About Me

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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Michelle M Pillow - ALONG FOR THE RIDE

Welcome to guest blogger, Michelle M Pillow. Michelle writes terrific books and has amazing contests a couple of times of year. Check them out at her website http://www.michellepillow.com/. Those of you who've joined us from my website know that an autographed copy of Michelle's book OPPOSITES ATTRACT will be awarded to one lucky person who posts on the blog from now until midnight Pacific time on September 28.


When sitting down to write a book, one of the first things I do is roll up the characters. Until they have personalities, I can’t write them. Many of what makes them tick isn’t put into the book, but rather to help me get a sense of who they are and how they’ll react to different situations.

The human psyche fascinates me. I love watching people—how they react, how they talk, how they communicate or don’t communicate. Though, I do not have the temperament to be a psychologist, this fascination allows me to better understand my characters. Many times, I’ll have an idea of where I want a book to go, but for the most part I make my characters, set them into the world I’ve build for them and just let them react they way they would react.

Occasionally, I throw hurtles at them, but they are always in control of the story.

In my upcoming release, Along for the Ride (Virgin Books, Oct 16, 2007), I have two opposite personalities—workaholic police detective, Megan Matthews, and laid back artist, Ryan Lucas. Megan thrives on facts and is always in control. She makes decisions and sticks with them. Ryan is the “rolling with the punches” type. He needed to be in order to handle such a strong personality.

Sometimes, it’s a fine balance. If Ryan was too laid back, Megan would walk all over him and never respect him. If he was too strong, they’d never get past the first encounter—even if they were attracted to each other. The joy of writing is to take these two people, who you know are right for each other in every way, and make them see it as well.

Though I write books that are both relationship centered or externally focused, for Virgin Books I tend to go with the relationship focused storylines. In Along for the Ride, I focus heavily on the developing relationship. There are many outside factors—a serial killer’s trial, blackmail—but it’s how those outside elements affect the characters and their developing relationship that I found so fun to write.

So, as a reader, what types of books do you like to read? Those that focus on the relationship? Or those that focus heavily on external elements?

Michelle M Pillow, Author of All Things Romance, is a multi-published, award winning author writing in many fiction genres including Erotic Romance for Virgin Book’s Cheek Imprint. She was winner of the 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Best Erotic Romance.

Pillow is a PAN Member of RWA (Romance Writers of America). To learn more visit, http://www.michellepillow.com/

Her book, Along for the Ride, releases in paperback Oct 16, 2007 from Virgin Books.


Michelle M Pillow said...

Thanks for having me, Kate!

ForstRose said...

Please add my name to the book drawing.

Tina brunelle said...

Well i wanna be in the book drawing love your blog! gonnna add it so i dont miss anything new

Mandy M. Roth said...

Hi Michelle!

I LOVE this book! Okay, I love all the Matthew Sister ones! And the Dragon Lord ones and the....

Okay I'll go away now.


Kate Austin said...

Michelle, it's great having you and I'm putting everyone in the drawing for the book -


Jambrea said...

I really like it when the book has the focus on the relationship. I like to see how the characters react to each other. I think the external stuff is just a bonus.

Please enter me for the book!! :)


Mandy Leigh B. said...

Hi Kate, Hi Michelle!

As a reader, I tend to like books that focus more on the relationship of the main characters. Obviously you have to have some external elements to make a good story, but I would rather focus on the building relationship.

acdaisy95 said...

Great photo of yourself!

I also tend to like books that focuses more on the main characters. Along for the Ride sounds awesome! Please add me to the entry list.


Teresa said...

I would love to have this book. I would also love to be able to write like you. Now I know how to get started though. Start with the people in my book then go from there.

*~Anju~* said...

You write some great books Michelle! Keep up the great work!!!! Would love to be put in the drawing for this one :)

Stefanie D said...

Your books are great Michelle!!
I'm also interested in people's psyche. That's why I study psychologie. Isn't it fascinating the way people react completely different to the same situation?
That's way I love your books so much Michelle, because of the way you build your characters. ;-)


PS: Please, count me in the drawing.

Eva said...

All my "keepers" are books focused on relationships and I'd love to find a new one!
Please enter me for the book.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Michelle!

