To the winners of the ARC giveaway–I have information for most of you, and copies have begun to go out. I’m still waiting for another copy to arrive so that it can be autographed and sent out. Congratulations!
This week’s interview is with Michelle Muckley, a British writer of cozy mysteries. You can find more about Michelle at Goodreads here:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6525038.Michelle_Muckley, or at her webpage: www.michellemuckley.com
1. What first made you want to write a book?
I had always wanted to be a writer, and for many years had been considering and procrastinating. Finally I decided that if I wanted to be a writer there was one essential thing that I would need to do, and that was simply to start writing! The story was born from one idea, which was what would a person do to maintain their own life over that of those they love.
2. Looking at the description of your books, they seem to fit under cozy mysteries. What do you think makes a good cozy mystery?
If you write mysteries, you have to ensure that have great characters that a reader is prepared to get behind. To root for. My latest book is much more a thriller than a mystery, and it has been really important to keep up the pace, keep it moving along so that your reader feels the drama.
3. Tell me about your latest book.
Identity X is a fast past thriller that takes you on Ben Stone’s journey. He is a scientist who has just discovered the cure for genetic disease, something he was desperate to achieve in order to save his son. But after some serious celebrating he returns to his lab to find that everything has been taken, and all that is left is an empty building.
The journey through Identity X makes you question your trust, your dreams, and even those people around you. Nobody is what they seem, and as he soon realises his life is not what it seems he desperately looks around for answers. The answers he gets may not have ben what he was hoping for.
4. What was the hardest part about writing that book?
For Identity X, I used some terminology for guns which is something I know nothing about. I had a chat with one of the readers of the first ARCs and he obviously knew more about guns than me, and so we worked together to talk about my used bullets becoming slugs! I love it when my readers help me out! I am not a writer that is too proud to listen to others. I love a bit of help.
5. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I love Stephen King. I think his stories are wonderful, and it was one of his books that I was holding in my hand when I first decided I want to be a writer. Perhaps without him it would never have happened.
6. How have your life experiences influenced you as a writer?
Every life experience I have ever had has helped to sculpt me into the writer that I am today. Your life forms the person you are, and that comes out in my stories and characters. I think if you try to hold it back too much then your writing can lose a precious edge of authenticity.
7. What are you working on next?
I am currently writing a work in progress about a woman who suffers with mental illness, and a rather dismal preoccupation with her father’s death. Doesn’t much sound like a cheery tale when I put it like that, but I am pleased with the first draft so far and it is coming on nicely. It should be finished by now, but I took a holiday to get married! Back to work starts here.
8. What advice do you have for writers?
It is really important as a writer to practice your craft. By this I mean write consistently, and do it as frequently as you can. Ideally I think you should write each day, even if it’s only for a short while, but sometimes this isn’t practical. Reading is just as important, and I love to do it. It is like research and for me if I am not reading I feel my writing is more sluggish.
From a practical point of view for somebody who wants to test their skills in the world of publishing, the best advice is to polish whatever you want to publish to the point when you cannot possibly stand to read it anymore, and until you believe it is as good as you can possibly make it. Then make a choice between traditional and self publishing, and just go for it. And whichever you choose, make sure you are tough enough to stand rejection and criticism. I have experienced both, and it is essential to ride through it if you want to succeed. Professional writers are after all, the amateurs who didn’t give up. I heard that recently. I can’t remember who said it, but I think it sums up the journey perfectly.