be part of the story.
Luckily, most of my characters are so strong willed and come to me with their problems or desires before I have to ask. We sit together and try to figure out how to make it all come together with the addition of me already knowing what the Fates have in store for them.
As for the plots? I’m a villain most days and like to muddy the waters. Sometimes, the bad guy in the book will look at me nervously as say, “Damn, woman. That’s harsh.” I just shrug and keep typing. The good guys and the bad ones are all loud in my head. I give each of them a turn and run for their money.
So how do I get it all out and make it a book? Here’s how I do it: Get the kiddos on the bus. Kiss the hubs goodbye and watch him drive away to work. Race to the Keurig and make a cup of the good stuff. Guzzle it. Make another one. While it brews, open up the laptop. (This is where I usually start talking to myself.) Grab the coffee. Forget to drink the coffee. Bang away on the keyboard for a solid seven hours or more.
Scenes and dialogue play out like a movie in my head. Generally, I feel like I’m holding a camera, documenting it all. And I influence very little or none at all. Actually, I’ve tried a couple of times to spin the story the way I thought it should go and the lights turned out, the voices stopped and nobody moved. It was awful. Terrifying. And it’s why I now keep my mouth shut and my eyes wide open.
Once the family is home again, I crawl away from the laptop and become a mom and wife once more.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
My favorite female character in this newest book, IGNITE, is Calla Lily. That woman is sassy, classy and badassy. (Please don’t tell her I said that though.) She’s got this fantastic sense of humor and a spine of steel. Best part about her is Cal’s not the petite model with the perfect everything. She’s the everyday girl. She loves donuts, bacon, and Gone with the Wind. Cal rocks a full figure and loves herself the way she is (well… most days). She has a heck of a mean streak and is slicker than snot on a door knob which means she makes life interesting every day. Also, Cal get’s embarrassed and her cheeks turn bright red, but she’ll totally act like she’s not flustered at all and if you call attention to her blush, you’d most likely regret it. She’s a hoot.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
JR Ward and Karen Moning are two authors that I just can’t get enough of. I love them. I think they are two women who took some big steps and got gutsy with their writing styles and the topics they bring to light. The fangirl in me is alive and well, waving her I Heart The Warden flag while wearing a Mac Halo and sucking on a Tootsie Pop.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’ve just finished the first draft of Book 6 in the series and have started on Book 7. I also have a new idea for another series… but that’s a tale for another day.
If you could have any super powers what would they be?
I want the ability to sift to wherever I want to go, just like my character Xander can. To be able to flash from one place to the next would be awesome since I hate driving and flying. And let’s face it, when you live on the side of a mountain, walking to the store isn’t going to happen.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I want to be back in Ireland. There are many places on this earth I haven’t seen and would like to, but my soul belongs to Ireland. I miss it every day.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
My five-year goal is simple: Keep doing what I’m doing and have more happy readers getting my books. I didn’t start this writing thing for fame and fortune, but I do want it to become something that is wonderful for everyone involved. That means more book signings, more books written, more readers, and more success. I’ll take each achievement much like I write – one page, one book at a time. I’ll get there. I know it. With my kids still being young, I don’t plan to travel all over the place to network or get involved in bigger productions yet. But in five years? Definitely. I’m hitting every town I can to meet as many readers and writers as possible.
To all the readers out there: Thank you for giving my books a chance. I’m just one teeny, tiny fish in the big book ocean, so my readers are special to me. If you haven’t read my series yet, come to the bright side of the dark side, my friends. I want to bring you into my world of chaos, battles, and mad love. My door is always open and you are always welcome here.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview. Take a minute and check Briana Michaels out on the links below. Briana Michaels’ book, Ignite – Sins of the Sidhe Book 5, is available now on Amazon! You can check out an awesome book trailer of Ignite on YouTube! If you need any help publishing your book, then don’t hesitate to contact us at Indie Publishing Group!
Briana Michaels Author Website
Briana Michaels Facebook Page
Briana Michaels Twitter
Briana Michaels Amazon Author Page
Briana Michaels Goodreads Author Profile