MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR BRIANA MICHAELS ❤️
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Briana Michaels, writer of paranormal romance, mother of Mischief and Mayhem, and am known to my friends as the “Kitchen Witch” because I bake A LOT. I live on the side of a mountain with my awesome hubs and two kids, 23 squawky chickens, lots of wildlife, and a cat named Guinness.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
The latest installment in my series is IGNITE. This book hit me in such a way that the entire storyline came out in one big bang. The hero is one of my favorite characters in the series because he’s such a good guy. He’s the big brother/guy next door/hard working man kinda guy. He’s got friends everywhere, runs his own business and has a huge heart. Oh, did I mention he’s a demon? Not only that, but he’s broken in a way that I’d never seen, heard, or read about before. So yeah… he’s scrumptiously flawed and hot as Hell (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
And then in walks the heroine. She’s curvy, loud, bold, and loves things smothered in cheese. She’s got a mind of her own and a helluva backbone. She’s a ton of fun to be around (just don’t piss her off). Neither of these characters is interested in love. As a matter of fact, they avoid it like the plague. Annnnnd that’s where The Fates step in with plans of their own.
I get a lot of emails and messages from readers about this book because, well, it really is a doozy of a story. Like all my novels, this one came ready and roaring. I just had to get the characters to simmer down long enough to tell me exactly what was going on and together we wrote their story for the world to enjoy.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love paranormal romance. I can honestly say that I have never NOT been in the mood for a PNR. I also really love historical romance, but I doubt I could ever write one. They take a certain mindset that I just don’t possess. My heart and soul are committed to the paranormal, there’s something so edgy and sexy about the dark side. In a way, it’s forbidden, ya know? I like temptation too much to not jump in with both feet and get dirty with it. That’s why I write paranormal romance – my dark side was too persuasive for me to say “no” to.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I do very little research other than perhaps the meaning of a few names or the side effects of certain plants. I want my series to be filled with new theories and the worlds I build to be completely created from scratch with just what I’ve got in my head. It’s a deep, dark place, with lots and lots of tunnels. I could make a new universe every day for the rest of my life with all I’ve got going in my crazy brain. =-)
Can you tell me about your Series?
Set in modern day, this Paranormal Romance series introduces the Sidhe, the most powerful of Fae, and transports readers along the precarious balance of the Fae realms and the human world. Each book digs deeper into the complicated lives of characters, couples, and couples-to-be, which entwine as the series progresses. Eventually, more forms of the supernatural are introduced, each connected and selected for a purpose – either to protect the innocent and coexist peacefully with the humans, or to conquer a piece of the world and rule it with a steely fist.
That’s my professional answer.
My “other” answer would be:
Set in Baltimore, I take what you thought was Fae and twist them into their “true” form – some dark and deadly, some cunning and alluring, but my faves are the ones who are protective and ferocious. They all have a purpose and think righteousness is on their side. Then I toss in the demons – because I love playing with mine – and I make you think twice about what goes on in the Underworld. Add to this a healthy amount of Gaelic accents, a cunning angel or two, women who are open-minded and independent, add a dash of humor, annnnnd you’ve got yourself the Sins of the Sidhe series!
(It goes great with coffee and a donut).
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I love them all for their own reasons. Each has a life lesson to learn. But I think my favorite was this past one, IGNITE, only because Calla Lily Jameson cracks me up so much, and you fall hard for the man of the hour. So, so, hard.
Okay, enough with the double entendres. (bites lip)
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
It came to me in a dream. So cliché, right? But Adam, one of the main men in my series, truly did come to me that way. I saw him sitting on the ground, his back against a brick wall, white collared shirt rolled up to reveal tanned, toned forearms. He stared at me. His eyes looked exactly like peacock feathers. I was standing in front of him and thought, “Who are you?”
He answered, “Adam.”
Then I woke up.
Seriously, that was it. We didn’t fly through the sky. He didn’t strip me down and get me all hot and bothered. We didn’t turn and fight a bunch of orcs or anything fun. So anti-climatic, really. But I had the same vision over and over and over for about five years or so. Finally, on a dark and not-at-all stormy night, I said to my husband, “I’m going to write a book.”
