Wednesday, August 15, 2012

TBR welcomes Michelle Pickett

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Michelle. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Michelle: Hi, thank you so much for having me.  I’m excited to be here. 

I write adult and young adult Sci/Fi and urban fantasy romances.  Concilium is my debut novel and is published by MuseItUp Publishing. 

I'm originally from Michigan, but now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive husband and our four wonderful children, a 125 pound lap-dog, a very grumpy cockatiel and a cat that thinks she's queen.

I eat too many Twizzlers while I write, drink too much Coke and stay up way too late at night writing.

Every second I'm not writing I spend with my family.  We play board games, cards, swim and go on day trips exploring our new home state of Texas.

TBR: Tell us about [provide the name of your latest release and a valid purchase link] and where it's available.
Michelle: Concilium can be purchased at the following retailers:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Michelle: Concilium is an urban fantasy with a big dose of romance and little touch of horror.  But rather than tell you what the book is about, I'm going to give you a small glimpse at one of my favorite scenes.   Leslee is, for the first time, realizing she may not survive the obstacle facing her:

The rain made dusk fall earlier. I watched as the team grabbed their equipment. I knew they weren't as confident as they wanted me to believe. They expected a bad night.

“I want a gun.”

Miller looked at me and nodded. “It’s there in the hall. I want you to stay there. With the front windows covered and the bedroom doors closed, they won’t be able to see you. Stay on the floor. Here, put this in your pocket.” He handed me his car key. “If anything happens, Leslee, if any window breaks, if any of us tells you to go, get in the car and drive to the lake. Don’t think. Don’t ask questions. Just go. One of us will be there to get you as soon as it’s safe.”

“And if you aren't?” I asked.

“We will,” he said, his eyes intense. “We will,” he repeated emphatically.

“Okay.” I tried to manage a smile, tried to look as self-assured as he seemed. I couldn’t.

“Les, if you need to use the gun, shoot them in the neck. Right here where a man’s Adam’s apple is. Don’t waste a shot on the head or anywhere on the body. Just aim for the throat.”
“Okay. Why?”

“Their bodies aren’t built like ours. Their brains and spinal columns are in slightly different spots because of their, um, different look,” Brooks said, looking at Miller. “The throat is the kill shot. Like a shot to the back of the head would be for a human.”

“Okay, the throat,” I said, my voice wavering. My hands were already shaking. I prayed I could aim the gun if the time came. I hoped I’d be able to control my fear if I had to face one of the Imbibo alone.

One by one, the guys hugged me before they left, the same way they had every night at my house. Why did it feel so different? Why was I more worried than before? I didn’t have any answers, but the air felt ominous, the house felt threatening, and a thought slammed into me.

I could die here.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Michelle: I’ve always wanted to be an author.  I thought I’d write thrillers, which is primarily what I read.  I was surprised when my first ‘real’ idea was an urban fantasy. 

I wish I could pinpoint the exact moment I came up with the idea for Concilium, but I can’t.  It started out as a “what if…” game.  What if this happened…and then this…and then this…and before I knew it I had a plot.  So I started writing.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Michelle: I am definitely a pantser.  I start with a theme.  I know where I want to start and where I’d like to finish, but the middle is generally a blur until I actually sit down and start to write.  I just let the ideas flow and write whatever feels right at the time.  Some of the scenes don’t always end up in the final product, but they do help me see where the characters want to take the story next.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Michelle: I actually have two.  I like them both so well I can’t pick just one so I’ll share them both:

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. ~Toni Morrison

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. ~Logan Pearsall Smith, "All Trivia," Afterthoughts, 1931

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Michelle: Yes, I listen to all types of music while I write, from classical to Linkin Park.  My mood and the scene I'm writing dictates the type of music I listen to at any one time.  My playlist is on my website and on the Concilium website:          

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Michelle: I would most like to invite Leslee to dinner.  She’s a strong, independent woman.  I’d love to hear more of her trials with the Imbibo and, of course, the sexy Miller.

I would least like to invite the Imbibo.  I fear I would end up on the menu!

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Michelle: That my characters write the book – I’m just along for the ride. 
I had originally planned for Leslee to be a quiet, mousey type.  Boy, did she show me.  She’s definitely not quiet or mousey.  She’s strong and independent, and she has to be to put up with Miller and his moods. 
I also learned not to count out the secondary characters.  I fell in love with them almost as much as the main characters, especially Brooks.

TBR: What's next for you?
Michelle: A sequel to Concilium will be released in November.  It is titled: Concilium: The Departure.  Miller and Leslee’s story will come full circle.

I also have a young adult novel, PODs, releasing in June 2013 through Spencer Hill Press that I’m very excited about.  I hope everyone will check out the blurb at Spencer Hill’s website: or on my website.

I’ve also got an adult murder mystery I’ve been working on and several other YA novels.

TBR: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Michelle: The most challenging aspect of writing is time.  I’m a wife and mother of four.  My days are full without the added time it takes to write.  So I force myself to treat it like a job.  I have set hours I write and I try to make it known that, unless it is an emergency, others should try to respect that time.  But, it is hard.

The most rewarding is typing that last period and knowing that I’ve just created something I’m proud of.  It’s the best feeling in the world…even without publication.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
There are a few places readers and other authors can find me on the web and I'd love to hear from you! I love comments on my blog and emails in my inbox. Whether you have good things to say, or constructive (that means nice) criticism, or even if you just want to say "Hi," I want to hear from you.  Here's where you can find me on the web:

Book Webpage:

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Michelle: What do you look for when selecting a book?  Do you look at the cover, the reviews, book blurb or is there something else?  How can writers most effectively market books YOU want to read?

TBR: Readers, Michelle will give one lucky commenter a copy of her debut novel, Concilium and a $10 Amazon gift card at the end of her blog tour. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Thanks for visiting TBR, Michelle. Best of luck to you.


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me today. I'm honored to be here.

    Michelle :)

  2. Happy to have you at TBR, Michelle! Your book cover's gorgeous.

  3. Great interview, Cate and Michelle. I really love that excerpt and can attest to understanding how it feels to have the characters write the stories as well.

  4. Very nice interview and excerpt.


  5. Awesome interview! It was great to hear more about the author. I love Twizzlers, too. :) I think the cover of Concillium is excellent and I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks!


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