Wednesday, September 1, 2010
"I'm a mother, artist, and writer who lives in the Rocky Mountains with my sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. I write
Yours Truly: CINDERS is a look at what happens to Cinderella when happily-ever-after doesn’t go according to plan. What made you want to write about the beloved fairy-tale?
Michelle: I've always had some issues with Disney princesses, and since my daughter kept watching Disney's *Cinderella* over and over again, I one day got the idea to tell a short story about Cinderella after she gets married. The short story grew into a novella.
YT: Your book is a novella; is there any particular reason you chose the shorter format?
M: Yes, actually. One of my favorite stories is *The Awakening* by Kate Chopin. It's a novella, and I fell in love with that format back in college. I always knew I wanted to write a novella, so when I got the idea for * Cinders,* I knew it was perfect for a novella-length piece. I wanted a fairly simple story - straightforward and a quick, fun read. Like a fairy-tale.
YT: I'd definitely say you accomplished that, though I don't know that "fun" is the word I'd use to describe CINDERS, haha. Since most people think about writing novels, which are by definition longer than novellas, how did you go about getting CINDERS published? Is the process any different than the process for publishing novels?
Novellas are difficult to get published in the mainstream traditional publishing sense, so I knew that *Cinders* was the perfect project to self-publish. Self-publishing is different for every writer, meaning you can go many different routes. Some writers choose to publish only an ebook, some go with a vanity press, some go with a POD (print-on-demand) publisher. I knew I wanted to go with a POD publisher, and then had to do my research on who was right for me. The process to self-publish is, of course, different from traditional publishing with a large publishing house, but as far as the difference between self-publishing a novel vs. self-publishing a novella, to me they would be the same.
If you want more information on my self-publishing process, you can follow my self-publishing series at The Literary Lab. It begins here:
YT: As a writer, you contribute to The Literary Lab blog which gives great advice to writers; if you could give aspiring authors one piece of advice,what would it be?
Keep writing and make professional connections. I think it's vital for writers to know when their work is ready, and most of the time their critique partners can't tell them that. Save your pennies and hire a professional editor. Query your work to agents and see what feedback you get. Make friends with a published author who might be willing to read your work and give you an honest opinion. Most of all, don't cheat yourself into thinking your work is ready simply because you're impatient and want to share it with the world (trust me, I know how that feels). I wrote 3 novels and countless short stories and got an English BA degree before I knew I was ready to publish on any sort of scale larger than a short story. I'm not saying you have to get an English degree, but be serious with your work and yourself no matter what you decide to do. From my experience, 98% of the time, my work is not ready.
YT: (As an English major myself, I have to say I'm a little biased, but I think everyone should have an English degree . . . Totally kidding, you guys.) Are you working on anything else that you can share with us?
M: I'm currently working on a novel to submit to a small press, and intermixed with that I'll be writing two more fantasy fairy-tale novellas that I will self-publish alongside *Cinders*. I also plan on self-publishing a
novelette with Scott G.F. Bailey and Davin Malasarn from the Literary Lab. We'll be doing a collection of three novellas/novelettes. I'm excited for all these projects!
YT: Me too!! So, what is your favorite part of writing?
M: Plain and simple: sharing it with readers!
YT: Great answer! Haha. And one last question for fun: since I know you’re a fan of poetry, if you could meet any poet who would it be and why?
M: Oh, tough! I'd have to say Annie Dillard. She is the writer whose work made me turn from an editing degree to a creative degree in college. I love her work dearly.
YT: Sorry about that, Michelle. Sometime I ask mean questions. : ) I loved CINDERS, and thanks again!
M: Thank you! It's been a pleasure.
Cinderella's happily-ever-after isn't turning out the way she expected.
With her fairy godmother imprisoned in the castle and a mysterious stranger haunting her dreams, Cinderella is on her own to discover true love untainted by magic.
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