Conversations on the Craft of Writing with Emily Michel
Imbuing Magic and Paranormal Into Epic Romances
I'm always looking to learn from other writers about their approach to the craft! I want to know what motivates them, what they find challenging, and — most of all — what they love about writing.
I recently got to the chance to hear from Emily Michel, who pens romances involving witches, monsters, angels, and demons. (I mean, how can you not be interested in that?!)
Here's what she had to say...
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? What studying or training have you undertaken that’s brought you to where you are now?
I loved telling stories in elementary school and won a prize for some of my writing. Unfortunately, the rigors of academic writing in high school, college, and grad school killed the joy. While my husband was deployed for the fifth time in 2012, I started writing again as a way of processing my baggage. As far as training, my bachelor’s in psychology has proved helpful, as has my local Romance Writers of America (RWA) chapter. The workshops they've provided on both the craft and business of writing improved my own process tremendously.
Tell us about any work you’ve had published or anything you’re working on now. How do you decide which projects you want to pursue?
In 2019, I self-published my Magic & Monsters trilogy, a steamy witchy romance. I am currently working on an angels & demons paranormal romance, tentatively titled A Memory of Wings, which should be released by FyreSyde Publishing in Summer 2021. I don't know if I pick my projects so much as they pick me. If I can't stop thinking about the story in my head, then I know I need to write it and finish it.
So far, I've written mostly paranormal and fantasy romance. I have a contemporary stuck in the drawer and an idea for another, but the magical element is so much fun to play with, I don't know if I'll ever complete those.
Who is your favorite character or what is your favorite part from any work you’ve written?
I like Annie, the main character from Magic & Monsters. I have two boys and feel Annie is the daughter I'll never have.
What’s your writing process? Do you have any routines or habits that help you do your best work?
I'm still developing my writing process. Perhaps all writers are. I do some things better at certain times of day. For editing, I find mornings work best. My analytical mind seems most sharp then. Afternoons and evenings are for creating (drafting or substantial rewrites). I work on my writing almost every day, but I find breaks helpful, too. I took off last July from writing because of 2020, and was able to approach revisions with fresh eyes in August.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received? And the worst?
Best advice: Make writing a habit. Sit your butt in the chair on a regular basis and write. Worst advice: outlines. For me, detailed outlines destroy the need to create.
Who’s an author you really admire?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to face with any given writing project?
2020 did a real number on my ability to concentrate and wrap my head around my current work. Besides all the obvious, RWA is working on its own reckoning with structural racism, and I've been on the same journey. I have a high school senior trying to pass everything doing distance learning, too.
When you have a bad case of writer’s block and are procrastinating, what would we probably find you doing?
Scrolling through Twitter, walking, and reading. When I get stuck, I find reading can help refill the creativity well.
What’s the best feedback you’ve ever received from a reader?
"I can't wait for the next one!"
What does literary success look like to you?
I'd love to be able to make a living from my writing and occasionally have someone recognize my name.
Finally, where can readers follow you — website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook page, etc.?