Monday, August 20, 2018

Interview with romance author Michelle Garren Flye

Romance author Michelle Garren Flye helps me kick off a new week by chatting with me about her new contemporary romance, Becoming Magic.

During her virtual book tour, Michelle will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Michelle Garren Flye is an award-winning romance author of eleven novels and counting. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs,, and, among others. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library, Butcher Shop Quartet and Tattered Souls. Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina.

Welcome, Michelle. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Becoming Magic is the fifth book in my Sleight of Hand series, which features magicians (stage magicians, not the paranormal wizard kind) as heroes/heroines. Becoming Magic is a little darker than my other books in this series. The heroine was sexually assaulted as a young woman and hasn’t totally recovered from it. The hero, a sexy movie star turned magician, has a tough time convincing her to let down her guard with him long enough for him to convince her he’s a good guy. Which he definitely is.

What inspired you to write this book?
So many things. Women are at a point in history where real change can and is occurring for us. From the #Metoo Movement to running for office, we’re stronger and braver and more present than we’ve ever been before. Yet the romance genre—which is written and read mostly by women—isn’t reflecting that. There are still so many alpha heroes, controlling relationships, rape fantasies and sexual practices like sadomasochism that were once marginalized but are now prevalent in the romance genre. As women, we need to make up our minds. Do we want to be treated like sex toys or do we want to be respected? And why should it make a man less sexy to be willing to wait? That’s what my “new kind of romance” is all about. My heroes make waiting for the woman very sexy. Here’s an excerpt that might just prove my point.

Excerpt from Becoming Magic:
She reached for a handful of popcorn and her hand brushed his. When she turned her head and met the gaze of the same pair of clear blue eyes as those on the screen, her heart skipped a beat and she froze. For an eternity of a half second, neither of them moved, then he slowly turned his hand over and folded his fingers over hers. “Is this okay?”
“Yes.” She breathed the single word, then added, “And no.”
“No?” He raised his eyebrows.
“I really want some popcorn.”
“And I still really want to kiss you.” His eyes flickered down to her lips. Then he sighed and released her hand. “I guess one of us should get what they want, huh?”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on Dickens Magic, book 6 in the Sleight of Hand series. It’s a Christmas book and it’ll be out on October 31. I’m also working on another project that I’m very excited about, but I’m not quite ready to reveal any details about it. It’s in the very early stages. I think it could be my best one yet (I always strive to make the next book the best, anyway.) All I will say at this point is that it is a contemporary romance, it’s not part of any series, and it’s got more action in it than you would expect from one of my contemporary romances. There’s even an explosion!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was seven years old I started writing short stories and I remember my mother saying someday I could be an author. That word “author” filled me with awe back then, and I didn’t even really know what it meant. But it’s something I’ve aspired to my entire life. I guess I realized I had achieved that aspiration sometime around two years ago when I started answering “writer” for occupation on forms.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes. I write every second I can. I have three kids ranging from fifth grade to first-year college student, so it’s much easier now than it used to be, but I still don’t have an actual regimen for writing. I don’t think writing is something you can fix to certain hours. Sometimes I can write from eight in the morning to almost three in the afternoon (school day). Other days I can’t get going in the morning, so I do something else for a while and work at night. I’m typing this at midnight, for instance. And then there are the days when I stare blankly at the computer for far too long and let myself get distracted by Facebook or Twitter or CNN. And then I feel awful because I know better, but I did it anyway.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure if this counts as a quirk, but I am a big believer in serendipity. I’m a “pantser”, meaning I don’t plot out every aspect of my story. I don’t have a storyboard with everything planned out for me to write from. I write bits and pieces, though I’ve gotten better at mostly writing straight through instead of a scene here and another one there. But with almost every book I’ve ever written, I’ve had a moment where I think, Oh my God, I didn’t even know that was going to happen and now it fits in perfectly with this other piece and they fit with that piece.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Well, I’ve been writing since I was seven years old, so I’ll have to go with writer. I had a brief career as a journalist and another, slightly longer, career as a librarian, but I’ve always, always, always wanted to be a writer. I’m lucky enough to do it full-time now. Or as full-time as a mother of three can get.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just that I hope they’ll give Becoming Magic a try. And let me know what they think! I say all the time that I love reviews, good or bad. I like to know if my writing works for people and if not, why. It helps me grow as a writer, and for that, I thank anyone who ever bothers to review my work.


Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
Thank you so much for having me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

I appreciate getting to read about another book my family have not known about previously. Thanks so much for the book description and giveaway also.

Chucosgirl said...

Thanks for sharing so much interesting stuff about yourself. Thanks for the giveaway!

Michelle said...

James and B.J., thank you for reading the interview! I hope you will give Becoming Magic a try! Lisa, thank you so much for having me on your blog. I'll be back from time to time to answer any questions anyone might have.

Anonymous said...

A good slow-burn story is hard to resist!


Michelle said...

Thanks for checking it out, Trix. :)

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

Thank you for reading the post, Victoria.

Bernie Wallace said...

If you could meet any literary character, who would it be? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Michelle said...

Hi Bernie. That's a tough question. I think I'd go back to my childhood books. One of my favorites was always Watership Down by Richard Adams. The protagonist was Hazel, a rabbit. I always admired how he became the leader and hero to the little bunch of rabbits he led on an epic journey to a new home. So, yeah. It'd probably be him. Or the Mad Hatter, maybe. ;)

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

Kim said...

What was your favorite part of the book?

Karen H said...

I enjoyed reading your interview today.