Name: Michelle Clay
Age: Old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway 🙂
Where are you from:
I currently live in TX
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
I like to walk on the wild side. You won’t find me conforming to the norm. I like being different. In fact, I recently shaved the side of my head and put a blue streak in my hair. I’ve always been the adventurous one of my family and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. lol
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Michelle: Feral, my second young adult novel just released on December 8th. It’s the second book in the Bad Wolf Series. I’m pretty proud of it because I really challenged myself with these stories. I wanted to keep the paranormal element, but also touch upon some of the issues teenagers go through like bullying and such as that.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Michelle: Ha ha. I still have my first poem, somewhere. I was about five and it was a terrible little rhyme about the booger man. Like most kids, I transitioned into writing angsty poetry in my teen years then my first actual short story in middle school.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Michelle: Tenth grade. I wrote a couple shorts for a comp and even though I didn’t win, my English teacher was over the moon… It was then I was absolutely convinced that this was definitely my calling.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Michelle: I used to sit at my grandmother’s knees while she quilted and read to her. Sci-fi, Horror, etc. she loved it all. One day, we ran out of reading material so I just started telling her a story. After a few minutes, she told me I should be writing this down! After that, our quilting sessions were spent with me just telling stories I made up on the fly while she sewed. She wielded a needle, I had a pencil. 🙂
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Michelle: I prefer to write in the 3rd person POV and use both the male and female main character. I find it insightful and I love writing both the male and female point of view.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Michelle: Titles usually come to me before I ever start writing the story. This latest book, Feral, came right to me because it’s an integral part of the story. 🙂
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Michelle: Yes, in The Bad Wolf (first book) the main character was bullied and treated badly until the end. She had to put that aside and do something amazing in order to help the one person who bullied her the most. In Feral, my message is simple. Change doesn’t always bring good tidings, take care of your loved ones, and do what’s right.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Michelle: Even though it’s a paranormal jaunt involving teenagers who turn into wolves, the emotions and milestones they go through are quite realistic. Some are things that I’ve gone through myself.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Michelle: A lot of my writing is based on things that have happened to me or others. The same can be said about certain characters. In fact, a certain character who dies horribly in Feral is based on someone who bugs the bejesus out of me on a daily basis.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Michelle: I grew up reading everything from Science fiction, fantasy, romance, etc. I think you can see all of their influences in my writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Michelle: I’m not currently reading anything because I’m too busy working on my next novel. I’m hoping to get caught up though because my poor Kindle is sooooo full, it’s probably going to explode.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Michelle: There are lots of authors, new and old, that I’m interested in reading. I’m not going to single out anyone. I just want to find time to curl up with their books and a cup of coffee and read for a few days. Bliss!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Michelle: I’m currently working on an 18+ project, that’s tentatively titled Her Haunted Heart.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Michelle: Some very good fans and readers that have become friends. It’s amazing to me how fiercely fans will stick with you! I absolutely love and appreciate each and every one of them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Michelle: Absolutely! I take this seriously. I am blessed to be doing something I love and believe in. I’m thankful other people seem to enjoy it too.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Michelle: Nope. I love how Feral turned out.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Michelle: Being read to at an early age, having a love of reading and storytelling… how could it not happen?
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Michelle: Sure, here’s a little snippet:
Ryan waited in the shadows as Seth and the others moved into position. What they were doing was wrong, and he knew it. His chest ached with dread and a bitter taste bubbled up his throat.
Seven high school nerds, part of the astronomy club, had gathered to stargaze tonight. He even recognized a few of these kids. They shared a couple classes with him. Ok, they might be outsiders, but that didn’t change the fact that they were deserving of a better fate. These people should be given a choice at the very least.
The kids milled around anxiously and talked in enthusiastic voices. From what Ryan could piece together, they were waiting on someone else to arrive. Mr. Dewitt, the science teacher, was supposed to bring enough telescopes for them to identify some special stars. They were so excited and they didn’t even know the worst part yet.
Ryan’s stomach tilted again and he licked his lips. They were going to be in for quite a surprise. Dewitt was a longtime member of the pack.
Dewitt’s beige minivan carefully navigated its way down the trail. The kids high-fived each other and called out to their tardy teacher. As the van pulled to a stop, they descended upon it and began pulling telescopes and snacks from the interior.
Mr. Dewitt helped unload the items. He led the small group toward the edge of the woods and spoke in his usual, scholarly voice. They all seemed so eager to learn and suspected nothing out of place.
Ryan swallowed his nerves then cast a quick glance toward Seth. It was just a small gathering, a test run, as he had called it. It just didn’t set well with Ryan. Still, there was no way he could warn them or stop what was going to happen.
Seth caught Ryan’s gaze and bared his teeth in warning. It was almost time for them to make their move. The alpha wolf slunk closer to the group of kids, barely hidden within the shadows. Burke and Sanders remained poised, awaiting Seth’s call to attack.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Michelle: I honestly hate writing blurbs. It’s difficult to sum up a whole entire book in two to three paragraphs. lol
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Michelle: Even though it’s not the genre I write, I still love Stephen King’s books. I love the slow build, the quick action and the ending that kind of has a “lesson learned” feel to it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Michelle: No, not really. I’ve travelled a lot my adult life for jobs, etc. so I have a pretty good idea of the areas I write about. I try to use areas that I know. Hunde, the town in Feral is made up, but the area around it is not.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Michelle: Rue Volley over at CHBB (Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing)
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Michelle: Nothing really, it’s a labor of love. There are times when writer’s block hits and you wonder if you can push through it, but once you do… it’s like magic. It just flows from your fingers and it’s such an awesome feeling to create something from nothing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Michelle: lol I really like wolves. This is the 3rd book I’ve written with them. And with all of them, I’ve done an awful lot of research into wolves and their behavior. Everything from the sounds they make to how they hold their ears, mouth, and tail are accurate.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Michelle: Absolutely. Keep writing. Practice all you can and don’t give up. And read. Read all the time. The more you read, the more you learn.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Michelle: Thank you. You rock my world.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Michelle: The first book? No, probably not. Some of the earliest I recall are Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Anne Rice, Piers Anthony, and Nora Roberts. As you can see, there was a variety.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Michelle: I try not to cry because that just makes me mad. Laughing is good, I like that.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Michelle: How long of a list do you want? LOL there’s way too many to list!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Michelle: Hmmm I have no idea. I hope I don’t have to worry about that for a long time yet.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Michelle: Yes, I do! I like to make crafty things, including horror art dolls. Occasionally on a good day, I like to bake. http://darklingdesigns.webs.com/
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Michelle: Horror movies are my fave, but I also enjoy lots of shooting and blowing up. lol and I don’t care how long it runs… I love Supernatural and Doctor Who.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Michelle: My fave food is easy. Pizza, burgers and sweets! Colors: Black, purple and red. Music… Gotta be metal, hard rock or something along those lines. On the flip side, I also like classical violin and cello.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Michelle: I’d enjoy being an artist. A starving artist probably, but an artist nonetheless.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?