Jen: Today we welcome Michelle M. Pillow to Romancing the Book. Michelle, will you share a short bio with us?
Michelle: NYT & USAT Bestseller Michelle M. Pillow is a Romance and Cozy Mystery Author with over a million books sold.
As long as she can remember, Michelle has had a strange fascination with anything supernatural and sci-fi. After discovering historical romance novels, it was only natural that the supernatural and love/romance elements should someday meet in her wonderland of a brain. She’s glad they did for their children have been pouring onto the computer screen ever since.
Michelle loves to travel and try new things, whether it’s a paranormal investigation of an old Vaudeville Theatre or climbing Mayan temples in Belize. She’s addicted to movies and used to drive her mother crazy while quoting random scenes with her brother. For the most part, she can be found wearing pajama pants while writing in her office, and enjoying a cup of coffee.
Bestselling series: Dragon Lords (dragon-shifters), Lords of the Var (cat-shifters), Warlocks MacGregor (contemporary-set Scottish magic), Lords of the Abyss (merfolk), and more…
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Michelle:The newest in my Warlocks MacGregor series released Jan 23rd, Spirit and Spells. This book has been long awaited by fans because of the heroine Charlotte. The poor thing, I’ve really messed with her since book one. She’s had her memory erased, been kidnapped, haunted… Finally, it’s her turn to take control back over her crazy life.
Charlotte has had it with the MacGregor clan interfering in her life. There’s the overbearing Niall. An overprotective Euann. And, lest she forgets, crazy Uncle Raibeart who keeps proposing marriage to her and every other woman in Wisconsin. One of them will equal love.
Excerpt Spirits and Spells
“Niall?” she called before leaving the bedroom. The apartment appeared empty. She caught her reflection as she passed the bathroom door. Seeing the mess of her hair, she instantly walked toward the mirror. The wildness of her appearance took her by surprise as if she hadn’t looked at herself in the mirror in a while. Her red hair was much brighter than normal, and the fact that it looked like she hadn’t bothered with a brush only added to the cavewoman effect. Her misbuttoned shirt forced her collar to fall strangely to the side.
Charlotte did her best to right her appearance, rebuttoning the shirt and untangling the elastic band from her hair. She tried to find a brush but aside from a razor, toothbrush, and a few odds and ends, the drawers were empty. However, she did notice a bottle of the Love Potions body wash she and Lydia made in his shower.
“I brought ya lunch.”
Charlotte gasped at the sound of Niall’s voice and slammed a drawer shut as she whipped around in the bathroom to face him. She hadn’t heard him come up behind her. “I wasn’t, I was…”
His eyes narrowed as he studied her. “Is this a seizure?”
“No.” She placed her hands on her hips. He wore a faded T-shirt and distressed jeans. She could barely count the times he hadn’t been in a kilt. The bruise by his eyes caused her to flex her hand unconsciously. “I’m saying, I wasn’t snooping. I was looking for a brush for my hair.”
“Why would I have a brush for your hair?” he asked.
“Why would I be in your bed?” she countered. That’s not what she’d meant. It was too late to retract her words as their implications unraveled, her mind only too happy to supply her with many varied answers to that question. There was only one way out of the bathroom and he was blocking it. Flustered, she tried to rephrase. “I mean, why would you have me in your bed? Or rather, why am I in your…”
Charlotte held up her hands and shook her head. She averted her eyes and pushed forward, forcing him to back away as she made her way into the living room. Several food containers were on the table from various places in town—fast food burgers, Chinese takeout, a couple of pizza boxes, tacos, and boxes labeled Perfection Restaurant.
“Is this what you eat for breakfast?” Charlotte frowned.
“It’s lunch.” Niall pointed at a drink carrier. “Tea, coffee, soda, lemonade?”
“Uh, tea.” Charlotte glanced out the window. She’d assumed it was morning, but it could have been later in the day. Had she really slept that long?
He handed the iced tea to her and gestured at the pizzas. “Super cheese or beef with mushrooms.”
Charlotte arched a brow and didn’t speak.
He continued around the strange buffet. “Lo mien noodles, sesame ginger chicken, steak tacos, chicken quesadilla, cheeseburger with tater tots, chicken strips and fires, fettuccini with basil and tomato, or chicken Parmesan?”
“Who’s coming to lunch?” Charlotte ignored the fact that he’d somehow shown up with all of her favorites from around town.
He frowned and shook his head. “Just us. I did not know what ya would want. As my family constantly points out, I do not have a home suited to guests. There is no food in the fridge.”
If this had been anyone else, she would have thought the gesture sweet, but this was Niall—grumpy, moody, disapproving, pain-in-the-ass Niall.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Michelle: Anywhere and Everywhere. Being a prolific author, I’ve learned to write wherever I am. I’ve written in hotels, in cars, in parking lots, coffee shops, airports, waiting rooms, it doesn’t matter. If there’s a deadline, I’m writing…and there is always a deadline.
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Michelle: I’ve been known to voice-to-text messages to myself on my phone in the middle of the night, or I write them down in the dark on a notebook by the bed. Neither system is great, and I often end up with notes that make little sense.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write?
Michelle: Since I first started publishing in 2004, I’ve done a lot of romance genres: fantasy, dark paranormal, paranormal, contemporary, historical, futuristic, chick lit, Scottish, sci-fi, suspense, urban fantasy…
I had been thinking about cozy mysteries for a long time, and released my first one last October in the Happily Everlasting series (with authors Jana DeLeon, Mandy M. Roth, and Kristen Painter). We loved working in this world together. I have two books in the collection: Fooled Around and Spelled in Love, Curses and Cupcakes. They can be found at welcometoeverlasting.com
I’ve toyed around with a lot of ideas: horror novels, thrillers, photography books, haunted histories. I am a photographer and history major. I had an offer to do a haunted history book, but it wasn’t the right time in my career. I couldn’t do the project justice and had to turn it down.
Unless it went against my moral code, I don’t like to say never. I don’t like limiting my options.
Jen: What’s been the highlight of you career to this point?
Michelle: Making the NYT and USAT bestseller lists was awesome. Realizing I’d sold over a million copies was amazing. Getting the RT Reviewers Choice Award for my historical Maiden and the Monster, as well as the lifetime achievement nomination was also really cool. So was being invited to be an extra on the sci fi show, Z Nation. This career has given me a lot of highlights.
But, out of all of this, I can easily say that the biggest reward is the fans. When they email or post or review to tell me how much they loved something I created, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. I love my readers.
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Michelle: I don’t know that authors have a lot of free time. Usually we’re working, or thinking about working, or fretting about not getting enough time to work. LOL
I have a photography degree, so I love taking out my camera. My husband and I are also into film production. I also love to travel and try new things, like paranormal investigations.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Michelle: I have to more releases up for preorder, both from my Lords of the Abyss series. This society of merfolk are banished to the ocean and are unable to touch surface air, let alone breathe it. Cursed to live in Atlantes, they can only hope to save those drowning from above and bring them down to join them. In saving lives, they hope to redeem themselves and get another chance at life above.
Making Waves (Feb 6) – https://michellepillow.com/book/making-waves/
The Merman King (March 6) – https://michellepillow.com/book/the-merman-king/