AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: T. J. MICHAELS
What is your most current work out?
My current work is called Silk Road and it’s the first book of a new series. We’re expecting a publish date of June 2012. I am totally thrilled about it as it’s different than any book I’ve written. For those fans of the Vampire Council of Ethics, I’m also currently working on Book Four!
Tell us a little about Silk Road…
I was watching Discovery one day and a documentary came on about lost books of the bible. My brain said, “Huh…there are LOST books? Never heard anything about that when I was growing up.” And that program drew me right in and held me captive. After that I picked one of those lost books, did a crap-ton of research, invented some mythology to go along with the results of that research and began the first book in the Seals of Destiny series, Silk Road.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
A mix of both. I used to be a total pantser – writing by the seat of my pants. But that caused problems with continuity sometimes, so I started plotting. However, there are certain parts of a book where if I’m on a roll I just go with it.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I started with paranormal and the majority of my work is in this genre. I love it because I can write a world that is whatever or wherever I want.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Actually I have a group of characters I totally love. All the main characters from the Vampire Council of Ethics series are just awesome to me. If I had a group of friends that were very close to me, I’d want that bunch of peeps to be it.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Oh lord yes! I work with a…uh, interesting group of people in an interesting industry so I do take inspiration from real life. I should have a t-shirt that says, “Be advised that you may end up in a novel.”
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Actually sitting down and getting it done. I’m a single mom with two kids trying to start their own businesses, plus I have a full-time job of my own. Very little time to write so I have to squeeze it in as often and as much as I can.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yes. SWTOR!! Star Wars: The Old Republic online video game. I am, in all honesty, such a geek at heart!
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
When I’m writing dark scenes I’ll play some of the dark music from the movie, Queen of the Damned, or I’ll turn on The Lord of the Rings and let it play in the background. It helps me think more on the darker side of things and bring my story to a point where the reader can hopefully see, smell and hear what the hero/heroine is experiencing.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I am a systems/database/process analyst for the software industry, specifically in the biotech and pharma arena. But there doesn’t pass a day where I expect my prince charming to rain a million dollars down on me so I can write full-time.
What is in the wings for your readers to look forward to?
A book in the making, hopefully in time for the Authors After Dark readers conference in New Orleans in August, is a book that’s been in the wings for years. I wrote it a long time ago and sat it on the shelf while I raised my kids, etc. Now I have the time to polish it and put it out there and I’m totally looking forward to it. It’s a post-apocalyptic paranormal with a very strong female lead.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I absolutely LOVE Austrian and Swiss chocolate! Whenever I travel to Europe for work I always bring some Lindt® chocolate back. My fav is dark chocolate with chilis!