Please tell my readers a little bit about your book.
Thanks for having me here, Nancy. Close Up Magic is the first book of my contemporary romance series Sleight of Hand. Each book in the Sleight of Hand series will feature a magician as either the hero or heroine. The hero for Close Up Magic, for instance, is Andre Hawke, who is a mishmash of every magician I’ve ever seen perform a card trick in my life. I have always admired magicians. Everybody from David Copperfield and Lance Burton to Ricky Jay to the magician I hired to perform at my kid’s birthday party. The whole idea of magic just makes me happy, so I guess it’s a natural progression to want to write about it.
I use ancient magic, especially the use of herbs and potions, in some of my books. Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in?
Close Up Magic is a contemporary romance, and yes, it’s pretty much the only genre I currently write in, although sometimes I cross the thin line into women’s fiction. I tried to write scifi, fantasy, horror and even (gasp!) literary fiction for a long time, but finally had to admit I had more fun writing romance than anything else.
When did you start writing toward publication?
I guess I really started writing toward publishing fiction after my son was born thirteen years ago. I had always written short stories and some other crap that wasn’t worth being published, but after he was born, I got serious about it. I joined an online writing group (zoetrope.com) and got some amazing feedback that really improved my writing, and probably kept me from succumbing to mommy blues during those first years of being a mother. In fact, one of my novels, Weeds and Flowers, was written during that time, and I totally credit some of my online writing buddies with how well it turned out.
Children can be a great catalyst. I started really writing the month my son returned from a tour in Iraq. Why have you become a published author?
I love this question because it hits at the very heart of what I feel marks the difference between a career writer and a hobbyist. Validation. I’m not afraid to ask for it. At first I thought I needed a publisher or an agent to give it to me, but I’ve since realized that there’s only one group of people I need to hear from: readers. I publish because I want readers to read what I write. That, in my opinion, is the validation that all career writers seek. Of course, I realize you can be an excellent writer and never publish. But if you want to make a career out of it, you have to have that hunger for validation from your readers.
I agree! Do you have any rejection stories to share?
Rejection is too painful, really, to share. You can’t take it to heart, but you have to or you’re not going to get anywhere. Close Up Magic, for instance, was rejected. When I got the rejection, I decided to go the self-publishing route because I believe in the story, and I think the market is ready for it now, not six months to a year from now, which is what would happen if I submitted to another publisher. Of course, since it’s the beginning of a series, that means I’m deciding to go the self-publishing route for the whole shebang, so I may not get any more rejections for a while. Talk about a silver lining!
I have tried it both ways. It is good to have publishing choices. What is your writing routine like?
Wish I had one! Especially right now. I’m itching to get back to writing, even though I’m having lots of fun with promoting Close Up Magic. But between three kids, two dogs, volunteering and a husband, I usually am only able to squeeze in a half hour or so of writing. I’m hoping it’ll get better next year when my youngest goes to kindergarten and I am able to schedule my volunteer work around my writing time.
Speaking of time sucks, what sort of promo do you do? Do you have help?
I use Twitter extensively, and I’ve started a Facebook page for Close Up Magic where I’m posting tidbits about magic that I’ve learned in my research (https://www.facebook.com/CloseUpMagicFlye). Rachel Simeone of ZetaBlue Marketing has been a huge help in learning my way around social media websites. I also have a blog (http://michellegflye.com), and I’m currently running a contest over there for a Kindle Paperwhite. And next month I kick off a virtual book tour for Close Up Magic with the help of Goddess Fish Promotions. Of course, I have wonderful friends and fellow writers like you who help me out from time to time, too!
Gee, thanks! What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m working on Island Magic, Book 2 of the Sleight of Hand series, but I think my next release will be Saturday Love, the sequel to my contemporary romance/women’s fiction novel Ducks in a Row. It’s already written and in the process of being edited.
Reporter Stacey Matthewson has made a living writing sensational stories that knock celebrities off their pedestals. Now she's got a hot lead on an even hotter magician who's mystifying Las Vegas with his new show--the problem is, she's had a crush on him for years. How can she write a story that might ruin him, especially when he proves himself to be so much more than she'd ever dreamed?
Magician Andre Hawke has a knack for making things disappear, but when it comes to his brother's drinking and gambling, he's got a problem. Hiring the sexy reporter who threatens to blow away his carefully wrought illusion might be the answer to his problems...or she might bring on a whole new set of them.
Stacey’s never believed in magic, and Andre doesn’t know who to trust anymore. Can passion overcome their inhibitions, or will betrayal stem the tide of love?
Andre caught up to her, wheeled around and started walking backward in front of her. He was amazingly nimble on his feet, able to avoid oncoming traffic without even glancing over his shoulder. Stacey shook her head. “Don’t you think you need to watch where you’re going?”
“Why?” He shrugged. “I can never see it until it’s past anyway. Most people can’t.”
She rolled her eyes. “I had no idea kissing made you philosophical.”
He tsked. “Kissing makes me horny. Life makes me philosophical.”
He was starting to get on her nerves. “Get over it, Andre. So we made out. We got carried away, that’s all.”
“I think it was more than that…for at least one of us.” His words teased her, but she wouldn’t ask him which one of them he was talking about. He kept walking backward, and this time, he was heading directly toward another man--a very large one--walking toward them. Stacey opened her mouth to say something but before she could, he’d walked directly into the other man, almost as if he’d intended to do it. He laughed out loud, catching himself by putting his arms around her. He glanced over at the large man, breaking off his embrace of Stacey to turn and shake his hand.
“Thank you! That was perfect. Sorry about that, I’m trying to make a point, though, and you just did it very effectively.”
He turned back to Stacey. “You say you never saw it coming. I say we never see things coming. I mean, look at this particular incident. I was walking backward, couldn’t possibly have seen him, right? But what’s his excuse?”
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michelle Garren Flye is the award-winning romance author of five novels. Reviewers have described her work as: “an engaging novel with charming and likable characters”, a story that “will make you believe in love and second chances”, and a “well-written and thought-provoking novel.”
Michelle placed third in the Hyperink Romance Writing Contest for her short story “Life After”. Her short stories have been published by the romance anthology Foreign Affairs, Opium.com, SmokelongQuarterly.com and Flashquake.com. She has served on the editorial staffs of Horror Library Volume 1, Horror Library Volume 3, Butcher Shop Quartet, Butcher Shop Quartet II and Tattered Souls.
Michelle has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is the mother of three and lives in North Carolina with her husband and their rapidly growing collection of pets.
How can my readers buy your book?
Close Up Magic will go on sale June 1, 2013 on Amazon.com. In the meantime, you can check out the PREVIEW
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