Adam was pleased and I’ve been writing ever since.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
None, really. I don’t like to muddle my head with the ideas and/or facts that are already out there. I want to give readers something fresh, so I try to stay away from the internet and all forms of research while I write.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Oh yeah. After I wrote the first half of SHATTER (book 1 in the series) my eyes widened and I drooled all over myself when I saw who was coming out of the gates in my head. Character upon character sauntered over and introduced themselves saying, “It’s about f*cking time you got the message, Bri.”
By the time I was finished writing my first novel, I had another thirteen stories ready in my head. It’s been that way ever since, too. There are some I will absolutely write, and others I may not. We’ll see what happens and who roars the loudest while I type.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I kiss the hubs and kids good bye, turn on some music, and begin. Sometimes it’s slow moving for the day because I get stuck on the visions I have and can’t figure out what’s going on. Other days I type so fast my body cramps and my stomach starts digesting itself because I haven’t moved from my seat for ten hours for fear of losing the momentum I’d attained.
Lately I’ve had to strike a balance. Type a little, get up and move. Type some more, get moving some more. It’s good to step back and take a breather. My writing tends to be stronger if I do it in spurts.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
The sixth installment of this series is called AWAKEN. I introduce a new cast of characters to my readers, even though some of the original cast is still very present. This is a turning point for the series, and one that’s still got me on my toes as I continue to edit it.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
YESSSS! Every name is important and has meaning. Some names/meanings I discuss in the book, others I let readers find out on their own. But every name is important!
Where do your ideas come from?
From the darkest pits of my mind.
No, actually that’s only partly true. The rest comes from past experiences and people in my real life. I read a lot of paranormal books and love them all. But sometimes I’d catch myself saying, “I wish there was a book with this, this, and this in it.” Those are the ideas I write down and keep for later when sipping wine with my muse. I write what I’d want to read. Surely other people out there in the big ol’ world might want to read it too. Right? RIGHT?
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I want to write a thriller. I have all the ideas except the ending for one, but I’m not touching that head-job until I have that mind-blowing ending. I like to scare myself a little with what I write. Nothing too crazy, but I like to make myself a wee bit uncomfortable. A Thriller would do the trick, I think. And the idea I’ve got for one makes me squirm just thinking about it, so I’m excited for the ending to reveal itself.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Making sense of everything I’m seeing while balancing Not-Going-Overboard with Not-Cutting-Out-The-Good-Stuff.
I like reading big books – The bigger, the better. I love all the details and scenes and conversations that happen. As an Indie Author, I make my own rules and don’t have anyone else to tell me when to cut off my word count. This is both good and bad. I don’t want to draw things out, but I hate cutting to the chase. Balance is important and is, by far, the hardest to conquer while writing.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I like them and have one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr3VulScBBM
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Not giving up after my first bad review. How’s that for honesty?
I knew you had to have thick skin for this business, but knowing and having are VERY different. I always follow my gut, and since the first chapter I wrote nearly three years ago, I KNEW I had something with my stories. My soul is on the pages I’ve written. My series isn’t going to be for everyone, I get that. But sometimes it only takes one bit of “bad” to tear down a hundred “goods” if you get what I mean.
Getting up after having been knocked down takes guts. Writing takes guts. Publishing takes guts. If you can do those things, you should be very proud because none of it is easy.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
I fall in love every day. (cue “Somebody New” by Hozier, please!)
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope I’m travelling around to Cons and book signings. I want to sip coffee with readers and joke about characters, gossiping about what they’re up to, with no inclination of reminding myself or my readers that… ahem… none of my characters are real (I totally had to whisper that).
Have you always liked to write?
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Hey fellow writer, how’s it going? Are you too busy to write? Too scared it’s going to be crap? Worried no one will read it? Well, that’s all in your head and you need to set those fears on fire and let the heat fuel you. Burn, baby, burn.
‘Cause guess what else is in your head? A BEAST. Ohhhh yeah, baby. There’s a beast inside you, wanting to claw its way out. Unleash that bad boy and let it run; it’ll take you places you’ve only dared to dream about when reading someone else’s books. That’s your inner animal, your inner strength. The power of writing and creating and being free. Don’t keep it caged up with excuses of work, obligations, fear of failure and what not. Just let it go. You won’t be disappointed.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d go back to event planning I think. The creativity and chaos of creating and pulling off big events was spectacular.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, I read reviews because I’m a glutton for punishment. I respond to none.
