Do you listen to music while writing? If so what songs are most played on your IPod?
I always listen to music while I write – so much so I find it hard to write without it.
Before I answer the second part of this question, I have to say, please don’t judge me! I’m a romance author. So, to get the answer, I went onto my iTunes and looked at my ‘Most Played’. And here’s the top ten (eek):
1) The Script: Breakeven
2) Sugababes: Too Lost in You
3) Empire of the Sun: We are the People
4) Take That: Rule the World
5) Fleetwood Mac: Big Love
6) Mummy Calls: Beauty Has Her Way
7) Of Monsters and Men: Little Talks
8) Eric Clapton: Behind the Mask
9) Don Henley: The Boys of Summer
10) One Republic: Apologize
And there you have it! They say confession is good for the soul – looking at that list I realise it is time to confess. I am a sap. A complete and utter sap. Oh well, at least I’m a happy sap!
What group did you hang out with in high school?
I’m English and went to a secondary school, which is the same as high school but the pupils are forced to wear revolting uniforms. I always imagine high school to be exactly as it’s portrayed in the film Grease! With that in mind, I was in the cool group. I was soo cool with my frizzy red hair that I hadn’t realised was actually curly, and my train-track braces… Okay, I’m telling a slight fib there…
Looking back, I can see I wasn’t in any group at school. I think English schools are a lot less cliquey than in the US, or at least they were when I was there. I was lucky in that I had plenty of friends from all different school years and with lots of different interests. My all-time favourite place to hang out though, was in the pottery room – if the pottery teacher liked you, you were welcome to spend break times in there gossiping and trying to make things out of clay. Luckily he liked me!
Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Yes! I think that’s why I love writing for Harlequin Presents and the Indulgence line so much – I love the glamour of travel. If I won the lottery, the first thing I would buy is a round-the-world ticket on a cruise liner, and head off with my hubby and kids. When it was finished we’d then go back and explore in depth all the countries we loved the most on our cruise. Naturally, we would be able to afford to take a top-notch tutor with us so the kids could still pretend to continue with their education. I do know though, that even if I won fifty million pounds, I would still write.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
I think the best thing any aspiring author can do is read everything they can get their hands on. I’ve never read a craft book (other than Stephen King’s On Writing, which isn’t a craft book as such) or taken any writing courses since I left school. The more you read, the more you learn structure and what makes a good book – and really, read the genre that inspires you the most (although don’t limit yourself to just that genre or life will get very boring!). For example, I’ve loved reading Mills & Boon (Harlequin) books since I was a teenager. When I realised around five years ago that these were the books I wanted to write, I went from reading a couple of new releases every month to buying every single Presents I could get my hands on. And I wrote – every spare minute was spent (still is spent) on the laptop, honing my writing.
More than anything though, all aspiring writers need one particular trait – perseverance. It’s a rare author who hasn’t experienced a number of rejections before getting a contract. I had four Harlequin Presents books rejected before I finally received The Call from them.
What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read?
This answer changes all the time! I’m afraid I can’t narrow it down to one (sorry), but my top three, today at least, would be Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Travellers Wife; Stephen King, Lisey’s Story; and Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin (can you believe my husband brought me that for Mother’s Day one year???).
As far as Marco’s concerned, wild child Pippa has ruined his life once and he’ll be damned if he lets her do it again. But it’s hard to reconcile the adolescent he knew with the mature, beautiful woman who stands before him. Soon he's questioning if everything the media is claiming about Pippa is the truth, or if he should trust his heart.
Socialite Pippa Rowantree has always provided excellent fodder for the UK’s gossip rags. After another unfortunate scandal sends the gossips into a feeding frenzy, her shamed family retaliates by forcing her into hiding at old family friend, Marco Capello’s lush Caribbean estate—literally the last place on earth she wants to be.
Michelle's love affair with books began as a baby when, according to her mum, she would throw her teddies out of the cot and cuddle with books instead. This love of all things wordy has never left her. A voracious reader, her tastes cross all genres. Her first experience with romance was as a child devouring copious amount of fairy tales. As her reading tastes evolved, she discovered something special--a book has the capacity to make her heart beat as if falling in love the first time.
When not reading or pretending to do the housework, Michelle loves nothing more than creating worlds of her own featuring handsome heroes and the sparkly, feisty women who refuse to take crap from them. She hopes her books can make her readers’ hearts beat a little faster, too.
Visit Michelle Smart's website
Friday March 29th Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews
Monday April 1st Manga Maniac Cafe
Thursday April 4th Love N Books
Friday April 5th Always YA at Heart
Monday April 8th Reading Between the Wines
Tuesday April 9th Silly Melody BlogSpot
A $30 Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble or Book Depository Gift card of the international winner’s choice at the end of the tour! (April 10th)