Today I'm pleased to welcome author T. Michelle Nelson to the blog to talk a little bit about her novel, The Life and Death of Lily Drake and being a writer.
What was the plot of your very first piece of unpublished fiction you wrote?
It was a story that started out as almost a biographical account of how my husband and I met. Then I got bored and decided to make him a serial killer. The original story was exactly how we met, so when my friends read it they kept asking me, “Did that really happen?” Not the serial killer part, but some of the events that led up to it. Or maybe they actually think my husband is a psychopath. I hope not!
Do you have any writing rituals or routines?
I make a stiff cup of coffee, close the doors and make sure I have paper, pens, the laptop charger and everything I will need.
Writers tend to have a pretty active imagination for obvious reasons, if you had to describe what the inside of your head was like what would you tell us?
I would tell you it’s mostly dark and quiet, a maze of dim tunnels much like you’d find in a haunted house. Then on a rare occasion there’s an explosion of light. That’s when I come up with the idea for a great story… or remember what I forgot to put on the grocery list.
Was Life and Death of Lily Drake the original title of your book or was it changed during the process of publication?
Oh no! I had gone through a ton of really bad titles. In fact, some were so bad even if you tortured me I’d never tell. It would embarrass me to even speak of them.
As you were writing Lily Drake, was there a particular scene or character that surprised you, like doing something you didn’t expect or a scene taking you somewhere you hadn’t planned it to go?
At least seventy-five percent of the novel was written on the fly, so I was constantly surprised. There are a few scenes I was downright shocked by after I wrote them. Initially there wasn’t supposed to be a love triangle, it just happened.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have some great friends from my volleyball league I spend time with, just hanging out, going out to dinner, etc. I also love to go canoeing and spending time with my teenage son and husband.
Read any good books recently?
Tons. Somehow I just recently got turned on to Robert McCammon. He is brilliant. Also, I’m really excited to read this book I just ordered called Blood Born by Jamie Manning.
Who are your five favorite paranormal authors and why?
That’s a tough one. Top honors has to go out to J.R. Ward. Love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and definitely Sherrilyn Kenyon. I always liked her Dark-Hunter series, but the spin-off YA she is doing now, The Chronicles of Nick are just brilliant. My son is a huge fan of these, and they are wonderfully well-written. As for the other three, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris and I’d be remiss not to mention Christine Feehan.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions! More information on T. Michelle Nelson can be found below:
When T. Michelle Nelson was a little girl she told people she was going to be a skeleton when she grew up. Most people assumed she confused the question with "What do you want to be for Halloween?" She doesn't remember, but thinks it's debatable either way. With her love of all things monster and horror, it's possible she actually did want to grow up to be a skeleton. Years later, little has changed. T. Michelle still loves her monsters, but now she writes about them.
Originally from Western Kentucky, T. Michelle is a graduate of Murray State University. She now resides in picturesque Mount Vernon, Ohio, which is also the setting of her novel, The Life and Death of Lily Drake. When she isn't vicariously living through her characters, T. Michelle Nelson is a not-so-mild-mannered mother, semi-decent baker and lousy volleyball player.