It has gotta be the relationship. Romance IS my genre. If i went for the external stuff, i reckon i'd like just about any genre but...well, what can i say? ALL of my reading must be a romance/romantica. It can be crossed with darn near any other genre, but primarily it has GOT to be a romance. Hence, i can say with 110% certainty that the characters and the relationship are the most important to me in a book - although i must agree with mandy that the external stuff can only make the story better?


PS. i ask this every time we meet but...how are the space lords coming? *g*

Rose G. said...

Michelle, your books are great! I would love to have this one as well.


blessedheart said...

Hi Michelle,
Great to see you here! I love your books and your contests are always a lot of fun, too!

Rhonda :-0

Huguette said...

Hi Michelle,

Thanks for having this contest, please add my name. Thanks!


Deanna Ashford said...

Hi Michelle,

Couldn't resist coming along for the ride. That as far as humorous quotes go with me!

Loved this book. Have another one of yours now to read when I'm on my holiday in a week's time. How much better is it to read either curled up by a blazing fire, or sitting by a pool sipping something long and alcoholic through a straw.


Anonymous said...

If it is a romance, I want the focus of the book to be on the relationship with the external elements adding to the story.

There are other genres out there where I prefer the external elements to take the lead like a straight sci-fi.

Chris Roberts

CrystalG said...

I want the focus to be on the relationship with the external elements adding depth to the story.

Cherie J said...

For me, a romance is about focusing on the relationship. External elements are cool but if the characters and the relationship have no depth to them I can guarantee I won't like it much. Interesting post Michelle.

Cathy said...

I need both elements to come together to make a romance storyline work for me. Though I want the focus to be primarily on the relationship and personality of the characters, I also want the external elements to be exciting, to be the catalyst that has the characters learning about each other and growing together as a couple. A good story will make me want to read to the end, because I will care what happens to the characters that you have allowed me to get to know.

JOYE said...

I like to read books about the main characters and how they react to certain situations. Those situations they encounter help to reveal their chatacter, or should. And sometimes they are shaped by what they encounter.

Incubus_Frost_of_Mernac said...

I don't know that I've read a book "for the relationship" since I devoured Rosamond du Jardin, Phyllis Whitney, and Victoria Holt, and an entire slew of Gothics, as a child. I read for character development, character evolution. In addition I'm always drawn to fantasy, horror, occult, paranormal elements. I read historical for the vivid depictions of the time periods involved. I read science fiction because, like fantasy, I'm drawn into a different reality.

Michelle M Pillow said...

WOW, thank you all for your support and enthusiasm! You make a writer's day!

diane said...

When I read a novel, I always look forward to the relationship between the two major characters, but I enjoy learning more about the characters and their conflicts as well. I love reading fiction, mystery, suspense and drama which focuses upon the importance of the individual.

Michelle M Pillow said...

Teresa said...I would also love to be able to write like you. Now I know how to get started though. Start with the people in my book then go from there.

The great thing about writing is that there really is no "right" way to go about it. There is a ton of how to advice out there with great tips, but no "one" way or magic formula. What works for me doesn't work for others. I tend to keep facts stored in my head, others have detailed outlines. I let characters loose, some have a play by play outline down on paper before the first word is even written. When you're starting out, experiment with different techniques until you find the one that is right for you.

Earlene said...

Hi Kate and Michelle,
I would have to say that the relationship is the main draw
for me in a book. You do have
have external things to make
the characters overcome and grow
towards each other. I also like
to have some comedy in the books.
Who wants to read about doom and
gloom all the time. I can't write books so it is really great that
we have people like you and others
to write them for us to enjoy.

jenna said...

What attracts me to a novel is the interaction between the characters. The characters have to have depth and personality as well as a compelling relationship within the novel. This is important within the story as well as keeping me interested. I enjoy fiction that is meaningful, family sagas and suspense as well.

ChristyJan said...

Interesting post.
I look it as the relationship is the meat and potatoes and the external elements are the veggies and roll. You need them all to have a great meal/book.

Please enter me to win a copy of OPPOSITES ATTRACT

Lover of Books said...

I have not had a chance to read one of your books. But I love how they are relationship driven. :) That is what makes this world tick.

Please enter me into the drawing. :)

marlenebreakfield said...

I like both types of books. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a relationship driven story; sometimes I want one driven by the external.

annalisa said...

I like to read books that focus on the relationship and have external elements that affect the characters interaction with each other.