Name – Wren Michaels
Age – 42
Where are you from – Born in Wisconsin, but currently living in Houston, Texas
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Wren hails from the frozen tundra of Wisconsin where beer and cheese are their own food groups. But a cowboy swept her off her feet and carried her below the Mason-Dixon line to Texas, where she promptly lost all tolerance for cold and snow. Together they have one amazing princess who rules their world. Fueled by coffee, dreams, and men in kilts, Wren promises to bring you laughter, sexy fun time, and action that keeps you on the edge of your seat. The easiest way to her heart is anything to do with the Green Bay Packers, Doctor Who, or Joss Whedon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have several news tidbits. First is I released my first contemporary romance called FRIEND ZONED. It’s about two college students using each other for sociology papers, but end up falling in love and have to cross some tough cultural divides to be together, as one of them’s stuck to be wed in an arranged marriage.
The second is my new release KISSES FROM THE KREMLIN, which is book 2 in my BREAKING THE SEAL series. It’s a novella written in Susan Stoker’s Special Forces: Operation Alpha kindle world, and it is the follow up to THE FOX AND THE HOUND which released in November.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started around 2008 or so. I was going through a tough time in my personal life and it was a creative and therapeutic outlet for me. I just never stopped and have a very supportive husband who has been a champion of my writing since the very beginning.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my first book got published, UNBEARABLE. Up until then, it was still a pipedream, never really thought anything would come of it. But Evernight Publishing took a chance on me, and I’ve never looked back.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Honestly, it was the Twilight books. Some may not like them, but I was never a big reader until a friend convinced me to try reading them. And I fell in love with the world and didn’t want it to end. So I decided to write my own world where I didn’t have to leave the characters I created.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. I love writing strong heroines. I don’t write damsels in distress. I write damsels that cause distress. I also try to put humor into every book. I like to runt he gamut of emotions from laughter to tender moments, to hair raising suspense and action. I want to give all the feels.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Some titles pop up immediately as the idea for a book takes shape. Others, like with my book VEXED, it doesn’t come until the book is done and I see the full story take shape. I’m a pantser, so sometimes I don’t know exactly how a book will turn out. I write from the hip, and let the characters take me where they want to go as they tell me their story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Each book is different. But in all my books so far, love conquers all. Some characters are more stubborn to see it, but in the end, what they think will destroy them ends up saving them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Each one is different, especially writing paranormal. LOL It’s more like, I wish I could have these kinds of abilities. And if I did, this is what would probably happen. For my contemporaries, a little of me is in each heroine. Things they say and do, mostly the humor, is a lot of me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Well, Twilight for sure, since it’s what started me writing. But also Diana Gabaldon and Charlaine Harris. I love both of their work, such completely different styles, but wonderful storytelling. I wanted to be able to tell sweeping stories that give you all the feels.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
LeTeisha Newton is an amazing author. She writes darker romance, but it punches you in the feels. Anne Conley is awesome. She has great voice and her characters are so easy to root for. Great sense of humor as well, she sucks you right in.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My agent, Margaret Bail. She’s been my champion and constant supporter when I feel like throwing in the towel.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Currently it is my career. My husband has been a huge supporter of my writing and has allowed me to take the necessary steps to make it my career and focus. I’m very blessed.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There’s ALWAYS something you wish you could change in a book after it gets published. But as an author, you read over your work so many times that your brain starts filling in blanks, starts skipping parts as you read because it knows the story backwards and forwards. We know how the characters talk and what they mean when they say something, but sometimes that doesn’t always translate to the page as well as we think. Time and distance are powerful editing tools. So of course after it’s published and out of your mind for a time, do we go back and have those moments where we wish we would have done it differently or tweaked a bit here or there.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure this is from the first chapter of FRIEND ZONED.
