7 Questions With Author Michelle River
Michelle River hails from Ontario, Canada where she lives with her wonderful husband, fearless daughter, and rescue animals. A lover of hot black coffee and everything dark and terrifying. She spends her nights writing horror, reading through submissions, and dreaming about all things that go bump in the night.
Michelle’s love and need for a creative outlet was cultivated at a young age, which has led to a life filled with passion projects like painting, photography, pottery, and writing. To her husband’s dismay, she is happiest when she has three projects on the go, revelling in the chaos around her. Her most recent and exciting endeavour is Eerie River Publishing, where she is focused on promoting indie authors, publishing high-quality horror and dark fiction anthologies, and offering author services such as formatting and editing.
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Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I am definitely a panster. I don’t traditionally write anything down or plot out a story from start to finish. However, I do have an outline in mind before I even write a word. For me, most of the outlining and planning is done in my mind first.
I sit with it for weeks on end, living with it in my mind, letting it grow and develop its legs. I let it learn to walk around a little bit, discover the world, and when it has graduated to the toddler stage I start writing. I have a general idea of what it will grow up into, but the teenage years is anyone’s guess.
How does a day in your author life look?
I am a full-time mom to a very busy toddler, so my days are filled with a little person bossing me around and I love it. My writing and publishing life comes in the seconds and minutes in between playgroups, meals, and bedtime.
I am probably most productive at night after everyone is safely tucked into bed, or first thing in the morning.
Right now I am working on a couple of personal projects, including a novella series based on a NoSleep story that I wrote, as well as a few publishing projects with Eerie River. So my nights are split between what needs to come first, and what I am feeling inspired to write about. I tend to spend anywhere from two to four hours a night/day focused on writing and publishing.
What’s your definition of the first draft?
Hmm. There are so many concepts of the “first draft” isn’t there? For me, it is the first look of what has been in my head in a physical form.
It will have a beginning and ending, and lots of bits in between. It might have been looked over a few times already because I tend to be one of those that edit as I go, but it is nowhere complete. I tend to think of it as a garbage pile of thoughts that still need sorting. Not the most delicate of ways to put it, but I am not a delicate person.
Authors vs. Social Media. How do you approach the tools you have at your disposal?
Social media can be a great tool to find and keep readers interested and engaged. There are so many options out there to find and connect with your audience, and the possibilities are endless. It can be full-time job juggling social media accounts, so I tackle one at a time and hope that I am engaging in a manner that people are receptive to.
I am hoping to build a fan base through Twitter and Facebook, in a meaningful way. Getting people excited about upcoming releases, offering teasers, and doing giveaways are what I am focusing on right now.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
Don’t fall in love with your words. Michele Freeman, said something to that effect to me when I was project managing “Storming Area 51” and I think it was the best advice I have ever gotten. It had everything to do with being receptive to edits, making a cohesive story, and being open to changes.
Feedback from beta readers, other authors, and friends can be brutal. If you go into with the attitude that your writing is stellar and doesn’t need any editing beyond grammar – which for the record is my weakness – then your writing never has the chance to improve, and you never have the chance to grow.
What’s the best way for authors to approach self-promotion?
No one is going to advocate for your own words more than yourself, so go out and do it. There were over a million books published last year, if you aren’t driving traffic to your book then you are doing yourself and your book a disservice.
What’s your favorite genre as a reader?
I don’t know if I can say I have a favourite. I tend to go through phases with reading. In my teens I devoured all the Dean Koontz novels I could get my hands on, then Anne Rice.
I read series after series of dark fantasy novels in my twenties, and then I went through a pretty hardcore paranormal romance phase that I am not ashamed of. Right now I tend to lean heavy on horror and dark fiction, picking up anthologies for quick reads instead of full novels because life is just too busy and I like the flash fiction rush.
Find Michelle River here:
www.EerieRiverPublishing.com Twitter: @EerieRiver Twitter: MRiver_Writes
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/EerieRiver/ Facebook
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
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She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.