Frequently Asked Questions
::About The Books . . . . . .
When will the last Demon Princess book be available?
I’ve had a little delay on writing the fourth and final Demon Princess novel, Reign Storm, but I promise it will be available as soon as I have the time to devote to it. Currently, I anticipate it will be released some time in 2014. Please consider “liking” my official Demon Princess Facebook page for the latest news and updates. In the meantime, check out the first fifty pages that I’ve posted on Wattpad.
I want to request a copy of your upcoming book for a review. How do I do that?
If you’re a blogger who would like to request an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of the next Falling Kingdoms book for review, please send an email with your name, blog address, mailing address, and any relevant stats (follower number, traffic, etc.) to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that ARC quantities are limited and not all requests can be filled.
What book releases do you have in 2014?
July 1st — From Fear to Eternity, the third book in my Immortality Bites paranormal mystery series with Signet Obsidian, starring fledgling vampire Sarah Dearly. (This is also “unofficially” book eight of my original Immortality Bites series).
December 9th — The third book in the New York Times bestselling Falling Kingdoms series with Penguin Razorbill that I’m writing under the name Morgan Rhodes.
Early 2014: I wrote a stand alone paranormal YA titled Echoes which I am independently publishing this year about a boy with dark secrets and a girl determined to unravel his mysteries.
Some time in 2014: Reign Storm, the fourth and final book of the Demon Princess series will be published this year. Really. I totally mean it this time!
How many books are in the young adult Nightwatchers series?
Nightwatchers is a duology—a two book story arc beginning with Dark Kiss and ending with Wicked Kiss. Nothing further has been contracted by Harlequin Teen in this series.
1 – Dark Kiss
2 – Wicked Kiss
How many books are in the adult urban fantasy romance Nightshade series?
Nightshade is a duology—a two book story arc. In between these books is a novella that enhances the story and world. Nothing further has been contracted by Berkley Sensation in this series.
1.0 – Nightshade
1.5 – Bleeding Heart (a novella in the Primal anthology)
2.0 – Bloodlust
How many books are in the Living in Eden series? Is it important to read them in order?
A trilogy of books have centered on Eden and Darrak. Ideally, they should be read in order, but I do try to write my books so that you can pick up the story without too much difficulty if you choose to read them out of order.
1 – The Demon in Me
2 – Something Wicked
3 – That Old Black Magic
How many books are in the Immortality Bites series?
There is the original Immortality Bites paranormal romance series published by Grand Central Publishing’s Forever line (formerly Warner Forever). And then there is the Immortality Bites Mystery series, which takes Sarah and Thierry and spins them off into a separate series which can be read alone or after the original series. The feel of the books is the same as the original series since there’s been romance and mystery throughout Sarah’s journey! However, readers can feel free to start with Blood Bath & Beyond and not feel lost.
1 – Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites #1)
2 – Fanged & Fabulous (Immortality Bites #2)
3 – Lady & the Vamp (Immortality Bites #3 — the one that doesn’t feature Sarah as the main character)
4 – Stakes & Stilettos (Immortality Bites #4)
5 – Tall, Dark & Fangsome (Immortality Bites #5)
6 – Blood Bath & Beyond (Immortality Bites Mystery #1)
7 – Bled & Breakfast (Immortality Bites Mystery #2)
8 – From Fear to Eternity (Immortality Bites Mystery #3)
How do you pronounce Thierry’s name?
TYAIR-ree. Go here to listen to a proper pronunciation. However, I know Sarah would just say it as “Terry.” Bottom line: ignore the “H.”
I saw online that you also write under the pen names Rachel Connor, M.C. Riley, and Charlene Riley. Is this true? And, if so, what have you written under these pseudonyms?
These were pen names I had considered taking for different projects, however, in the end, these books were written as Michelle Rowen — the Nightshade books for Berkley Sensation and my Nightwatchers series for Harlequin Teen. For pen names I actually do use/have used, they are Michelle Maddox (officially retired after one book that came out in ’08), and Morgan Rhodes, which is my pen name for my YA high fantasy series with Razorbill Books.
Are your books available in other countries?
Yes! Please check out my page devoted to my International sales and covers!
::About Writing and Publishing . . . . . .
How did you get your agent and get your first contract?
I wrote the first 50 pages of Bitten & Smitten (then titled Dearly Departed) in a novel-writing correspondence course with Writer’s Digest. I received many good comments from my instructor, enough to make me believe that maybe the book had a chance, so I finished writing it. Only a week after I started querying, I received an offer of representation from an agent. He suggested a few more ways to tighten up the manuscript before sending it out to publishers. A short and exciting week later, I accepted a two-book contract with Warner Books.
Who is your agent?
Jim McCarthy at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.
Where do you get your ideas?
From my password-protected “Ideas File” on my hard drive. I seriously have one. But those ideas originally sparked from many places — seeing an image in a magazine, a fleeting scene in a movie, a word, a phrase, or a dream. Questioning what’s already being done. Like, ‘why couldn’t the vampires be the good guys, and the vampire slayers be the bad guys,’ was the spark that started Bitten & Smitten. Whatever the idea is, though, I’ll add it to my ideas file, because ideas are fleeting if not captured and caged immediately – the good and the bad.
Is there any advice you can offer people that are trying to get published that they might not normally know?
Realize that if you want to get published by a major publisher, your story has to be something people want to read. It sounds simplistic, but if your idea has no commercial value but being a ‘book of your heart’ then your odds are less than if it has mass market appeal. Fiction is a business — study the market, but still write something you love. There is a middle ground, you just have to find it.
Are there stories in your head that sound good in concept but when applied to paper, suck? Do you think those will ever make it to reality?
Many. I have the start of at least ten novels on my hard drive. All fizzled out because I didn’t know where to go with them after about page thirty — usually because I tried to write with just a spark of an idea instead of an outline I gave some serious thought to. I don’t think they’ll ever see the light of day, but I have no problem cannibalizing them and using bits and pieces in future work.
What courses/books did you find helpful as you perfected your craft?
I took a few courses through Writer’s Digest. Namely the Novel Writing Correspondence Course, which is now a online workshop. You’re mentored through your first 50 pages with a published author. I also took a short story workshop through WD and a Creating Dynamic Characters course. I own many books about the writing process and for a time, endlessly researched the internet for tips and tricks. Nothing in particular was the “key” to writing, but all the information settled over me like a big fiction-writing blanket.
Some of my favorite books on writing are:
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
On Writing by Stephen King
Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass
The Career Novelist by Donald Maass
What are your favorite and least favorite things about writing?
I love pre-writing — figuring out who my characters are, what they look like, what they want. What I’m going to make them do. I love outlining. I don’t do it to death, though. As long as I know where they’re starting, where I want them to be at mid-way, what my climax should be, and how I want things to turn out, that’s enough for me. The first draft can be scary, especially at the beginning, but still exhilarating. Least favorite thing would be revising. It’s necessary, but very tedious work.
What do you suggest for an aspiring writer to improve their craft?
If you write romance, join Romance Writers of America and find your local chapter and join that as well. Making connections and friends of other writers is vital, even just for moral support. Take courses where you get one-on-one time with your instructor. Read books about the craft — every big book store or library has a “writing” section. Visit other established writer’s websites and read about their creative process. Get great beta-readers and critique partners you can trust to give you an ‘honest’ opinion. Most importantly, read other novels for the fun of it, and also to analyze what the author did to make their story publishable.