Welcome to my blog spot- grab a cup of coffee and a good book ;-)
I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Michelle Hillstrom almost from the very beginning of joining Instagram. We were grouped together in a romance author huddle that a mutual friend of ours put together and I’m super glad we found one another. The support of the Instagram writing/reading community has been invaluable.
Once I saw that Michelle wrote paranormal romance, I was super excited to read her work--as I’m a big fan of all things that go bump in the night. I won five of her books as part of a giveaway on Instagram -- Yaaayyy me ;-) -- a few months ago and read the first one of her books in her Kiss series while I was chillin’ at the pool this summer.
Here’s my review of it Goodreads.
After reading this intriguing debut vampire novel of hers, I wanted to ask her what inspired her to write it.
Here’s what she had to say:
Me: Hi Michelle, tell me a little bit about yourself? When did you know you were going to be a writer?
Michelle: Hi, Shanna! Thank you for asking me to do this interview! So, a little about me… I was born and raised in Texas. I’m a Marine Corps Veteran, a Fur Mom, and a chronic illness warrior. I began writing as a child and wrote my first novel when I was twelve. It wasn’t very good, but that was when I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I grew up with a love for books thanks to my parents who would read to me every night before bed and would take me to the library frequently to check out books.
Me: That’s awesome and thank you for your service :-) So, what inspired you to write The Kiss Series?
Michelle: The Kiss Series was inspired by a dream that I had one night where I saw a girl watching a guy walk down a set of stairs talking to his friends. (The scene in chapter one of The Faithful Kiss.)
The Kiss Series is actually a combination of that idea and an idea that I had of a vampire who was in love with a vampire slayer who was frequently reincarnated. I ended up cutting out the vampire slayer and setting it on a college campus instead of during the Renaissance.
Me: Now, how many books will be in the series?
Michelle: The series will be a total of six, maybe seven books, but at the moment I’ve stepped away from the series to publish two standalone books that were clamoring for me to write them and preventing me from focusing on the series.
Me: Ha ha, right! Which character in your collection is your favorite? Why?
Michelle: In The Kiss Series, I think that Elizabeth is my favorite character. She is so tragic, dark, and has experienced so much trauma. It makes her a very interesting character. Writing her book was the most fun for me because I really got too dig deep into her motivations and her psyche.
Me: She is quite a character just from what I read of her. I’m eager to see her history.
Now, did anyone in real life inspire your characters?
Michelle: There are bits and pieces of different people in some of my characters, but none of the characters were based solely off of one person.
Me: What are you working on now?
Michelle: Currently I am preparing FRIENDZONE, (a New Adult, Jock Romance) for publication while simultaneously writing Courting Death (a Dark, Fantasy Romance).
Me: Ooohh, sounds interesting! Tell us a little about your writing process?
Michelle: I don’t have a very strict formula or process when it comes to writing. I’m mostly just moved to write by my Muse, usually at the most inconvenient times. But, I actually do a very large part of my writing on my cell phone while soaking in bubble baths, or jotting down different scenes on my water-proof notepad while in the shower. Water seems to really help me get the words flowing.
Me: Haha, isn’t that the way it goes…wanting to write at the most inopportune times! Now, what drew you to the paranormal romance genre?
Michelle: “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” started my fascination with vampires. Angel and Spike were my first vampire loves and they inspired me to write a vampire romance story. But I never got around to finishing because life took me on a detour from writing for a few years. It wasn’t until a friend introduced me to the Twilight Series back in 2008 that I was brought out of the dark, uncreative place that I had found myself in and got back to reading and writing and really started to focus on writing my own paranormal romance series.
Me: OMG, I LOVE Buffy and Angel AND the Twilight series. So, who are your favorite authors/books?
Michelle: How can you ask me that??!?! Well… let’s see… I have to give a shout out to Stephenie Meyer since she got me back into reading and writing. Gone with the Wind, Where the Red Fern Grows, Sarah J. Maas, Holly Black, Outlander, Harry Potter, Rebecca, Gillian Flynn, Anne Rice, Victoria Holt, but right now I am really enjoying reading a lot of indie books.
Me: All great ones and likewise! I’ve read so many awesome indie books! Now, what do you personally love about writing?
Michelle: I love just getting lost in a new story that I am writing. Creating characters that people will fall in love with, become invested in, and care about what ends up happening to them. I always say that I’m just a big kid who never outgrew her imagination, but now instead of acting out stories with my Barbies, I write the stories down and create books.
Me: Ha ha, yes! But where’s the fun in growing up? ;-) Now, what are you looking forward to this year?
Michelle: I am looking forward to the release of FRIENDZONE in December!
Me: That's great, it sounds so good. Can't wait for it!
Thank you so much for being my guest tonight, Michelle. It’s been a pleasure.
You can grab Michelle Hillstrom’s Kiss series and all her other books on Amazon here.
Michelle Hillstrom is a New Adult Romance Author. Her work includes “The Kiss Series,” “Insomnia,” and “#MeToo: A Collection of True Story Crimes Against Women.”
Michelle was born and raised in Texas where she began writing short stories at a very young age and wrote a novel at age twelve.
When she isn’t writing, Ms. Hillstrom advocates for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, animal rights, and suicide prevention and mental health. She enjoys cooking, dancing, and reading. She spends as much time as she can with family, friends, and her two Labradors.
Ms. Hillstrom was honored to serve her country in the Marine Corps Reserves before being medically discharged.
Michelle Hillstrom continues to reside and write in her Texas Hometown.
Shanna Swenson, author of the Abundance series
Shanna enjoys a good book that thrills, chills, and warms her heart... and supporting the spooky bitches of Lubbock too :-D