Beer dribbled down my chin as a breath hitched in my throat mid-drink. A line of suds trailed from my neck into the vast crevice of my breasts, never to be seen again. I muffled a cough as my eyes followed God’s gift to lady bits toward the bar. Sleeves rolled to the elbows, his white button-down shirt contrasted his olive skin. From the mess of tousled dark-brown hair, I figured he’d probably come to quench his thirst after a nooner. Lucky bitch.
The Longhorn game ruined my view, as a sea of students swarmed a giant flat-screen on the wall and swallowed his body. Normally, I’d be up there cheering right along with them, but Angie hated football. So like a good BFF, I hung at the booth with her.
“It’s so loud in here I can’t hear myself think. You’re lucky.” Angie quirked a brow and handed me a napkin. “You okay, Cat?”
Yup, lucky me. I gave her a nod. “Fine.”
I let my gaze fall away from reading her lips down to my hand patting its way into my bra as discreetly as possible.
“Uh huh. Which one is he?” she asked, not trying very hard to hide her sly grin.
As my roommate for the last several years, it was hard to hide anything from her. I leaned in. “The one in the white oxford.”
She jerked back. “The Bollywood model?”
“Shh,” I hissed through clenched teeth, shooting her a wide-eyed glare.
“Oh yeah, he’s yum. Seen him a few times on campus. No idea what his name is though. You want me to find out?” She inched her way to the edge of the booth.
“No!” I clasped a hand on her arm. “Chill, Ang.”
Dipping her chin, she locked eyes with me. “Chicken-shit.”
I gave her my finest death stare. “I’ve got a plan. I can kill two birds with one stone.”
“I like plans. Are we gonna tag team? From the looks of those muscles, he could probably bench press both of us.”
I inched my way across the table, closing the distance between us. “Back off, sister. I saw him first.”
“You’re lucky I love you like a sister.” She sat back in the booth. “Lay your plan on me.”
“I think I just found the first target for my sociology term paper.” I glanced over my shoulder to the bar. Mr. Bollywood fist pumped a Longhorn tackle and took a chug of dark beer.
“Okay, deets.” She sipped her white wine and bounced a leg under the table.
I spun back around and sifted through the noise around me for discernible words. “Huh?”
“Details. Spill it.” Angie set her glass back down, flagging the waitress for another.
“Oh, I’m dissecting the laws of attraction. In today’s social media age full of chatrooms, dating sites, and selfies, I thought it would be interesting to compare the old-fashioned way of meeting a guy in person versus getting to know someone online.”
“Interesting, go on,” Angie said.
“I’ll pick two targets. One guy I’m going to throw myself at in person, really working up the tangible side of things from simple physical attraction to touch and feel. The other I’m going to approach online, using words, wit, and charm.” I slipped a notepad from my book bag and jotted down some notes before I forgot anything. “I’ll see which one tries to get me in bed first.”
“Smooth. Get laid and a term paper done. Well played, Catherine Marek. Well played.” Her blue eyes twinkled in the beam of sunlight filtering between the slats of the blinds. “I totally should’ve come up with that one myself.”
“I’m not doing it to get laid.” I shook my head. “I’m trying to prove a point. If you flash tits, they’ll drop ‘trou’. I don’t expect it to last more than a couple of hours before I’m calling a cab.” I sat back and folded my arms. “Online, you get to know a person. Inside-out first.”
She arched a brow. “Mm-hmm, well, just make sure the objects of your mission aren’t in Sociology with you.”
“Well, Mr. Bollywood over there isn’t. I sure as hell would’ve noticed him. We’ve been in class for a month, and I’ve never seen him.” I took a swig of my beer, managing to keep it in my mouth this time.
Angie picked at her damp napkin as she glanced around the dimly lit bar. “So, he’s gonna be your in-person target?”
