Monday, June 16, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Michelle Pillow

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Michelle Pillow

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

MP: I just finished my fall release for Virgin Books/Random House called Degrees of Passion (Coming in Trade Paperback, November 25, 2008). {Preorder Link: }
Breaking up with her high society boyfriend, a distraught Sasha finds comfort in the arms of moody, hard working Kevin Merchant whose cuteness is overshadowed by his know-it-all attitude. But, one drunken night of passion is hardly the start of a relationship and when her boyfriend wants them to get back together she has some choices to make.

Debra: Ah, the choice between two lovers. Difficult at best.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

MP: Whenever I feel myself starting to get stagnant, I try to switch gears and work on something else. A lot of the time I’ll take a break from writing and focus on marketing and promotions. I’ll create book videos or answer email—anything that isn’t the story. Often, just taking the break helps my brain reset itself and I can get back into it.

I also do a lot of research and research reading. Since I love history, many great story ideas come from studying different cultures and pasts. Even my futuristic novels are based of historical ideas and places. It’s a way for me to incorporate my love of the past with my daydreams of the future.

Debra: I think sometimes we try too hard, like trying to think of someone's name and it won't come until your mind switches to something else. So I tend to do the same things as you and usually that's when inspiration strikes again.

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

MP: Ideally, it happens in every book. That’s when the flow is really going and you know you’re onto something good. I love it when the brain seems to shut off and the words just flow onto the screen.

Debra: Oh yes. Me too. There is no feeling in the world quite like it.

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?

MP: I create words all the time. I make up towns, planets, solar systems, races of aliens, vampire clans. Most of the time I base the word of a historical term no longer in use. Other times, I take normal everyday words and turn them into futuristic swearing, like when my cat-shifting Lords of the Var curse, “Sacred Cats!”

Debra: Sacred Cats. :-) Love it.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

MP: Just let your imaginations flow. Set aside the time to relax and daydream. Stories and ideas can be in everything and anything.

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

Thank you so much for having me! Readers are welcome to contact me through my website or hang out at my blog. You can check out my latest contemporary romance, Recipe for Disaster, now for sale at Amazon. {Buy link: }

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Now that final line edit approvals are in I'm back to working on my second manuscript. This week I also had to select two excerpts from my book. One for the publishers website and the other to go in the back of similar books for promo.


Diane Craver said...

Debra and Michelle,
Thanks for an interesting interview.

I love the title, Degrees of Passion, for your fall release. And Michelle, thanks for always being generous with your time - you helped me when I've had questions on the Samhain author loops.

Michelle Pillow said...

Thanks, Diane! I just saw the coverart for it and am really excited! (that and I just finished the final edits--always cause to celebrate, lol)

And I'm glad I could help--anytime. :D

Debra, Thanks for having me!!

Michelle Pillow said...

Thank you Diane! The book had been named "Undecided" for the longest time, lol. I think it got confusing because I'd really wanted to call it that and everyone thought I was just working on a title still. Finally, I collaborated with the editors and came up with Degrees of Passion, since she's a college student.

Debra, Thank you so much for having me! I loved the interview.

Diane Craver said...

I'll be watching for the cover for Degrees of Passion! I'm lousy at choosing titles so interesting to hear how other authors decide on theirs. My wip now doesn't have a title so I just call it my Mallory book.

Debra Parmley said...

Thanks Diane! I always get that warm fuzzy feeling when someone says they enjoy my blog.

And Michelle, it was a pleasure having you here. Such a pretty cover, BTW.