And here is Michelle Simkins….
1) What genre(s) do you write? And why?
I write mostly urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy. A few of my short stories enter the High Fantasy realm a bit, but mostly I like stories that explore the juxtaposition of magic with the every day world. There are a couple of reasons for this. a) My real life is very, very interesting to me. So if a book is to keep my attention, it has to feature things that are even more interesting than my day to day life. Most realistic fiction can’t do that for me (though there are some exceptions.) b) I’m fascinated by myths, folklore, and fairy tales. Most of my ideas come out of this rich world of culture tales and archetypes and spirit journeys.
2)Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.
There is never only one latest project. My ongoing writing project is a paranormal novel, a sort of mashup of Shakespearean themes, vampires, and snark. Since you’re offering the chance to brag, in June one of my short stories won a contest on the blog Writer, Writer Pants on Fire: http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/06/my-favorite-flash.html. I’m hosting First Sunday Short Fiction, where I write a short story (2,000 words or less) every month for my blog, and invite others to do the same. FSSF will run through at least December, and writer’s can join in any month they wish. You can read about that here: http://greenwoman.wordpress.com/category/the-glamorous-life-of-a-writer/first-sunday-short-fiction/ I’m also doing a series of swaps with other bloggers called The Summer of Bloggerly Love, which will run until September 8. You can read about that here: http://greenwoman.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/the-summer-of-bloggerly-love/ Finally, I’m the organizing force behind Skeleton Key, a round robin blog novel (blogvel) that so far has been a lot of fun to read. The table of contents for that can be found here: http://greenwoman.wordpress.com/skeleton-key-table-of-contents/
Sheesh. No wonder I’m tired.
3)Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?
Reading fantasy and paranormal fiction is my favorite thing. I also love knitting and writing knitting patterns, gardening, studying herbs and doing a lot of metaphysical stuff like energy healing and oracle readings. I run an Etsy shop where I sell my knitted things, readings and the sometimes slightly creepy things I make out of plants: http://www.etsy.com/shop/greenfingers And I have two kids and a husband.
Did I mention that I’m tired?
4)Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?
I don’t have any tattoos, but I really want a tattoo of some of the plants I love to work with.
5)What is the last book you read? Did you like it?
The last book I read was Songs of Love and Death, which is a collection of short stories. So yes, overall I liked it. And some parts of it I LOOOOOVED.
6)What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)
Oh um . . . well, I guess that depends on whether or not you mean PUBLISHED author. All it takes to be an author is to write something.
To be a GOOD author, one must continue writing things, many things. And those things will suck. Then you show those things to other writers, who give you suggestions on how you might make them suck less. Then you revise. Lather, rinse, repeat–forever. I believe that eventually you might become a good author.
As for being a PUBLISHED author . . . I’m not there yet. I’m still in the lather, rinse, repeat stages of things. But I suppose the key to becoming a published author is to a. FINISH something that doesn’t suck (this is not a numbers game. First you must not suck. There is no alternative, except perhaps a deal with the devil.) b. Learn the CORRECT way to submit to an agent (Most agents these days have blogs and websites that tell you what they are looking for and what procedure they expect you to follow. There’s no excuse for getting this part wrong.) and c. Don’t give up.
7)Tell us one thing no one knows about you.
I don’t like The Beatles. Seriously, I sort of hate almost all of their songs. There are a few I can tolerate, and I love that Imagine song by John Lennon, but mostly I can’t stand the Beatles. Please don’t crucify me.
Michelle Simkins is a writer, knitter, gardener, and radical homemaker. She shares a tumbledown acre in Oregon with her partner and stepchildren, three neurotic cats and a whole pile of ornery chickens. She blogs at http://greenwoman.wordpress.com, shills her wares at http://www.etsy.com/shop/greenfingers, and tweets an awful lot of nonsense at https://twitter.com/#!/MichelleSimkins