Today we're doing something different and interviewing another author. Please welcome Michelle Lowe, author of Legacy.
1.) What genre do you primarily write in?
Even though I’ve written one nonfiction novel, I generally write fiction. It’s simply more enjoyable. With fiction, I can play around with facts and build my own worlds. There’s a lot of intelligence and creativity that goes into writing fiction, I believe. There’s much that can be created, so many imaginative ways to explain how made up things function. You really work your brain coming up with how everything goes and make it believable no matter how unbelievable it is!
2.) What sets you apart from other authors?
Well, I’d say it’s because I’m broke, but I think that goes for most authors. Um, that’s kind of a hard question only because other than my own writing style, I’m not really that different from any other writer out there. We’re all storytellers, some of us are good and some of us are not. Some are successful for the being good storytellers, few are successful even though they’re not for one reason or another. The rest, like me, are still climbing, still envisioning that one day all our hard work will pay off. This isn’t an easy life to get into. Not a simple dream come true. Yet, I am thrilled to be in this fray with so many other dreamers and yarn spinners.
3.) What did you learn from writing Legacy?
A lot, actually. Aside from all the research needed for, not just this book, but the entire Legacy series, I’ve learned that I really enjoy writing steampunk. Granted, Legacy is tad different from other steampunk novels. While most books of this genre already have technologies and gadgets invented and in use, I’ve started this series during the cusp of when the Industrial Revolution is really taking hold on the world. Legacy is set in an alternate universe, naturally, and there are plenty of inventions and machines throughout the entire series, like a Spanish galleon that can produce its own winds by way of huge fans powered by water, an oven that makes cremated corpses into diamonds, (a real thing by the way), the first airship ever made, living automatons, a cryo chamber that promises to bring back the dead, robotic limbs, and all that fun stuff. Yet there’s also this old supernatural world that still exists, and these two worlds, machine and magic, overlap one another. I suppose you can say that it’s the transition between an old world and new. Writing this series has given me a new way to write and has opened my imagination box even wider.
4.) What about European history intrigues you?
European history has an abundance of material to work with regarding storytelling. Granted the entire world has a great amount of interesting documented historical accounts, and I’ve used bits and pieces of them in all my stories. It’s hard to explain because to me it’s the same as asking why a person likes the color blue over other colors. European history is none more fascinating than any other past events on other continents. It’s just a preference, I suppose.
5.) Do you paint oil paintings or just admire them?
I paint and I absolutely love it! I do admire many painting other than oils. I enjoy abstract art and paintings with loads of little details such as the works of Hieronymus Bosch. I also enjoy some scenery artwork like those from painter, Robert Doares. I have a reproduction of his Spring River painting on my wall that my parents bought over forty years ago.
6.) What is your favorite knickknack?
I have bunches of knickknacks that I collect. A collage of items, from owl sculptures to an old Carter’s fountain pen ink jar. Some of my favorites that I’ve gathered are natural things like rocks. I’ve collected small rocks from various places, spanning from the Mojave Desert to Hawaii. I even grabbed a phaneritic rock from the backyard of my childhood home a few years back. One day, I hope a snag a little stone from England whenever I get a chance to visit.
7.) What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I once read that you can make anything by writing. And it’s true! Writing opens minds, introduces new perspectives and brings people into worlds they never knew existed. Writing is an art form that is beautiful, tragic, complex, stunning and horrifying. My best advice for aspiring writers is to develop a thick skin. Take constructive criticism with a grain of salt and learn from what others tell you. Trust me, you’ll grow as a writer that way. And read! Read! Read! Read! When a writer is reading, it’s different than non-writers. We’re not just reading, we’re studying! We’re finding out new ways to describe things, broadening our vocabulary and learning how these other authors thread their stories together. Whatever genre you write, reading will help significantly when you put your own pen to paper. Don’t concern yourself about getting that first rough draft just right, either. First drafts are meant to free spirits and very ugly ones too. You only need to get your story out of your head and onto paper or in a Word document. Worry about making it pretty later on during editing. And don’t rush. It’s so easy nowadays to toss out stories in front of the whole world. Self-publishing has become easily available thanks to companies like Amazon and Createspace. Writers no longer need the gatekeepers’ permission to publish their work, or spend thousands of dollars going through a vanity press in the hopes that they’ll make that money back. Yet the ease to publish shouldn’t mean that the art of writing needs to be forgotten. Writing a book or novella takes time and ought to take just as long if not longer to make better through proper editing and revision. It’s best to sit on a manuscript for a while before going back to work on it rather than rush in getting it done just to publish it. It doesn’t matter how good the story is, if readers are distracted by poor writing and grammar flaws, you’ll lose them quick!
All in all, read more, write with passion, but edit with care and devotion toward the craft and learn from others. Most of all, write what you love!
8.) What’s the best way to connect with readers?
Talking to them. Sites like Goodreads are a great way to reach out to people. I’ve also just recently worked my way to building up my nerve to do Facebook Live. I’d love to chat with people and getting to know them as well as let them know me, the person behind the book, as it were. Another good way to connect with readers is to be friendly. Let them in on what you’re doing in your writing from time to time, and listen to what they have to say. If they didn’t like one of your books even though they liked or loved your other novels, or didn’t enjoy some parts in any other book you wrote, listen to why and don’t get sore about it. Just because they’re a fan of yours doesn’t mean they’re going to love everything you put out there. Who knows, maybe there’ll be something to learn from it. Be humble, after all, writers are nothing without their readers.
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2h6sPrt
Legacy Twitter: @LegacySeries_6