Ahhhh this keeps going away and keeps coming back. But for now, it’s here so get it while you can! That’s right. I’m talking about the ever elusive Celebrity Saturday. Something I started a while back now and never can seem to keep up on the weekly basis thing. Ah well, such as life.
But this post, luckily, isn’t about me. It’s about one of my very near and dear BNFF Tweat-heart Michelle Franco! Proud author of the Dion Series. What is the Dion Series? Who is Michelle Franco? Well, read and find out! You won’t be sorry 🙂
About Michelle: M. E. Franco has been writing poetry and short stories for years, but this is her first full-length book. Inspired by the current group of amazing authors in the paranormal genre, she decided to expand her short story ideas into a book series. She lives with her husband and children in California and enjoys reading and writing in her free time.
1. Is Where Will You Run (the Dion Series) your first book written (published or not?)
It is. I have written a lot of poetry and some short stories, but this is my first book.
2. What is the Dion Series about?
Diving into the world of vampires and paranormal romance is rough. There are so many good books and authors out there that it seems impossible to come up with something different, some new twist that will keep readers interested. That’s what I tried to do with this series. Díon is an old Celtic word for guardian. The first book is called Where Will You Run? It’s about a group of paranormal creatures (mostly vampires) who try to protect humans from other paranormal creatures. I originally started with what I thought was going two separate books. It wasn’t until I was more than halfway through with the first book that I realized they were actually connected. While I was doing research, I was amazed at how vampire lore differed depending on the area and culture. So I decided to create vampires using the lore from the area they came from. Some are attractive following the current vampire trend and some are really nasty.
3. What made you want to start writing? What made you start writing paranormal?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why I started, but I began writing a lot of poetry when I was a teenager. I stuck with poetry mostly and later wrote some short stories. A few years ago my husband suggested reading something fun (translation – not classic literature). I picked up Kim Harrison’s Dead Witch Walking, and I got hooked on the paranormal genre. I started out my college career as an English major, so the closest I had come to the paranormal was Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley. I started looking up other authors in the paranormal/romance genre and went from there. I do read other books on occasion, but this is still my favorite genre.
4. Would you like to write other genres?
I haven’t really thought about it. You know the old saying “Write what you know.” I have totally immersed myself in all things paranormal, so I’m not sure I would feel comfortable enough to write in another genre at this point. Later? Who knows?
5. How long have you been writing?
Seems like forever. I got serious in high school when I took a creative writing class and got addicted to poetry. I took a lot of writing and literature classes after that.
6. Have any authors inspired you?
There are so many traditionally published authors I love, but there is a difference between admiration and inspiration. I can honestly say the group of indie writers (Thomas Amo and BNFF nod) I have had to honor to meet through this process have been the most encouraging and supportive group of people I have ever met. They inspire me every day to be more creative, challenge myself, and step outside my comfort zone.
7. What is your writing process like?
Honestly? Total chaos. It drives me crazy. I write out of order, and I can’t follow an outline to save my life. I have had to settle for a timeline to keep the chapters in some kind of order. People say “I can’t wait to find out what happens next!” I’m thinking “I know. Me too.” It’s frustrating, but now that I have been talking to other authors, I know I’m not alone. Everyone has their own way of doing things. The real obstacle for me it to trust myself in that process and to believe that if I keep writing the story will come. That is something I still struggle with.
8. Do you ever get writers block? What is your way of getting past it?
Yes! It is so frustrating. Seems like the harder I try to get past it, the worse it gets. Then I got some great advice from fellow author Thomas Amo. He said when he gets stuck he does research. Bam! Problem solved. That really works!
9. What are your favorite types of books to read?
Definitely paranormal action/romance right now. However, I have started to branch out and read some of my fellow indie authors books, and I‘ve been really impressed with what I have read so far. I do still sneak in a classic here and there.
10. If you could meet any author in real life, dead or alive, who would you meet and why?
Wow! Tough question. I think I would have to go with Mark Twain. I would love to spend the afternoon with him just hanging out and drinking coffee. We would totally crack each other up.
11. What was your favorite book growing up?
When I was growing up, I loved anything Dr. Seuss. I bought the entire collection for my kids, and really enjoyed sharing that with them when they were little.
12. When is the next book in the Dion Series coming out?
Oh, uh, er… Yeah, that whole trusting the process thing again. It’s called Where Will You Hide? I have already started it, and I have the characters, the general plot, and even a rough idea of the ending. I have several chapters written and even included the first chapter as a teaser at the end of Where Will You Run? The plan is to have it out by spring or summer at the latest. If it happens to come together sooner than that, I would be happy.
13. How has Twitter and social media helped you as a writer?
I’m in the early process of using social media, so I’m still learning. Facebook has been my safe place since I was already using it. I started an author page, so I could keep my own personal page separate. I connected with some amazing writers there (BNFF love) and then moved to Twitter and Goodreads. I’m not “you kids get off my lawn” old, but I was really overwhelmed by Twitter at first. I started by following my fellow indie authors and then following people they recommended and slowly started building relationships. I spent a lot of time focusing on helping others by retweeting, supporting fellow authors, and replying to others’ tweets. I am starting to see some results, but it takes time. Bloggers have also been very helpful. I found some really great information out there about publishing and marketing. I have also been accepted by four different reviewers who blog and post to several different social media sites, so I am really excited to see what comes from that. Last but not least, I am doing an author interview! Thank you so much for this opportunity Claire!
((Claire’s note: You’re very welcome ^____^ ))
14. Any advice for aspiring authors?
If you love it, do it! I knew writing a book would be difficult, but I honestly had no idea the amount of work it would take to finish. It is a rough road, but stick with it. I tell you what, holding that paperback in my hand for the first time and seeing my name on it…there is nothing like it. Also, get connected with other authors. I cannot stress enough how much they have helped me navigate self publishing and social media. They have saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
15. Do you drink coffee or tea while writing? If so, what kind inspires you the most? Definitely coffee! In fact I’m so bad even my vamps drink it. My favorite is a Cascade Pride coffee called Rocket Java. At Starbuck’s – skinny vanilla latte, so I can save my calories for chocolate.
((Claire’s note: *shuts former-Barista’s lips about the skinny* hehe yeah…that’s a great plan ^^))
So that’s it!! Hope you all enjoyed this as much as Michelle and I have! I learned a lot about her and her writing!
As always, just let me know if you’d like a chance to get on Celebrity Saturday! It’s (supposed) to be every week!!! But…I’ve been bad, lol.Can I blame the laziness of unemployment? Well, I’m gonna!
Until next time folks,
Keep writing, Keep reading, stay awesome!
p.s. another thanks, Michelle! 🙂