Monday, September 21, 2015

Interview: Michelle Johnson

Today I’m excited to welcome Michelle Johnson, author of Oleah Chronicles: Truth, to the blog. You can see the review for the book HERE. And before I get to the interview, check out the synopsis for the book below. **P.S. The ebook is currently $0.99**
Oleah Chronicles: TruthAbout the Book 

Synopsis from Goodreads...

What would you do if everything you thought to be true in your life was a lie? Sixteen-year-old Angel Seriki must face overwhelming truths about her family when she meets Zander Black, a new student to her high school who is smart, charming and devastatingly beautiful. The revelations he uncovers to her about her family's past changes everything, and as her relationship and feelings for Zander deepen, so do the risks involved. She must now accept her fate and face the true reality of who and what she is. Even if that means giving up everything, including being human...

What is your writing process like? Do you have any specific daily goals?

While I first started writing Truth, I never really had a process or goal. I had no intention of actually doing something with my story and would occasionally add to it when I found time. It wasn't until I reunited myself with the story - after putting it on a three year hiatus - that I made the decision to finish it and share with whomever would actually want to read it. I became more diligent then, making an effort to write daily no matter how uninspired I felt for at least an hour. Once I outlined the plot, focusing on a chapter at a time seemed less overwhelming to me and helped to develop a flow that felt natural. Sure, there were countless times I would try to develop a formula for it all, but at the end of the day, you can't force what should come organically. Some days I can write pages, other days it's only a couple paragraphs that I can get through, and I'm ok with that.

The characters in Truth are awesome. So, how did you come up with them? Did you have any sources of inspiration?

Thank you so much! I was honestly terrified to release Truth, because of how much of myself the story had in it. I've always had this...obsession if you will, for lions, vampires and greek mythology. So I merged everything together letting my mind run wild in hopes that something beautiful or special could come out of it.

I actually often found myself rereading my old diaries to create the voice I wanted Angel and Julie to have. Growing up in Toronto, my social group was never segregated, my friends are all different ethnicities, and that was an important part I wanted to reflect with Angel and Julie's relationship. When I was a teen, I would talk for hours on the phone with my friends and freak out over guys I had crushes on, and I really wanted my readers to experience how much fun that can be.

If you could take a vacation and go on a writers retreat—anywhere in the world—where would you go and why?

Rome, Italy. I went there on a school trip when I was sixteen and I fell in love with it. You're eyes are constantly absorbing so much beauty with all the architecture and art there is - not to mention the food! I'm an extremely visual person, and frequently seek out different visuals or forms of art to inspire my writing. Being in Rome, I have no doubts I could recharge, and leave feeling more passionate and inspired than ever.

What is your favorite part of the Oleah Chronicles?

If I had to pick only one, I'd say it would be the scene when Angel finally gets all her answers from Zander in the park. The entire exchange between them is so emotional and electric! I was really excited to write it because it gives readers a glimpse into not only Angel's history, but Zander's past and a better understanding of who is he is what made him that way.

What’s next for you?

I'm currently working hard to finish the second book in the Oleah Chronicles series, which will be called Justice. The goal is to release it early next year then move right into the final book in the series after that. Between releases, I really want to look into book tours, that way I can get out and meet my readers! The feedback I've gotten from all of this has ignited a fire in me that I just want to spread everywhere I can! I'm really looking forward to building this story into something great.
And that's it. I hope you enjoyed the interview, and don't forget to check out Oleah Chronicles: Truth. Happy reading!
About the Author...

Throughout my childhood I was always told I had a very creative imagination. I was drawn to stories of mythical creatures and all things that would usually give my peers the heebie geebies. Shows like Tales from the Crypt Keeper and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were among some of my favourites. I developed a strong passion for design and illustration, drawing the ideas that arose in my head and finding great excitement in bringing them to life. This led me to pursue a career in graphic design and marketing so that I could always use my creativity to the fullest. I have always loved reading and the way a compelling story would allow my mind to absorb its detailed imagery. I began to use writing as a tool to bring my creative thoughts to fruition one day, which has brought me to this moment. I'm a romantic at heart and a sucker for stories about true love which is reflected in my writing and helped bring the Oleah Chronicles to life. I hope you enjoy my first book and through it you experience the eccentric vision that began in my mind so long ago.

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