WEDNESDAY 03rd OCTOBER 2012
Today I have the pleasure of interviewing fellow North Easterner Michelle Betham. Her novel ‘No Matter What’ is FREE to download from amazon from Tues 2nd Oct until Thurs 4th Oct. Get your copy HERE. Now put that kettle on, grab that brew and put your feet up….
Michelle Betham is a north-east-born indie author of mainly sexy and edgy – but occasionally humourous – romance. After studying Performing Arts at college she spent many years working as a Media Technician at the University of Sunderland before moving to the Canarian island of Tenerife, where she lived for a couple of years.
She’s now based in County Durham where she lives with her husband and West Highland Terrier and spends most days at her desk making up stories and drinking tea. She loves rock music and medical dramas, has a strange obsession with darts, and a twenty year crush on Keanu Reeves. She reads anything from horror to humour, loves watching movies, can’t live without chocolate, and her biggest wish in life is to visit Las Vegas. One day… Oh, and she’s also extremely proud to be a Geordie!
Now get settled to meet the lovely Michelle
Hi Michelle and welcome today, thanks for stopping by.
First of all, congratulations on self-publishing another book this summer, Bon Voyage. What inspired you to write this book?
I love cruise holidays, and I’d always wanted to write a comedy romance set aboard a cruise ship, so I suppose it was my love of cruises that inspired me to write Bon Voyage. I wanted to write a fun story based around some of the fantastic places we’ve visited on our own cruise holidays, and some of the weird and wonderful people we met!
Oh, and I suppose my love of Take That inspired me just a little bit too. They were fantastic inspiration for the fictional boy band in the book!
How did you start writing? Was there a particular book or moment in your life that spurred you on?
I’ve always wanted to write. Right from a very early age it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. I’ve always had a very vivid imagination so making up stories came easy to me, but it took a long time for me to pluck up the courage – and find the time – to put those stories down on paper. I think my 40th birthday was the turning point for me, though. That was when I thought, it’s now or never! That was when I knew it was finally time for me to pursue my dream.
Probably ‘Illusions of Love’, mainly because it was a sequel to ‘No Matter What’, which was my debut novel and a book I suppose I will always hold very dear to my heart. I love the characters in that book because they were the first characters I ever created, and I guess they’ve become very special to me. So I didn’t want to let them down in ‘Illusions of Love’.
How do you organise your writing time?
I only write during the day. I usually start first thing in the morning, take a break for lunch and to walk the dog, and then continue on in the afternoon until about 5pm. I usually spend the mornings catching up with emails/Tweets/Facebook or writing blog posts, then the afternoons are almost always spent working on my latest Work in Progress. I seem to write much better in the afternoons, for some reason!
I never usually write at weekends, although I find it very hard to switch off completely. I’ve always got a notebook and pen at hand wherever I go!
Which Authors have influenced your writing?
I’m a huge fan of Jackie Collins, so I’d say she’s definitely influenced me! I love that kind of sexy escapism she writes, and the larger-than-life characters she creates. I also love Jilly Cooper, so I suppose they’re my two biggest influences. I like to create my own style of sexy escapism, and I hope I’m succeeding!
Where is your best ‘writing space’; the place where you feel comfortably locked away from the world and able to let your creative juices flow?
I’ve turned our spare bedroom into a little office space for myself, and it’s in a corner of this room with my laptop and my iPod that all the ideas start flowing. It’s my own “creative corner”!
Do you have any wise words of advice to pass onto aspiring authors in relation to Self Publishing?
My first piece of advice would be, if you really want to write that book, then do it! But be patient. Nothing happens overnight – in fact, it’s taken me over a year to really see any kind of significant sales, but, if you’re willing to put the work in it can happen. But be prepared to work hard. Don’t forget, you have to do all your own marketing, as well as writing the books. I don’t think I realised just how much work was involved when I first started out on this journey!
Another thing is to make sure you know the audience your books are aimed at, and then try and look for ways to find that audience before the book is published. Stir up interest, set up a blog to post snippets and information about your books; it just might just get you a whole lot of people ready and waiting to buy your book once it’s out there for the world to see.
But, I think one of the most important things I’ve learned over the past year or so, is to write what you feel comfortable writing – not what you think people want to read. Don’t compromise your own style of writing. The people who want to read your books will find you – eventually!
Finally, tell us an interesting fact about yourself that not many people know.
Ooh, now, let me see… Well, it’s not all that interesting, but not many people might know that I’m actually half Greek. My husband says that’s why I seem to have an affinity with smashing plates but I think that’s got more to do with the fact I’m clumsy, rather than my Greek heritage!
Thanks again for your time today Michelle, I have really enjoyed having you here.
You can follow Michelle on Twitter
Read her blog here – Michelle Betham Romance Author
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