Welcome Jo and CONGRATS!
My writing journey started in 2012 with Yassa: Genghis Khan’s coming-of-age tale. While it was the first book I wrote, I actually published book one of the Abigale Chronicles series as a test case before I published Yassa. There’s something about knowing there’s a great story there (when you ask what if) and being able to bring it to fruition. It’s a satisfying experience.
Where has it taken me? Well, I’ve now published nineteen books in several genres, and I’ve had the great honor of being able to write what I want, when I want, where I want.
What inspired you to write Emancipation?
Emancipation was born as I watched an episode of 20/20 one night. There was this dude on death row and this woman who married him. Of course, he tells her he’s innocent. She believes him. I asked “what if this and that?” and the idea was born.
Tell us a bit about your characters, Tobias and Jess.
Tobias is a serial killer. He’s cold, calculating, and manipulative. It’s exactly the kind of things a girl wants to avoid in a man, but these guys can usually charm the skin off a snake. Oh, does he ever charm Jess. Poor girl falls for all his lies. They’re dying to get their hands on one another.
What was your biggest challenge in completing the novel? Any things you wish you’d known when starting out?
I had a couple of places where I felt like my character wasn’t being himself. He started acting weird, and I had to go back and scratch/change a number of things. As I look back, I realize he was manipulating me as much as he was Jess. Guess I’m just another foolish woman, eh?
I wish I’d known he was going to be tricky like he ended up being. I would’ve been more careful writing him from the get go. It was a situation that was rectified, but I almost lost it; that was scary.
How did writing a psychological thriller differ from your past projects?
Oh, this one kept me up at night. Only one of the others did that (I, Zombie), and I think it was for the same reason (I was skeered). I studied serial killers day and night for months as I wrote because I needed to know what makes them tick. I’m a deep student of human nature, and I love exploring how twisted the human mind can become. People get weirded out by me sometimes because I can tell so much about them from just one meeting. That is why I love to write. I get to bring all the personalities to the page.
Plotter or Pantser—what’s your writing process like?
Pantser! I always know where the story is starting, have a vague idea of what it will encompass, and know where and how it will end. Everything between is organic. I like to be surprised just like readers do. *grin*
Did you have a message in mind for readers while writing Emancipation?
Watch out for guys like Tobias. They’ll tell you pretty things and be thinking something else. Always be ready to out think them.
I believe I counted 22 books. Are you really one person ;) How do you balance – blogging, writing, editing, formatting, parenting…
Twenty once this one publishes. There are two boxed sets in there. This is one heck of a milestone for me. I have a tight schedule and I stick to it. Things give now and then, but that’s the way life is. If something on the right is going to be great, something on the left might have to be not so great. I’m okay with that.
Mentors who have inspired your writing. What are you reading now?
Oh my gosh! Mentors… Stephen King, Fern Michaels, C. S. Lewis, JRR Tolken, and the women I wrote Fractured Glass and 7 with. As far as the people who inspire me daily, well, I have this coffee group… It’s one hell of an amazing time. I’ll leave it at that.
I’m reading Bound by Duty by Stormy Smith.
What are your top three resources for writers?
My blog—might be the number one because it’s SO full of useful information. Books on anything writing. Most writer conferences.
What can we look forward to next from Jo Michaels (future projects)?
I’m working on a paranormal romance that involves a magical book, and I just got accepted into a boxed set with a ton of other amazing authors (due to start releasing in September).
If you were a character in a novel, what genre would it be?Paranormal. I need powers.
A fact about you that would surprise your readers? I’ve been an actress and a wedding/portrait photographer.
Favorite place to write? My office.
Sweet or salty snacks? I don’t really snack, but salty when I do. Not a big sugar consumer (except in my COFFEE).