Please give Michelle Mogil a warm welcome.
1. Can you tell us a bit about your most recent novel?
The Melancholy Man is the third novel in my Love Eternal Series.
The Blurb: Esther Blackwell thought she had written works of fiction: two novels about a middle-aged couple who, through an odd series of circumstances, become blood-sucking creatures of the night. Then, her characters start showing up in her life and stirring everything up. Esther finds herself drawn into their surreal world by one particularly long, lean ancient Irishman who can’t seem to keep his hands — or his teeth — off of her. It would seem she had finally found the love and devotion she’d always longed for. Unfortunately, he’s already bound to another mate, a green-eyed, red-haired beauty who is not ready to let go and more than willing to cause trouble.
2. When did you realize you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
A number of years ago, my brother self-published his book about life on the USS Guadalcanal, and I realized how easy it was to put my stories out there. I was terrified when I pushed that “Publish” button, but was amazed when people — utter strangers, even — enjoyed my work. It encouraged me to put more out there. I now have three novels and short stories in four anthologies published. Currently, I have three projects in the works with a fourth one hatching in my feverish little brain.
3. What’s your favourite genre to write in & why?
Fantasy and science fiction, which are sometimes intertwined. I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I spend a lot of time in it. My favorite leading question is, “What if?”
When I was in school, I nearly always had my nose in a book and the books I read were mostly science fiction: Arthur C. Clark, Ray Bradbury, Ursula LeGuin, Isaac Asimov, and so forth. I was teased unmercifully, of course, because I was a nerd and nerds weren’t yet considered cool.
4. What modern author do you admire most and why?
I fell in love with Ursula LeGuin when I read “The Lathe of Heaven”. What a concept: your dreams can change reality! After that, I read every book of hers that I could get my hands on. She could write in fantasy AND science fiction, mix them together, and do it well. She created characters and worlds I cared deeply about.
5. Can you give us a brief rundown of your writing process?
I don’t really have a process. The writing pretty much does its own thing. Inspiration comes in spurts, usually at 3:00 AM. My brain will say “What if?” and I’m off on a weird journey. I’ll scribble or type furiously for a while, and then it will dry up and then my brain will say “What if… you suck at this?” I hate my brain sometimes.
6. What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you make it easier for yourself?
The very hardest part is when my editor does a face-palm over something that I thought was terribly clever. Actually, no. The absolute hardest part is highlighting that offending thing and pushing the delete button. I make it easier on myself by challenging my imagination to come up with something better.
7. Do you ever find it difficult to move from one novel to the next? If so, how do you make changing projects easier?
I don’t find it difficult because, as I finish one, I’m already writing the next one. Things happen to my stories that suggest another story needs to be told. That’s probably why I find it difficult to write the ending for my novels. They simply don’t want to end…
8. You’ve also written a number of stories for Theme-Thology anthologies. Can you tell us a bit about this process?
I am always a little bit surprised by how difficult it is to write a short story. You have only a short period of time to develop characters and a plot and this “economy of words” thing often escapes me. I love the English language, so I use as many words as I can. I find it hard to limit myself to a set number of these beautiful, beautiful words.
9. If you could give an aspiring writer only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Grow a thick, slippery skin. In other words, learn to take constructive criticism and let the nasty stuff slide off your back.
Some will praise your work, some will give thoughtful critiques. Then there are those who will slam your writing because… well, who knows why? Maybe they were neglected as a child or are caught in a bad relationship. Or maybe they have a painful, itchy rash on an unmentionable body part. Who knows? Never, ever respond to your critics. You will not come out in a good light if you start a snark war with one of these people. Write a nasty email about it and send it to yourself, make a voodoo doll and stab it repeatedly with hat pins, or burn them in effigy. Whatever it takes to make you feel better. But don’t ever respond in real life.
10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
As I said earlier, I’m currently working on three projects, two of which are related to the Love Eternal series.
The first is a novella (which is threatening to grow into a full-blown novel if I don’t rein it in) about the buffer period between Ana’s “change of life” in The Gentle Man (Book One) and Ethan’s attempt to rebuild his marriage with her in The Loyal Man (Book Two). I guess I should call this Book One-and-a-half…? Anyway, I’m focused on the difficulty of forgiveness in this one. Ethan needs to forgive Ana for what she did and Ana needs to forgive herself, except that she can’t help doing something stupid all over again. She’s created another situation after which she’ll have to seek forgiveness yet again.
Then there was a particular character in The Melancholy Man (Book Three) who decided her story needs to be told. So I’m beginning to outline a novel that features her. She’s delightfully snarky — my favorite kind of person — and she’s got something to say, usually in a sarcastic tone.
Third, I’m working on a solo anthology for HDWP Books featuring four previously published short stories and several brand-spankin’-new stories, all just a little bit weird, all just a bit twisted. Much like their creator…
Michelle Mogil is a late comer to the publishing world, but she’s working hard to catch up. She has three self-published novels thus far and four short stories in anthologies. Science fiction, fantasy and the supernatural are her first loves. Her Amazon author page is here:
Michelle has always loved to write, filling notebooks and journals with her thoughts and observations, but has only just now found the courage to show it to complete strangers. She is humbled and gratified to find people like to read the words that come out of her brain. She posts some of those words for free at http://www.michellemogil.com.