Thursday, 26 December 2013

An Interview with Michelle Pickett + giveaway (closed)

Today Michelle Pickett visits my blog for an interview.
I love PODs, her debut YA novel. It's one of the best Dystopian books I read this year, and I'm already looking forward to the sequel.

Welcome to Pearls Cast Before A McPig, Michelle.
Could you tell a bit about yourself for those people who don’t know you yet?

Hi, Thank you so much for having me today! There really isn’t a lot to tell about me. Seriously, my bio is boring. I fall asleep reading it. I’m wife and a mom of three girls and a boy. I can’t remember a time I haven’t loved to read and I think my love of writing stems from my love of reading.

Monster Khaos (it’s the one with orange juice so I can pretend I’m being healthy) is my coffee of choice and my day doesn’t start until I’ve downed one of those puppies. A Red Bull will do if I don’t have a Khaos. I love Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and eat way too many while I write. I hate to cook, but love to watch cooking shows so I can pretend I’m a great chef. (Plus, I’m going to marry Gordon Ramsay. He just doesn’t know it, and neither does my husband. So, let’s keep this between us.) I live in Texas, but I have an absurd obsession with hoodies and I can’t write without one. Totally ridiculous, I know. But I strive daily to be abnormal. Being normal takes too much work and is boring. Having a few quirks is a lot more fun.

Oh, and random fact number...whatever...I have a degree in accounting. Why? I had to choose a major and it was first on the list. And when I started my classes I found out I rocked it, so it stuck. Too bad they don’t let me make-up stuff. Creativity in accounting is frowned, in jail type of frowned on. Go figure.

I’m an unabashed romantic and love happy endings that give me butterflies for days after I’ve finished reading a book.

Could you tell a bit about your books?

I’m a young adult author. I write different genres in the young adult category. I tend to follow the stories in my head rather than what’s trending.

My debut young adult novel, “PODs,” hit the Amazon Bestsellers list. It’s a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, romance. The sequel “The Infected” will release in November 2014.

My next project that will release March 11, 2014 is the first book in a paranormal trilogy, “Milayna.” If you like kick-butt heroines, swoony heros, a little action, a little romance, a little betrayal, then Milayna might be a good fit for you. The second book in the series, “Milayna’s Angel,” will release September 2014, and the final book in the trilogy, “The Innocent,” will release April 2015.

My current work-in-progress is a new adult contemporary and a young adult/new adult dystopian. I’m excited about both projects; it’s hard to focus on just one at a time. I want to work on both simultaneously!

Buy Links for PODs:
Amazon ׀ Barnes&Noble ׀ Books-A-Million ׀ The Book Depository ׀

Pre-Order Links for Milayna:
Amazon ׀ Barnes&Noble ׀ The Book Depository

If you could meet any character in your book, who would it be and why?

I’d actually meet Adela, a character in the dystopian I’m writing now. She is the toughest heroine I’ve written. I find myself trying to box her in and her character just busts through the barriers I try to impose on her. She’s tough, but she’s a sweet and kind person who’s seen and been through a lot of hurt in her short life. I think when this book finds a publisher and hits stands, readers will fall in love with her as much as I have.

Of the books I’ve had/going to have published I think I’d like to meet Milayna the most. She has an unusual view of people. She can view things that are going to occur in their lives that may have a negative impact on them and/or their family. She is gifted with the ability to change how the event plays out and, therefore, protect the person. I think this would be a very humbling thing to be able to do, but I can see how it could be a burden, as well.

Where can you be found when you’re not at your desk writing?

I am a HUGE family person. So if I’m not writing I am where ever my family is.

My son started playing football this year (GO BULLDOGS!) so I’m a football mom. I’m in the stands yelling and cheering for the kids. It’s something new for our family and we’re having a lot of fun going to the games and playing ball at home. Even the dog plays.

