Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
My name is Michelle Carey. I’m the author of eight books. Four under my name and four under a pen name. I’ve been writing since I was elementary school. At one point in time I wanted to be a screenwriter. I have a MFA in Creative Writing with a specialty in Screenwriting. I switched from writing screenplays to novels because I didn’t feel it was realistic, at the time of my life, to get my screenwriting optioned. I didn’t live in New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles. I consider those the mecca for screenwriting. I decided I would novelize some of my screenplays, in hopes, eventually they would be adapted for screen. My first book, Church Chick, was a screenplay. The manuscript I’m working on currently is the first screenplay I had ever written. I do have quite a few books, I’ve written from scratch and they weren’t screenplays.
What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
I wouldn’t say my books have any real-life stories behind them. Just that I could see these situations and dramas in my mind playing out as if they were real life.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
People. I’m an observer. I like to watch people, so I make up stories about them.
How do you deal with creative block?
I don’t really have creative blocks, I have “tired” blocks. LOL. I’m a mom and I work a full time job. My writing has to be done around my family life and my job. When it’s time for me to write, it takes me a minute or two to gear up my brain because I’m exhausted. Some days, I rest and I don’t get any work done. It bothers me. I would like to publish one novel per year. At the moment, it is taking me at least 18 months to release my next book.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Plot holes. New writers need to ensure they tie up the loose ends of the plot. This also includes the sub-plot with minor characters.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
No tips on titles, but pick a title that resonates with the theme of the book. However, with book covers I always make my name bigger than the title. I also use the same font for my name for each of my covers for branding purposes.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
In the beginning I would get upset. Now, not so much. I know I have talent. I know people like my books. I’m okay with people who don’t like my books too. There are things I like and dislike. In all, I write the stories I’d like to read in my own style of writing.
How has your creation process improved over time?
I’m getting better at writing more freely than trying to catch mistakes like grammar for the first draft.
What were the best, worst and most surprising things you encountered during the entire process of completing your book(s)?
Best is when I complete the first draft. Worst is writing the first draft. Surprising is when I read the first draft and I can’t believe I wrote it.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I write for me. Personal satisfaction. I can’t always write to serve my readers because I can’t please everyone or the wider audience, but I can please me. Hopefully, people will enjoy what I’ve written.
What role do emotions play in creativity?
Never thought about it. I believe writers should put themselves in the mind of their characters. In order for writing to be believable, a writer has write as if it is real despite the fact it isn’t based on any thing or anyone in real life.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Just do it. I doesn’t matter if it’s bad, continue to do it. It will get better. Learn from other writers. Good writers read a lot. Read how other authors construct their books. Read it for enjoyment and then read it as an instruction manual. If necessary, take a course. Learn the basics.
What are your plans for future books?
I have a character universe. I have characters popping up in other books. My books are based in the Washington, DC/Maryland/Northern Virginia area. While, my stories are unique to a main character, there is another character in book who also has a story that needs to be told, independent from that book. Characters are people in my mind.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have three podcasts. Introverted with Michelle Carey. I speak upon what it means to be an INTJ Myers-Briggs personality type. My second podcast is Livin’ Life. I talk about pop culture and current events. The last podcast, Get to Writing by Michelle Carey is to help writers get better with their craft through my personal experiences and useful tips. I am also an avid bowler. I have been bowling for more than 20 years.