Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Hello (*waves hands*) My name is Briana Michaels and I’m a Paranormal Romance Indie Author who loves to eat, read, and sit back with a cold one. I lived in Maryland most of my life although I now live just a bit further north. I’m about to publish my fourth book in my Sins of the Sidhe series on October 31st and can not wait to begin writing the fifth book.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Bargains” is the fourth book in the series and is a culmination of many things. My biggest message in all of my books is that everything happens for a reason. My books weave characters together and their stories and lives always collide for good (and sometimes bad) reasons.
“Bargains” is the end of the first big story arc in the series, giving my readers the answers to questions they may have had during the previous books on the series and also offers a bit of closure for some. Not only that, it’s the “Ah-ha!” beginning of next group of Holy-Moly-I-Can’t-Believe-This-Is-Happening.
The inspiration for this particular book was Louis the Charmer – a character that has waited in the abyss that is my mind for a long time. He’s sneaky, self-serving, and oh-so-charming. You want to hate him, but you find you just can’t stop yourself from smiling when he’s around. And in this book, he makes his introduction and starts trouble with a set of my characters that already have enough to worry about. Oh, and his name is pronounced “Lu-wee” not “Lewis” so don’t mix it up or he’ll get mad, and you don’t want that. Trust me.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I like to be cramped up with zero distractions. I literally perch on a stool and bang away at my keyboard until someone drags me off of it. Oddly, I don’t seem to notice my butt going numb, my back stiffening, or my legs cramping. Must me all the tea I drink and voices in my head keeping me write, write, write! I also light a candle that’s meant for positivity most days – I’m all about some good vibes. Not sure if any of this is unusual, but that’s what I do – and I can say, without a doubt, I am very, very, unusual.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
So many! I read all kinds of stuff, but I’m a romantic and so I want a book with all the feels. That means JR Ward for sure – that woman seriously knows how to make me cuss, swoon, scream and fall head over heels within three chapters of one of her books. (Yea, I’m looking at you Rhage) My biggest lesson I’ve learned from Ward is to own your failures and your triumphs. You. Do. You. That motto is what brought me to the laptop and started my writing frenzy. Yes, I’ve made mistakes and yes, I’ve owned up to them. Yes, I’ve made some brilliant moves, and you better believe I claimed those hip-hip-horray moments!
Karen Marie Moning and Diana Gabaldon are two others that seriously move me. We all want a Jamie and a Barrons – I don’t care who you are. (Am I right? Am I right?) And I totally want to be a Claire. I’ve got herbs and I know how to use them.
I love Moning and Gabaldon for their depth and creativity. They each take an idea (one fantasy, one historical) and weave together the coolest stories that are so darn believable you can’t possibly be convinced it isn’t real. I seriously feel like I should own a MacHalo and if I’m ever caught in the Highlands… I’m going to the stones and I WILL go through them.
Hey, a girl can dream, right?
What are you working on now?
Book five!!! Oh, this man has been waiting in line and he has been growing impatient. I wanted to take the month of October to have a brain break, but he’s nothing but growls and teasing and promises of a good time in my ears. I’ve been caught twice last week typing out scenes already.
Vague outlines of books 6, 7, and 8 are done, too.
The truth is, I write so obsessively, I will most likely have the entire first draft done in a month and will have to sit and brood over it during the holidays. I don’t stop until I’m finished. There’s no taking small steps for me – I’m all in until I’ve conquered the book. There’s also very little cleaning, cooking, showering, eating, or communicating with the outside world going on, too. I love my rabbit hole. I don’t want to crawl out.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Oh I suck at promotion. I’ll admit that. My husband is the killer promo wizard. I just write the books, I have no clue how to get the word out that there actually IS a book.
I have a newsletter that I send out usually once a month with all kinds of goodies like recipes, contests for jewelry or some new book (not one of mine) or even a gift card. I want my readers to get involved and talk amongst themselves and with me. I encourage emails and posts on my social media accounts. It’s been successful so far, but I hope it grows bigger. Want to sign up? Go to www.BrianaMichaels.com
I have Twitter (@SinsoftheSidhe) and Facebook accounts, but find them to be frustrating most days because my posts aren’t seen by as many people as I’d hope. Still, that’s where my readers are, so that’s where I am.
I mostly rely on word being spread from one reader to the next. It’s a slow process, but it’s been the most successful for me. And I also do Book Clubs – answer their questions, provide them with dirty little secrets, games, and “behind the scenes” tidbits that have to do with the book they’ve read. That’s definitely my favorite thing to do. I love me some book clubs.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t let your demons get to you. As artists, Insecurity and Doubt are two demons who are often on our shoulders. Don’t let them get to you. You owe yourself the positivity and good the kick in the butt to keep up the good (or not so good) work. So even if you wrote something you think is crappy one afternoon, don’t put yourself down because hey, at least you still wrote something!
Never forget who you are writing for. You are writing for yourself. That being said, you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea, so don’t try. Just… sit down and write the story you would want to read. The story that’s been clawing its way out of you. The story that’s been keeping you up at night, playing out like a movie in your head – complete with a darn soundtrack.
I’d say to not read your reviews, but I’d be wasting my breath. We all want to know what others think of our book babies. Just remember that one person’s opinion doesn’t make or break you – no matter how hard you do the ugly cry. You’ll get the good and you’ll get the bad. That’s the only guarantee in this thing called “Writer Life.”
Being a writer takes nerve, folks. And that kind of nerve takes time to build up. Just give the world the best of yourself. Someone’s gonna love it. And whatever you do, don’t stop pushing yourself to do better, be better, write better. Personally, I’ll never be 100% satisfied with my stories. There’s always room for growth and more creativity. That’s how I know I’m never going to stop, and boy is that a wonderful thing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
JR Ward once said in an interview “You do you” and that’s been the best advice I’ve ever heard. I don’t want to write a story that I’ve already read in a hundred ways. I want to give the world something different to dream about.
I don’t write anything and ask for someone’s opinion. Yes, I want them to like it, but if they don’t? Well… then I hope they like the next one I send them. (*sniffle*)
What are you reading now?
The Angels’ Share (book 2 of the Bourbon Kings), Second Grave on the Left, and The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride. Yes, I juggle books. No, I probably won’t stop even when I confuse myself.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More interviews. More books. More meeting readers and connecting with them.
Success will come to me just like my books – one page at a time.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Sense and Sensibility… and Pride and Prejudice.
What? I can have two, right? At least they’re by the same author!