I'm very happy to be part of Michele Miller's blog tour for her debut novel NEVER LET YOU FALL (check out the gorgeousness that is her cover above!) Michele was so kind as to let me interview her as part of the tour. Be sure to check out my review that follows as well as enter the tour-wide giveaway at the bottom of the post!
1. How long have you been writing, and what sorts of things have you written or tried to write before NLYF? This includes unfinished stories -- I have an entire drawer filled with mine :)
I love that you have a drawer! I began writing stories in the 7th grade. They were similar to what I knew back then which was pretty much Sweet Valley High type stories. In the 9th grade I did a bunch of poetry and I wrote on the yearbook staff in high school. I also journaled a lot. I have a few pieces of work started on my PC but for the most part Never Let You Fall was my first 'real' attempt at writing a full novel.
2. What is your personal favorite thing about Tyalbrook? Would you live there if you had the chance?
I love the old world style. I've always thought it would be so amazing to live back in simpler times and would totally like to live there. I'm not so sure about having demons and black magic around though.
3. (Hey, nothing wrong with having certain types of demons around) ;)
I found your characters to be very dynamic together. Skye seemed so troubled and almost volatile at times, Xander the obviously more centered but also vulnerable one. What sort of things do you think are necessary for chemistry between two characters in a story?
I think in most cases people who have true chemistry usually have just enough differences about their personalities that they can play off of one another. His weakness is her strength and vice versa. The saying Never Let You Fall can really relate to that feeling of how when you're lacking is something you need I will be there to pick you up. It's what makes two people a true cohesive unit and not just a couple.
4. Speaking of characters, if you could pick just one line/quote from your book that best represents Skye, what would it be? And one that best represents Xander?
Skye: "Are you safe?" Ultimately this question asked at the very beginning of the book is the one thing that Skye has been looking for all of her life. She is someone who wants to be safe, wants to feel safe and then wants to protect her safety and those she loves.
Xander: "Shhh,” he lifted his hand to cover my mouth. “I lost my parents Skye, not my life. You are my life.” Xander makes many many promises and declarations in NLYF but this truly speaks 100% to who he is and what he is about.
5. What was your favorite scene to write and why? Your least favorite?
My favorite scene was probably the one in the Wal-mart parking lot. Xander makes a confession to Skye that totally confuses her and then some sparks fly. It was fun to envision that going down.
The least favorite was anytime I had to make Xander be the jerk. I struggled with that. It isn’t in his nature to hurt Skye but he also knows the 'rules' and what must happen going forward.
6. (Ooh, yeah, I loved Xander from the get-go, and that was a little hard to watch.)
If you could go to dinner with one author who inspired you most, who would that person be?
If I'm going to go to dinner I want it to be with someone I like! I would love to sit with Amy Bartol and eat and chat about her series (The Premonition Series). I will be getting that wish later this month so I am stoked!
As for dead people- Jane Austen, CS Lewis even JRR Tolkien. Lewis and Tolkien because of their brilliant fantasy minds. Austen because so little is truly known about her life except that which the family has shared. I can't help but wonder if she was a hell raiser who wrote romance novels instead of the 'good little Jane' that her family seems to say she is.
7. What is the biggest piece of advice you can give to other writers?
Follow your heart and take your time. I think if you write what you love then it will show regardless of whether it is the current 'hot genre' or not. As for taking your time I mean this in regards to making sure what you are producing is quality. So many people just slap together a book and think they are going to be the next big thing. Chances are it's not going to happen. Stories like El James and Colleen Hoover's are 1 in a million. Even if you do everything "right" and have the perfect story, editing, cover, blog tours, marketing etc…there is still a bigger chance that you won't sell than you will. Have you seen how many books are released each day?
So, take your time. Do it right, love what you do and then put it out there. Not to make a bunch of money but do it because you HAVE to, because it is your life's desire to write. If you do it for that reason you will be happy regardless of what happens.
8. What's the one main message you wanted to portray with NLYF to readers?
I say it in my book blurb. That there is someone there who has always been there. Regardless of what is going on your life there is someone who loves you. It might be someone you don't even know. We are never alone in this world as much as we might think we are. Skye felt abandoned and unloved because you didn't know any better but Xander was always there, even if from afar.
9. (Spoiler alert...) NLYF ends with a pretty sharp cliffhanger, so I know that there is at least a second book on its way. There seems like a lot of story that can be told here. How many books do you envision in total?
Originally I wanted to do a trilogy but I must admit I keep finding myself thinking up new stories and things to add to the world of Tyalbrook. However I promise that book 2 will give many answers- I do NOT like to be strung along and wouldn't want to string my fans along either.
10. If they made a movie out of your life, and Hollywood asked for you to help cast yourself, who would you pick to play you?
Ha! Reese Witherspoon or Jennifer Gardner. They are both my age and moms of 3 kids like me. Reese has already played June Carter Cash so I am sure playing little ol' me would be a breeze. I was a huge Alias fan so I would love to see Jennifer kick butt as me. I guess I will need to add some adventure crime fighting into my life for that to happen though ;)
What is your favorite...
character from NLYF: Xander
music to write by: Spotify Indie station
snack to write by: Red Twizzlers or Cheeze It's
writing ritual: Put on music, get some sweet tea and go
author: Amy Bartol
Orphaned at 7, with no memory of her past or the family she lost, 17 year old Skye Martin is tired of being alone and afraid. After a hard night of partying, Skye wakes up alone in an unfamiliar hotel. All she can remember is the deep voice of her rescuer and his promise: “I am safe.”
Xander has been tasked with watching Skye from afar for the past two years, in order to keep her safe from the demons that hunt her. An easy job - until a pair of red glowing eyes reveal themselves to Skye, and Xander, in a moment of weakness, is forced to break his cover to protect her.
Never good at trusting people, Skye is inexplicably drawn to Xander and the immediate bond she feels for him. However, Xander is filled with secrets and ties to her past that threaten to thrust Skye into a world she could never imagine existed…
As she begins to unravel the truth about who Xander is and the details surrounding her family, she discovers that she might just be the key to saving everything...
And, most importantly, she finds that there has always been someone by her side who would never let her fall…
Never Let You fall is a YA paranormal romance that tells the story of characters Xander and Skye. Orphaned when she was young, Skye starts off lost and without direction. Loyal and strong, Xander is her sworn protector and guardian; he was also a total sweetie and was one of my favorite characters. I loved the concept of the romance in this book: a boy falls in love with someone he shouldn't, a girl who never had anyone who loved her, and thought that Michele portrayed the romance well. The dynamics between the two were sweet and steamy at times, and the tension was nicely heightened as the danger to Skye increased throughout the story. In the latter half of the book, the two journey to Tyalbrook, a world that I thought had a lot of excellent potential. I hope we get to learn more about it and explore the magic of this world in book two, and I am looking forward to revisiting Skye, Xander, and Tyalbrook in the sequel. Oh, and I must know what happens after the end of book one!
My rating: 4 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of a enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter!
Her family, a doting husband and three awesome minions, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Never Let You Fall is Michele’s first novel and she is beyond thrilled to have finally followed up on a dream she has held for over 20 years! God willing there will be many many more books to follow.
Goodreads: Michele G Miller
Facebook: Michele G Miller
Wherein Helen posts about news, book releases, cover reveals, and other writerly happenings from the bookish world.
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