Interview by Bethany Wicker
It’s time for another author spotlight! Up this week is Michelle Lynn, author of four of my favorite books. Time to learn more about her.
So, you have four published books. What are the titles of your work and can you tell us a bit about them?
I do! The Dawn of Rebellion trilogy is a dystopian story about two sisters trying to find their way in a desperate future. The US has long since been destroyed and is now controlled by different factions. The UK controls Florida with their slave camps. When Gabby, the older sister, is taken to one of these camps, Dawn must do everything she can to save her. What she finds in this strange land is not what she expected.
Choices is quite a bit different. It’s a contemporary romance, but its message is deeper than a simple love story. It’s really about breaking free of other people’s expectations and discovering what will make you happy. It’s the first in a four book series. The second, Promises, will be released in March.
There are so many great ones to choose from, especially with two different series, but who’s your favorite character from your books?
This is tough, but I’d have to say Gabby. She doesn’t always do the right thing, but she would do anything for the people she loves. Her story is a tragic one. I also love Jason from Choices, but that’s for a simpler reason. He’s just the perfect book boyfriend.
What was it like shifting from a more action-y book like Dawn of the Rebellion to an endearing romance one like Choices?
Refreshing. After I finished the final book in the Dawn trilogy, I was mentally exhausted. For a while, I tried writing other things and then would stop because I couldn’t find my creative mojo. So, I decided to try a light romance. It ended up being anything but light, but it wasn’t so draining and I found that I loved it.
Were there alternate endings that you considered for either of the series?
Not for Dawn. With Choices, I had a different ending written, but then one of my beta readers told me it sucked. I needed the tough love because she was right. So I rewrote it and the new one felt right.
What authors have inspired you to write?
Sooo many. I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and my favorite is Robin Hobb. There’s also Stephen King. I actually don’t like his books – at all – but he is an inspiration. If you read interviews by him, he’s a genius when it comes to technique and, more importantly, motivation.
What age were you when you first started writing?
I know most people want to hear that I’ve been writing since I was young and it was all I’ve ever wanted to do. The truth is that I hadn’t written more than school assignments until I was 24.
A dreadful thing: writer’s block. Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you work through it?
For me, it’s about motivation. There are a lot of times when I just don’t want to start writing. I have to force myself to sit at my computer until something comes. It usually does.
Everyone has different writing styles. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I just write. I’ve tried to outline, but stories have a way of taking on a mind of their own so any outline would end up being obsolete.
As an author, you can become attached to your characters. Do you ever get sad when you realize that the characters that you’ve created aren’t real?
Haha – this is a weird one. But, truthfully, yes. They’re truly special people. But, then I look at some of the people whose traits I’ve imbued in my characters, and realize that parts of them are real.
So, fun question to break things up. If you were a super hero, what would your name be and what power would you have?
I totally want to be able to fly. I have a disability that impacts my walking so that would help. Lol. I don’t know about a name.
If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
Australian, hands down. A few of the people I’ve become good friends with lately are Australian and they’re always saying awesome words that I don’t know the meaning of.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I didn’t really have any. I didn’t send it to any publishers because I didn’t yet know if I’d even finish the series. I just put it out there – probably earlier than I should have.
Which series was more fun to write or was it an equal feeling between Choices and Dawn of the Rebellion?
They were very different and both fun – but, I’d say Dawn. The action scenes were great. And everything that happened had these huge consequences for the entire world. But, I feel like Choices and its sequel are my best writing to date and that thought alone makes them special. I’m very proud of my newest book that’s coming out next month.
So, we’re all looking forward to it, so can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Promises is about Maggie and Elijah, two minor characters from Choices. Since they were kids, Elijah is the only person Maggie could count on in her messed up life. She went from a drunken father to a drunken husband, all while Elijah stood on the sidelines as her best friend/emotional support. It’s been a few years since Maggie’s marriage blew up and she is finally ready to see what’s been right in front of her the whole time. Only, things aren’t that simple. There are secrets that Maggie has been keeping from Elijah. As those start to come out, their relationship may not be the same.
As an established author of four books, do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
You have to love it. If you don’t, then quit right now. It isn’t easy. Some days it downright hurts. If you’re not doing it because you love to write, you won’t make it.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I have to write at the same time every day. For two hours every morning. If I try in the afternoon or evening, I can’t do it.
Time for some random questions to spice things up. What toppings do you like on your pizza?
Pepperoni. I know. Boring.
Are you a dog person or cat?
Both. I like a house full of animals – including a bird.
What is your biggest fear?
Never getting over my disabling illness and having a normal life.
What’s your favorite pastime besides reading and writing?
Watching hockey. Can’t get enough of it!