Friday, January 20, 2006

Author Q&A with Michelle Rowen

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1) Can you give a blurb about your current release?

BITTEN & SMITTEN is about a girl named Sarah Dearly who gets turned into a vampire by her blind date from hell. Running away from him and the vampire hunters who show up, she meets Mr. Tall Dark and Intimidating, a master vampire named Thierry de Bennicoeur who is trying to end his life after six hundred years. He agrees to help show her the ropes of the vampire world if she’ll help him end his life.It’s romantic, but I’d describe it more as a vampire chick-lit. It’s all about Sarah’s new life and troubles as she tries to cope with her new other-worldly status which is definitely not like it is in the books she’s read.

Click here to read an excerpt

2) The concept of a suicidial master vampire is hilarious. How did you come up with that?

I was thinking about immortality and how great it would be. Imagine all the things you could accomplish if you had hundreds of years. Plus, looking good the whole time! But on the flip side, I thought that it might get a little boring. Once you've seen it all, done it all... what then? If you don't die from natural causes and there's nothing that interests you in life anymore, really the only way out is to jump off a bridge.

3) So, where does your love of immortal hotties who suck blood come from? Are you a Buffy fan or what? Spike or Angel?

I am the biggest Buffy fan I know. It's sad, really. Even now, almost three years after the show went off the air I'm still an addict. I even have a Buffy tattoo. So, yes, my love of all things vamp comes from that show that turned the vampire legend on its head and did it in a way that combined comedy, drama, action and romance in one tidy package. Joss Whedon is my hero.And the age-old Spike or Angel question, huh? That's kind of like the "Maryanne or Ginger" question for guys, isn't it? Spike and Angel are so different, and yet both so hot it's hard to pick one. But since I go more for snark than sullen, I'd probably end up with Blondie Bear. And if you don't know which one that is, I can't help you.

4) Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? How did you go from ordinary reader to published author of kick-butt, hilarious, vampire fiction?

I've always wanted to be a writer. But for most of my life I lacked the confidence in my writerly abilities, or the follow-through to actually apply butt to chair and finish anything. When I turned thirty I figured that my dream wasn't going anywhere if I didn't put some effort into it. I signed up for a course through Writer's Digest in which I was mentored through the first chunk of writing a book by a published author. I decided to write what I liked to read and watch on TV: a comedic story with an edge of drama and action; an "everygal" who becomes something extraordinary. I tried to have fun with the course, while still taking it seriously.The author I worked with on my assignments was so complimentary about what I was writing (what was to become the first draft of BITTEN & SMITTEN) that it bolstered my confidence enough to think that... maybe. Maybe this might be more than just a pipe dream. So I focused. I finished the book, knowing that vampires were a hard sell since there are so darn many people who write about them. I researched the market and made my list of agents and was rather shocked when I received an offer of representation from the second agent I queried. He was able to sell the manuscript in record time. My head is still spinning, to tell you the truth.

5) Now that your book is on the shelves, you are getting hit with what every author fears: reviews! You've gotten some amazing ones from Booklist and Publisher's Weekly--congratulations! What does it feel like to be putting your work out there in the world for review?

Oh, I never read reviews.I am so lying.Okay, I read them. And I love the good ones, of course, and I've been blessed with quite a few that stroke my fragile ego. However, the bad reviews, quite honestly, feel like somebody has punched me in the stomach. My road to being published was not paved with a lot of rejection so I am having a hard time building up my "protective shell" when it comes to reading negative opinions about my work. But the more time goes by, the less it affects me. Probably the best thing for me to do is not read any reviews at all. Just focus on the writing, and doing the best I can. And keep a lot of chocolate on hand for when I get weak and google myself.

6) Have you ever met a real vampire? If so, was he hot and what was it like when he bit you?

No, I haven't. Stephanie, honey, vampires are *not* actually real. However, I am currently dating the nicest werewolf.

7) In BITTEN & SMITTEN, your heroine goes on a blind date from hell. Literally. Was this inspired by your own blind date experiences? What is the worst blind date (or regular date) that you've ever been on?

Alright, I have a bad blind date experience to share. I had arranged to meet a guy at a local bar. We'd only spoken on the phone so I told him what I looked like and that I would be carrying a purse with a dog on it (it's cooler than it sounds. I like funky purses). I arrived and wandered around looking for him. He thought it would be funny to watch me search for a few minutes without saying anything. It was a bad few minutes. For me. And then he proceeded to hit on the female bartender for the next half hour.Okay. Now I'm depressed. Moral to the story: Blind dates are bad. Fangs or no fangs.

8) Can you give us a sneak peek at your next release?

My next release is called ANGEL WITH ATTITUDE and it's out in July 2006 with Warner Forever. It's about a fallen angel who travels to the Underworld to search for the stolen Key to Heaven that she plans to use to go back. She's accompanied by a talking rat and a very hot, very tempting demon named Nathaniel.

Michelle Rowen

BITTEN & SMITTEN, Available now! Read an excerpt!



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