Author: Michelle Madow
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: October 27, 2015
Series: The Secret Diamond Sisters #3
Genre: Young Adult
Length: 368 Pages
It's cold outside, but the drama is hot!
The Diamond sisters jet to the mountains for spring break, and Savannah's flirt-mance with an international pop star heats up as her pursuit of stardom succeeds. But is this romance meant to be, or has the right guy been in front of her all along? Meanwhile, Courtney takes the next step with her secret boyfriend—and future stepbrother—and as their parents' wedding approaches, the pressure's on to reveal their relationship.
Peyton's figuring out a plan for her future, but she still feels guilty about getting her former bodyguard fired and wonders if she can get over him in the arms of someone else. But the biggest bombshell will change everything once again, because Madison's ready to tell the huge secret she's uncovered. And with the boy who betrayed her but who could be the love of her life fighting for his own life, she might need the Diamond sisters more than ever.
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Today we welcome Michelle for an interview. Take it away!
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I’ve always loved writing, but I only realized I wanted to write novels professionally when I was a junior in college. In high school, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to be—I thought maybe a psychologist, because I’ve always been interested in people and how their minds work. However, it only took a few psychology classes in college for me to realize that I wasn’t interested in the science of psychology—what I loved was the psychology of characters in novels. So during my freshman year, I switched my major from psychology to English. Then, in sophomore year, I thought I might apply to law school. But a few months later I realized that my “interest” in law only existed because I’d recently devoured a bunch of John Grisham novels. I realized the big commonality between all of these interests was my love of reading! So I contemplated going into the publishing world—perhaps in publicity—and I signed up for an Intro to Creative Writing class the next semester. My feedback from my teacher and classmates was so incredible that I decided to try writing a novel. Less than a year later—in the start of my senior year of college—I’d not only completed that novel, Remembrance, but had signed with my first literary agent.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book, and on how many times I get pulled away from that book because I’m suddenly on deadline for another book! For instance, when I was midway through drafting Diamonds are Forever, I received my first round of edits for Diamonds in the Rough. First round of edits include big rewrites, so I had to put aside drafting Diamonds are Forever so I could complete the rewrites for Diamonds in the Rough, since the rewrites were on a much tighter deadline. While I’ve never written a book from start to finish without being pulled away by something on closer deadline, I would estimate that it would take me about six months to outline, draft, and edit a book.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
They pop into my head from all different aspects of life. They usually emerge from random “what if” situations that I think about, and grow from there. I write everything down—even if at first the idea seems terrible—because you never know if it might morph into something great!
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
When I’m drafting, I try to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day, six days a week. On a good day, I like to be able to write 1,500 words, but on a day when I’m struggling I force myself to at least write 1,000. I always do my writing in the afternoon.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
What other aspects of my life? ;)
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
I think it’s really important to have a main character you can root for, but who isn’t perfect. Characters have to make mistakes, because otherwise, the story won’t be as interesting—and I personally don’t find “perfect” characters to be believable. It’s also important that they learn from those mistakes. I love seeing a lot of character growth from the beginning of the story to the end.
7 What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
The drafting process is by FAR the most difficult part for me! I outline and edit relatively quickly, but drafting involves forcing myself to sit down and focus every day to get at least 1,000 words written. (And I have ADHD like crazy, so focusing is difficult!) I’m really tough on myself when I write, even during my first draft, so I’m constantly picking apart everything I put down on the page. But I always remind myself that drafting is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s crazy how the progress adds up week after week!
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I’ve written seven and am drafting my eighth! My favorite is the “secret” YA time travel/parallel universe thriller that I wrote this past year. It’s very different from anything else I’ve ever done, so it was a blast to write!
Thanks so much for stopping by today, Michelle. It was great having you here!
Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling the world, shopping, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and loves talking with fans on Facebook (/MichelleMadow), Twitter (@MichelleMadow), and Instagram (@MichelleMadow).
To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!