Michelle grew up in a small town in South Wales but moved to Dorset in her early teens, and it’s where she has lived for the past 22 years. In her spare time she enjoys visiting stately homes, castles, museums, archaeology sites, food festivals,
reading copious amounts of books, and chatting on Facebook and Twitter. She works as a full time administrator but still manages to fit researching and writing novels around her busy day.
Michelle first started writing 3 years ago when
the idea for her romantic nineteenth century trilogy came to her after researching her own family tree. Long Lost is the first instalment of ‘The Centuries of Love trilogy’ and her first self-published novel.
To find out more
about Michelle and The Centuries of Love Trilogy go to:
Thanks Michelle, jsut make yourself comfortable and we'll start.
Can you tell us what prompted
you to first start writing? What was the first thing you wrote?
My first book, Long Lost, was the first thing I wrote, other than silly plays when I was a child. I first started writing to banish feelings of melancholy but I soon caught the writing
bug which developed into something more than a hobby. It became my passion, my reason for being.
Can you summarise your latest work in just a few words?
Long Lost is about a young woman
who is stuck in her dreary life in the twenty-first century, until she wakes up in the nineteenth century and is faced with the prospect of a whole new exciting future.
What was the inspiration for this book?
I was researching my family tree when the idea of time travel to the nineteenth century came to me. Reading and finding out about my ancestors really inspired me. I also became interested in everything to do with Jane Austen and fell in love
with her world. I also love Pride and Prejudice and wanted to write my own love story based on that concept.
Did you do any research for the book?
I love history anyway
so doing research for my book was no chore. I visited many stately homes and museums. As I live in Dorset, on the border of Hampshire, I’m surrounded by nature and the countryside, so I often wander through the countryside to immerse myself in nineteenth
century England. I also visited Jane Austen’s house and tomb for inspiration. I bought so many books on the nineteenth century and did lots of online research.
How do you decide on the names for your characters?
For the Centuries of Love Trilogy, Long Lost being book one, all the characters names have come from my family tree, as that was what had inspired me to write the story in the first place.
Which writers have influenced your own writing?
I’m not sure if my writing is influenced by any one person as I have so many favourite authors, though I doubt my writing style is anything like theirs. Marian Keyes,
Freya North, Lisa Jewell and Jane Green have always been my staple book diet over the years.
What has been the best part of the writing process…and the worst?
I love losing
myself in a fantasy, forgetting all my troubles and immersing myself in a make believe world with the possibilities of them coming true.
Imposing self-inflicted deadlines is what I hate the most. But if I don’t set them then
my book will never get anywhere. I prefer to go with the flow and not be rushed as I’m quite a laid back person, but eventually there comes a time when I really need to knuckle down.
Do you plot your novels
or allow them to develop as you write?
I usually have a vague idea of the plot but the story usually develops as I’m going along. Sometimes what I had planned for the story in the beginning will turn out very differently
by the end. I don’t write in sequence either, I prefer to wait for the story to come to me, no matter what order that is. Sometimes it could be the middle and end that gets written first and beginning can be the last.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Enjoy the process. Don’t get too bogged down with rules, grammar etc, it will all come together at the end as you learn your way through writing your novel. Listen to your
heart and not other peoples’ opinions; you know what’s best for you and your writing.
Thank you Michelle and some good advice there!