Looking for a new take on good vs. evil? Love reading about love, hope and redemption? Check out this great interview with Michelle N. Files as she tells you a little about her HYBRID CHRONICLES and her plans for 2015.
Michelle: Hi! Thank you so much! Well, book one (Soul Survivor) is all about Hailee understanding her new world and surviving her curse. With book 2 (Soul Searcher) Hailee will continue to grow and unearth new secrets about herself and her relationships. She embarks on her personal journey of self discovery and must deal with a lot of personal and hybrid type issues. Knowing the curse is not what it seemed in book one, she’s now trying to find her true purpose as well. The biggest catalyst in Soul Searcher, is when a blast from the past shows up and puts a huge crack in her world and her heart. Things get a bit dark and I’m not talking about the hot kind of darkness we’ve come to know from book one.
RCPR: Good vs. evil always makes for a great read. Do you believe in black and white in your own life or do you like a little gray middle sometimes?
Michelle: Wouldn’t life be so much easier to handle if things were black and white? One of the biggest factors in growing up and maturing has been learning how to deal with the gray areas. Normally when I come across someone in life who is bad or evil, I always try to understand the person’s motivations and experiences that could explain their reasons for acting in such a negative way–most often times I can find some logical explanation for their actions. I believe in the good of people…we all tend to make mistakes, it’s just sometimes people make REALLY poor decisions and wind up in a ton of trouble for it. One of the hardest things in life is watching people you love make poor decisions.
I originally had Seth pegged as the super villain from day one but somehow he started to show his vulnerable side and took Soul Survivor down a complete different path. Obviously, he must have had some insider information on my compassion for people who make big mistakes and wound his way into my heart. I enjoy reading stories with “gray” villains. It makes for a more believable story since life is full of “gray” people.
RCPR: How did you go about researching for the HYBRID CHRONICLES? Did you have to dig into the mythology behind angels or did you create your own to fit your story? What about locations and places?
Michelle: I did a little research about angels but nothing too extensive. I was looking for inspiration to build my world but found that I preferred building my own mythology on the subject. I actually spent more time researching the meaning of names to fit my characters than I did angel research. World building is incredibly fascinating to me. Something about setting your own rules, creating new environments and species is so magical and intriguing. It kept me brainstorming even when I didn’t have a free minute to type.
As for locations, I went with my imagination and personal knowledge. One of the first scenes I wrote was Hailee’s dream so being near the beach was a given. I wanted her to be in a big place different from the rural quiet setting of her home thus Aria was born. A big city with high rises but only a few blocks from the beach. Hailee’s home is loosely based on my home in West Virginia but I turned up the seclusion and small town feel.
RCPR: How many books do you have planned in your series?
Michelle: The Hybrid Chronicles will be a four book series (unless one of my villains gets out of hand and I need to add a few more books.) I have plans for at least one novella detailing the story of Hailee’s mother and biological father. Here’s the tentative titles for The Hybrid Chronicles. I plan to wrap the series up by December 2015!
RCPR: Do you believe your “bad” angels can find redemption in the end?
Michelle: I’m an optimist and completely believe in the power of forgiveness so most definitely! BUT those “bad” angels have to want it, meaning if they see the errors of their ways and seek redemption they shall find it. Wouldn’t that be an interesting story? Following my villains down the road to redemption. I’m mentally filing that idea away as we speak! 😉
RCPR: Is there any desire to jump to a new genre once this series is done?
Michelle: Paranormal/Fantasy is my favorite BUT I have a post-apocalyptic book and several contemporary books planned for 2015 and beyond. The first contemporary book I plan to publish will be Blurred Lines: A Ramshead University Tale. This book is set in a fictionalized version of my alma mater, Shepherd University. I’m SUPER excited about it!!!! It’s been in the works since June 2013 when I sat on a hotel couch the Sunday after UTOPYA wrapped up chatting with Delphina about it. She gave me the final push of confidence to write it!
RCPR: Do you have any events planned for 2015 where readers can meet you?
Michelle: 2015 is going to be my year of travel! Come 2016 I’ll be more selective but 2015 I’m all over the place! 🙂 So far, I plan to be at RT in Dallas (May), Roanoke Author Invasion in Roanoke, VA (April), Almost Heaven Book event in Morgantown, WV (May), Penned Con (YAY!!!) in St. Louis (July), In’D Tale RedCoat PR event in Palm Springs, CA (September), and Great Lakes Book Bash in Kalamazoo, MI (October) and probably a few other stops.
RCPR: What is your favorite thing about being an author? Least favorite?
Michelle: My favorite thing would have to be the creative freedom and ability to manage and do things how I see fit. 😉 My “old” day job as a CPA was very much the opposite being very structured. I LOVE accounting and plan to keep playing within those set of “rules” by teaching accounting at local colleges and universities. I really enjoy the balance between creative mind and structured world BUT having the freedom to write and explore emotions, worlds, and break all kinds of logic–well that’s pretty epic.
Least favorite? Knowing the buck stops here! Being fully in charge and responsible for my success and future in this profession is scary stuff and COMPLETELY out of my element of the structured accounting world. But I’m jumping in anyway! Even if I fail I’ll walk away with no regrets and knowing me I’ll be back for another beating if I completely fall face first. 😉
RCPR: Best compliment a reader has ever given you?
Michelle: Wow. Every reader compliment puts me in such a happy place but this one review really touched me. The reader spoke about how much she enjoyed my story and it left her feeling inspired to write again. It was so incredibly humbling to read those words. And it also turned up the flame on my own inspiration.
RCPR: Have you had any crazy fan moments yet?
Michelle: No super crazy fan moments yet but that may be because I see my readers as friends more so than fans and I’m pretty crazy myself. 🙂 In my brain, fans carries the connotation that we don’t have a connection/relationship and every one of my readers is in a special relationship with me (in a non-creepy way of course…please don’t run away from me readers.) There is a special place in my heart for each of my readers. Although seeing the sequel to Soul Survivor on a bloggers list for most anticipated books of 2014…that was out of this world crazy awesome! For a moment I felt like a rockstar…only a reader could do that! 😉
Michelle was born and raised in wild, wonderful West Virginia. While her first passion is numbers, not long into adulthood, Michelle rediscovered her love of books and with it the joy and fulfillment of writing her own stories. She spends her days working as a CPA and her nights weaving tales of love, friendship, and everything in between.
When she’s not working or writing, you’ll find her binge watching her favorite TV shows, reading, tweeting, hanging with her friends and furry children, or spending time with her close knit extended family.