I traced the outline of a condensation droplet streaking my pint glass. “So far, he’s looking like a good pick. He’s brawny, into sports, and likes beer. Almost stereotypical college guy. I’m thinking he’ll probably respond if I target him with outright flirting. Can’t set myself up for failure, ya know?” Switching into stealth mode, I did my best to toss a side glance in his direction. He caught me as he turned from the bar and made his way to a nearby table, sitting across from a sandy-blond guy that may have been in my Economics class.
Rich, espresso-colored eyes locked onto mine for a brief second and a flutter ransacked my heart, sending it dive-bombing straight to my stomach. He glanced away as quick as I did.
“I think he just looked at you,” Angie said.
I stared into the amber liquid in front of me, studying the tiny carbonated bubbles zipping to the top. With each breath I sucked into my lungs, my heart hammered a little faster.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
There’s always a challenge to find the right balance of how deep to take the characters, what kinds of tough topics can be introduced and not turn off a reader, what will keep readers connected to my characters, etc. Each book has it’s own set of challenges based on subject matter, what’s going on in today’s world, and just connecting to the audience.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Some. I do a lot of local book signings, but this year I’m doing one in Wisconsin October. But I’ve been to New Orleans and Vegas for signings. It’s been exciting.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For my books with Evernight Publishing, Jay Aheer is my outstanding cover artist. For my book FRIEND ZONED and my Kindle World books, my cover artist is LeTeisha Newton with Boundless Tales Designs. She’s amazeballs.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Just pushing through the self-doubt that all writers face. We go through a roller coaster with each book we write, where the idea takes hold and we’re all gung-ho to write this fabulous new story. But words get harder as the story progresses and what was once beautiful, we feel turns to crap mid-way and it’s a battle to continue on even when we’re at our lowest.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn something when writing a new book because I do a lot of research on subjects I’m not familiar with. For my Kindle World books I had to do a lot of research on the military and Navy SEALs and the CIA. With FRIEND ZONED, I had to do a lot of cultural research for Jai’s character to make sure I represented the Indian cultural correctly, and captured who he was as a person stuck between two worlds. And the fact that my heroine, Cat is deaf, I also had to do a lot of research on that and had a friend who is hearing impaired help me with that part.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
LOL Depends on the book again, because I use Pinterest to storyboard each of my books. So I cast them with people before I ever write. With FRIEND ZONED, Cat I see as Jenna Coleman and Jaidev as Ruslaan Mumtaz. With my FOX AND HOUND series, Jayla is Ksenia Solo and Noah is Steven R. McQueen.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never give up. Perseverance is the key. Also, find critique partners. Beta readers are great, but you need Crit Partners, other authors who will read your work and shred it to make it better. Every writer has a strong point, find one who will help you with your weak points.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
THANK YOU! I cannot say thank you enough to everyone who has taken a chance on my books, who has read my words and left such lovely messages for me in reviews. You are the reason I keep writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished a couple of books by Skye Warren. I recently did a book signing with her and realized I’d never read her! She’s amazing. I just read Rough and Hard. Great books!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I can’t remember as a child which book I read first, but as an adult, it was probably Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh a lot. I love people with dry wit. And I’m a very empathic person, so I cry at a lot of things, too. I can be in a room with people and it’s like I tap their emotions. So I cry at Kleenex commercials. It just depends on the day. LOL
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
That’s tough, because there’s lots of people I wish I could have met or meet today. I don’t know if I can narrow it down. From the past it would be anyone from Jesus to Princess Diana. Present, Ellen to Aaron Rodgers to Michelle Obama. LOL It just depends on the day.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She made the world laugh. Because I want to leave this world putting a smile on someone’s face.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
My family is active in the Renaissance Faire scene. We love camping and going to festivals.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a lot of TV. I’m always writing. But once in a while I binge watch shows like Vampire Diaries and Lost Girl.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Patty Melts/Blue/Depends on my mood. I love a lot of music and have a very eclectic taste, everything from Katy Perry to Within Temptation to Lady Antebellum.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I always wanted to be a marine biologist growing up. I love dolphins.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?