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1. Where do you write from?
My sofa in my living room in Queensland, Australia.
2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved English and Drama. They were my favourite subjects at school. I was one of the weird kids who genuinely got excited about doing Shakespeare because it combined those two loves. When I left high school though, I fell into an accounting job and figured I needed to “grow up” and get a “real job.” Fast forward a few years and something was missing. Around then, I had characters whispering to me. Unrefined and terrible, but there. Shortly after, I discovered fan fiction and that allowed me to hone my skills. Once I hit the routine of writing every day for my fan fictions, I discovered I couldn’t stop. This time when the voices spoke, I had more confidence to get them down.
3. How long does it take you to write a book?
It can take me a while to settle in to a story, but once I’m in it, it generally takes about 4-6 weeks to get a first draft. From the first draft, the process takes another couple of months in editing.
4. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
So many different places. Sometimes a song can spark it. Sometimes a book I’m reading. Or a TV show. Sometimes it’s a character that comes fully formed. With a couple (Happily Evan After and Through the Fire), it was actually the book title that came first. In both of those cases, the title floated into my mind and I had to question the main characters.
5. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
My first book in general was a choose your own adventure novel when I was a kid. My first full novel, which was short compared to what I write now, was written when I was in my mid-twenties. The first novel I wrote that is now published was when I was around twenty-eight.
6. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spend time with my family and travel.
7. What Genre do you write?
I don’t tend to limit myself to one genre. I’ve got books out that are paranormal romance bordering on urban fantasy. I have another series that is a paranormal romantic comedy. A couple of contemporary romances. And I have plans for a specific urban fantasy (with no specific romantic elements) and a steampunk-fairytale mix.
8. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have 16 books published or very soon to be published. I also have three that are in the cue ready for editing. My favourite? That’s a little like asking about favourite children. There’s something different I love about each one of them. I think my upcoming Physis might be one of my favourites for the emotions that bled onto the page and the realistic view it takes on the issue it approaches.
9. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I have a reader group and a few people contact me in there. Sometimes I can go stretches without hearing from anyone about the books, other times I’ll have a stream of messages. I love hearing from people, even if compliments make me a little uncomfortable. The biggest feedback I get is probably mock-abuse for my cliffhangers (at least, I hope it’s mock LOL).
10. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to join the navy and be a lawyer. It was never going to work though, I’m too lazy and unorganised for the armed forces and I hated my law subjects when I studied accounting.
11. Tell us about your current project.
I have a few underway at the moment. As of writing this, I’m organising a re-release of two of my urban fantasy/paranormal romance books as well as getting the third in the series up. Outside of that, I’ve got WIPs that I’m working on to complete the Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story series, as well as a new secret project I’m writing set in the same world as my Daughter of Fire and Son of Rain series.
12. How do you handle writers block?
It depends on the reason for the block. I have some stories which I’m somewhat blocked on that I’ve just left alone because they’re not slated for a release in my schedule yet so I figure they just need more time to percolate. Sometimes it’s a matter of setting the mood, getting some music on, and just going for it. Other times, I find it best to skip over the scene that is causing the issue and write a future scene. On occasion, it’s a matter of writing a completely ridiculous scene of that character just to get back in their head or maybe a character interview. One final thing I try is writing something completely different—this works when there’s a new shiny trying to distract me. By writing a few paragraphs on the new shiny—just enough to get the characters out of my head—I clear the way for the character who should be speaking to come back again.
13. What one subject is TABOO in your writing?
This is a difficult question. Basically, I’ve come to the point of never say never. I once said I’d never write a story that involved cheating—then some of my characters made a liar out of me. I swore I’d never do a love triangle, and again my characters laughed. Same with rape and torture. Once my characters come in and start telling their stories, I can’t always control them. So I’ve learned to roll with the punches.
14. If there was one book you wish you'd written, which would it be?
I don’t really have one. I love Harry Potter, but I could never have written it. No one can write like me, and I can’t write like anyone else.
15. What is your biggest pet peeve?
It changes depending on the day LOL. Probably reviewers who give spoilers without warning for spoilers (I have no problem with marked spoilers though).
16. Is there one current tv show that is a "can't miss" for you?
Supernatural. Although I do tend to miss it on TV, but then I buy the DVD and binge.
17. Who was your greatest influence?
I don’t really have just one. I like to read widely, across multiple genres. I don’t have one author I try to emulate. I take inspiration from my family as much as any celebrity.
18. How do you choose your book covers?
I let my cover designers have at it. There are a couple of pre-made covers I’ve grabbed because they spoke to me, but generally I’ve just left the experts to do their job.
19. Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
Despite all of my qualifications, I actually dropped out of high school.
20. How would a reader find you online? IE: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Street Team, Reader Group.
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/6CtJD
Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/MichelleIrwinAuthor
Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/718826991542390/