Author Interview: Brianna Michaels author of Passion - Sins of the Sidhe - Book 3

I'm a part of a wonderful blog tour hosted by the one and only Ama and Bemma. So, while I'm reading great books to review for you, here's some new author's to meet. Let's give Brianna a warm welcome!

What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve had a figure in my head for several years. When I close my eyes, he just sits there on the ground, one knee up, back against a brick wall, and he stares at me. His name: Adam.
It took me so long to figure out what on earth I was to do with him, until one day my husband and I were driving home from dinner and I just blurted out, “I want to write a book!” He looked at me like I had six heads and said, “Okay.” I went home that night and started writing. Adam was pleased.

How do you develop your plots and characters? 
My characters come to me in a rush. I literally just close my eyes and take it all in. Within minutes, I know all about them – their mannerisms, the way they talk, their history, favorite foods, where they live, what they fear – they tell me everything.

As for the plots… well, fortunately, they aren’t too difficult to figure out. My characters are so strong willed, they come at me with their problems or desires and we sit together and try to figure out how to make it all come together. It’s a team effort.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are several messages in each of my books – whether it is heartfelt, a wee bit of advice that I’ve learned the hard way in life, or food for thought. But there is one recurring theme in each book I write: Everything. Happens. For. A. Reason.

My stories are woven together intricately. There is a reason my characters are the way they are and why things happens they way they do. The good, bad and the ugly all have a purpose. You can’t take anything for granted in my books, just like you shouldn’t take anything for granted in life.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have to pick JUST ONE?! So unfair. I can’t do that. Instead, I’ll say that I love the fact that one of my favorite authors brings you into a place that feels like home and the brothers feel like part of your family. So many readers connect with her over-the-top men and their “shellans” and I find myself thinking, “What-the-what-what?” when I have to admit to myself that they don’t really exist. And yeah, I’ve geeked out plenty of times with her books – I even made Rehv’s roast beef before (followed his instructions to the T) and I smile at a bag tootsie pops. (Any guesses who I’m talking about?)

Who designed the covers?
My husband! He’s a genius in how he takes the fragmented thoughts from my head and, in no time at all, he presents me with the very vision I’ve conjured up. I swear the man is a mind reader. And a Wizard.

A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?
Well, take this as you will, but villains and I get along like peanut butter and jelly. I think more like a bad guy most days (*does the evil laugh*) and I’m good at causing trouble; it’s a talent that has taken years of practice. The hard part is when my thoughts go wayyyyy beyond the average bad guy ideas and I start to freak myself out. Then, in my head, I think to the villain, “Geez-oh-wiz, dude! That’s crazy stuff right there, you sure you want to do that?” For which the answer is always “Yes.”

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
In PASSION, my favorite part to write was the first kiss. I know, I know, I’m a sap like that. But in all fairness, I had to write it carefully because of the nature of the two people involved. It was precious… and steamy… and… well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out more.

What was the hardest part of writing this book? 
There was a lot of pressure riding on this book. Ruark is complicated, stubborn, and always afraid of what he might do to those around him. Ruark’s past isn’t pretty so it was hard to write about some of the things he’s been through. Because his story was a devastating one, it made his journey and final destination phenomenal to me. He deserved the best I could give him. Here’s hoping I accomplished that.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Um, all of it! Watching Ruark’s story unfold was a thing of beauty. I think a lot of people could learn from him. (I won’t say more because it spoils wayyyyy too much!)
PASSION was in the making from day one of this series, and I always knew it would be the third book, so it was really hard to not jump the gun with certain parts. I’m not the best with having patience - even with myself.  Thankfully, Ruark isn’t like that. He didn’t say a word to me while I wrote Shatter and Shine (books 1 and 2). Nope, not my silent and deadly man of the hour. Instead, he just waited in the shadows for me to get to him. When it was all said and done, and PASSION was finally finished, he simply smiled and said, “Thank ye, Bri.”

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
My main goal is to have the readers feel like they are part of the story, too. I always want you swept up in the moments – both the good and the bad. I want you to FEEL, not just read. When someone’s upset, I want your cheeks to burn. When something romantic happens, I want your heart to skip a beat. When something dangerous is about to go down, I want you to look around for a weapon within reach.