Good reviews I memorize and hold onto them with some white-knuckle fever.
Bad reviews I memorize, give myself one day to lay in bed and cry in the fetal position, and then I let them go.
Both are just someone’s opinion. I’ve loved some books and didn’t care for others at all. We all have. I just have to remind myself that even though my writing is personal to ME, it’s not personal to them. I’m just one more author in a vast ocean of books trying to take up someone else’s time.
I read the reviews to see what people like/didn’t like about my story. I look to see if it is something that can be fixed (like grammar or typos) or was it a personal preference kinda thing where they didn’t jive with a character or did they love, love, love the concept of the story and discovered the gems I’ve hidden in the pages. I take everything I read to heart. All input is good input when one wants to improve on their craft.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing is too easy an answer, so I’ll go with hitting the publish button. I have yet to do it myself – my husband does it for me. There’s just this horrible, tortuous, sickening feeling I get when it’s all said and done, the cover is perfect, the formatting is correct, and the book is ready to be released to the universe. My heart slams into my throat, cutting off my airway. My cheeks get all tingly. My palms are sweaty. And the nausea is similar to what I had when I was pregnant – merciless and unrelenting.
So, yeah. Hitting that “Publish” button is a killer for me. But it gets hit and the world doesn’t stop, I don’t keel over from hyperventilating, and life continues to be grand. I don’t know why I get so dramatic.
What are you working on now?
Edits to book 6 and working on Book 7.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
How about I give you a taste of how it all begins? Here’s a snippet from SHATTER, book 1 in the Sins of the Sidhe series:
Maiden, Mother, and Crone! Devlin and Adam were not prepared for this feisty sprite. Not her tale, not her talent, and not her tears. Snapping out of his thoughts, Devlin had just enough time to duck as Adam’s glass shattered into the fire. Shards sprayed everywhere and the whiskey enticed the flames to burn higher. Adam let out a hiss that rivaled the fire’s taste of whiskey, and bared fangs as his temper rolled off of him in icy bursts. Rowan screamed and then she bolted from the house.
“What are ye thinking man?” Devlin shouted.
“I am no man, Druid. That fucking bitch has single handedly given the Shadow Lord a way into this world. She opened that door because she was frustrated that the dead nay talk with her? Lashing out, making blood sacrifices, and for what? NO rules. NO respect for the magic. NO precautions taken or oaths given. The wench just set about frolicking into the woods and set loose a very dangerous devil.”
Adam snarled and wrenched his shoulder out of Devlin’s grasp. Stalking out of the room, he went to chase down the woman before she caused more trouble. He ran fast as all Sidhes do. Not, I-can-beat-you-in-a-race fast, but Sidhe-style fast. Adam was a blur running up the hill and towards the trees. Leaves swirled in the air by the disturbance from the winds his body made as he ran to get her. Devlin raced to catch up, he was fast, but Adam was much faster. The Sidhe zipped through the trees, tracking Rowan’s scent like a wolf, and found her quick enough behind a fallen tree.
Covered in dirt and tears smearing her cheeks, she faced him with all the bravery she could muster. Fists at her side and fire burning in her eyes, she didn’t budge. If it was Fate’s will that she die like this today, she wasn’t going down without a fight.
Just as Adam took a step forward to say something to her, Devlin charged through the trees.
“Fangs,” she whispered to Adam, “you have real fucking fangs.”
Devlin cautiously walked between the two of them. Lest it came to actual blows, Devlin was going to try and bring the peace here. He was not going to let Adam strike down their only chance at reaching Lorcan. He stared at his lifelong friend and Adam’s eyes changed from angry to empty.
Letting out a slow breath, Adam bowed his head to Rowan. “Apologies my dear. I tend to let my temper get the better of me as of late.”
Devlin carefully walked closer to Rowan. The lass was covered in dirt, leaves in her hair, eyes red rimmed and weary. She must have tripped more than ran to get away from them. Poor thing has had quite a day, but by the Gods the wee sprite had such fire in her. There she stood, ready to take on a full grown Sidhe with her bare hands and a wee knife, accepting whatever the end would be – hers or his. Spunk like that had to be admired.
