Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ruling Eden by Michelle Picard

I belong to several writers groups ~ Eastside RWA in Seattle where I got my start, Ozarks Romance Authors in MO where I hope someday to return, WISRWA my online chapter just to keep me grounded in my Midwestern roots, and NECRWA the local New England chapter where I attend regular meetings. Writing is a solitary activity and it helps to spend a little time with others who are also engaged in this cocooned lifestyle.

One of my friends at NEC has a new release from Cresent Moon this month. Please welcome Michelle Picard to my blog. As usual when I have a guest, my words will be in bold and Michelle's will be in
regular type.

Quick questions about your writing, Michelle ~ How long have you been at it?Who inspired you to go for publication? What helped you the most along that path?

I’ve been writing seriously for publication since spring 2005, but had started and stopped a dozen manuscripts since middle school. Actually, in middle school I completed my first fantasy novella, the last time one of my projects reached completion until I typed “The End” on Ruling Eden in winter of 2006. It was my close friend’s mother, Pat, who inspired me to go for publication as I wrote the manuscript. She had been a member of RWA, published several romances in the 80’s and was full of loads of advice about how to use RWA and my local chapter to go after my dream. Now I get to hang out with both my friend and his mom when our writing paths overlap.

As to who helped me most along this path to publication, that’s easy—my fellow writers. Particular kudos go to several critique groups I joined—The Quirky Ladies, Bay State Writers and the on-line critique group of the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal chapter of RWA. Each of these groups offered me something special during these first years. And nothing beats going out to party with The Quirky Ladies. They rock!

Tell us about the paranormal elements of Ruling Eden's special world?

I’ve been an avid fan of urban fantasy and paranormal romance for years. With a few exceptions, there were never concrete explanations for why these story worlds were filled with multiple fantastical creatures and paranormal races. Some explanations of their origins existed, but rarely with definitive answers. I thought, why not create a paranormal/fantasy universe where there’s a good reason for vampires, witches, shapeshifters, demons, angels, dragons and faeries to be populating Earth together. From this was born my creation myth for these races, the group of which I call the Kesayim.

It seems there was this Goddess, Lillith, likely an alien creature from another universe, who created our world as her experiment, fell in love with her first born progeny, human beings, and decided to concoct seven additional magical races to act as humanity’s protectors. These guys are supposed to work together to protect humans, but they are not all happy campers when locked in a room with one another. Creating the tension between them was loads of fun. Plus, I got to put my own twist on each of these paranormal types and justify how their exposure to humanity over millennia led to erroneous mythologies about them developing among human beings. In addition, there’s a wonderfully fun sentient garden featured in the story. Okay, I could go on ad infinitum, so if you want to know the full scoop, I think you’ll have to read my book.

Wow, that's inventive! What will we love most about your hero?

Let me tell you about him. His name is Gabriel and he’s half-angel, half-demon. Specifically Incubus demon. He’s my heroine’s personal guard and is thrown into her life immediately. I love that he’s the quiet, strong, deadly type. I love that he’s sexy beyond belief, but almost annoyingly noble and loyal. I love that he’s struggled his entire life as an outcast from both his peoples because they are absolute enemies and that he’s fought to find a place in a world that doesn’t want him. He’s all things bright and beautiful and all things dark, sexy and naughty at once.

Can you guess that I love heroes full of wonderfully delicious, complex contradictions? I hope you love these same things about him.

Sounds yummy. I especially love guys who are "annoyingly noble!" Readers like to know about writers. Can you tell us something you want your readers to know about your personal life and also where to learn more about you and where to buy your book!

My personal life? Well, I’ll throw out a few facts and you can make of them what you will. I have a wonderfully supportive family who are proud of my writing accomplishments. Truthfully, they were proud of me even before I wrote a book, so that’s nothing new. But my husband and two boys have been particular troopers as I’ve devoted hours to make my dream reality. In addition, I have another professional gig going on as a clinical social worker. Sometimes I marvel at how privileged I am to listen to the true stories, not always so happy, of my clients. No, I don’t use them as story fodder. But hearing about people’s constant struggle to make meaning of their lives definitely inspires me.

And last about my personal life, I LOVE to read. Big surprise there (grin).

To learn more about me and buy my book, there are a few places you can go. A no brainer is to visit my website at www.michellepicard.com. My blog, The Portal Playground, is at www.michellepicardblog.wordpress.com. You can go on-line to my publisher’s website, Crescent Moon Press to buy my book in e-format. It will available as an ebook very soon. In about a month it will be available in print version for order through Amazon or Barnes & Noble. The buy links directly to those sites will also be available on my website and the Crescent Moon site. My group blogsite, The Quirky Ladies, is always a blast to visit. I also hang around Facebook and Goodreads, so please friend me there.