I’ve had several folks tell me they felt as if they were actually in the scene while reading certain chapters and how nervous they got or that they screamed at their e-readers. One woman told me that when she finished reading my first book, she went and made the soup I’d mentioned in one of the chapters because she developed a craving for it.

Total. Awesomeness.

Another big goal I had with PASSION was to assign some of my characters a position on the playing board. Their roles couldn’t just be given to them. Hell no. They had to earn it. Ruark is an incredibly special person whose story needed to be crafted carefully in order for him to reach his true destiny. He couldn’t reach it alone. The same goes for a few of the other characters, too. I think I achieved that with this story and I hope my readers will agree.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
Dark with a bit of humor. I embrace my dark side with passion (pun intended), so the “darkness” is always present in my stories; but I’m too much of a goofball to not have some funny things come through in my writing. My favorite part in any book is when you get to that heavy, heated moment where everything is about to go sideways and all of a sudden someone pipes up and says something hilarious and totally off the wall and it makes you laugh out loud. Maturity is overrated sometimes, ya know?

What are some day jobs that you have held?  If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I was an event planner for a long time. My Fae love a good party and a huge spread of food. Catering and party planning took care of those scenes and also added an extra bump in personality traits for a few characters.

Now-a-days, I teach art classes for children ages 4-10 with a friend of mine. We tell our students that there are NO MISTAKES IN ART! It’s your own creation. Not everyone will like it and that’s okay - as long as you love it, that’s the most important part!

That, my friends, is something I say to myself on a daily basis. What I write might not be everyone’s cup of tea. That’s okay. I love it. I feel great after I’ve written it. Of course I feel scared to death of the rejection and ridicule we all face as authors, but that just comes with the writing package. At the end of the day, I still smile at the words I’ve written and I cross my fingers and toes that I’m not the only one that likes it. But success, for me, is when happiness shines brightly in my life. My stories are my creation. It’s my art. And it’s super bright and shiny.

How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
By not poo-pooing an idea – no matter how harebrained it might be. Crazy ideas pop up all the time and people rarely jump on them because they’re afraid of failure.

Oh, by the way, did I mention my husband and I raise Tilapia in our garage, too? Yup, the fish. I’m serious. That was one of my husband’s ideas and I supported it no matter how cockamamie I thought it was at first. Good thing, too, because it’s turned into a helluva successful side venture for us. 

Whoda thunk it?

That’s what I mean by not poo-pooing the crazy ideas.
So when I said I wanted to write a book, my husband said “okay” and supported me. When my first book was complete, he was my marketing bull: head down, horns up, target in front of him. That target? Get my story out there! He posted it on so many websites and forums; I couldn’t keep track of them all. He busted his butt to help me share my story with the masses. For that, I will be forever grateful.

And now, it’s book by book, my friends. I plan to climb that ladder of success one chapter at a time.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for giving my books a chance. I’m just one teeny, tiny fish in the big book ocean, so my readers are special to me. Come to the bright side of the dark side, my friends. It doesn’t matter if I know you personally or not, I want to bring you into my world of chaos, battles and mad love. My door is always open and you are always welcome here.

Wow, I love her! Don't you? How about a snippet about her book?

Ruark may no longer be trapped in a cage and left in darkness, but he is far from being free - the bones in his very own body have become his new prison. Wrath pumps in his veins, and as the terrors of his past haunt him as much as the beast that resides within, the Druid struggles to find peace. He battles his own anguish, yet also feels an undeniable, metaphysical pull towards Rowan, his brother’s wife, which is an attraction that only spells further disaster. All seems lost, but when Ashlyn, a smart and beautiful Sidhe, sees her chance to redeem the man, she takes it and tries to show Ruark that he isn’t the monster he fears himself to be - but that doesn’t mean the beast inside him agrees. Will love be enough to calm the furious storm and save Ruark from an existence of rage and pain, or is he doomed to forever be the destructive monster he fears will threaten the existence of everyone around him?
You know you want to stalk (I mean follow) Brianna, and get her book; so here is some information so you can do that.

OK, do me a favor, you don't want to miss out on this giveaway! Head on over for some great prizes (I've entered too, you never know!) And check out Ama & Bemma's post here to see all the other wonderful people on the blog tour and more authors than you can shake a stick at.

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The Blog Hosts

Arvening (Pinni)-www.arvenig.it/blog/
Ama et Bemma-amabemma.blogspot.com (tour organizer)

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