Join me to learn a little about Skye Michaels .....
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started writing in 2010 after I lost my paralegal job of eighteen years. I was commuting to Miami for some temp jobs, and my daughter bought me a Kindle. I’d had no idea what was available out there in e-books. I have always loved romance, and I downloaded a couple of the Very Spicy Erotic Romances and found I loved them. I had always wanted to try my hand at writing a romance novel, and after 30 years of writing contracts, leases, notes, and mortgages (YUCK), I knew I could do it—so I did. I have now finished seventeen romance novels. I have two beautiful grandsons who think that Grammy being an author is cool! Of course, they have no idea exactly what it is that Grammy writes, just that it’s for “Grown Up Ladies.”
Q: How did you choose the genre you write in?
My daughter bought me a Kindle for my birthday. I downloaded some free erotica books, and found that I enjoyed them. Then I read some more, and then a bunch. I wanted to see what words were used, how far they went, etc. I found I had a few favorite authors and read everything they had written, and then I decided that I could do this. SO, I did. It’s been a lot of fun and a great confidence builder to realize I could dream a dream and see it through to fruition.
Q: Which comes first, characters or plot?
I can’t really answer that. Sometimes I see a picture of a beautiful couple in a magazine and their story is just there. Other times, I wake up with an idea. You have to keep your options and your mind open to ideas. It could be a song or an article in a magazine or newspaper or just someone I see on the street.
Q: Do you have the whole plot outlined before you start writing?
Never! I have finished seventeen books and started number eighteen, and I have never done an outline. I may only have a few sentences in my head when I start a story. I will scribble ideas or bits of dialog down on scraps of paper and drop them on my desk for later use. If I don’t write them down immediately I forget them and then spend the day walking around shaking my head and saying “What was that terrific idea?” I do a “Notes” page in the directory for each book and compile character studies and ideas there. The problem with the “pantster” approach is that sometimes I get in a slump in the middle of the book and don’t know where I am taking the story. Everyone works differently. But no matter how you do it, you have to put in the work—either outlining or just thinking and writing. That method came home to roost while writing Violette’s Vibrato. The story is about a concert violinist who was being threatened by the Russian Mob. In the middle of the story I was trying to figure out how I would get her out of her situation. How do you get rid of the Russian Mob? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Q: When did you start writing?
My first book, The Appearance of Impropriety, was actually started over twenty years ago but was published many years later in June, 2013. While I was writing Appearance, my parents had both gotten sick and passed away, and I lost the umphhh to finish the book. Later, after I had started writing again and had already published several books with Siren Publishing, I updated and finished the book. Going back to that original story was like opening a time capsule. So much had changed in technology and just in life.
Q: Why erotic romance?
Because I love it. My books are all love stories that don’t end at the bedroom (or dungeon-LOL) door. I like to read erotic romance, and it is fun to write it. I saw a quote that was something like “I wrote the book I wanted to read.” I can’t remember who said it. But that certainly applies to me.
Q: When is your favourite time to write?
Mornings are best for me. Sometimes I’m at my computer at 4:30 a.m. if I wake up with an idea – but more usually by 6:30 or 7 a.m. If I don’t get started until later in the day I’m not likely to get too much done. I may take a nap in the middle of the day and then start to work again for a couple of hours.
Q: Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I guess so. I have a friend who tells me I told her I wanted to write romance novels when we were in middle school. I don’t remember that, but she does.
Q. Do you like silence when you write or some background noise?
Too much background noise is distracting to me. Sometimes I’ll put on music, but usually not.
Q: How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on what is going on in my life at the time and the length of the book. The first draft of one I recently completed took seventeen days. Others have taken over a month or two. But then there may be weeks of editing and refining before I submit to my publisher. I like to have the books in as good shape as I can before I send them in. I do find that my latest series, The Black Iris Club, was much easier to write because it’s set in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, my own backyard. There was not the necessity for so much research of locations as in The Golden Dolphin series set on a 300 foot mega yacht that hosts BDSM cruises around the world. I have been to some of the locations but not all, and I want my readers to feel like they are there.
Q: What would I find in your refrigerator right now?
Not enough food! I’m out of a lot of stuff but have been too busy with finishing Book 4 of my latest series, Nicollette’s Defense, and doing edits for the books coming out in May to get to the store. I keep saying, “I’ll go today, but then the day is over and I haven’t gone out. The one thing that gets me to the store is running out of pet food!
Q: Do you ever use your own experiences in your books?
Everyone writes somewhat from their own experience. Life teaches us all a lot. If it hasn’t, you haven’t been paying attention! Each author brings their own life lessons and emotions to a story. Of course, some of what I write is from my imagination. I occasionally will loosely base a secondary character on a friend or acquaintance. Of course, I am in love with all of my heroes. I have eighteen (and counting!) of the most gorgeous, sexy men in the world living in my head. Who wouldn’t love that?
Q: What do you like reading in your spare time?
I love to read fiction. I love romance! Sometimes I read erotica. Sometimes I read sweet just to clear my head. I also like suspense and mysteries—anything from Clive Cussler to Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts or J.D. Robb. I also enjoy many of my sisters at Siren Publishing, but I don’t want to single anyone out. They are all great.
Q: What advice would you give to new writers?
If you want to do this, just do it. Start something—maybe just character studies or jot your plot ideas down. Just get started. You can always edit later. If you don’t start, you never will.
Q: Do you read much?
I don’t have as much time as I would like to read since I am always trying to finish a new book. But sometimes I just need to get out of my own head, and reading someone else’s words does that for me.
Q: What’s your favourite food?
Ha! Pasta of course! Then pizza.
Q: What’s next for you?
I have started another new series, The Black Dahlia Hotel, which is a spinoff of The Black Iris Club. I love to do series because I can’t bear to say goodbye to the characters I love. In a series they can always drop in to say hello. All my series run from one to the next, and I always bring my past characters along. I started with Le Club, and then The Golden Dolphin, The Black Iris Club, and now The Black Dahlia Hotel. I don’t think I will ever stop doing this. It’s so much fun! I hope everyone will visit my fan page on Facebook, Skye Michaels Books for covers and first chapters. And please leave a “like” or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you think. I love to hear from readers.