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Saturday, October 22, 2011

12 Books in 12 Months--Author Michelle Erickson

That's right! This amazing author has accomplished what to me seems like an impossible goal. And guess what? She's here to tell us about her journey and her latest book, Pic Jump. Welcome, Michelle. Please tell us a little about yourself.  

I was born and raised in Utah, transplanted to Idaho after I married the best man in the world for me - he's exactly what I needed. 

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since 7th grade, but didn't really make the decision to write professionally until a few years ago.   

And yet, when you did decide to write professionally, you went all out. In fact, you are a writing dynamo! You've just completed your goal of writing and publishing 12 books in 12 months. 

I didn't really make up my mind to write 12 in 12 until I already had 2 books out there and I thought:  go for it! I had no idea what I was getting into or I wouldn't have made such a rash announcement! I will not be doing it again anytime in the foreseeable future. It involved a lot of re-writing while writing new books. 

Please tell us a little about your writing process, including how you're able to write so much so quickly.

Here is my writing process pared down to bare bones: Dream, Desire, Discipline, Determination, Destination
1) Dream: you need a fantastic idea that really rings the dinner bell on your salivating creative side
2) Desire: write like your life depends on it (I take Sundays to 'cool' off and de-stress)
3) Discipline:  treat writing like a business
4) Determination: rewrite as needed
5) Destination:  to reach where you want to be as a writer, repeat above steps for 10 -16 hours a day, six days a week for a year (this is how I did it so 'quickly')

Whew! I've had quite a few weeks of day and night writing, but an entire year? It makes my head spin just to think about it. But with all that writing, I can't help but wonder, are you a plotter/outliner, or do you write by the "seat of your pants?"

I'm a little of both, but more 'seat of the pants' because my characters seem to take me for a ride regardless of where I tell them they need to be.  I had one particular character that never seemed to be where I wanted her to be (I wanted to kill her off).  That character had so much chutzpah to her, she had me rewriting entire chapters!  P.S.  She STILL isn't dead!  She will be featured in other books.

Where do you get your ideas?

5 Blanks was based on a dream, Klaus was just my love of Christmas exploding out of my head and onto the computer nearly as fast as I could type, Pic Jump was a branch off the plausible/impossible ideas I had while writing 5 Blanks, and the 9-book epic Chest of Souls came from a story I told my oldest daughter when she was a little girl (it was originally sci-fi and bears NO resemblance to the story I wrote).   

What genre do you write in? Are all your books in that genre?

I've written at least five genre's. Historical fiction (short story) Post-apocalyptic science fiction, Epic Fantasy, Romance-Fantasy, and Speculative 

What is your favorite genre to read in? Any favorite authors?

Whatever catches my fancy. I've read over 50 books in the first month after I was finished with my 12. 
Favorites? I like so many authors, I can't choose just one. I've literally read thousands of books over my lifetime. 

Holy cow! When you go for a goal, you really go for it! What's on your horizon now? Any new goals?

My new goal is to catch up on all the things that took a back seat while I was driving down the creative writing highway at 200 mph. While I play catch-up, I'm working on a paranormal romance (Hallows Gate), a fantasy trilogy (Sky Signs), and a ten-book series that I've been considering for years (Heart and Soul).  

Please tell us about your latest book. 

The final of the 12 is titled Pic Jump. It won a Readers Favorite award in the Romantic Suspense category and is now nominated for the Whitney.  Pic is about a woman that falls in love, marries the man shortly after they meet, and on their wedding day, they are in an accident that leaves her in a coma. 

She is granted the ability to transfer from one set of printed eyes to another and has to save a little girl named Emma armed with nothing more than her wits and a Barbie head.

The first third of the book is the romance (I had to give Pic what she wanted before I mercilessly ripped it away from her).  The last two-thirds are the suspense which has children in peril and Pic unable to physically help while they are chased by a mercenary hired by terrorists. 

While writing the book I had to take frequent breaks and continue to remind myself to not kill the antagonist (but I REALLY wanted to).

Any writing advice?

One thing that has really helped me:  Buy a small digital recorder for those times when genius burns and record the flavor of your thoughts. 

Thank you very much for taking the time to visit with me today, Michelle. If you'd like to learn more about Michelle, you can find her at www.12n12.blogspot.com. Right now, she is also giving away a copy of each of the books that won awards this year to three lucky winners who can choose Ebook or soft cover on www.iamareadernotawriter.blogspot


Heather Justesen said...

Okay, wow, just wow. I can speed write with the best of them, but not a new book every month (I do need a little down time and the rewrites always need a little more time to simmer than my first draft. I remember reading on Michelle's blog that Reader's Favorite said her books were super clean with hardly any errors. So my question is, does she have a big group of people who do critiques for her, or pay an editor, or is she really just that amazing at self editing (because my mind always tells me that I wrote that word or phrase a certain way, even if it's on the page like I think it is). Congrats on the amazing accomplishment!

Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen said...

I'd actually like to know that too, because I thought the same thing while I was reading Pic Jump.

KarenG said...

What an inspiring interview! She is a dynamo. I'm very motivated to get off the internet right now and put in my measly 2 hours for Saturday.

Heather B. Moore said...

The most I've ever written coherently in one day was about 7,000 words. Other than that, on a really "good" day, 3,000 words is about all I can do without going catatonic :-)

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