Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Hauck, a chocolate loving bookworm who also happens to be an amazing author. Read the interview below.
Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?
A: I’ve been writing for about six years and really got started not long after a health crisis was resolved. I’d been feeling poorly for so long without knowing it that the sudden return to health also brought a return of my imagination. I’ve not looked back since. I just love writing.
Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?
A: I believe the only muse I need is the desire to surprise my audience. I love leaving cliffhangers and taking unexpected turns as you’ll see in my latest epic fantasy, Grudging.
Q: Tell me about your book, Grudging. What was the original idea behind it?
A: I got the idea from the lyrics of a song, Come Along with Me by Vicci Martinez. A city in the desert in peril. But the original scene that popped into my head is one of those unexpected turns, so I can’t be too detailed. 😉
The book blurb makes it seem about a knight and a witch, but it’s so much more. We see both sides of the conflict. As a favorite review said, Grudging is about more than good versus evil. It’s culture versus culture.
Q: Where is the strangest place you have come up with an idea?
A: My usually places for ideas are in the shower or when taking my dogs for a walk. Just before I fall asleep is a good time also. Sometimes ideas come to me when I’m vacuuming. Fantastic ideas seem to spring when I’m doing something that leaves my mind free. Then it’s good to have my phone near to quickly text them to myself so I don’t forget!
Q: You are the host of Query Kombat (#QueryKombat) and Sun vs. Snow (#SunvsSnow). Tell me about these. What are they? What are their goals?
A: #QueryKombat and #SunvsSnow are a few of the yearly contests I host to give writers a chance to find their agent. I host these on my blog and writers email their query letter and first 250 words during the submission window. My co-hosts and I pick the best entries and post them for the agents to come and make requests. I’m always hosting some kind of contest, and I’m thrilled to say the books from these success stories started coming out in the last year. I’ll soon have a bookcase full of them! It’s a great feeling to match a writer up with their future agent, or to hear of a book deal for something that I read as a query letter. The best way to know when I have another contest coming is to sign up for my newsletter over at my blog.
Q: If you could only have one type of chocolate for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: Oh my! You don’t pull any punches. That’s so tough. So many choices like Fannie May meltaways and M&Ms. Cadbury Creme Eggs might be my choice. Love those! Either that or just regular Cadbury milk chocolate. I rely on a daily dose of chocolate.
Q: You have an upcoming novel, Faithful. What can you tell me about it?
A: Faithful is the first sequel I’ve gotten to write. It’s very exciting to be granted a trilogy. I’m so thrilled to spend more time with the same characters! So many secrets about what’s going to happen. Of course, things are going to get worse for all of the characters. I can say that we find out more about the witches in Faithful and their culture. And there will be a fifth POV character in Teresa. She’s also a LGBT character.
Q: You have told me you compete in writing contests. Which ones? How many have you done?
A: It’s been a few years since I entered contests. That ended when I got my agent. Back then I entered Pitchwars and PitchMadness and there were some more which have now stopped running. I heard that I came close to being picked a few times, but never made it into any big contests. I got my agent from a query letter. Kind of strange considering I run my own contests now. But I always say they are for fun, learning about writing, and making connections with other writers as much as the agent requests.
Q: What advice do you want to give to budding authors?
A: Be persistent is one often heard advice suggestion. I prefer to say something more tangible: read in your genre. Reading newly released books in your genre will help you understand pacing, tone and style. Also get involved on social media and you’ll learn even more. Writing is a craft that has to be learned, just like an other form of art.
Q: What is one thing you want the world to know?
A: Many of my followers are newer writers who are looking for agents. I would remind them that finding an agent is the beginning of your journey, not the end. There is always another goal on the horizon when you are a writer. Keep aiming for those goals and you’ll do fine.