This week I have author Michelle Madow on the blog!
Interview:I lived in Baltimore, Maryland until I was 18 years old. Then I went to Rollins College in Orlando Florida, and after graduation I moved to Boca Raton, which is in Southeast Florida. I have lots of family in Boca Raton, and I love living in the subtropical environment.
Where are you from?
Where are you from?
Living in Florida is amazing, and I hope this will be my home for the rest of my life. I love traveling and seeing other places around the world, but I am always happy to return home to Florida. Since cold, cloudy weather makes me hibernate, living somewhere like Florida where it is mostly sunny and warm is a must. I love palm trees, since they need sun and warmth to flourish, just like me. I rarely go to the beach (I don’t like water and sand), but I would love to someday have a house with my office looking over the ocean, since it’s such a peaceful view. Along with the great weather, most touring shows stop by Southeast Florida since there are two large cities—Miami and Fort Lauderdale—nearby. We have great shopping, fantastic restaurants, and it’s only a three hour drive to Disney World / Universal Studios. We also get incredible cruise deals for Florida residents since so many cruises leave from our ports. It’s a wonderful place to live!
What is the best and worst thing about living in the Florida?
One of the best things is the weather during the winter—it’s usually in the 70’s, although we might get one or two cold weeks where it drops to the 60’s or 50’s. I avoid cold weather (when I lived in Baltimore I would hibernate in the winter), so it’s great to not have that be an issue anymore. People in Florida are so happy, friendly, and open to meeting new people. I think it’s because there’s so much sunshine, and sunlight really is a mood-booster.
The worst thing about living in Florida is how hot and sticky it gets during the summer. It’s extremely humid, so walking outside in shorts and a tank top feels like trudging through a hot tub. But at least it’s sunny, and I would rather deal with hot summers than cold winters, so it doesn’t bother me. We also get downpours every summer afternoon, but they only last for 20-30 minutes, so it’s easy to avoid. (Although when I was in college I sometimes had to walk to class during an afternoon downpour and that was not pleasant!)
What is the biggest challenge of being an author there?
My biggest challenge of being an author here is probably something most authors in their 20’s and 30’s in the USA can relate to. Most everyone I meet who is my age works a 9-5 schedule and goes to happy hours with their friends at 5:30. I, on the other hand, work from 11-7 or 12-8, and by the time I am done working at the end of the day I still need to shower and get dressed. This means that socializing during the weekdays is out for me.
Some of my friends say, “Why don’t you just wake up earlier and stay on the schedule with the rest of the world?” They have a good point, but I’m not a morning person. If I woke up at 7:00 AM so I could shower, get ready, and work 9-5, the quality of my work would go down because I would be tired. I’m lucky to be able to create my own schedule, and it’s in my benefit to work during the hours when my brain is 100% awake and functioning.
Is it hard to organize author signings and events in the area? Are schools and bookstores receptive to hosting your appearances?
I have spoken to a few schools in the area, and they are always receptive to having authors speak to students. Some of my best events have been at schools. Bookstores are different. When I independently published the Transcend Time Saga, few bookstores were receptive to hosting me. Now that the first book in my Secret Diamond Sisters trilogy is coming out with Harlequin TEEN in March 2014, bookstores have been so welcoming and encouraging. I’ll be having my book release party for Secret Diamond Sisters at Books & Books in Miami (Coral Gables Location), and I am so excited!
Are Publishers willing to work with you were you live? Is it hard to find Industry Professionals?
My agent from the Bent Agency, Molly Ker Hawn, lives in London, and my editor from Harlequin TEEN, Natashya Wilson, lives in New York. With cell phones and the Internet, location is not an issue. Our meetings are scheduled through email, held over the phone, and are followed-up via email.
Is it necessary to travel to bigger cities like New York to meet with publishing professionals?
Traveling a few times a year to meet with publishing professionals isn’t “necessary,” but it is an advantage. I’ve attended Book Expo America in New York City since 2006, and I’ve made great connections by networking there. Once Secret Diamond Sisters comes out, I hope to visit bookstores across the country (and maybe the world?) to meet fans and sign their books.
If you could visit another country to promote your book where would it be?
I’ve been so impressed by the large reading community in the Philippines! So many people there love reading, and are extremely supportive of authors. Many of my biggest fans have reached out to me from the Philippines. I would love to visit the Philippines to meet them in person, to promote my books, and to see the country, since it looks so beautiful in photos.
A Few Of My Favorite Things Section:
Favorite Book (overall):
I CAN’T CHOOSE ONE! Some of my favorite series are: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, and Luxe by Anna Godbersen. For a full list of my favorites, you can check out my Goodreads Favorites Shelf here.
Favorite Book Recent Release:
The Selection by Kiera Cass. I can’t wait for The Elite, and I hope the series continues to be as excellent as the first book.
FACEBOOK is my favorite social media site! There’s no limit on how many characters can be in a status update, and you can make albums. I’m on Facebook all the time. Go to https://www.facebook.com/MichLMadow to follow me!
About Michelle Madow:
Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.
Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.
She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter (@MichelleMadow). Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, for more information and to connect to all her social media sites.