Monday, November 19, 2012

Meet Emma Michaels, Author of Owlet

Every author has one novel that he or she think of, as “the book of my heart” at some point in his or her life and Owlet is mine. As a lifelong asthmatic, I grew up always feeling disconnected from the characters I loved so dearly in the YA novels I read. It bothered me that all of the characters I felt close to were so much more capable than I will ever be. They say that when there is a novel you desperately want to read but can't find it must be one you need to write - so I did. The goal of this novel is to reach out to and help as many people as my words can.


Owlet is now here, the novel I needed when I was growing up and hopefully can help someone else who might have felt the same way or is feeling that way now. A YA Urban Fantasy, the book is about a girl who learns that sometimes having something working against you, can make you a stronger, better person, and while it hurts to become that way, it can also give you a fighting chance.

Synopsis: Somewhere between falling and flying...there is a girl.

Iris has a secret. She lost her memory eight years ago and never told a living soul. After an asthma attack, one night she finds out that her dreams of a strange house on a snowy island may be a memory resurfacing, but the more she learns about the past, the more she realizes the life she has been living is a lie. As the façade her father has built starts to crumble around her, she will have to decide which means more to her: the truth or her life.

Thank you for introducing Owlet to our readers. Let us discuss the passage you have taken when it comes to your writings.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned from writing? My career in writing has taught me a great deal about who I am, what I can achieve, and how important my writing is to me. When I first started writing, I wasn’t sure I could make it. When my fiancé suggested I write my first book and submit it, I thought he was crazy. Now I’ve had my fourth book published through Tribute Books and copies of my novels are being sold around the world (darn it, he was right again – don’t tell him I said that though!). I’ve heard my novels have also helped people, for which I feel both humbled and happy. I would not change anything about the experience and I welcome the lessons I continue to learn as I move forward.

Who or what inspired you to become an author. I have had a number of people who have inspired me to write. Tamora Pierce, a fellow author, is someone who helped me during a time when I was very ill. Her books gave me something to focus on and helped me to recover. There is also my grandmother who has served not only to inspire me, but to encourage me to continue reaching and to never settle. My fiancé helped me take that final step in becoming a published author and who has always been by my side through every step I have taken.

Have you ever received a negative comment or review about your book, and if so, how did you handle it? Yes, unfortunately I have. The individual wrote a bad review to get to the top of Google’s search engine rankings using my name for this purpose. It was a sad experience for me, not because of the bad review (although that did hurt), but because of what I saw happen afterwards. I have noticed that when individuals online like or dislike something, they will divide into those groups and strongly oppose each other. I have watched this happen to fellow authors, movies and political candidates. But I feel that both groups don’t realize the fallout of their actions or words. Recently, a well-known blog was once again targeted by someone who apparently wasn’t even familiar with the blog, yet the individual decided to nonetheless spread falsehoods about the blog. The result was in a number of individuals being hurt greatly and the blog itself being closed down due to the hate mail they were receiving; hate mail that wasn’t even justified because it wasn’t even the truth. Fortunately, with my own experience, it was only the one bad review and it was not done with malicious intent, only personal gain in mind. But other situations have ended differently. I decided the best approach was to not defend myself or my first book, but to thank the person for the time spent on the review and I discouraged any kind of taking of sides.

Why? Because I don’t believe, authors should take sides. Yes, our books are very important to us. We spend a great deal of time working on it and many of us feel that our books are our babies. But we write for our readers and for our careers. Our readers don’t want controversy or to read hate – they want to come to the worlds we bring to life for them.

From where do you get your story ideas? The whole world serves as an inspiration to me. I can be walking through a store and suddenly feel inspired, or listening to a song and imagining a journey through an unknown landscape. I can be paying bills and imagining marauders fighting for the rights we have today. When all else fails, I turn to my writing area and enjoy a piece of dark chocolate. 

As a writer, what has been your biggest challenge, trials or tribulations that you have overcome? Getting my work out there has been my greatest challenge. When I was writing, my biggest challenge was in writing a good novel, but when I was accepted by my first publisher and then my second and third, I began to realize that writing and being published was only the first half of the battle. Marketing and reaching out to my readers has been my greatest challenge, one shared by many authors, and I do my best to learn, adapt and move forward. Every time someone brings me one of my books and asks me to sign them, I feel that the journey thus far has been worth it. I would not trade a single moment or challenge!

What advice would you give someone who is thinking about writing a book? Don’t give up. I know that sounds easy to say, but in many ways it is like exercising. First, you start out and it is a long journey to get to where you want, but I promise you that the journey and reaching your final destination is soooooo worth it!!!

How can our readers get in touch with you? Readers can get in touch with me through my website www.EmmaMichaels.com and I love hearing from everyone! Thank you so much for reading my books and I promise to keep writing!

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