The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Michele Hart, a multi-genre author who loves shape shifters, aliens, hideous monsters and universal catastrophes, among other things. Her genres include sci-fi, fantasy, romantic suspense, and erotic romance and probably has a few more genres tucked away for our viewing pleasure.
Michele told me that Halloween is her favorite time of the year and a lot of it has to do with the cool things you can find. “I have several magical hats that help me write,” she confessed. “My princess tiara, my sorcerer’s apprentice hat with mouse ears, a unicorn horn, a propeller beanie hat.” She smiled and added, “All the standard stuff.”
She also has a “writing uniform,” of sorts. She told me when she looked in the mirror in the morning, she saw herself wearing “my usual uniform for writing, pajamas. Pajama bottoms covered with moons and stars, and my tank top that features a cool quote from Poe, and I thought, Dang, Michele. You’re one snazzy dresser. Don’t be out-dressing everyone else, you fashion plate. NOT!
She also shared with me that her small office contains about twenty times the amount of toys she owned in her childhood, all sci-fi and fantasy based. It’s no wonder her books center mostly around those genres.
When we talked about giving advice to new writers, Michele told me she wished someone had clued her in when she was a new writer about the business of writing. Her advice for a new writer is “dig your nails into the guard rail. It’s a bumpy ride. Be brave.”
She also said a writer should study their target office and the intricacies of their genre.
“Most know the difference between a historical, paranormal and contemporary,” she said. “Setting and time period, right? But those subgenres have specific requirements for a good story. “Historicals focus on the research of the time, getting the clothes, speech, and attitudes accurate. In paranormals, you don't have history as a guide for the time you're writing but you do have technology to face in sci-fi romance and magic to contend with in fantasy romance.
“Dig deep to find those specific elements and learn how to craft your story around them.”
Michele told me that her writing process is evolving. “Usually a skeleton of a crisis will pop into my head,” she said, “then I ask myself who’s involved. The plot evolves for me in the writing process. Which is cool. I like surprises.”
When she has a story that has to come out, she rises before the sun comes up. “I put butt-in-seat and work until midnight, often only catching six hours of sleep and a few walks around the house. I write in a frenzy, excluding the entire world.”
One of the things that she considers “a pivotal player” for characterization, point-of-view, and plot development is a saying she uses a lot, “You never see everything.” She told me it’s part of her life lesson to understand that saying thoroughly.
On a personal note, she loves lightning storms, a good thing since she lives in Tampa, Florida, which is known as the lightning capital of North America. “There are few things more exciting than a lightning storm,” she said. “I put one in Looks are Deceiving, made for a great setting for a love scene.”
Finally, I asked Michele about some of the people she enjoys reading. “Oh, I love funny books, so I love Katie MacAllister, Jennifer Estep, Stephanie Rowe,” she told me. “I love authors who made me forget I'm reading. Angela Knight, Vickie Taylor, Virginia Henley, Sherrilyn Kenyon. That's what good fiction should do, take the reader to a new place.”
You can keep up with Michele on her blog, http://michelehart.blogspot.com