Today I am privileged to speak to author, Bethany Michaels. Good morning Bethany, it is a pleasure to have you with us today at Coffee Time Romance. There is hot coffee, and tea, along with some fresh baked goods for you to enjoy. So why not take a seat in the comfy recliner and sit back while we get the review started.
Before we discuss your book, I would love to hear how your day goes once you wake. I noticed you live outside Nashville. It is beautiful there, and so many wonderful places to take hikes and enjoy the scenery. After you wake, Bethany, how do you spend the day?
Well, I work at night, so I’m often napping during the day. Typically I get the kids to school by 7 a.m. then head home to see who’s on Biography that morning. If it’s someone I’m interested in, I’ll eat a light breakfast and watch for an hour, then I pull the blackout curtains and go to bed. The kids get home from school and then it’s a mad rush to complete homework, dinner and housework before it’s time to shower and get ready to go to work at 8 p.m. We also have scouts and other school or sports activities to get to some evenings. Days off from work are more leisurely. We spend the after dinner hours having a movie night together or if it’s a school night, sometimes I’ll leave the kids and husband snoozing while I got to a late show at the movie theatre. Of course I squeeze writing time in whenever possible.
The readers are anxious to hear about your latest book, ‘My Favorite Fantasy: Tripled,’ and I must say, You certainly know how to bring the reader immediately into the story, making them scream for more...the first chapter was truly a dynamite introduction. So can you share a bit with the readers?
“Tripled” is part of a series of novellas I’m doing called “My Favorite Fantasy” and obviously encompasses the multiple lover fantasy. I am a total sucker for friends-to-lovers stories, so I really wanted to blend that romantic notion with the threesome fantasy and see what would happen. I wanted to end up with something sexy and erotic, but with a sweet, romantic edge, too.
Does it take you long to compose your stories?
My output isn’t what I’d call particularly prolific, but once I have an idea and an outline, I can pound out the first draft pretty quickly. I can write about eight pages an hour when I’m in the “zone” but it’s finding that hour to do it that’s the challenge!
Is it difficult to create the right character to make the story hot and sexy?
A lot of times I’ll have a particular character type in mind for a certain story, but that character really doesn’t come alive for me until about 50 pages in. That’s when I discover the character’s voice and deeper motivations and the story really starts to sing. The right character molds the story. I don’t think I could create a character independent of the plot and just plug her into the scenes. The sexiness comes from the character and what she wants.
When do you find the time to do your composing?
With a large family and a full-time job, it’s tough sometimes to find time! I’ve learned to write in smaller chunks of time and make the minutes count. Sometimes I get up early and write before the kids get home from school from noon to 2 p.m. Other times I’ll write from 4 a.m. when I get off work until 6 a.m. when I get the kids up for school. I’m also a big fan of the Alphasmart because I can take it to the park or on long car trips and get some words in.
What would you say is your biggest challenge as a writer?
As far as actually writing, it’s the time crunch. I have a lot of things I’d like to achieve, but I’m also very aware that my kids will only be at home for a limited time, so I want to make the most of that, too. From a career perspective, the toughest part for me is promotion. I love to interact with readers via social media but with such a tight schedule sometimes it’s a choice between Facebook or adding page count to my work-in-progress. The actual writing almost always wins out.
How would you describe your workspace?
My desk sits in what was a small living room in my house (the kids watch television and such in the basement rec. room). There’s a beautiful old brick fireplace surrounded by built-in book shelves which of course are stuffed with books. There are huge floor-to-ceiling windows which overlook towering sweet gum trees in my front yard and a couple of comfy chairs to sit in when I get tired of my desk chair. It’s sunny and airy, which I love. Of course, I don’t always work in my office. As mentioned, I write wherever and whenever I can!
What would you say are the three most essential ingredients of an excellent novel?
I really sat down and thought about this a few years back—what makes my favorite books my favorite books? What makes a book a “keeper”? For me it’s a likeable, realistic set of characters, how the writer makes me experience emotion right along with those characters and humor. That’s what I try to put into my books, too.
When you begin your writing, do you go with the flow or form an outline when you write?
I find I can write faster and with more confidence if I have an outline. I can see the themes and the pacing better. That being said, the outline often shifts as I get to know my characters and they begin to do or say unexpected things.
Is there a particular song that you could hear over and over and never tire of it?
I like many different kinds of music from Yo-Yo Ma to Elvis to Adele to Eminem, so there’s not just one song or even one type of music that I cling to. However, I do occasionally get an “ear bug”. This week I’m apparently having a 90’s flashback because “Zombie” by the Cranberries has been running though my head non-stop!
You have plans to take a romantic trip and would like to share the tips with your readers. Where would you go and whom would you take with you to share some relaxation and romance?
I’m not really a sun and surf type person, so something a little more “wild” would appeal to me. A cabin the woods or a trip to Alaska to take in the northern lights would be awesome. My husband is pretty game for travel and he makes me laugh every day, so I’d totally take him along…and ditch the kids ;)
If you could walk in someone else’s shoes for a day, who would you choose?
It would be easy to say I’d like to be someone with more money or who is more attractive or more talented, but the truth is, I like the life I have. I admire people who give back to others, so that’s something I would like to cultivate more in myself.
What is the most favorite place you have traveled?
One of my family’s favorite places is Lake Michigan in northern Indiana. It’s not glamorous or really all that exciting, but I love the lake and the wildlife and the parks. I spent summers there with my grandparents growing up, so it’s probably more of an emotional connection, but still one of my favorite places.
Is there a particular food or dessert you never grow tired of?
Mmmashed potatoes. As a carb junkie, that is totally my go-to comfort food…and the thing that spikes my blood sugar like crazy, so I try not to indulge too often.
What is your favorite vegetable you could eat every day?
See above, LOL :)
Bethany, thank you so much for taking the time to spend with us today. We look forward to reading all your upcoming stories, and wish you the best always.