Devlin took in the view of this feisty sprite brandishing her wee blade at them. She looked wild and dangerous, and sexy as hell. The woman had a spine, and perhaps a slight death wish. Devlin pleaded in a quiet and calming voice, “Rowan, please come back to the house with us.”
“Come any closer and I swear to God I’ll cut you from asshole to appetite,” she brandished a knife in her hand, one she’d kept hidden in her pocket, and stood unwavering in front of the two men.
Ro’s eyes shifted from one man to the other with her chin thrust out defiantly and she braced herself for whatever was going to happen next. Just then, Devlin let out some of his magic and pushed the strong scent of herbs towards the woman.
Then her world went black.
SHATTER IS FREE OCTOBER 3rd-4th
Here is the link: https://www.amazon.com/Shatter-Sins-Sidhe-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00TUKWWN4/
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I’m a sucker for the dark and dangerous things that go bump in the night. I’ve always loved paranormal romance and they never seem to get old for me. When I was a kid I’d fallen in love with the Lost Boys, Lestat was my BFF, and I would have totally run off with Dracula (wussup Gary Oldman) and howl with his wolves. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the BDB series as an adult. Something about the darker creatures that slink about society right under our noses is fascinating to me. Now I don’t write about Vampires because those stories have been told by writers far more talented than I, but I do have another sexy caste of creatures that will happily sink their teeth into you.
I love to read all romances, but I think my dark side is too dark to try and write anything but paranormal. I can just imagine trying to write a small town romance: A runaway horse escapes the cowboy family’s ranch. The neighbor, a total sweetheart who just graduated from honors at an Ivy League school and had to come home for her grandmother’s funeral, runs out to try and calm the spooked stallion. The guy saves the girl from almost getting kicked in the head by the stallion and they fall in love. Just as they are about to kiss, BANG! The hero gets trampled on by the angry, demon-possessed horse and dies – his soul plummeting into an abyss of icy hot ether while his body remains with the woman his loves. Years later, tortured and hell-bent to get back his life that had been cut short, he fights his way back to the love of his life only to find out she’s made a pact with a devil to enter Ether World and try to find him…….. see how fast I plummet to my dark side? So sad really. I almost look for an opening.
Where did your love of books come from?
Harry Potter. Never have I ever fallen so in love with a fictional world before.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
J.R. Ward, for her intensity. Karen Marie Moning for her unsettling way to string words and thoughts together that can keep you up for days pondering their meaning. Sherrilyn Kenyon for her two sides to every truth. And Jane Austen for being, well… Jane Austen.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Ahhhhh!!! What the heck? ONE FAVE?
Rowan for her feisty spirit.
Ruark for his ability to conquer.
Calla Lily for her love of self, even when she knows she ain’t perfect.
That’s my top three and I’ll stop there.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
You can order paperbacks all over the place like Barnes and Noble and BAM. All my e-books, for now, are on Amazon and in the Kindle Unlimited program:
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both at the same time.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Music. It’ll either fuel or extinguish my muse.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I’d like to give readers what they want while still being original. It’s like finding a Unicorn and training it to make coffee.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’m not going to list them all, but I’ll give you these three:
Misty Simon – she’s the most upbeat woman I’ve met who writes cozy mysteries and has some of the best book titles ever (in my opinion).
Eliza Knight – Writer of historical romances who gets all her Highlanders to drop their kilts. (IN HER BOOKS! Geesh!!!)
Brandy Ayers – this lady is all about the erotic romance genre and makes being dirty sound like a damn fine idea.
All three of these writers do the same thing for me: They give me hope.
We each write very different novels, but at the end of the day, we’re all in it for the same reasons: for the love of writing and romance. Writing is difficult, and these three are just a few of the writers who remind me that even though writing is lonely, I’m not alone.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
SHATTER (insert maniacal laughter here)
No, actually, I’m not. (evil giggle)
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
What does success look like to you?
For me to never stop writing and never stop loving it. No matter what.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Stalk Me!!! I always have giveaways, contests, and fun games to play!
Newsletter Sign-up: http://www.BrianaMichaels.com (sign up is on top right)
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️