And a random commenter to this blog interview will win a print copy of my book when it’s available in that format. Eden rules, hence RULING EDEN.

Thanks for being here today, Michelle and congrats on your new release.

PS. Be sure to pop by to enter my MERRY CHRISTMAS BALL CONTEST. The drawing for the $100 B&N gift card will be held on December 1st, so be sure to toss your name into the pot!


Anonymous said...

Hi :)
I really enjoyed the post today with Michelle Picard.
Thanks for having her here & thank you Michelle for sharing.
Is Michelle on Twitter?
All the best,

EmilyBryan said...

I don't know if Michelle is on Twitter.

When I first started tweeting, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it. Now I look forward to blogging "haiku-style". With only 140 characters, you have to make every letter count.

Here's my Twitter home http://twitter.com/EmilyBryan.

Penny Watson said...

Hi Michelle and Emily...great interview! The Quirky Ladies are very proud of Michelle's release. This book is a real adventure. Congrats! :)

Michelle Picard said...

Hey RK, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. It was fun answering Emily's questions. It probably helps that I fell in love with my own story universe.

I just started up on Twitter. You can search for the name Michelle Picard, but the url is http://twitter.com/RulingEden

I hope to catch you there. Hey, and if you want a free packet of wildflower seeds sign up for my newsletter. The links on my website at www.michellepicard.com

And I can't forget to wave to Penelope who is my biggest cheerleader. Thank you as always sweetie.

EmilyBryan said...

Here's a live link for your Twitter, Michelle.


Janet Kay Gallagher said...

Lovely interview.
Hope to win the book.
Anyone who gives wildflowers has to be good.
Michelle, Congratulations on your book.
Emily thanks for introducing us to so many great experiences. I have enjoyed everyone you have mentioned, in the short time since I found your site.

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Janet. I love supporting my friends and fellow writers. Glad you've enjoyed them all too!

Rosa said...

Can't wait to read the book! I'm so excited about this story, and i've always loved Michelle's imagination and characters (I've had the priviledge of hearing about her stories starting many years ago :) Since we most definitely have similar taste in books, I know I'm going to love it!

ps, don't enter me into the book drawing - I have to actually buy a copy - or 6 - for myself :)

Barbara Monajem said...

I'm feeling SO technically challenged. I could have SWORN I just posted a comment. I guess not. Duh. Or maybe it's just slow appearing?

Michelle, your story world sounds beautifully complex. Are the plants friendly? Carnivorous?

I joined Twitter a few days ago. So far, I've only twitted twice, but I'll definitely follow you.

Michelle Picard said...

Janet--I hope to be sending you a packet of wildflower seeds soon if I see you around the newsletter (grin).

Rosa--A big wave and thanks for all of your support. You're a very long time fan, if you tweak the defintion.

Barbara--It's hard to categorize whether the plants in the Garden are friendly or not. The sentience is so foreign, there's no classic definition of nice or nasty. I suppose opinionated, mischievious and overwhelming are some of the best descriptors of the Garden. On the whole, though, the Garden wants Rachel, my heroine, to succeed. But it's not above inflicting pain, even on Rachel, to accomplish this. The Garden as character continues to evolve as this series evolves.

And I'll look for you on Twitter as well. I'm new there too.

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoyed the interview very much and would love to win a copy of your book.

seriousreader at live dot com

Patricia Barraclough said...

I like that you "Start at the beginning" and set up your world and its inhabitants. Every writer seems to have their own rules that beings live by. Few have bothered to explain how it all came about or why.
Good luck with your book. I hope your do well with the release.

Hot Ash Romance Novels said...

What a pretty picture, Michelle!

Congrats on your first book~!!!
There's nothing like the feeling of seeing your first book on the shelf, be it virtual or brick and mortar.


Michelle Picard said...

Linda--Thanks for stopping by the interview. It's nice to meet new folks.

Patricia--Yes, explainations meet my need for order, but because there is a stated creation myth doesn't mean there is not room for other mystery around that origin. I've tried for the best of both.

Ashlyn--Thanks for the compliment on the picture and your congratulations about the first book. They are very much appreciated.

Ella Drake said...

Congrats, Michelle.
I can't wait to hold this book and watch you sign it!