What draws you to the paranormal romance genre?
I write in two genres, traditional mysteries and paranormal romance. I always wanted to write mysteries, it’s the genre I read most. I read Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers and I’m still crazy about Elizabeth George, Louise Penny, Kate Atkinson.
But after my daughter married her husband, I’ve been drawn to the paranormal. He’s a big vampire fan and introduced me to Jim Butcher , Kelley Armstrong and Charlaine Harris. I started reading these and was intrigued with the genre, particularly how the authors intertwined vampires and the paranormal with regular people—I call them regulars. This world lets me be absolutely creative with my plots and characters and there’s the romance angle. Who wouldn’t want to fall in love with a more-than-four-hundred-year old man who’s beautiful, worldly, sexy and uber-rich? It’s great fun to write about this world!
What research is required for your books?
The basic research was (and still is) to read books, lots of books, in this genre. I also spend time on line looking for things like “vampire food” and “vampire history”. And because much of my books take place in Europe, I research cities like Kiev and Krakow. I’ve been to Europe several times, so places I’ve seen get worked as well. I have a friend who goes trout fishing in Slovenia (!) every year. He’s the only person I’ve ever met who’s spent time in Slovenia and the Carpathians , so I’ve mined him for his pictures, travel tales and experiences.
What's one thing you've learned from your heroine?
Wow, just one?
I think the most important one is to have your heart and your head in balance.
Maxie Gwenoch, the protagonist in the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, is a hard-driving media executive who’s spent years working her way up the career ladder. When she meets one of her co-workers, who’s not only a vampire, but second-in-command of the vampire “family” who employs her, she’s forced to examine her career in light of what her heart tells her. It’s the eternal question women face, balancing her needs with the needs of those she loves. Will she have to give up one to get the other?
Any odd writing habits or quirks?
I don’t know if this is a quirk, but I’m learning to ignore what needs to be done in my house when I’m writing. In the last year, since I’ve had books published, I’ve given myself permission to think of writing as “work”. When I worked full-time outside the house, I couldn’t run home and do the laundry or mop the floors, so when I’m writing, those other chores don’t get done. And the other quirk, like many other writers, is that I can write in my jammies. That makes getting the mail in the afternoon a little iffy!
I always want to know: Plotter or pantser?
Oh, pantser, definitely. I start with page one and write until the end, wherever that is. The people and places I write about live in my head, and they’re always clamoring to get out. That sounds a little more flip than it really is. I write series and each book has a beginning, middle and end in my head. I know the destination, but the roads I take to it can end up with a lot of detours. When I’m writing a scene, sometimes the characters take over and lead me places I wouldn’t have thought up myself.
Quick ... take a look to your right. What’s there?
Bookshelves stuffed with books. Oh, as well as projects that I’ve never finished. A binder of recipes so I don’t have to dump hundreds of slips of paper out of a manila envelop to find my mother’s Chocolate Pixie recipe. Empty picture frames that need to get matched with the drawer of loose photos from the last 25 years. Writing reference books mixed with old calendars, kept because I liked the images. Oooh, maybe TMI? At least I’m not ready for Hoarders. Yet!
Anything new coming up?
I write in the first person, but I’m finishing up two novellas which are back stories for some of the vampire characters in the Kandesky Chronicles. I’m writing these in third person, an exercise because the point of view is 14th to 18th century males. The first of these, Plague: A Love Story, will be published in June.
Any questions for our readers?
Although my characters do have sex, my books are very tame and don’t have erotic or exotic sex scenes. These are paranormal romances but for my characters, the emotions are more important than the sex.
Does this resonate with readers? It seems there are more a more explicit books being written and sold today. Do readers want more sex? I’m thinking about the current best-seller series, 50 Shades of Gray.
Please email me at email@example.com or visit my website, www.micheledrier.com
In the second book of the SNAP Kandesky vampire series, Maxie Gwenoch, media-savvy editor of the multinational celeb gossip magazine SNAP, is pummeled in Paris and kidnapped in Kiev as the Huszars ramp up the race to oust their centuries-old rivals, the Kandeskys.
SNAP’s owners, the Kandesky family of vampires, built the world’s most popular celeb coverage empire but this isn’t just a business take-over. These powerful vampire families lived with an uneasy peace for four centuries until Maxie came in to boost SNAP’s coverage and started making inroads into the Huszar’s traditional hunting territories.
Although Jean-Louis, Maxie’s lover, vampire and second-in-command of the Kandeskys, tries to keep her safe, Maxie is determined to do things her way, a way that may lose her her job, her love and her life.
Buy SNAP: New Talent at http://amzn.to/IhkJtu
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism — as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers – she won awards for producing investigative series.
Her mystery Edited for Death, called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review and a Memorable Book for 2011 on DorothyL, is available in paperback at Amazon and B&N.
Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky vampire chronicles, is available in ebook at Amazon. The first book, SNAP: The World Unfolds, received a 4-star rating from the Paranormal Romance Guild. The second book, SNAP: New Talent, is now published and also available from Amazon
Visit her website: www.micheledrier.com