My family will tell you that I torture them constantly with my camera. If my fingers aren’t on the keyboard, they’re on the shutter release button on my camera. They exaggerate a little, but I do like to chase them around with the camera, mainly because it irritates them. (ha-ha)

What did you do to celebrate the release of your first book?

LOL! Oh, well, it was my son’s 12th birthday so I had a house full of 12 year-old boys staying for a sleepover and a trip to incredible pizza (a pizza/arcade restaurant) the next day. My book debut didn’t get a whole lot of attention, but we did go out to dinner a couple days later.

But when my birthday rolled around, my husband made up for not having a big debut party. We had a big celebration at a seafood restaurant and we all went to the mall to see my book on the store shelves for the first time. And of course we bought one to have as a keepsake.

What authors have been an influence to you? And have you read any books lately that you want to share with us or have you been too busy with writing to read?

Wilson Rawls was the first author to really touch me. I mean, his book, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” was the first book that actually took me to a place outside myself where I felt as though I was with the characters, feeling what they felt. That book made me want to be an author. Another author who is someone I strive to emulate is Rebecca Ryman. I think she writes phenomenal characters. My favorite book of hers (and maybe all time) is “Olivia and Jai.” Jai is a character that just grabbed me from the first page he was introduced until the last page of the book. He was flawed, hurt, confused, vengeful, and just a jumbled mixture of raw emotion…just like people are. He isn’t the most likeable guy, but the way the author has written him is just fantastic.

I love Meradeth Houston’s Sary Series: Colors Like Memories and Chemistry of Fate. I think they are wonderfully written. I am SO lucky to be a beta reader and I got to read the third book in the series and it’s superb. She has a way of weaving words together that make them just sing. And she is the master of phenomenal first sentences. I mean, who doesn’t want to read a book when this is the first sentence:

“I greeted his tombstone the way I always did— with a swift kick.”

Great start, huh?

What will you be doing on New Year’s Eve?

I have three kids at home. I’ll probably be having, chaperoning, or helping in someway with a new year’s party for one of them. If I’m lucky I’ll get to end the year with a little writing, too. I think it’s good luck to end the year doing things you love.

So whatever I’m doing you can be certain it will involve my family in one way or another.

What are you looking forward to in 2014?

I’m looking forward to the release of the first books in the Milayna Trilogy. I hope readers who liked PODs (and even if they didn’t) will give me a chance in another genre. Sometimes readers think of an author writing just one genre. I like to write across genres. It keeps things interesting for me, and for my readers, too, I hope.

I’m also really looking forward to the release of the PODs sequel. I’m editing it now and the more I work on it, the more excited I get.

I’m hoping there’ll be more book publishing news to announce at some point during the year, but even if there isn’t, that’s okay. I love writing and plan to keep at it for a while.

Thank you so much for hosting me today. I’ve had so much fun answering your questions. I absolutely love to hear from readers, bloggers and other authors. Find me here:

Thank you again and happy reading everyone!
~Michelle :-)

Thanks for dropping by!


About PODs:

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.

Read my review here



Want a chance to win a copy of PODs?
- Leave a comment for Michelle
- Leave a way for me to contact you
- Do so before January 5th 2014

Open to to everyone who's legally allowed to enter this giveaway AND lives somewhere the bookdepository ships to.

A winner will be picked at random on January 5th or soon after.

The winner is Barbara E.


Blodeuedd said...

Ohhh cool, yes I am in for winning POD. I do love my dystopia. Poor people though

blodeuedd83 twitter

Barbara E. said...

I do so love a great post-apocalyptic, dystopian story, and POD's sounds like a great one. There's always something about the end of the world as we know it and survivors starting over that has interested me ever since I can remember.

Barbara E. said...

Forgot this: Barbed1951 at aol dot com

Aurian said...

Lovely interview, thank you ladies. I actually read Olivia & Jay many years ago, and perhaps it is still somewhere in the attic. It was really good, and I loved the setting.
Not entering.