The Long and the Short of It is very excited to welcome Michele Dunaway to our pages. She is a very busy person and a prolific writer (two books she has under contract to Harlequin for publication in 2008 marks her twentieth contract with the popular publisher in eight years). Her latest book, Nine Month’s Notice, was the number one seller of all Harlequin American Romances published in the month of April and we are very pleased she took time out of her busy schedule to talk with us. I don’t know how she does it. In addition to her writing, she’s a nationally-recognized teacher who not only sponsors the yearbook, but also the school newspaper and a mom to two young girls and a houseful of cats. Six at last count, but as her kids keep bringing them home, that number is subject to change. Fortunately, she says, “Somehow they all get along.” However, she doesn’t think adding a dog to the mixture would be a very good idea. And, lucky for her, cats are her favorite animal, so it works out.
I asked her to describe her writing space (maybe there’s a secret there I can steal from her!). She said, “I actually have a room on the first floor of my house. According to the floor plan, it's technically a living room, but I use it for my office. I have plenty of space and a great view of the dining room (the only guaranteed-to-be-clean room in the house) and my front yard.”
She admits, however, that she doesn’t have a regular writing time. I asked her what she considered her most interesting writing “quirk” and she said, “That I write in spurts. I won't write for weeks, and then I'll write for hours each day. I work best under the intense pressure of a deadline.” And, she made me feel not so alone when I asked her what the most difficult part of writing was and she said, “The middle. I hate the middle. It's like exercise. Starting is easy. The last three minutes are easy. But the middle just blows.”
One way she accomplishes all she has to do is get up at 5:15 during the school year, even though by nature she’s a night person. She has traveled extensively and the places she visits often make their way into her stories. She’s been writing virtually all her life, she said, with going from wanting to be a teacher in the first grade to wanting to be a writer in the second grade to determining in the third grade that she would be both. And, she did.
We owe a debt of thanks to her favorite author, Sandra Marton, who first got her hooked into reading Harlequin Presents.
Visit Michele at her website.