Monday, June 05, 2006

Make-Believe Mondays With Michele Ann Young

It gives me a great thrill on this Make-Believe Monday to introduce one of my American Title II sisters. Michele Ann Young is the first of our group to have sold a book, just months after finalling in the contest. Pistols At Dawn is a June 2006 release and I can't wait to read it.

Now let's chat with Michele.

First, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Michele: I am working on two novels at the moment. One is historical fiction, set in 1809 and my British heroine is deeply involved the war with Napoleon. It is probably what would be described as a bombshell. Because the story revolves around historical events, it requires a substantial amount of detailed research.

The other novel is a romance, set in Kent in the Regency, but it deals with a woman at risk, the same kinds of risks women face today. What interests me, is how women have always had the same issues to deal with and how different generations have handled them. Obviously, women had a lot less freedom in the 1800’s than we do today, but ssurprisingly many of them managed to take control of their lives, nevertheless.

Debra: Women have strengths they often don't realize until put to the test. This is one of the wonderful things about historical fiction. That theme of strong women.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Michele: It always starts with a character in one scene and moves from there. My characters come alive to me the minute they walk on stage. Translating the vision into words that create the same or similar picture for the reader is the challenge. I do find that my characters don’t fully develop for me until most of the story is done. Quite often I learn things about them at the end, that I did not know at the beginning. This can be wonderful and amazing but it usually means a lot of revisions.

Debra: So you get to know your characters as you go along. I've met many writers who find that to be true for them as well.

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Michele: I have been working on a fantasy, more for fun than as a serious work. It is a world with its own culture and names for things, and creatures that do not exist in our world. It has it’s own set of rules and some magical elements. It’s lots of fun, and I keep a glossary or dictionary as I go along. I also have a map to keep track of locations of continents and oceans. For each word or name I write a brief definition and sometimes a description, particularly if it is an animal or a race of people, that way I have it fixed in my head. It is a quest story so it has lots of adventure, but there is a strong romantic element. I usually write it when I am at the beach and my imagination is free to wander without interruption..

Debra: What fun! And isn't it lovely to be able to write at the beach!

Michele, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

Visit Michele at

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