[INTERVIEW] Michelle Maddox/Rowen

(Author photo from here.)

Meet Michelle Maddox, author of futuristic novel Countdown (Dorchester: 29th July 2008). Let’s learn…

Countdown
Kira Jordan wakes up in a pitch-black room, handcuffed to a metal wall. She has 60 seconds to figure out how to escape. Thus begins a vicious game where to lose is to die. The stranger she’s been partnered with β€” her only ally in this nightmare β€” is a convicted murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And worse yet, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him? No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the COUNTDOWN.

Tez Miller: You are the third consecutive Canadian author I’ve interviewed. What is about you Canadians that makes me like you? πŸ˜‰
It’s probably our patriotic love of back bacon and hockey.

Hell yeah, I love bacon… I’m convinced that Canada is my spiritual home. Is there anywhere in the True North in which it doesn’t snow?
I don’t think Vancouver gets much snow, but they get a lot of rain. And we only get snow part of the year – that’s the part of the year that sucks. There’s a joke that in the Toronto area, which is where I’m from, we have two seasons: Winter and Construction.

Do you have a spiritual home? (You shouldn’t, because Canada’s freaking ace, dude!)
Canada’s great. If I had a spiritual home…I’ve always dreamed of living on the beach in Santa Barbara. Well, not on the beach but in a really great beach house. I love being by water and I love the ocean even though the closest body of water I have is Lake Ontario. I pick Santa Barbara because I used to really love the soap opera of the same name.

Being Canadian has some disadvantages in the publishing industry: you may not be able to afford all the conferences or trips to meet your agent and editor, and such. How do you cope with these? And what are the advantages to being based in Canada in an American publishing world?
The advantage of being Canadian used to be that the American dollar was worth a lot more, so any advances or royalties would automatically be worth 20-30% more. Unfortunately ever since I started making money from US sources the dollar is at par so I whine about that a great deal. Wah. On the other hand, travel is cheaper because of the dollar. Most of my correspondence is through email so that hasn’t been a barrier at all. Now all my vacations are writing-related. I’m seeing many parts of the US that I never would normally have visited, and it’s a tax write-off!

Tax write-offs, woot! Okay, enough with the Canadian talk…for now πŸ˜‰ You also write under the name Michelle Rowen. What are the pros and cons of your separate writing identities?
The pros are that I can take things much darker and sexier than I have with my Rowen books without shocking my current readers. Not that I’ve done anything too shocking, but when you’re switching from a fledgling vampire who is having a hard time with her love life, to a street thief who is fighting for her very survival, it might be a tad confusing. There aren’t really any cons other than the fact I have to maintain two websites πŸ™‚

Your Maddox work seems more up my alley. Does that bother you, or are you just pleased that I’m interested in any of your fiction? πŸ˜‰
I don’t know…should it bother me? πŸ™‚ My Maddox work will be harder-edged speculative and thriller-type fiction. If that’s what you like as opposed to light, humorous paranormal romance, then it’s great that I have something to offer you. However, all of my stories come from the same imagination so there are crossover elements – some humour makes its way into my thrillers, and some suspense elements find their way into my paranormals. I enjoy writing both sides of my personality and would ideally hope that if a reader likes one name, they might give the other a shot.

Judging from your blog, you seem to be a serial bridesmaid. What makes everyone choose you – looking fabulous in formalwear, making great speeches, etc? And is there any best way to inform a bride when her choice of gown for her maids is a dodgy colour or not a good cut?
I’ve been maid of honour three times and a bridesmaid once. So I wouldn’t exactly say that’s excessive πŸ˜‰ I don’t do public speaking, so that’s out. I’m ridiculously tongue-tied when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd. I guess a few of my close friends and my sister have recently gotten married, that’s the only reason I’ve been in a lot of weddings lately. And
I am known for my honesty – sometimes to a fault. If I hate the bridesmaid dress colour I will say so. Perhaps sometimes I should keep my mouth shut. LOL

You live with two beautiful kitties. Have you ever presented them with your books, and if so, did the cats approve? (Felines tend to be harsh critics, and can be almost impossible to impress sometimes.)
Spike, my older black cat enjoys MaryJanice Davidson and Charlaine Harris and has tried my books but isn’t that thrilled with them, although he tells me that they’re “okay”. Sammy, my youngest, only reads magazines or shorter fiction.

Do you write in silence, or do you need some kind of sound, whether it’s music, TV or otherwise?
I need complete silence. I’m very easily distracted. Also, anything shiny will take my focus off my work. But when I get into the writing and get into the “zone” a train two feet away probably couldn’t distract me.

Are you an outliner or seat-of-the-pants writer?
I outline and do a great deal of pre-writing before I begin a new book. I’ve tried to “pants” a book and ended up with one bit fat mess. Having an outline, even if it’s very vague, is like a security blanket I can cling to and suck on if things get difficult – and they always do.

And it’s particularly great when you sell on proposal. What published works of yours (particularly Michelle Maddox’s) can we look forward to in the future (near and/or far)?
I’m working on a follow-up proposal to Countdown right now. Thriller ideas don’t come to me as readily as paranormal ones, so I need to be patient and coax them out of hiding. The one I’m thinking about involves a cyborg and a lot of running for the heroine’s life. And no, it actually isn’t inspired by the Terminator πŸ™‚ Well, maybe kinda. I do intend on doing many more books under that name if I have the chance. Over in Michelle Rowen’s neck of the woods, I’m finishing up the fifth and final book in the Immortality Bites vampire series, working on my first romance (a light paranormal…no way!) for Harlequin Blaze, and I have another deal for more light paranormal romance that is just being finalised now. So I’m very busy!

Aha, that last one must be the “big news” I’ve been hearing about – nifty πŸ™‚ In which foreign countries/languages would you most like to be published?
All of them! LOL! I will be published in German next year, but other that that I think it would be cool to be translated into Chinese or Russian. French would also be great since I know a little (very little) of that language.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

Relevant Links
http://www.michellemaddox.com/
http://www.michellerowen.com/
http://www.michellerowen.com/blog/
http://www.myspace.com/michellerowen
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michellerowen_newsletter/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Michelle_Rowen/
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=618701780

You can purchase Countdown online from: Amazon, Amazon CA & Amazon UK.

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One response to “[INTERVIEW] Michelle Maddox/Rowen

  1. Great interview, you two!

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