I would like to thank Michelle Hoppe, www.michellehoppe.com author of Club Belle Tori
and her soon to be released Hart's Heart (August/September 2004); for taking the time
to talk with me about her books and her writing career. Thank Michelle! Congratulations on your soon to be released Hart's Heart.
Can you tell us about your newest book Hart's Heart?
Just my luck the first question is the hardest; honestly, this book is really difficult for me
to explain. It’s a short novel and will be released by Liquid Silver Books as a Quick
Silver. I was able to write the book very quickly and didn’t experience any real doubts
about the plot, where it needed to go, or how I wanted to end it. Other then that, all I can
give you is the blurb. If I talk too long about the book, I will likely give something away
which would better be left for the readers to discover on their own.
Castle Hart is a hidden world, steeped in mystery, where old ways are honored and
men control all things. The lord of the castle Anthony Hart rules the palace with a firm
hand and is protected by his knights.
His mistress is Lady Elizabeth Cowen and theirs is a long standing relationship.
However, they both know she does not love him, so when she develops a passion for
first knight, Thomas Wolfe, Lord Hart steps aside to allow nature’s course and life at
Castle Hart changes forever.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
A creative writing teacher in high school inspired me to step outside the box and let my
imagination go. It was the first time someone told me to put words together to make a
story and when I did, she was great at making me feel wonderful. She had a wall in the
classroom where she hung the best story, poem, or assignment and almost everything I
wrote went on the wall. This ego boost was all it took for me to develop a love of
writing that never died.
Recently, I decided to look for her so I can send a letter saying ‘thank you’ and to let her
know how much she influenced my life. Hopefully, with the help of the internet I can
locate her and follow through on this plan.
How long did it take you to get your first book published?
I was very lucky in that aspect. Liquid Silver Books was the first publisher I approached
with my novel Club Belle Tori. I was prepared for the rejection letter, had reminded
myself it could take years to get published, and I didn’t tell anyone, not even my dear
hubby, I’d submitted the manuscript.
When I received the emails asking for the complete manuscript, I still didn’t tell anyone I’d done this. The day I was offered the contract on CBT, my son came home from
school to find me dancing and jumping around the house…after looking at me like I had
two heads, and turning down the volume on the CD player, he asked what was up.
When I told him about the acceptance letter he turned the volume back up and joined
me in the dance.
It took him about an hour to start asking question, the first of which was, “So how many
books do you need to sell before I can have the car of my dreams?”
I don’t think I’ve ever answered him.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What, if any, influence have these authors had
on your writing?
Dee S. Knight, a great friend and fellow LSB author writes really wonderful
contemporary romances and I always enjoy her books. Also Dakota Cassidy, another
great friend and fellow LSB author has added more than a few laugh lines to my face
with her outrageous comedies. If I’m in the mood for a mystery though, I reach for Dean
I don’t really think any of them had influenced my writing; my style was developed years
ago, before I became an avid reader. Not something I like to admit, however I was not
a good student and really didn’t develop a love for reading until my late twenties. One
day I picked up a paperback and that was all they wrote, so to speak. After that I
started reading almost everything I could get my hands on. I still do, when time permits.
Michelle, do you do something special when you complete a book as a celebration?
When the last word is typed, I’ve read the book from beginning to end without stopping
and believe I’ve achieved something to be proud of, I dance. My son calls it my happy
dance. Usually, with a very loud, fast song playing I dance around the house, taking
anyone and everyone available with me. It’s a great way to release the pent-up
emotions needed to stay focused on writing a book.
Have you always wanted to write erotica?
Truthfully – no. Never shied away from it, however until a couple of years ago, I didn’t
even know you could buy this type of book in a bookstore. I thought you had to order
them from a mail-order house and they were delivered in brown paper bags without a
return address. You know the type of thing your credit card company always puts a
different name on to protect the innocent.
I have always written for my own enjoyment, so erotica was part of my writing, I just
never showed it to many people. One day a friend read the first draft of Club Belle Tori,
and told me to submit it to a publisher. I really thought she was nuts. Took me a little
time to research things and find out that indeed sexy romances were available to buy
and best of all they were extremely popular. You could have knocked me over with a
feather. Something I love doing and it didn’t need to be hidden in a closet, wow, how
cool is that.
