This week, I’m doing a Giveaway! Yes! A book! ‘The Hollow’, by Jessica Verday, just for reading and leaving a comment on this interview. One person will be randomly selected. Please post a comment, and next Friday, a winner will be chosen to recieve the hardcover book. Please enjoy the interview, leave a comment, and check out Anne’s Blog!
An Interview with Author Anne Michaud
This week I am interviewing Anne Michaud. I recently became acquainted with Anne through the OWG writing group. After reading Anne’s blog, ‘Livy Parker’s Journal’, which I found very creative and truly inspiring, I thought it would be interesting to get to know the person behind the fascinating blog. I started reading her Livy story and I truly enjoyed it. It is fresh, funny, interesting, and Livy is a terrific character.
It is my privilege to introduce Anne, ‘Livy Parker’s Journal ( her blog-Livy’s Parker’s Journal), and her writing accomplishments to anyone who reads my blog. I recommend checking out her blog, which I am sure, will amuse you as much as it has entertained me.
Hey Anne! Welcome to Pat’s Writing Blog!
Pat, thank you so much for having me. I’m thrilled you enjoy the blog. I feel very honored. *blush*
I am not sure any of my readers know what you do so maybe you could tell them a little bit about yourself to start.
I’m a writer from a small town south of Montreal, Canada. I have two little ones (that’s a lie, my cats are HUGE) and I’m a chocolate addict (unless there’s caramel around). I confess; I’m now a compulsive blogger and it’s all because of Livy.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
For me, it’s all about LOVE! When it was time to choose the game of Life, I completely fell in love with Tim Burton, David Lynch, and Fellini’s films, so I decided I wanted to do the same; tell stories with images. From college to university, I made films and believed filmmaking was my destiny… until I began my Master’s in screenwriting at the University of London in the UK. Then it hit me: I could write anything I wanted without anyone (i.e. the producer, director of photography, etc) having a say in it. I could be the master of these universes I created and really say what I wanted to – and my heart skipped a beat at that moment. It’s more than love; it’s a passion – which is a writer’s drug, really.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?It can be from anywhere, anyone. Sometimes, I’ll read a book and there’s a great turn of phrase – I’ll borrow it for later. A song can trigger something, and even movies. Even names, people I met on the net or in the street. But mainly – warning: whimsy ahead – my dreams have always provided a great resource for unusual and crazy ideas. Most of my short stories and even a few novels have started from my subconscious – I always have a notepad handy by the bed, my best ideas come right before I fall asleep, too.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Well… I read!! About 5 books a week. I know, I should get out more 😉 I also collect antiques (mostly I save furniture from destruction and bring them back to their original glory) and I craft, but only a little. And only really cute stuff.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
Rebel is my third and by far my favourite. It started out as a script (actually, it was my Master’s project) and after about ten drafts as a screenplay and three as a novel unsuitable for YA, I re-wrote it into a dystopian young adult action thriller and I knew I’d made the right choice. Rebel is The One That Will Be Published, I think. Oh, jinx!
Do you write short stories? How many have you written?
About a hundred, if not more – from flash fiction to novelette, sometimes I cut from my novels’ scenes and characters, or turn chapters into stand-alone fiction. Lately, I’ve been exploring longer pieces, developing characters and their worlds, rather than having a great twist at the end. I LOVE short stories; I think you can tell a lot about a writer through them.
Do you have current work published or will be published? Tell us about this.
For the past year, my short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies (Polygraff magazine and Flesh & Bone from Pill Hill Press to name a couple), and more will appear in both Canadian and American publications in the upcoming year. My main goal is to get Rebel published, and I won’t stop until I hold the book in my hands!
What are your future writing plans? Do you have current projects in the work or are you starting anything new?
Oh Pat, I ALWAYS have new stories brewing in this head of mine. I’ve just started working on the next instalment after Rebel. I write a short story a week and always seek publication for my short fiction, whether it’s online or in print, and that’s a challenge in itself.
What do you think makes a good story?
Identifying with the characters. Surprises that keep your interest. Originality that makes you want to read more. Everything has been said, everything has been done, it’s our job as writers to find a new way to tell it all over again.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A singer! But then, I realised my voice didn’t match my dreams, so I switched to actress and then, I saw how “deer in the headlights” my face looked on camera and decided to be behind it. I’ve always loved to write and analyse people’s behaviour, but when I was younger, I didn’t have much to say. Oh boy, did that ever change!
Who are your favourite authors?Ready? Go! Jane Austen, Neil Gaiman, Scott Westerfeld, Suzanne Collins, George Orwell, Boris Vian, Meg Rosoff, James Morrow, Edgar Allan Poe, Philip Pullman, Gregory Maguire, Martin Millar, Arthur Rimbaud, Anne Brontë, Cassandra Clare, Nick Hornby, Frank Beddor, Terry Pratchett, Tom Rob Smith, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Andrew Collins, Philip K. Dick, Laura Whitcomb, Umberto Eco, Clive Barker, Susanna Clarke, Kage Baker, Laurie Halse Anderson, Markus Zusak, Alan Bradley… I feel like I’m forgetting someone…
Okay, now let us talk about some of your work. Tell us about your novel ‘Rebel’.
What is the genre? Could you give us a general synopsis of the story?
Rebel is the story of Livy Parker – she hates her life, everyone watches her every move on Seattle’s media screens, her famous journalist father Phil Parker wants her to follow in his footsteps, but she wants to do something no one with her status has ever done: join the Army and fight in War V.
Obviously, this is a story for young adults – but older readers might be interested, too. Livy is not some flimsy girl who only thinks about boys: her world is way too serious for that. Facing invasion from every country on the planet, America is not what it once was. And thanks to Livy, there’s a chance it can be saved from going down in flames…
Who is Livy, and what prompted your blog ‘Livy Parker’s Journal’?
Livy is me, really! She’s tall and quite rebellious, never does what she’s told, and has to become quite inventive to cope with her everyday life. Unlike me, though, her mother left when she was a child and her father brought her up by himself, creating this co-dependent parental friendship. Livy is strong and she knows what she wants and does everything to get it – which I hope is like me;)
I was emailing my friend/editor about starting a blog to create interest for Rebel, and I was saying I wanted something different from the usual YA book reviews. Then it hit me: my main character’s journal, as a prequel and background story, depicting her daily struggles as a teenager in a dystopian world. I haven’t looked back since.
Quick Round (one or two word answers)
1. Cats or dogs? Cats
2. Coffee or tea? Tea
3. Movies or books? Books
4. (In a man)Brains or brawn? Both??
5. The Louvre or Disneyland? Both!!!!
6. Beach or Skiing? A snow covered beach
7. Art or History? Art
8. City or Country? Country
Do you have any advice for new or other writers? To write as much as possible and don’t be afraid of feedback. To take what you need from your life as inspiration and forget the ‘write what you know’ motto – use your imagination. To know when to say no (I’m talking about all those publications that ask for submission fees and/or publishing your work for free). And find writer friends – because they know how hard it is, they can support you when it all goes south, and good feedback is the most precious thing in the world.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Good luck I strongly believe it exists in Art. And we all need the stars to line up to get published.
Thank You Anne, for your time and answering all my interview questions today. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know you as a writer, a person, and the lady behind Livy Parker’s Journal. We look forward to reading exciting things about your future writing endeavors.