Michelle just launched her newest series Living in Eden which begins with The Demon in Me (May 4). I think you'll love Eden and the demon Darrak. Please join me in welcoming Michelle to SciFiGuy. Michelle will be dropping by to chat so feel free to leave a question or comment. I also have two copies of The Demon im Me to giveaway. Check the usual contest guidelines at the end of the post on how to enter.
SFG: Michelle, first off I'd like to say what a pleasure it is to have a Canadian paranormal writer here at SciFiGuy.ca. Is there anything from your Canadian experience that you put into your stories that makes them unique or do you see paranormal as universal?
Thanks Doug! Ah, my “Canadian experience”... well, I was raised here so I would think that affects how my characters act. In my earlier books I tried to throw in some Canadiana, ie: Tim Hortons, CN Tower references, other Toronto landmarks. I’m keeping it a tad more generic now, especially since some of my books take place outside of Canada. Some of my American friends probably assume my characters say “aboot” (I swear I can’t hear my accent, but they seem to think it’s hilarious), but I’m not so sure about that.
Sure. It’s about a psychic consultant to the police who’s possessed by a demon. Her first impulse is to have him exorcized, of course, but once she gets to know the “voice in her head” she realizes he is cursed and needs her help. She agrees to help him when he offers to help her woo the man of her dreams, her cop partner on the psychic investigations. She also is a part-owner of a detective agency that, because of the demon’s presence, becomes a magnet for supernatural clientele. It’s a whole lot of fun and takes the humour I used in my Immortality Bites series and adds in a bit of a darker edge. I love books that will scare you one moment, make you shed a tear or two, and then make you laugh your butt off. This is my goal.
SFG: You usually write about vampires. What made you choose Demons as the supernatural centrepiece for Living in Eden?
Once I got the idea about a woman who is possessed, choosing demons as the central supernatural character was an easy choice. I suppose I could have gone with a ghost, but I liked the evil/good implications that I would get to play with by having a demon hero.
You've written five books in your Immortality Bites series, do you plan more? Do you have a favourite book or characters from the series? You also have some very clever titles, how did you arrive at those?
No more Immortality Bites books are currently planned and the last book definitely ended on a definitive note. I wouldn’t turn down the chance to write about these characters again, but at the moment there is nothing contracted. My favorite book in the series is Stakes & Stilettos because I got to explore my hero Thierry’s backstory through his point of view to help readers understand this enigmatic character a bit better. The titles are adorable, aren’t they? It all branched from the first book, originally titled Dearly Departed, but I was asked to come up with new titles. I supplied a list to my editor and she chose Bitten & Smitten, which at the time I thought was unforgivably cutesy, but seemed to work very well after I embraced the cutesiness. From there, the titling hook (a vamp word and a chick-litty word) stuck. Although I have to admit it got a bit more difficult near the end!
SFG: Like many paranormal and urban fantasy writers you also write young adult fiction. Tell us something about the Demon Princess series and in particular the forthcoming second book Reign Check. What do you like most about writing for the young adult market?
Demon Princess is about a 16 year old girl who learns her estranged father is a demon king in another world accessed by magical gateways, and is the safety zone between the human world and hell. As his only child, she is the heir to the throne and because of this, her life is in danger by those who want free access to the human world. She’s protected by a cute but mysterious guy her father sends to her with a message that he must meet her soon. Uncontrollable powers, proms, hot guys, and homework ensues.
In Reign Check, Nikki is brought before the demon council in the Underworld who want to meet this new player on the scene. She also has to deal with a young faery king enrolling at her school to learn more about the girl he considers a threat to his kingdom -- and he’s very disturbed when he finds the half-demon her more charming than threatening.
I love writing YA because it’s the genre of my heart -- the first thing that really made me want to start writing seriously. I was working on a YA project (never published) long before I launched my paranormal romance career. There’s something about being a teenager, experiencing everything for the first time -- first love, betrayal of friends, slowly and grudgingly becoming an adult, that whole “coming of age” thing -- that just really works for me in fiction.
SFG: Next year also sounds like a very busy year for you with another new series being launched; can you give us a small preview of Nightshade?
Yes, my Nightshade duology (plus a novella in between) begins February 2011. I wrote a darker futuristic romance under the pen name Michelle Maddox in ’08 and I wanted to take that voice into urban fantasy. It’s about a woman who is injected with a top secret formula that makes her blood both irresistible and poisonous to vampires. She’s used against her will as a pawn to kill a vampire king and gets involved with a vampire hunting, battle-scarred and emotionless dhampyr. Chaos ensues. It’s bloody, sexy, and a real thrill ride. I loved writing it.
SFG: Are you a reader of contemporary YA fiction and if so what are your favourite series/books?
My favorite genre at the moment is YA because it offers up a little bit of everything. I’m a shameless fangirl of the Twilight franchise -- both books and movies. I adore Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. Worship Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games and can’t wait for the last book in the trilogy. I could go on and on. Great stuff is being published in YA right now.
SFG: If you could have lunch with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Neil Gaiman. Because he’s Neil Gaiman. And I heart him.
SFG: I see that you are attending a Toronto science fiction convention this summer, are you also a science fiction and fantasy reader?
I am attending the Polaris convention here in Toronto as an author guest. It was a lot of fun last year so I’m looking forward to July. I must admit I don’t read that much sci-fi or high fantasy -- but I watch a lot of it on TV and in the movies, which this convention gears to.
SFG: You just returned from the RT Convention. What was the highlight of the event for you?
Of course I love seeing the readers who come to the book signing and bring their own books to be signed. So much fun. One woman showed me a tattoo she’d gotten of the bat on the cover of Lady & the Vamp. That was a real thrill! Also, it’s great fun to hang out with other authors and talk shop over lemon drop martinis. But my highlight was probably receiving the RT Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Vampire Romance for Tall, Dark & Fangsome. I am wooed by the bling. ;)
Congratulations Michelle on your RT Reviewers Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance!
You can visit Michelle Rowen at her main website, YA website or blog.
I have two copies of The Demon in Me to giveaway to commenters
- To enter, ask Michelle a question about her about her books/series or tell us about your favourite UF/PNR that featured a demon.
- Open to everywhere that The Book Depository ships.
- Leave a way to notify you if you should win.
- Blog, tweet, post on Facebook or other social network sites for an extra entry. Leave a comment here to let me know.
- Giveaway open until Midnight, May 13, 2010 EDT.
October 5, 2010 – Berkley Books
Book #2 in the Living in Eden series.