Interview with Michelle McLean
Do you write in different genres?
I do! I love writing in different genres. It lets me explore different aspects of creativity and work out different parts of my brain. I write historical, paranormal/urban fantasy, and contemporary romances, and educational non-fiction. Along with a bit of poetry and a picture book or two 🙂
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
I really don’t have a favorite, unless you count romance 🙂 But sub-genre-wise, I love them all. Historicals allow me to delve into the past which I absolutely love (my bachelors degree is in History). Paranormals and urban fantasies allow me to play around with the supernatural and other-worldly things which I also absolutely love. Contemporaries allow me to switch up my every day world a little. And my non-fiction allows me to tap into my analytical side and help people with educational matters, which I also really love. I’ve penned poetry since I was little, and have written several picture books for my kids that I still read to them. I can’t imagine not writing any of these.
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
Wish Upon a Star was originally a fairy tale retelling that was a mashup of Pinocchio and Rumplestiltskin. Most of the fairy tale elements were taken out in edits, but my main character was based on the blue fairy and spends a lot of time wishing on stars 🙂
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
I almost always title the book afterwards. I like to use a line or some words or a theme that is special to or prevalent in the book to use as a title and often that doesn’t come across until it is finished. The one exception is a novella I’m working on. I heard a line in a song that I just loved and built a book idea around it 🙂
What books/authors have influenced your life?
Victoria Holt has been my biggest influence. She was my first authorial love 🙂 Once I graduated to novels (at a fairly young age) I read everything I could get my hands on. I was always raiding my mom’s shelves and she had a ton of Victoria Holt’s gothic romances. I fell in love with the genre immediately. And when I decided to write my own first novel that type of story was in my head. A historical romance full of romance, danger, and mystery 🙂 I write other genres as well, but historical romances, especially gothic, will always be my first loves.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
One of the books I’m working on has several shape poems in it. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep them in there as it won’t show up correctly on all digital devices, but they are really fun to create. In the book, I have poems shaped like an hour glass, an ankh, a lightning bolt, a broken heart, a pyramid, an eye, a music note, and several others. Here is one, shaped to look like a drop of blood.
my face so tenderly,
in hands that had killed.
For me. Fingers gently touch
my cheeks. His lips kiss away my
tears, my blood. “Breathe,” he whispers.
His lips brush mine. “Just breathe.” I shudder,
my breath escaping at his command. “If you insist,”
I try to joke. Fail. Shouts fill the night air. “Go!” I cry.
“They mustn’t find you with me. Go!” He freezes, his storm
gray eyes on our hands, clasped between our pounding hearts.
The horror on his face mirrors that on my own. One last caress, so
bittersweet. He wavers. “Go,” I breathe. He steps back, back, raised
hand stained black with blood. Mine, his, theirs. His pained howl rips
through me, burning his image on my soul. “For you I’ll live,” I whisper,
unwilling to breathe, unable to stop. They will come for me, their hands
grasping, to return me to my clan. “Go!” I plead. One last look and he
runs, his tortured fury echoing through me, his pain my own. They
come, see me bathed in blood. “Who did this?” they ask. I shrink
from their touch. Gently they lift me, murmuring, “Let us help
you.” I swallow my protests, settle into their strong hands.
They ask, over and over, but I don’t speak. And they
don’t suspect. They take me home. I care not.
I’ll breathe because I promised I would.
But oh how it hurts. He is gone…
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The first draft. I’m horrible at first drafts. Editing, I love. I can revise very quickly and enjoy doing it. Pulling a first draft out of me is like yanking my own teeth. I’m not sure why, because I really love to get the stories down on paper. But those blank pages just staring at me are hard to fill sometimes. Give me a completed manuscript to polish up any day 😀
When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?
Mostly, I read 😀 I used to do a lot of cross-stitching and I play the piano. I love movies and spend a lot of late nights with my favorites. But mostly, I read 🙂
What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
I have a non-fiction book on how to write poetry that should be releasing at the end of the year. And next year, the last book in the Blood Blade Sisters trilogy will be releasing, along with a new historical romance set in the 1920s that will come out next summer. I’m also working on the book with the shape poems and have a fairy tale retelling series I’ll be shopping around soon 🙂
Wish Upon a Star by Michelle McLean
Ceri McKinley never stopped wishing that her ex-fiancé Jason Crickett would come back into her life. But when he finally does, he comes with a request that puts them both—and all of humanity—into jeopardy.
Jason only wants two things: to bury his brother properly and to convince Ceri to trust him again after he jilted her. But when Ceri agrees to help him get his brother back, they end up fighting for their lives as a zombie uprising threatens them all.
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Jason sank down beside me and pulled me toward him, pressing a kiss against my temple.
“Are you okay?” he asked, brushing soot and a few burned leaves from my face and hair. The smell of burned plastic and singed hair coated everything. But it could have been worse.
I leaned against him for a moment before trying to push to my feet.
Jason stopped me. “Rest for a minute.” He reached into my backpack and pulled out another bottle of water.
I took it gratefully, gulping down half the bottle before handing it to him to finish off. When he was done, he bent down, kissing a drop of water from my lips. His hands cupped my face. “I’m sorry. For everything. All of it. Everything I put you through. These wasted years without you.”
“I’m sorry too.” I pulled away and looked up at him. “If we get through this—”
“When we get through this. Not if.”
I gave him a small smile and nodded, knowing he knew what I wanted to say without having to voice the words. “When we get through this, maybe we can talk. About things.”
He gave me one more lingering kiss. “I’ll hold you to that.”
“But for now,” I said, brushing a lock of hair from his forehead.
About the Author:
I grew up in California and have lived everywhere from the deserts of Utah to the tropical beaches of Hawaii to the gorgeous forests of the east coast. The oldest of five children, I am generally an organized mess with slight Obsessive Compulsive tendencies. I have a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, an insatiable love of books, and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at.
I am the author of Homework Helpers: Essays and Term Papers, (Career Press Jan 2011), To Trust a Thief (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical romance trilogy Blood Blade Sisters (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling Wish Upon a Star (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). In addition to my novels and non-fiction work, I write picture books and a bit of poetry. If I’m not editing, reading, or chasing my kids around, I can usually be found in a quiet corner working on my next book.
I currently reside in Pennsylvania with my husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.
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