Crystal: Please tell us about your latest book.
Alicia: My latest book will be released later this month. It is a Young Adult Fantasy entitled Child of the Sacred Earth. It is the second book in a series based on the fairy tales as told by the Brother's Grimm. The first book was my spin on Little Red Hood, and there is also a prequel based on the story of Rapunzel. This one is a fun twist on the story of Rose Red. That story is one of the lesser known tales. Most people hear Rose Red and think Sleeping Beauty, but that is not the case. Rose Red is actually sister to Snow White (the Grimm Brothers wrote about two different characters named Snow White). The main character, Jocylene, is just a 20 year old girl struggling to make her way through college and help raise her foster siblings. Her whole life is changed when she learns the truth about where she really comes from--a fantasy kingdom situated in a parallel universe. What follows is an adventure filled with action and romance as Jocylene comes to terms with her past as well as her future, and has her heart strings tugged on by TWO very loveable men.
Crystal: How do we find out about you and your books?
Alicia: You can visit me at any of these sites. I love interacting with readers!
Crystal: When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
Alicia: I've been writing since I was 12 years old. Reading and storytelling have always been a part of who I am. I was writing novels all through my school years as well as poetry and penning articles for my high school and college newspapers. I didn't submit my first book until a little over a year ago, but being a published author has always been a dream of mine.
Crystal: What is your writing routine once you start a book?
Alicia: Aside from writing, I am also a busy stay-at-home mom and wife. So, there really isn't room for me to have a routine! I have to snag time to write and work when my home life permits. I find it easier to write late at night when my family is asleep, or during my kids' nap times. Sometimes if my kids are in a good enough mood I can work while they're playing on their own. No two days are the same in my house.
Crystal: What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
Alicia: I read, of course. I also LOVE to shop, I find a new pair of shoes to be the best kind of therapy. I also cook and bake and work in my little flower patch.
Crystal: What truly motivates you in general? In your writing?
Alicia: My mind is constantly generating new ideas that hit me randomly throughout the day. I have so many stories in me that I don't think I could ever stop writing. I am motivated to finish whatever I'm working on because I know at the end of that, my next book is waiting to be born.
Crystal: Where do your ideas come from?
Alicia: I find inspiration in many ways. Sometimes other books inspire me, or movies. I love mythology and history, and draw a lot of ideas from those places as well. Sometimes something as simple as a conversation will spark an idea that develops over time. There's really no one place I go to get inspired and I've found that by being open minded, I am constantly running into new and innovative things.
Crystal: Do you feel humour is important in __put your genre here____ and why?
Alicia: Humor is important in any genre, I think. No one likes a writer who takes themselves too seriously. On the flip side of that, I think it's important not to try too hard to be funny. I think a person's sense of humor can find itself naturally into their work if they aren't trying to stifle it by being too serious. A touch of humor can be appropriate in pretty much any work, so long as it fits the moment and the tone.
Crystal: Would you like to write a different genre than you do now, or sub-genre?
Alicia: I am actually working on a series of children's books for little girls right now. One of the places I find inspiration is through my children. My daughter has inspired a series I'm really excited about unveiling to the world next year.
Crystal: Please tell us about yourself (family, hobbies, education, etc.)
Alicia: I am a military wife and mom of two (soon to be three). I love books, music, and good movies. I am always trying new things in the kitchen because taking the first bite of a new dish excites me. I also dabble in jewelry making and by the end of the year I hope to have started learning how to sew. I'm very sensitive so it's easy to make me cry, and I have a huge crush on Robert Downey Junior.
Fill in the blank favorites!
Alicia: Cake. Any kind of cake!
Alicia: Fall. I love the time of year leading up to the holidays. I also love the smells of pumpkins and cinnamon.
Crystal: Type of hero/heroine?
Alicia: I definitely love the gruff sort of hero that's hard to figure out at first. Sometimes he comes off as a jerk, but his heroine knows better. She can see the good in him. I love peeling back his layers and getting to know what's really under the hard exterior.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
Alicia: Wow! For a person who's read a lot of books, that is such a hard question to answer! I don't really have a favorite author overall, though I do have my favorites within certain genres. My favorite book of all time is The Color Purple by Alice Walker.
Crystal: Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
Alicia: I'm very character driven. For me, developing the characters drive the story. It is the only way I know how to write. For me, it's the most important. If your characters are flat, no one will care about the plot or the amazing setting. To me, it's all about that emotional connection between reader and the characters.
Crystal: What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Alicia: Hearing back from a reader who loved your work is the best part. When you get a message, email, or review where someone is just gushing and you know they 'get it' ... that's the part that makes me happy.
Crystal: Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Alicia: Never give up. This business is a hard one to make a way in. It's full of rejection and hardships and its got it's high and lows. But, the satisfaction of reaching people with your work never goes away and is worth the struggle.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/daughter-of-the-red-dawn-alicia-michaels/1113068936?ean=2940044233584&itm=1&usri=alicia+michaels