Vampire Wire is starting off the 2009 with Michele Hauf as our guest. Michele will be giving away a copy of her entire Bewitch the Dark series, so please read to the bottom of the post for contest info.
The Devil to Pay was just released this week, and her short story, "Dust Me Baby, One More Time" will appear in the upcoming Faeries Gone Wild anthology. Her werewolf novella, Racing the Moon, will be featured in the Midnight Cravings anthology, to be published in April.
Her stories are steamy with elements of humor, and Vampire Romance described Kiss Me Deadly as "...a solid, adult tale of passion unleased, of love found, lost and found again, of natural enemies opening up to one another and discovering there's more to each other than they thought, a lesson that love can heal any wound..."
Michele has written in a variety of genres, including fantasy, paranormal, action, and historicals. In addition to her prolific fiction writing, Michele also maintains The Ultimate VampList, a catalog of paranormal, urban fantasy, horror and other books by genre.
It's a daunting task so I had to ask Michele how she manages to keep up with her online duties as well as pen sexy, funny, action-filled novels.
MARTA: Congratulations on the wonderful reviews you’re receiving for The Devil to Pay! Please tell us a little about this book and your Bewitch the Dark series.
MICHELE: The Devil To Pay is the fourth in this series that features the struggle between witches and vampires. A thousand years ago the vampires once enslaved witches (they’d drink their blood to gain magic). The witches, fed up with being taken advantage of, created the Great Protection spell that made their blood poisonous to vamps. They’ve been at war ever since. But still, a few manage to meet and against all odds, fall in love.
MARTA: I couldn’t help but think about the funny TV show, "Reaper", where the main character’s parents sold his soul to the devil. What kind of conflict does this add to the normal parent-child drama? Is therapy needed?
MICHELE: Well, Ivan, the hero, is a very forgiving guy. He knows his parents "accidentally" promised his soul before he was even conceived. The devil Himself doesn’t come to collect his soul until his 21st birthday, and decides to make Ivan his Fixer, or bounty hunter, if you will. Ivan takes things in stride; he’s easy going. His nights belong to Himself, but his days are his own. Heck, I admit it, I had a fabulous time torturing this guy. Half of him wants to do good, while the other half is forced to serve the most evil of masters.
MARTA: I looked at your bibliography and you’ve written approximately 749 novels. How do you do it?
MICHELE: Wait, I think it’s more like 753. J I’m very fortunate that I don’t work a day job. Been there, done that, shredded the T-shirt. So my days are for writing. And I do work very hard, every day, butt in chair, focused on the page. My kids are all grown and at college too, so it’s just me and the cats!
MARTA: You also maintain The Ultimate VampList. Whatever possessed you to take on such a daunting task of cataloging so many genres, including vampire non-fiction? Do you think you’re a little obsessive?
MICHELE: Obsessive, moi? (straightens the neatly arranged file folders and pens on the desk before her) I do have a thing for lists. The Ultimate VampList started in ’95 with about 100 titles. It became a monster from there. Once I start something I really get sucked into it. There’s over 4000 titles listed now. Wouldn’t you just stake something for the time to read all those books?
MARTA: You just wrote Swordsman's Legacy, one of the Rogue Angel books, under the name of Alex Archer. What was it like to write one book in a franchise?
MICHELE: I love the Rogue Angel series. The main character, Annja Creed, is a kickbutt archaeologist who just so happens to possess a magical sword that once belonged to Joan of Arc. It’s perfect Bombshell material, and I did love writing Bombshells. I also love action adventure and getting a chance to blow things up on the written page. And it’s very challenging to work with someone else’s characters and world, so I like that aspect because it keeps my writing muscle sharp. I just finished my second RA titled The Bone Conjurer and am working on a third book for the series right now.
MARTA: Tell us a little about yourself and your writing process.
MICHELE: Uh, I just do it. That’s all I can say about my writing process. I don’t complain (okay, so I do), I don’t procrastinate (well…), I always have new and fresh ideas (erm…), and I just sit down every day and write (mostly). But seriously, the only way the words get on the page is by sitting down and typing. I don’t edit while I’m getting that first draft out. It’s stream of thought, and I shoot for about 200 pages in a couple weeks. Once that draft is down on paper, then the real writing starts. I take about 4-6 months per book, though I have been known to do them in 3 months. I discovered if I have a trilogy plotted out, I really enjoy working on all the books at the same time. One book for a week or two, then switch off to another. If you focus, you can do anything.
MARTA: You’ve written about a variety of paranormal/supernatural creatures. Do you have a favorite?
MICHELE: I used to think vamps were my fav, but after doing a couple werewolves lately I gotta say those hairy dudes rock. So sexy in a strangely alpha, brutal strength, talons and shapeshifty kind of way. I also really enjoy a nice buff faery, too.
MARTA: What’s on your busy schedule for 2009?
MICHELE: Pub wise I’ve got these titles to watch for: Jan – The Devil To Pay; April – Midnight Cravings (Nocturne Bites anthology featuring my “Racing The Moon”); June – Faeries Gone Wild anthology; July – The Highwayman; September – Moon Kissed and “After The Kiss” (Nocturne Bites), and November – Her Vampire Husband. Whew! Yeah, I’ve been busy. As for writing, I’ve got a Rogue Angel to write, then my fingers are crossed my editor picks up another Nocturne trilogy so I can begin that.
MARTA: Do you have a book that you’d love to write, but everyone else thinks is crazy?
MICHELE: I do have this idea for a berserker heroine that I’m working on. She goes on murderous rampages if she gets aggravated, and sex tends to bring out the wild and crazy in her, too. Yeah, I know. But still.
MARTA: Where can readers learn more about your books and keep up on your activities?
Thanks for featuring my books on your blog, Marta! I love the Vampire Wire.
And thanks to Michele for answering my questions! Be sure to visit her sites for information about her books as well as links to excerpts and free reads, such as the first two chapters of her highly-praised vampire romance Kiss Me Deadly.
Just leave a comment if you'd like to enter the contest to win Michele's entire Bewitch the Dark series: From the Dark, Kiss Me Deadly, His Forgotten Forever, and The Devil to Pay. The contest runs through Saturday night, and a winner will be chosen at random.