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Author spotlight: Michelle Somers

11 February 2020

For ARR2020 in March we will be featuring more than 90 romance authors across five cities. If you live in (or near) Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Adelaide, come along and meet local authors, as well as our international guests—Darynda Jones and Susan Donovan.

Today we are spotlighting Michelle Somers. She will be attending ARR2020 in Melbourne.

How old were you when you first started writing romance?

Older than I’d have liked.  I started reading romance in my early teens, and always dreamed of writing a romance novel, but I never found the courage to start. It was many decades—mumble, mumble … four—before I put fingers to keys and began to write.

Who was the first romance author to catch your interest?

Wow, that’s a tough one. After voraciously reading Sweet Dreams romances in my teens, I finally delved into Mills & Boons, Harlequin and Temptation romances. The authors I loved were varied, and include iconic names such as Charlotte Lamb, Carole Mortimer, Helen Bianchin, Valerie Parv, Janet Dailey and Emma Darcy.

Have you written genres other than romance (or are you thinking about it)?

Yes. I’m currently working on a suspense time travel with romantic elements. I’d love to write a crime or noir fiction novel, but I believe even these genres would include threads of romance—I love the genre too much to drop it completely. I’ve also started writing a non-fiction ‘how to write’ series called Simply Writing.

Choose one of your books to turn into a movie—who would you cast in the lead roles?

I’ll pick my debut novel, Lethal in Love. Scarlett Johansson would be great for Jayda. Not only does she look like my image of her (as she was in the movie Iron Man), with red hair and her stunning green eyes, but her character is a perfect match. Jayda has sass and attitude. A hard exterior, but once you break through that shell and gain her trust, she’ll walk barefoot over hot coals for you. Her loyalty will be as solid as diamond. And just as valuable. As for Seth, Chris Hemsworth is perfect. He’s sexy, brooding, and when he smiles, women swoon. He can be ruthless the way a hard-headed reporter must be, but underneath he displays a charm and caring that is irresistible. No way can Jayda resist him. I know I couldn’t.

What is the hardest part of creating a story?

Crafting a middle that is as engaging and exciting as both beginning and end. Writers often battle with something we call ‘the saggy middle’. We start a story, guns blazing, tension churning, and we end emotions settling, a warm, fuzzy feeling as we tumble into a happy ever after. But how do we maintain the tension and reader interest in the middle of our story? This is the challenge—as well as the fun part. It’s the portion of our story that allows us to chase our characters up a metaphorical tree, before bombarding them with arrows. We test them, make them face their greatest fears, and throw them into a world with the one person they don’t want to be with, who happens to be the one person they are destined to spend the rest of their life with.

What is your favourite place to write?

I like to mix it up a little—in our home office, in our living room on the couch, outside in our alfresco, or anywhere really, as long as it’s comfy and warm, in the company of our kitty cat, Emmie.

Have any of your characters been inspired by real-life people?

Sometimes. I don’t mirror any person in their entirety though—I tend to pick out certain traits or quirks and pepper these into my characters. However, saying that, in my first novel, Lethal in Love, I based the Night Terror on real-life serial killer, Ted Bundy. To understand his psyche, and to really get into his head to write from deep inside his point of view, I read transcripts of many of the interviews conducted during his incarceration—a task that was both scary and fascinating at the same time.

What was the last romance you read and loved (and why did you love it)?

So many! I think one that still stands out in my mind is a novella, Where We Belong by Lauren Harbor. This second-chance romance is a must-read for any fan of small-town, feel-good, friends-to-lovers romance. Lauren has woven a story that is flirty and fun, but by no means frivolous. The barriers keeping long-time friends Ryan and Haley apart are real and significant—both characters are dealing with the aftermath of PTSD and a broken relationship. This is a guaranteed great read, and feel-good happy ever after that stayed with me long after I’d turned the last page.

Tell us about your latest release in 100 words or less

Her Biker’s Bite is an erotic, save-the-world, paranormal romance featuring a vampire hell-bent on saving the world … and the woman who can save his soul. It is one of 10 spicy bite stories in a boxset due for release on 14 February 2020. Tiffany Wells wants a new start—a life free from heartache, abuse and control, and a promotion to head scientist. Gideon Fang must find a mate to end his immortality and save his soul. But first, he must save the world. Can Gideon convince Tiffany to trust a man who, on the outside, appears so much like her abusive, alpha ex? And can Tiffany release the ghosts of her past to embrace her future?

What else will you be working on in 2020?

Two more erotic paranormal romances, with the introduction of werewolves and even a witch, and then I’m thinking it might be fun to explore the life of a vampire private detective and his rogue witch lover 

If you haven’t booked your ticket for ARR2020 yet, you can buy one HERE.

 

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