Sunday 7 October 2018

Blog Tour: Interview with Michelle Scott Author of Just The Two of Us

I am very excited to be part of the blog tour today for Just The Two of Us by Michelle Scott. I was lucky enough to interview Michelle for the blog today so you can find answers to all of your burning questions about the book and her writing process. But first, here's what you need to know about the book...

Starla wasn’t trying to steal her older sister’s boyfriend. In fact, she was fighting him off when Janice caught the two of them alone in the dark. Unfortunately, love-struck Janice didn’t see it that way and tried to end her life. Although she didn’t succeed, her suicide attempt left her brain damaged, and it became Starla’s responsibility to care for her. Four years later, the sisters’ peaceful lives are interrupted when Nick, a handsome, young attorney, moves in upstairs. Seeing that Janice is attracted to him, Starla keeps herself out of the picture. After all, she hurt her sister before, and she’s not about to do it again. Yet as much as Starla tries to ignore her feelings for Nick, she can’t bury them entirely. Especially not when he seems to be choosing her over her sister.  

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First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I started writing from the time I could hold a pencil!  My first story was about a fairy and an evil farmer who shot off her wings.  My mother hung it on the refrigerator which, I guess, was my first being published.  Kind of.
Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
I think of writing as my second job.  My first job, teaching English at a community college, takes up a few hours a week.  After teaching and on my days off, I write as much as I can. At least two hours a day.  Usually, more like four or five.
Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I love books from every genre, but my favorites are domestic thrillers and horror.  Which may seem odd seeing as I have written a romance. However, it’s the characters who most interest me.  As long as a story has engaging characters, I’ll devour the book.
How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
I don’t base my characters on real people; although, some of my family members insist that I do.  Characters introduce themselves the way anyone introduces him or herself. You start out with general, polite conversation before going in deep.  I love to watch characters reveal themselves.
What was the inspiration behind Just the Two of Us?
I started out by seeing a barn full of antiques and a young woman rummaging through them.  Since I love antiques, too, the image intrigued me. I’ve always loved quaint downtowns and quirky antique stores.  So, really, it was the setting that inspired me. Then Nick came along, and things got interesting. The way Starla and Nick quarreled at first made me want to see them end up together.
What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write in chronological order?
I fly by the seat of my pants!  Although, that can end up with a lot of dead ends.  To avoid that, I’ve started using a ‘beat sheet’ to put some structure on the story.  The beat sheet is simply an Excel spreadsheet that identifies characters and chapters.  Once I get the basics down, I try to formulate a story arc. In the end, I like to think that I combine form and function.
How much of you is reflected in your writing?
I use a lot of my travels in my stories.  My family has traveled all over the United States and Canada, so I like to put those settings into my books.  I also find myself judging my characters based on my own experiences and beliefs. It can be hard to stand back and watch a character make a mistake!
What kind of research did you do before/during writing Just the Two of Us?
For this book, I researched brain injuries since Janice suffers from that.  I read numerous accounts of people who struggled with what she struggles with.
How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
A little, but not too much.  If a review is good, of course it cheers me up.  On the other hand, if it isn’t so good, I try to take it in stride.  Sometimes, bad reviews can teach me something about what I need to do differently in the next book.  I always try to keep my eye on the next book.
Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
Definitely!  I am so blessed to have a supportive husband and children.  My older daughter is one of my biggest fans, and she is always hounding me to write something new.  My friends are wonderful as well. I hope that every writer has as much support as I do.
How do you feel leading up to your publication day?
Honestly?  Relieved. It’s always a good feeling to see all of the hard work come to fruition.  I always feel as proud as a new mother when I see my book cover. I let myself rest for about a day after the book comes out then it’s back to work!
Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I grew up reading Stephen King, and he was the one I credit for teaching me how to write.  I also love Jodi Picault and Elin Hilderbrand. Their stories of family love and tribulation are among my favorites.  As far as domestic thrillers go, I’m a big fan of Ruth Ware.
Finally...what are you working on right now?
I’m really changing directions for my next book.  I’m writing a supernatural thriller that is so new I haven’t even thought of a title yet.  All I know is that a child’s ghost is haunting the main character, Ethan. And that Ethan’s boyfriend David is having commitment issues.  I’m so curious to see what happens next!

Author Bio

Maybe it's because of my Halloween birthday, but I've always been attracted to scary stories. On the other hand, I love romances as well. Once I discovered that these two genres existed side-by-side in urban fantasy novels, I was in heaven! Urban fantasy is like chocolate and peanut butter: a perfect, to-die-for combination that I can never get enough of.

I've been writing since childhood, but earned my bachelor's degree in psychology and my master's in English literature. When I'm not writing, I'm a straight-laced English teacher at a two-year college in Detroit. I've been married to Mr. Right for over twenty-five years. I also have three teenaged children: a boy and two girls, all of whom have threatened to never speak to me again if I turn them into characters and put them into my books.  

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Thanks so much to Michelle for stopping by today and make sure that you check out the other stops on the tour for more awesome content and reviews!

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