Interview with Michele Drier

Please join me in welcoming Michele Drier to my blog today.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book.
1. How did you get started writing?
Years (and years) ago I snagged a job as a staff writer with the San Jose Mercury-News. That was at a time when almost every reporter had an unfinished novel in his (mostly) drawer. I didn’t, but pined for a time when I, too, could say I was writing a novel! Fast forward a few decades and I realized if I was ever gong to, it had to START. So about five years ago a took a manuscript for a mystery and put it (and me) in the hands of a writing coach.
2. What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I’m writing in mystery and paranormal romance. My mystery series centers on Amy Hobbes, a newspaper editor (duh!) who always wonders why something happened. Much of this series is pulled from my experiences as a Metro Editor for dailies. The paranormal romance, the SNAP series, is just pure fun! Again, the protag, Maxie Gwenoch, is in journalism, but now it’s international celebrity gossip. And she works for a multinational conglomerate owned by a family…of vampires. This began because my daughter and son-in-law read paranormal and they kept bugging me to write some!
3. Tell us about your current series.
The SNAP series follows Maxie as she struggles with maintaining her own persona and career against the growing allure of the vampires, particularly Jean-Louis, both a co-worker and second-in-command of the Kandesky family. The second book, which I’m just finishing, is SNAP: New Talent and is set against the growing cash-rich culture of the Russian oligarchs. There’s a third book and I also have two back-story novellas about the Kandeskys planned.
4. What move best describes your life? Why?
Wow, probably the verb “move”. I’ m one of those people who needs change…new towns, new loves, news careers. I get very cranky when I’m stuck in a routine.
5. What inspired your latest book?
My daughter and son-in-law. They said “write about the paranormal”. I said, “I don’t know anything about it.” They said, “Walk into a bookstore and see how much space it takes up.” So I did, and they were right, the whole paranormal/fantasy genre was exploding. I don’t do graphic violence or sex, so a light-hearted take on vampire-regular relations seemed the best way to go.
6. What is your favorite part of writing?
Dreaming up plots, subplots, scenes. Boy, what I wouldn’t give to run into someone like Jean-Louis, vampire or no.
7. What is your least favorite part of writing?
Hah, writing! It’s always hard to find all the time I’d like. Actually, no, my least favorite part is marketing. Once you’ve told this great story, one that makes you laugh or cry even when you know what’s coming, then you have to go out and beg people to buy it. No wonder Van Gogh was mad!
8 What is your next project and when will it be released?
The next project is the second of the SNAP series, SNAP: New Talent, and it will be released this winter, probably the first part of March.
9. What is your typical day like?
On good days, I’m sitting at the computer by about 9 a.m., reading email, checking FaceBook, checking Twitter. I do the absolute minimum of housework to keep the “Hoarders” crew at bay, then I put in about four or five hours of plotting, writing, editing. There are lots of days I also have my granddaughters, so I try to relax and just enjoy it…living in the moment, like they do. My goal is to average 10,000 words a week, but I don’t always make that.
10. How much time do you spend promoting your books? What works best for you?
Because I’m new and unknown, I spend WAY too much time promoting my books. I’m probably spending about three hours every day trying to connect with people. I just called my insurance agent to pay my bill and convinced her to buy SNAP! I still don’t know what works best, but guest blogs and interviews seem to have an impact. I picked up a fan in Australia through an interview.
11. How has your experience with self-publishing been?
I love it! My mystery, Edited for Death, was published by a small press. They were wonderful to work with and I’m thrilled at the way the book turned out, but I have no way of tracking sales or seeing any trends in term of what worked, or didn’t, in marketing.
12. Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
Hmmm…I’ve lived in my head most of my life, probably a mechanism for making things turn out as I want them to, so I’m always re-creating reality. My stories are what I’d like to see…good guys, bad guys, misunderstandings that all get resolved.
13. What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Do it! The catch to self-publishing is to have a manuscript (book, novella, short story) that is the absolute best it can be. Your best writing and copy-editing. The best cover you can afford. The best synopsis and blurb you can write.
14. Do you have critique partners?
I have a group of people (alpha and beta readers) I use (cajole into reading) for the SNAP series. I usually send them 50-75 pages at a time. A couple of them don’t have computers, so I actually print out pages for them…it’s a good way to proofread! I’m a member of Capitol Crimes, a Sisters in Crime chapter, and in the process of setting up a critique group for the mystery series. It’ll be interesting because I haven’t worked with a critique group for years.
15. What is your favorite dessert/food?
Anything chocolate!
16. How likely are people you meet to end up in your next book?
People I’ve met or know populate my stories. They may not always recognize themselves, and I synthesize several characteristics into one character. In my mystery series, the police reporter is a composite of about half-a-dozen reporters I worked with.
17. What is most difficult for you to write? Characters, conflict or emotions? Why?
I think conflict is difficult, probably because I don’t like it in the real world. In reality, I’m a mediator, looking for a middle ground and talking through conflicts. Works well in real life; in a novel, not so much.
18. Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?
Hoo, more like a hike up a hill! I tried for a few years to attract an agent for my mystery and have a sheaf of rejections. It may be that the book isn’t easily defined…it’s not a cozy, certainly not a thriller, not a police procedural, not a psychological study. It’s a traditional mystery, closer to Agatha Christie. I’d about given up when a small press picked it up, and that gave me the impetus to finish SNAP: The World Unfolds and take it down the indie path. I’d like to have the second mystery picked up by an agent or publisher, but if it isn’t, indie beckons!

The links for my book are :  (Amazon)  (B&N)   (Smashwords)

My website:


5 thoughts on “Interview with Michele Drier

  1. I really enjoyed your interview with Michele Drier. I had never heard of her books, but her SNAP series sounds like one I would love and is going on my to buy list. Another thing I wanted to mention was her talking about marketing, and guest posts/interviews. I have only recently discovered the world of blogger talking with authors and guest posts, and I have to say it’s those posts with authors that peak my interest, especially when it comes time to pick which book I want to buy.

    • Linda,
      Well, things always change, but right now I have two more SNAP novels and two back-story novellas planned.
      In the mystery series, five more are plotted out. Enough to keep me busy for a few years, LOL.

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