Interview with Michelle Devon!

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Michelle Devon. Michelle is the talented author of CELESTE and has been a mentor to me.

Lilah – You come up with some amazingly true-to-life characters in your books and CELESTE is no exception. For you, as you are coming up with your stories, which comes first, the story-line/idea or the characters?

Michelle – It’s really usually the story first, then the characters are created within the universe of that story. I usually get a spark of an idea, and I let it roll around in my head for a time. Once it’s grown in my head from a spark into a flaming idea, I create some characters to play it out in my head, breathe a little life into them and let them do their thing. Then I sit back and watch and write about it, tweaking things a bit when the characters act too much like real humans. Fiction, after all, has to make a lot more sense than real life does.

Lilah – As an erotic author, I especially appreciate well-crafted scenes filled with sexual tension. You’ve created that tension perfectly yet tastefully in several of your works. Do you have a favorite scene that you’ve written? Do you use any real-life inspirations for your erotic scenes?

Michelle – I like the sexuality of THREE, my short story. It originally started as a scene in one of my novels, WHAT BROTHER DO. Unfortunately, as great of a scene as it was, the entire plot for that novel changed somewhere along the way, and that scene between the main character and his new wife was no longer essential to the story. I love realistic sex scenes that are well done when they are not gratuitious, but just throwing a sex scene in when it’s not an important part of the story, that smacks of smut. I don’t get my thrills the cheap way, so I had to take it out.

It was such a great scene, though, I couldn’t bear to throw it away, so I tweaked it, changed the characters names and some details and then added enough around it to make it a novella of its own, and voila, THREE was born. Most who have read this one have said they just love the realism of it, the depth of the emotion. That makes me really happy to hear, because this book that originally spawn this novella is really special to me.

Lilah – Do you have a favorite genre to write in? Why?

Michelle – I like psychological suspense, suspense in general, and a little techno-suspense from time to time. I don’t do hard-core sci-fi, but I like a little technological suspense, where gadgets and technology and advanced medical and scientific research and discoveries allow me to break the current laws of the universe by adding things that don’t currently exist in our universe. For example, one book I’m working on isn’t really a sci-fi book—it is a suspense thriller—but it uses the creation and the flaw that came with it of an anti-aging drug that was being tested and was accidentally exposed to a virus, and mutated and spread superfast. It’s taken a lot of research to get the science part of this right, including speaking by email with a geneticist at one point. But the story is just a solid suspense story that uses that technology and medical advance as a device. I like that.

Other than that, I just like psychological suspense. Some people get their thrills and fears by reading horror, but to me, there is nothing more terrifying than the capacity of the human psyche. What resides in my brain scares me more than any words in a book can, and I sort of try to use that in my writing.

Lilah – Did you have any heroes as a child? Who are your heroes, now?

Michelle – Oh, a hero is so hard to define, isn’t it? I mean, what makes up a hero? Certainly, there were people I admired and looked up to, but I’m not sure I could call them heroes, per se. It might sound sad to say I didn’t have any heroes as a child. I certainly could have used one, though.

Lilah – What is your most treasured possession, and why do you treasure it?

Michelle – Well, now I don’t know how to answer that. If the house were on fire, there are two things I’d take with me: my dog and my laptop. If it were a choice between the two, the dog, most definitely the dog. I’ve told my kids that if the house is on fire, they’re on their own, and Jake the Dog and I will carry my laptop to safety.

Lilah – Do you have a favorite band/singer? Do you listen to music while you write?

Michelle – I don’t have a favorite, really. I like the music written by Jim Steinman, no matter who is performing it, and my favorite music will differ depending on my mood, time of day, etc. I listen to music when I’m just piddling around, but when I’m seriously in the flow and writing, I can’t have any music. I have a bad habit of typing the words to the song instead of my book if I have music playing. I can’t not sing to it, I mean, come on.

Lilah – What is it the drives you to write? You’ve said many times in blog posts (and even in your signature lines) that for you, being a writer isn’t something you do, it’s who you are, but what brought you to that state of being?

Michelle – I think I was born this way, really. From the time I was little bitty, I was a story teller. Even relaying stories that really happened, I would do it with a flare of grandiose, warms waiving, never getting straight to the point, but trying to be entertaining. As I got older, I started to write or draw my stories. My junior high, I was writing full-length stories and getting some poems and newspaper articles published. I put writing aside for a time, and I have to honestly say it was the darkest years of my life during that time, and even then, I was ‘writing’ in my head.

I’ve learned that writing keeps me sane. When I’m not writing, I can very easily fall into the land of fantasy, creating these alternate realities in my mind and wanting so badly to live in them, to dwell in them, that I escape from real life that way. When I’m able to write them down, I don’t have that compelling need to escape, because they are there, any time I want or need them. I don’t think it’s something I chose any more than I chose to be born or have auburn hair or green eyes. It just sort of is who I am and has always been a part of me.

Lilah – When you write, are you just relaying stories or are you hoping that your readers might take something more away with them?

Michelle – Well, I think all writers hope that readers get something from their story beyond mere entertainment, perhaps something that will stay with them, make them feel better or change how they look at something. For me, there’s no greater joy than hearing someone say that I made them think about something differently. I don’t care if I change minds or hearts or attitudes with my writing. That’s not my job to do anyway. All I want or hope is that I can challenge people to look beyond the ordinary and see the extraordinary that is in everything. I hope I can make people question their own reality in some way.

Lilah – If you could somehow reach everyone on the planet and impart one thought or one imperative, what would it be?

Michelle – Simple: You have the power to make your life anything you dream it to be simply by believing that it is that way.

Of course, the believing part is the trick. You have to truly, completely believe, and sadly, most people just don’t. But I know it’s true. I know it works. Getting yourself there is the hard part. Once you’re there, though, life is pretty darned sweet.

 

Buy Celeste, by Michelle Devon, at Amazon.com here.

 

3 Responses to “Interview with Michelle Devon!”

  1. Jennifer Walker Says:

    Thank you for hosting Michy on her tour!

  2. Sheila Robinson Says:

    Interesting interview. It really takes a closer look at where Michy gets her inspiration and direction for writing her stories.

  3. CELESTE Virtual Book Tour | Walker Author Tours Says:

    […] 12      Lilah Harding […]

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 at 9:34 am and is filed under Erotic Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.