Interview with Michele Helene & Bloghop Winners

Happy Monday!

If you participated in the WHO STARTED YOUR DREAM bloghop by leaving a comment on any of the bloghop blogs (this one included) then click HERE to see if you've won. Hint, a few bloggers who left a comment here are winners : ) Email me (kmwalton1 at verizon dot net) if you see your name on the list and I'll give you the contact info of the prize giver.

In honor of Rachael Harrie's Platform Building Campaign, a fellow blogger from my Campaign group and I decided to exchange interviews.

I'd like to introduce you to Michele Helene....

Tell us a little bit about your writing and where you are in your journey.

While I can always remember writing, I can only describe it as a hobby I didn't have the first clue about what to do with it all. About six years ago I realised I needed to write. I had been fannying about doing this and that when all I really wanted to do was write. I started with short stories, flash fiction and poetry and before the year was out I was working on a YA fantasy novel. I had a bit of a Mummy break, but I've just finished a revision of a second book, this time a children's book and I'm looking for BETA readers while I go back to a complete rework of the YA novel. I am hoping (fingers tightly crossed) that I will finally be able to query something in 2012.

Walk us through your revision style – do you have a critique group, BETA readers?

Yep I live for my critique group. I knock the first draft out by myself quickly, then I do a quick revise and send it month by month to the critique group. I also have a new critique partner through Litopia (an online writing community). She's critting the chapters that have been revised after critique. Now that I've finished the revision though, what I'm hoping to do is send the whole MS out to BETA readers and forget about it for a few months. Then I will do a final revision (hopefully there won't be too many big changes) before I query.

I see that you live in Paris. How does the city influence your writing?

Oh my! OK, firstly I love Paris. I've been here eleven years and even though Parisians are arrogant, there are strikes every five minutes and you get caught up in work, I really love this city, but it isn't in my writing, yet. There are so many of those A YEAR IN THE MERDE type books that I really don't want to inadvertently churn out another. So the way it influences me is that by being here I have this great job where I hardly ever have to take work home, I get good holidays and I have the time to write.

What have been your favorite two reads as of late? Why did you enjoy them so much?

THE BOOK OF DEAD DAYS and THE ROAD. I've read a lot of good stuff about Marcus Sedgwick and when there is hype I step back and am wary, but I was given this book token and because I have NO MEMORY while I was scanning the shelves, his was the only name that stood out. I've realised lately that I read like a writer. If there are problems with the book I start critiquing, with this book I was hooked from the first page and I read like a reader.  I liked the fact that the MC was not perfect, in fact I even found myself getting a little frustrated with Boy at times. I also liked the fact that right up to the end I was hoping the antagonist wasn't all bad. If I can write a baddie like that one day I will be so happy.

THE ROAD, well I challenge anybody to say they enjoyed it. It is hard going, but it was recommended by some friends who said it had touched them deeply and another friend said it was the best thing she had read all year. I had no idea what to expect. I've since read a thread on Litopia about it and people either love it or hate it. Those who hate it, hate MAcCarthy's writing style, his lack of punctuation etc. But I loved his style, it didn't bother me at all. Everything was so bare in this world he had created that the writing style suited it. The relationship between the boy and his father was just so all encompassing. And boy did I cry at the end.

What is your ultimate goal as a writer?

For now, my ultimate goal is to be published. It's my driving passion, and what I work hardest at. I haven't actually queried anything yet, so I think I can still say that.

For fun: If you could only listen to one album—or ten different songs from various artists—for the rest of your days—which would you choose? Which album or which songs would you pick?

I would be one totally UNHAPPY bunny, that's what I would be, but this is just for fun isn't it, so:
1.    The Mariner's Revenge - The Decemberists
2.    Jeremy - Pearl Jam
3.    Alison - Elvis Costello and the Attractions
4.    Landslide - Fleetwood Mac
5.    Verdi Cries - 10,000 Maniacs
6.    Must I paint you a picture - Billy Bragg
7.    Sing the Absurd - The Wonderstuff
8.    Angel - Massive Attack
9.    Perfect Smile - The The
10.   The Pretender - Foo Fighters

You can find Michele:
Twitter: @Michverillion
Blog: A Wanderer in Paris

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