About A.B. Michaels:
A native of California, A.B. Michaels holds masters’ degrees in history (UCLA) and broadcasting (San Francisco State University). After working for many years as a promotional writer and editor, she decided it was time to focus on writing the kind of fiction she likes to read. “Life is so darn messy, I just want to make sure some stories end up the way they ought to.”
Her stand-alone novels are part of a multi-genre series, “Sinner’s Grove,” which centers around the family, friends and colleagues of a world-famous artists’ retreat on the northern California coast. The series follows both historical and contemporary tracks. “The Art of Love,” an award-winning historical romance, recounts the story of the retreat’s founders, Gus and Lia Wolff. Their friend, Will Firestone, is the focus of “The Depth of Beauty.” The story continues in modern day with “Sinner’s Grove” and “The Lair,” with more installments to come. The writer and her husband now live in Boise, Idaho. On any given day you might see them on the golf course or bocce court, or walking their four-legged “sons” along the Boise River. More than likely, however, you’ll find Ms. Michaels hard at work on her next Sinner’s Grove adventure.
What inspires you to write?
I love the English language, history, drama and romance – not necessarily in that order. To write my own stories and have others enjoy reading them is just the coolest thing I can imagine. I can’t wait to get to work every day, and feel incredibly lucky to feel that way.
Tell us about your writing process.
I start with “What if” questions and after thinking about it for a while, I write a free-flowing narrative of the story I want to tell. As I get more into the process, I write an outline of chapters and scenes using the writing program called Write Way Pro. The beauty of a program like that is that you can add, delete and shift your story elements around easily. Once I’ve gotten the first draft down and feel good about it, I let it “season” for a bit and then convert it to Word. My editor uses the “Track Changes” feature in Word to point out what needs to be fixed – and there’s always something that needs to be fixed! That process continues until the story is as good as I can get it.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I wouldn’t say I have actual conversations with my characters, but I sure do eavesdrop on theirs a lot! While I’m writing a story they very much seem real to me. I feel a responsibility to do right by them.
What advice would you give other writers?
A lot of people say they want to write, but not too many truly understand the time and attention to detail it takes to finish – especially in the long form of the novel. You’ve got to love the process because it takes dedication over a relatively long period to do your best. If you think of just doing a little bit each day, that helps!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I love being in control of my fate. It always bugged me that a small group of people (publishers) should decide what was good enough for me to read – especially when so much of what was actually published wasn’t all that good! So the new world of publishing is perfect for me: I am responsible for the quality and look of my work, not someone else. I would advise would-be authors to go with what makes them most comfortable, keeping in mind that no matter which route they choose, they’re still in for a lot of hard work (aside from the writing itself).
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back to the way things were, when information was funneled through a select group of people. I imagine that over time, various ways will crop up that help writers reach readers and vice versa. Right now it’s a pretty big ocean and it takes a fairly large vessel to get noticed; that will no doubt continue.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: romantic suspense, historical fiction, historical romance, mystery
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.