1. Hello Emma! Thank you for granting me this interview. I’d like to talk first about your recent fantasy book, Owlet. How did this story come into being?
My pleasure! Owlet is a book that is very special to me. It is exactly the kind of book I needed when I was growing up. I felt so different and out of place having asthma and other health difficulties and when I heard the saying “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Originally said by Toni Morrison it really stuck with me, so I wrote Owlet.
2. What was the most challenging aspect of creating this character of Iris?
While I am an asthmatic and was raised by my father, making it easy to relate to Iris in that way, that is where our similarities end. Really it was about mapping out what kind of values she had as a person and how realistically someone like her might react to the situations she ends up in. Then putting myself in her shoes and trying to do justice to the character that has been a part of my imagination for so long.
3. How did you approach the research needed for this book?
There was a lot of the research that I needed that it turned out I already had the information from. The main research I needed to do was into the different types of birds and their traits which ended up being tons of fun.
4. What are your current/future projects?
I have a number of projects in the works from the sequel to Owlet to a number of standalone novels and even some short stories! I love to stay busy. J
There is only really one main character but when it comes to the side characters I am most similar to Autumn who shows up more in book two though is featured briefly in the end of the first novel.
6. Who are your favourite writers and why?
Oh! There are so many!!!! Tamora Pierce, Dia Reeves, Veronica Roth, Julie Kagawa, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Laurie Halse Anderson and my most recent favorite Sharon Cameron. I really love any author who truly draws me into their story and the world that they have created.
7. What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce. It was the first YA novel I truly read and enjoyed and from there, I started reading through everything the library and bookstore had to offer.
8. What are your 5 favorite books —and why?
I actually did an in-depth post about that on my blog last year! Here is the link: http://www.emmamichaels.blogspot.com/2012/05/top-5-most-influential-novels.html
9. What is the greatest challenge you have faced in your career as an author?
Not giving up. There are a lot of things that happen along the way and you really have to be writing because it is what you love doing. To be honest though, the down sides don’t mean nearly as much to me as just getting to write. It is the best feeling in the world to me – like complete and total freedom.
10. Describe your writing room
I like to write just about anywhere. I write at the dining room table most often but I also write sitting cross legged on the bed, laying in the grass outside (when it isn’t snowing or raining since I like in Washington state) or even on the go when traveling.
11. Take us through a typical day in the life of Emma Michaels.
I don’t really have a set way that my days go because my day jobs change pretty often. I try to fit in as much writing time as I possibly can and tend to spend at least a few hours a day working on writing related projects, probably anywhere from 45 minutes on days off to 13 hours on days where my inspiration is really going. Then I also have my cover art work with publishers and authors, edits on works that are currently with one of my publishers and my normal work (which luckily I am able to do almost all of on my computer). Add in some Doctor Who, lots of green tea, time with my fiancé and Chihuahua puppy and reading – and that about sums up most of my day to day life.
12. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Absolutely! Thank you so much for being exactly who you are, for loving books, wanting adventure and fueling the imaginations of authors everywhere! Without you there would be no authors, not novels. You keep us writing and by reading out work, bring out characters to life. Thank you so very, very much.