Today I'm fortunate to have Michelle Picard visiting with me to talk about her forthcoming novel, Ruling Eden. I'm lucky to have read Michelle's work and am a true fan. Let's all welcome Michelle!
A random commenter will be picked to receive a print copy of this wonderful fantasy for themselves! So be sure to leave a comment.
Ella: Tell us a little about Ruling Eden, your release from Crescent Moon Press.
Michelle: First off, I can’t tell you how much happy dancing I did when I received the contract offer on this book. It was the first manuscript I had ever finished and I cut my writing teeth on it. With all the love and attention it received over a number of years, it deserved a home. It’s just been released in electronic format on the Crescent Moon site, but will be available in print format in about a month through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I view the book as an interesting mix of fantasy romance and urban fantasy. It has a kick-ass first person narrator named Rachel. She’s an ordinary Boston gal, on the tough side because she grew up in foster care, who learns on the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday that she’s the ruler of a supernatural realm hidden on earth and is the most powerful supernatural being on the planet. Quite a shock, because she never knew there were supernatural beings.
So off she’s whisked to Eden’s Court where she confronts the seven races she’s supposed to rule (angels, demons, fae, witches, vampires, shapeshifters, dragons). The leaders of these peoples are on the whole a manipulative, moody bunch and can intrigue with the best of them.
In her new life she meets her sexy, noble, half-angel, half-incubus demon guardsmen Gabriel. They fight a soul mate attraction to one another while coping with solving a murder, preventing an interracial war, and helping Rachel learn to use her magic. Of course the fate of the entire earth also hangs in the balance. Why do things in half measures? Here’s the link to my excerpt if you care to get a taste for Rachel’s adventure.
Ella: Your wonderful fantasy stories, which I've been privileged to have read one, include a large cast of characters, all of whom are unique and pack an emotional punch. How do you give such depth to your secondaries?
Michelle: Secondaries are fun to write. I don’t have to do much planning for them because I never feel the pressure of fully developing their “issues” ahead of time. I write them spontaneously and don’t care how outrageous they become. After I grow to love them I, of course, have to do their stories justice by the end. Two characters by the names of Tarn and Sebastian (Rachel’s fae and shapeshifter guards respectively) are my particular favorites in Ruling Eden and I have big plans for them in the future. It’s quite a challenge to do that when they never become point of view characters. My other favorite is Qest, Rachel’s dragon brother. He’s easy to fall in love with. All fiery emotion (grin) and just the right amount of broodiness along with a loyal, caring and genuine nature.
Ella: Tarn and Sebastian are fantastic and memorable secondary characters and can't wait to read more of them. Hurry up and write!
Do you have a writer space, a ritual, or a unique way you get yourself in the zone?
Michelle: I don’t have a particular ritual. Mostly I depend on the characters speaking to me in my head and delivering the dialogue they want me to record. This happens mostly in the car and at the health club. Once this happens, I’m revved to write. If you want to call it a ritual, I am usually racing home with the notes I’ve sketched on a napkin or scrap sheet of paper and plopping myself in front of the computer. I’ve been blessed with an ability to write in chaos, although I can’t play music while I type. It gets in the way of hearing the characters’ voices. Kids screaming; fine. Music; impossible. Go figure.
Ella: The obligatory desert island question. If you were deserted on a desert island, what three things would you take?
Michelle: I’m a practical gal. I’d say a portable generator, my laptop (with adaptors to recharge it through the generator) and some large all purpose cutting implement. My first list included a book on survival skills and distinguishing plants for medicinal and nutritional purposes, but then I realized I could look that up on the web. I suppose the neighboring island better be close and have an unsecured web connection I can use. Is this unrealistic?
Ella: Not unrealistic in today's day and time. But no web connection on my desert isles, my girl! Cute cocktail waiters, maybe.
What's next for Michelle Picard?
Michelle: I’ve already written the direct sequel to Ruling Eden, speculatively titled Surviving Eden. My editor has it and will let me know if Crescent Moon is interested. Luckily, I consider Ruling Eden a stand-alone book. But I’d be thrilled if readers could continue following Rachel and Gabriel’s story beyond that. If Surviving Eden is contracted, I plan to write books three and four in that series. As of now I don’t believe the series will go beyond four books, but the Muse will let me know when I get there.
Ella: Definitely hoping for that sequel!
And last, but perhaps most important, what's your favorite writing snack?
Michelle: Salt and sugar. With caffeine not too far behind on the list. Actually I got into a chevre cheese and sun dried tomato on petits toasts habit a while back. (Try saying that fast ten times.) But I have to take breaks between such a high salt snack from time to time. Today it was mini cream puffs.
Ella: Thank you Michelle, for taking the time to visit with me. To visit with Michelle yourselves, she can be found hanging around in these spots:
Don't forget to comment for a chance to win a print copy of Ruling Eden, released a few short weeks after the ebook. A cool bonus, anyone who signs up for Michelle's newsletter will receive a packet of wildflower seeds to grow their own Garden of Eden. You can sign up through Michelle's or go directly to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michellepicardnewsletter/
Thanks for stopping by.