Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Please Welcome Author Michelle Zink with Giveaway!


Today I am super excited to welcome author Michelle Zink to The Cover Contessa! I had the complete pleasure of meeting Michelle this past August at YA Fest!



Michelle Zink is author of the Gothic fantasy series, Prophecy of the Sisters (Little Brown Books for Young Readers) and A Temptation of Angels (Penguin/Dial).

Her next book, This Wicked Game, releases March 2013 (Penguin/Dial). 


Learn more, listen to playlists and original music composed by Kenneth Zink, and visit Michelle's blog atwww.michellezink.com.








You may know Michelle's books!
She has written The Prophecy of the Sister's Triology:


And her other pretty book, A Tmeptation of Angels


So, without me blabbing on even more, let's hear what Michelle had to say!

Welcome Michelle! So great to have you here on The Cover Contessa today. We appreciate you taking the time to come and chat with us and answer some of our most burning questions!

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else? 
I think I always wanted to be a writer, but I got sidetracked along the way and ended up working as a Director of Sales and Marketing for a technology consulting firm. It took me awhile to realize that the source of my unhappiness was the fact that I was dong something that wasn’t fulfilling to me. It took a couple of years to find my way back to writing but when I finally did, it was like breathing. I couldn’t figure out how I’d lived without it for so long.
How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
Most of my drafts are done in 2-3 months. Of course, that doesn’t count editing time! ;)
How do you come up with themes for your stories?
The themes sort of present themselves as the story develops. I try not to impose my beliefs or feelings onto my work. I believe that stories -- good ones anyway -- need to be allowed to take on a life of their own to really speak to people.
Do you have a schedule of when you write? 
I do. As a single mother to four teenagers, I wouldn’t get anything done if I didn’t keep a daily writing schedule. I work on social networking, answering emails and interview questions, etc., in the early morning (I get up at 6am on weekdays). Then I have a 1-2 hour writing block late morning, a 1-2 hour writing block in the afternoon, and a two hour block from 7pm-9pm each night (the kids are doing their homework!). I add to my word count on the weekend when the opportunity presents itself. On this schedule, I’m usually able to write 10,000 - 15,000 new words a week. Social networking is always what suffers when I’m under the gun. I don’t let anything interfere with my writing.
How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Honestly, I have no idea. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning and other times I think, “Okay... I got this!” The biggest thing for me has been to remember to take care of my own physical and mental well-being by eating  right (we became vegetarians this year), doing yoga every morning, and meditating regularly. It’s helped me stay centered and balanced.
 <!--[endif]-->What elements do you think make a great story line? 
I think it varies. My favorite books are the ones that hit the sweet spot between literary and commercial fiction -- phenomenal writing and character development with swift, compelling pacing.
What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Finishing it. My writing career didn’t reach a turning point until I forced myself to see a project through from beginning to end. I learned more from that process, that big picture view on writing, than from anything else I’d done up to that point.
How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite? 
If I count the ones that haven’t been published, I’ve written 12 novels and four novellas. Picking a favorite would be like trying to choose a favorite child - impossible!
Do you have a favorite character?
Again, impossible to choose! Alhough I do have a soft spot for Alice, the so-called evil twin in the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy.
 <!--[endif]-->Where do you write?  
I write in an extra bedroom of my home that I use as an office. It’s very utilitarian. Just a desk and a lamp and some candles, plus a rug. But it looks out on our field and it’s quiet and peaceful. It’s the only place I can really tune everything out and work.
When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took? 
When I sold Prophecy of the Sisters (in 2007), self-publishing was still fringe, so traditional publication was the only thing I even considered. Things have changed so much since then, and I’m excited to embark on some other projects using different distribution methods. I know I’m teasing, but I’ll have some announcements to share soon! ;)
Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
I make a point to not ask family and friends if they’ve read my work and like it. I don’t want to put them on the spot. But my kids and my mom do a good job of stroking my writing ego!
What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
To be honest, I have very little time outside of writing and my family. I love music and go to concerts when I can. I love to read (of course) and love the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, etc., although I don’t have as much time for it as I’d like. I do yoga daily and am practicing meditation and trying to learn more about Buddhism.
What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing? 
The oldies but goodies; write and read as much as you can. And then, when you know what you want to write, finish something. We writers like shiny new ideas. We tend to start something with a lot of enthusiasm and then abandon it at some point along the way when it gets difficult. But the truth is, it’s ALWAYS going to get difficult. You have to push through that part to get better, to learn. And you have to push through that part to have something to sell. The old adage is true; you can edit anything but the blank page.
What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write? 
That’s a tough one because I have different favorites for different things. I adore Janet Fitch. WHITE OLEANDER is one of the most beautifully written books of all time. It blows me away every time I read it. I also love Peter Hamill’s book FOREVER and more recently, Justin Cronin’s, THE PASSAGE. My favorite guilty pleasure is Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. So addicting!
Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such? 
My son, Kenneth, an aspiring writer himself, is a huge help to me. We develop ideas together (we have a knack for TV and film ideas, plus a funny talent for coming up with possible SNL skits!) and brainstorm rough spots in each other’s work. He has an amazing conceptual mind. My daughter, Rebekah, is a phenomenal editor. She reads for me when she has time (she’s in college now) and is wonderful and pointing things out that I can’t see. 
Are you working on anything now? 
I have a couple of ideas I’m developing for TV and film as well as a new YA series in progress. It’s different from anything I’ve done before, very thriller-esque, and was a lot of fun to write. I also have an adult novella series in the works (more on that soon) as well as an adult novel in progress. My problem is always too MANY things going on at once! But I guess it’s better 


Thanks so much for stopping by today, Michelle! It's been a pleasure having you here on The Cover Contessa
And to top off this awesome interview, Michelle has offered a signed copy of her book A Temptation of Angels!
Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

Michelle Zink masterfully weaves historical fantasy with paranormal romance to create a gripping tale of love and betrayal.


So just use the Rafflecopter below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

7 comments:

  1. I would firstly like to thank you so much for an amazing book giveaway, that i would love to have the oportunity of reading (& reviewing, as i would so like to find out more about Michelle's work).
    In response to your question i would have to say Hot Chocolate, as it is my favorite beverage.

    As an aspiring writer currently working on my first ever novel, i found the above interview insightful and most helpful. I am determined to complete this book and have a daily schedule of 2,000+ words a day that i am trying my best to stick to. So far i have not gone astray although writing is SO hard and i am fortunate to have the support of my family who are so amazing. Your advice was really wonderful and i would like to thank you again for this brilliant blog post. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this great giveaway! Eeeek so excited! I have read the first two books in The Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy. I have the third one but haven't read it yet. I was doing some blog hopping and found you through Book Blogs. I'm your newest follower! I hope you can stop by for a visit sometime! :) Have a great week!

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great interview! I love Michelle Zink's books. Thanks for the giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, and for those days when it's snowing outside and all is calm, I love a hot cup of Earl Grey tea. Right now, Starbucks has my favorite coffee, Caramel Brulee Latte. YUMMY!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the giveaway! And to answer your question, HOT CHOCOLATE!!! My college roommate and I used to sit around our apartment drinking it together out of giant mugs. Our other roommates would come home and just smile at us. It was a ritual for us.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooooo, as usual Brooke, you know how to pick them!! This book looks awesome! I hope I win. Even if I don't, I'm sure I will buy the book. But I would love to win anyway! Lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. I prefer Coke, but if I had to choose it would be hot chocolate.
    Thank you Brooke and Michelle Zink for this wonderful giveaway! Great interview!

    ReplyDelete

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