Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: See How She Runs by Michelle Graves

See How She Runs
by Michelle Graves

Series:  Chronicles of Izzy, Book 1
Genre:  Paranormal Romance/Urban Fiction

About the Book:
One delivery changed her whole life. Izzy was a normal girl living in Chicago as a bike messenger before that fateful day. She delivered one package and set into action a chain of events she never could have expected.

Now she is running for her life from the Corporation, her best friend is not at all who he seemed, and to top it all off she keeps having visions.

Will she survive to navigate the waters as a Seer? Will her feelings for Kennan be her very downfall? Find out in See How She Runs.

Our Interview with the Author:
Michelle, welcome to Paranormal Romance Fans for Life. You have an exciting new book out, and we're delighted you've offered to take some time out of your schedule to tell us a little bit about yourself. So, here goes.

Where are you from and from where/who did your love for writing come from? 
MG:  Oh, goodness, this is a hard one to answer.  My dad was in the military when I was young so I have lived all over the place.  From Germany to Tennessee.  I guess I claim the south as my home, because I have lived most of my life in either Tennessee or Georgia. 
As to my love of writing, well I think that has always been there.  As a child, I would create alternate worlds to play in.  As a teenager, I dealt with my angst by writing poetry.  As an adult, well I escape into books.  I think the next logical step for me was to start writing stories, and now I can’t seem to stop.

Can you say that your journey to publication was difficult? If so, what were the hardest moments to get through?
MG:  My journey was frightfully easy.  I feel like all of the stars aligned perfectly to make my experience wonderful.  I am blessed to have the knowledge of other indie authors to make my path a little less rocky.  Plus, both my cover artist and editor were both super easy to find.  (I love them both btw, they make the headaches more manageable).
As to the hardest moment, I think that is just putting myself out there.  It is a terrifying thing to throw something out to the public that is so close to me.  These characters are a huge part of me.  As someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, it is incredibly hard for me to separate someone not liking my book from someone not liking me.  So getting in that mindset that not everyone will love my book has been an interesting experience.

How do you overcome i-suck-at-this, that little voice in your head that tells you your writing isn’t good enough?
MG:  I have amazing friends and beta readers that are brutally honest with me.  So, I know that I will never be able to put something out into the world that is terrible.  They won’t let me.  But as to the voice, that nay sayer that lives within us all, I tell it to shut it.  I am pretty hard on myself, so I know I would never be able to put something out that I, myself, did not absolutely love.  That is not to say that I don’t look back and see all of the things I could improve upon.  I know I am not perfect by any means, but I know that it takes experience to grow.  I am going to make mistakes, and I will learn from them and move forward.  (i.e. my lack of contractions in the dialogue of the first book.  It did not even dawn on me that the dialogue seemed formal and it is something I have adjusted in the second book.)

What is your dream vacation?
MG:  Ireland.  Out of everywhere in the world, that is on the top of my bucket list.  I would love to go and explore the little fishing villages, search for fairies, and stomp around the old cobble stone streets.

Describe your writing style in five words.
MG:  Possessed by the characters.

What movies are you currently excited to see?
MG:  I don’t get to watch many grown-up movies these days.  I tend to only be able to watch them once they come out on video.  So, the new Star Trek has me really excited.  Oh, and City of Bones.  I can’t wait to see that one.

What are you currently reading?
MG:  I am currently writing, which makes it hard for me to read.  My characters tend to be quite demanding on my time.  I do have several books on my TBR list though.  I.E. the new R.L. Naquin book and the upcoming Penny Reid novel.  I can’t wait to get my hands on either of those!

If you weren’t a writer, what other careers would you pursue?
MG:  I love to bake, so perhaps working at a cake store.  But honestly, my favorite thing in the world is being a mom.  I love being able to stay at home with my daughter and watch her grow and learn new things each day.  With my husband being an Army Infantryman and gone quite a bit, it is wonderful to be able to be home with her and give her a sense of stability. 

If you could create a holiday of your own, what would it be called?
MG:  Hmmm, it would have to be something in the summer months.  And honestly, it would probably be a holiday involving Christmas decorations.  I am obsessed with Christmas (I have three trees).  So maybe Summas?  Summer Christmas?  Hmmm….. 

For people who haven’t read your novel, how would you summarize the plot?
MG:  See How She Runs is about Izzy figuring out who she really is.  Izzy has grown up thinking her life was something it isn’t.  She is thrown into a world she never knew existed, finds out she is a Seer, and most of all that her best friend is not at all who he seems.  She is forced to quickly come to grips with her new life while trying to avoid being captured by the Corporation.  So, not only is she trying to cope with her new abilities, she is also trying to avoid being captured by the evil Corporation.  They wish to use her abilities to gain profit.  Ultimately, the story is about Izzy becoming who she is meant to be, even if it means facing the things she fears the most.

What are two of your pet-peeves?
MG:  Bullying is the biggest one.  I will never understand why anyone would want to cut another person down to build themselves up.  Personally, I would rather live my life building other people up. 
The second one would be dishonesty.  I would so much rather someone tell me the truth, even if it may hurt my feelings.  I know we all tell white lies, but I am talking about the big stuff.  I would rather know the truth.  Without it, I can’t fix a problem or grow as a person.

To you, what makes a good story?
MG:  Relatable emotions, strong characters, and a brilliant romance.  I am also a sucker for a happy ending. 
What usually turns you off about a story?
MG:  I love a strong female character.  So, when I read a story where the heroine is a simpering female dependent upon everyone else to solve her own problems, it drives me batty.  Ever since I had my daughter, I have had zero tolerance for female characters like this.  I want my daughter to grow up to be a strong woman who knows how to fight for herself.

If you could collaborate with any author, who would you choose, and why?
MG:  Molly Harper.  I absolutely adore her.  She is hilarious and she knows how to mix humor with serious situations.  I love the balance of her stories.  Honestly, I have a huge author crush on her.  She is just plain brilliant!

What is on your night stand?
MG:  Not much right now, we are in the process of moving from Washington to Georgia.  Most of my stuff is in boxes at the moment.  But normally it is my kindle and a lamp.

What is your favorite book?
MG:  Really?  I have to pick just one?  Because I am pretty sure that is impossible! Hmm, well I love the Jane Jameson series by Molly Harper.  My favorite fantasy novel at the moment is The Girl of Fire and Thorns.  

Thank you so much for doing this interview with us, Michelle. Good luck and great sales with See How She Runs.

Amazon | BN

Michelle is giving away the following prizes at the end of her tour:
GRAND PRIZE:    $25 Amazon Giftcard
RUNNERS-UP:  THREE (3) runners-up will each receive an eBook of SEE HOW SHE RUNS 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author:
Michelle Graves is a self-proclaimed nomad, moving every two to three years with her husband the Army man, her beautiful daughter, and a fat tailless cat named Torri. When she is not writing away trying to purge her mind of yapping characters she can be found entertaining her daughter, attempting to craft (whilst trying not to injure herself with the glue gun), baking yummy treats, or reading. She admits to having a restless spirit and forces her family to go out on adventures whenever possible. They
lovingly play along.

Author Contacts:
Website | Facebook | TwitterGoodreads