What are some of your hobbies?
I don’t have a lot of time for hobbies; however my daughters have gotten me into scrap
booking. Leave it to children to find a hobby that cost a lot of money, takes up huge
amounts of space, and requires working with thousands of little pieces of paper. I think
they got me involved so they could borrow all the cool stuff they’ve assured me I must
What is your favorite type of genre to write?
I’m not sure yet. My first novel is a contemporary. The new one, Hart’s Heart is…well I’m not sure how it’s classified, exactly. I’m also working on a comedy and my fifth book
is a mystery.
Can I get back to you on this question in a couple of years?
Are all of your books E Published? Have you considered publishing anything in print?
Yes, all my books are E Published. I’m not actively seeking print publishing, however if
it knocked on my door, I’d certainly be open to the idea. The best thing about E-Pub is
the speed in which your books get published. Unlike print, my novels can be released
within two or three months of completion. I really like that advantage.
Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?
If you love doing it, do! When I started Club Belle Tori, I never dreamed of getting it
published. I wrote it because I love to write…what came after and what has happened
in the last year is just pure pleasure added on.
How can your readers contact you?
Email is one way – firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can join me at Silver Net -
http://www.liquidsilverbooks.net. SiN, is a forum hosted by Liquid Silver Books. I have
a personal space there, where I post all kinds of information about my books, reviews,
and a wild and crazy section about my day to day life.
Have you ever had writers block?
Unfortunately, yes. Most times it doesn’t last long, thankfully. When I’m having a really
hard time of it though, I grab my tape recorder, get in the car, and drive. I talk to myself
as I go and record the one way conversation. Usually, after a little time, I can get back
on track with the book and the tape recorder helps me remember what I wanted to say
when I get back to the keyboard.
Michelle, how long have you been writing?
I started writing in kindergarten, however, that was an exercise in futility, because my
teacher didn’t know how to read. Every day, I’d spend hours (minutes) writing out all
the things she’d ask me to, then she’d call me up to her desk and have me explain what
I wrote. She did this to every child and I always thought it might be easier on us all if
they sent her somewhere to learn to read. It wasn’t until about third grade, when my
sentence structure started making more sense, that teachers no longer needed long
explanations of what I was trying to say.
Once I walked into the hallowed halls of high school, I knew teachers had some
abilities, which up to that point had escaped my notice. I remember one in the ninth
grade telling me I had no grasp on the English language. It was a math class so I
figured I did really need a grasp on language as long as I could work a calculator.
In tenth grade I entered the creative writing class and finally found a teacher who knew
more then I did. Well, that’s not exactly accurate, most of them had known more then
me, it’s just this teacher made me sit up and take notice. The rest…for thirty-two years
from that first day in her class I’ve written. It has become a life long passion and I’m
willing to bet I will continue to fill page after blank page with words as long as my
Since your book Hart's Heart is due out in September, are you working on any projects
now? Can you give us any "brief peeks" of them?
Currently I’m working on book two of the Club Belle Tori Trilogy. My plan is to have the
completed manuscript to Liquid Silver Books in the next couple of weeks. It’s the
continuing story of Jason and Victoria, with some twists, bumps, and maybe a head
bang or two thrown in for good measure. Head bang is for all you reviewers out there
who commented on the ending to book one.
My other project is Periwinkle Pleasure. It’s a comedy and something new for me. The
idea behind the story is to bring true love back to the world. Cupid comes to earth in
human form and has to make a woman fall in love with a man before the gods pull the
plug on the experiment. Needless to say, things get a little dicey for Cupid during his
attempt to make love happen without the use of his trusty arrows.
Do you have any thing to add or say to our readers?
Personally, I’d like to thank all those readers who have written about how much they
enjoy my books. Hearing from you is always a highlight to my day. Thank you!
Thanks again Michelle! I have really enjoyed being given the opportunity to interview
you for Coffee Time Romance. If you would like to read an excerpt from Club Belle
Tori, please check it out