Thursday, January 19, 2012

My first Interview with Tory Michaels!

      
Bio of Tory Michaels 
I have a little boy who just started kindergarten(Shrimp, the boy, etc), twin baby girls (aka the Shrimpettes, Twin A & Twin B, etc) , a husband and a beautiful Siberian Husky named Mika. We live in Jacksonville, Florida now, having moved back a few months after spending time in Denver.

My day job is for a well-established law firm that focuses on corporate law. It makes for a nice change from the five+ years spent doing personal injury law, and continues the learning I started while in Denver working corporate securities law.

My first book, Blood Rage, is coming out in February (tentatively) from Evernight Publishing. As of yesterday, Blood-Mage Rising, the second book in the Dream-Walker War series, is under contract with Evernight as well, due out (tentatively) in March.

After the DWW series, I've got a futuristic series in mind, but I sort of need to see how DWW ends to know what to build off of, since the futuristic series is directly connected. Plot points are starting to occur to me for Book 3 in the series, but nothing has gelled yet. We shall see!
The bio was taken from her blogspot

I had the great oportunity to interview Tory Michaels. She was gracious enough to allow a first timer to interview her. So it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Tory!


1.     What makes for a good hook in your stories? Where does your inspiration come from?
I like this question, though I think what makes a good hook really depends on the book (and the reader’s personal tastes). For example, in Rage, the main character’s on the phone (which I’ve been told is a no-no) and in the midst of a conversation. In Blood-Mage, I have the villain dumping a third body (not the first or second, but the third!).

The characters (except for the uber-villain) were actually all RPG (role-playing) characters from when I role-played on Prodigy, back in the heyday of chat rooms on AOL and Prodigy. They’ve come a LONG way from how they were originally.  One of my inspirations for the Dream-Walker War series actually came in the form of my (unfinished) master’s degree in Public Administration. That inspired me to create the Bureau of Non-Human Affairs, with a much better working knowledge of things like what made the government run. A friend of mine even created a logo for the Bureau and there’s a website we’re putting together (not quite ready yet) for the Bureau, which will actually work, with links to a lot of the “squiblets” as I call them at the beginning of each chapter
Are you an organized writer? Do you do things like take notes and make lists of characters?  Or do you free write and work it out as you go?
Definitely a pantser, though I desperately need to become more organized. In writing the second book of the series, I almost had two different dates referenced as to the passage of the Rights and Responsibilities Act, and I talk about different pieces of legislation and a slew of books (including the Idiots Guide to Vampires and The Mage-Born for Dummies), so I am working on creating a series “bible” so I can track those darned tidbits in one spot without having to skim each book to be certain I’m not either repeating or making a mistake as to date.

As to actually writing the books, I generally know where I want to go at the end, but as to how I get there, I have no clue until the characters tell me. For example, the characters in Blood-Mage Rising were originally going down one path until my sociopath (aka Jordan MacNaught) smacked me upside the head and demanded to know why exactly I wasn’t letting him have a love interest. Let’s just say he and I went several rounds on that topic and I did not win the war.

3.     What is your normal writing day like? Do you write when you are inspired or do you have a schedule?
I try to schedule it, but it doesn’t always work out that way.  I wake up anywhere from 3:30a – 4:30a and try to get awake enough to actual skim through stuff and become creative. Feed twins and hopefully get them back in bed to actually write a page or two.  I go workout and hopefully cram in 30-45 minutes more before my day job, write (supposedly) during lunch (though if I’m in a slump, I just read blogs/hang out on Facebook), then if I’m really really really lucky, I might get a little chance to write in the evening, but I’m usually so exhausted from getting up before 4, that I watch TV with the hubby for an hour (he seems to think he deserves some of my time after the children go to bed), and then collapse.

4.     Who is your favorite author and did they inspire you to write?
I have a lot of authors I’m very fond of, but none of them actually inspired me to write. I hadn’t run into their writing when I first started writing way back, long ago (jr. high/high school when I wrote my first book). My current favorites include Sherrilyn Kenyon, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, Christine Feehand, Christina Dodd, Judi Fennell, Lydia Dare, Douglas Preston/Lincoln Childs and umm….the list goes on.

5.     It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
Draft two usually. Seriously – I kitchen-sink (write everything under the sun into my first draft, usually changing paths multiple times as I go along) and in Draft 2 I have to fix all the problems I missed the first time around. With Blood-Mage, I wrote the first draft in 32 days (100k). It took me 4 months to do Draft 2.

6.     Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Definitely make time to read. At the moment, I’ve got Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel next to the bed. I finished
7.      What inspired your writing style? Is there personal life experience in the writing?
I don’t consciously know of anything that inspired my particular style. Very little of my real life goes through, though I will admit that one of the many bodies that turns up in the books is named after someone in real life who made my life miserable for about six months.

8.     Your books have been published with Evernight Publishing, Does this mean you see the publishing industry headed this way?
Whether the industry as a whole is headed toward e-pubbing, I don’t know. I certainly think there’s going to be the “big-six/traditional publishers” forever, including print books.  I’m grateful to EP for giving me the chance to get my stories out there and quite excited about it.

     9.                Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
I have my blog/website: www.torymichaels.com
Coming soon is the website referenced in my books: www.bnha.org (with a subdomain of VampiresForever.bnha.org) , but as of answering these questions it is not up and running yet.
Twitter: @torymichaels
10.                        Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I wrote what I hope will be a scene to be included in the Dream-Walker War book 3 (title as yet unknown). I see the DWW series going 4-6 books (hopefully), and then they will lead into a second, semi-separate futuristic series which picks up about a century after the DWW series) when the vampires are the (sorry, going with a cliché here) last, best hope for humanity’s survival.

11.                        Who would be your first choice to play Jordan MacNaught of your book?
Interesting that you would choose him of all the characters to ask about. Without a doubt, if I could have anyone, it would be Eric Johnson, currently playing Det. Luke Callahan on Rookie Blue. I saw him in an episode of Supernatural, playing a rather nasty demon at the time, and the behavior was just spot-on perfect for how Jordan would react. Jordan had already been around for a long time, in my head, but I’d never come up with a picture for him. Until that particular episode of Supernatural.

12.                        If you could meet anyone from any time who would it be and what would be your first question?
Pharoah Akhenaten, predecessor to King Tut. My question would be: did you get inspired for your monotheistic-ish religion from Moses and/or why did you try to go toward a more monotheistic religion, destroying all the other gods of the pantheon, more or less.