Today I am participating in the Timeless Blog Tour. This book is part of the Transcend Time Saga. I have an interview with Michelle Madow. Enjoy!
Tell us a little about yourself and the book(s) you've written...
I’m Michelle Madow, the author of the Transcend Time Saga. The first book in the series, Remembrance, was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. (I am a HUGE Taylor Swift fan!) After I watched the music video, I had an idea for a story about a high school girl who sees her soul mate for the first time, and gradually remembers a past life they shared. I wrote the first chapter as a homework assignment for class. After getting stellar feedback from my teacher and classmates, I decided to finish the novel. I published Remembrance on July 25, 2011, and have been amazed by the positive reception for the book. On December 8, 2011, I published Vengeance, a short story that bridges the events of Remembrance into the final book in the series, Timeless. Timeless came out on November 20, 2012. It was so much fun to write, because it was the most adventure-filled of the series. The main characters traveled internationally and back in time!
How much control did you have over the cover design of your book?
I designed all the covers of the Transcend Time Saga myself. I played around with Photoshop a lot in high school and college, and was excited to put the little skills I had with it to use. I lucked out by finding images on stock photo websites that were perfect for my covers. Seriously—it was like the images I used had been created specifically for my book covers! All I had to do was crop the images, do color correcting to make the colors pop, and add text. I chose a traditional-looking font to get across the historical feel in the novels.
In the interior of the paperback version, I also emulated the fonts and plainer look of books from the nineteenth century to continue the historical feeling as the reader delves into the story. Publishing the series independently has been fun for me, because I love being in charge of each creative stage necessary to bring the book to publication.
Do you outline your stories before you begin writing? How do you determine where to start?
I ALWAYS outline a book before writing. If I don’t outline, I feel like I’m floundering while I’m writing the draft. The outline ensures each scene has a purpose in bringing the plot to a conclusion, and the drafting process is faster for me when I can reference an outline. I’ve discovered that outlining prevents writers block, since I already know what’s going to happen because of the outline!
As for determining the starting point of a novel, there is always a point in the story where a major event happens that creates change in the main character’s life. Every novel I’ve written starts on the day of that major event, and the major event occurs by the end of the first chapter. (In Remembrance, that event is when Lizzie first sees Drew. In Timeless, it’s when Lizzie gets the first death omen of the crow falling into the fireplace.)
How many finished stories did you write before seeing your first book published? Do you think you'll ever go back to them and try again?
Remembrance was the first novel I wrote. BUT—and this is a big but, because no one can write a good novel without practice—I wrote a lot of fan fiction before writing Remembrance. I literally have hundreds of thousands of words of fan fiction that no one will ever see. And trust me, that’s a good thing. The majority of my stories were on MySpace, and are probably lost in cyberspace now. I did put two pieces on FanFiction.net. If you’re super curious, my pen name on that website is michL87. If you choose to check it out, be prepared for the terrible writing!
The fan fiction I wrote was based on the worlds of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Daughters of the Moon by Lynne Ewing, and the movie The Covenant. Writing fan fiction was fun, because I got to put original characters in worlds I loved, and it was a great way for me to improve my writing skills. I didn’t know while writing fan fiction that I would go on to write original novels, but I am grateful for the skills I honed while writing it. Without that practice, there’s no way my first novel would have been at the level needed for publication.
Is there a dedication at the beginning of your book? Who did you dedicate it to and why?
“To the fans, for loving these characters and this series as much as I do. Your enthusiasm and encouragement means so much to me, and I appreciate it more than I can say. I cannot thank you enough for showing me that there are people who care about the stories I create. I shared a little piece of myself with you through my writing, and you all enjoyed it, and for that I am incredibly grateful.”
Do you have a book crush? Who is it?
YES! I have two main book crushes: Jace from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, and Ash from the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa.
You are invited to a masquerade/halloween party. Who (or what) do you dress as?
I’m answering these questions on the day after Halloween, so this one is fun! For Halloween this year I dressed as a Volturi vampire. The main part of the costume was the red contact lenses and the black smoky eye makeup. I also plan on wearing that outfit to the Breaking Dawn Part II midnight showing. I was told I looked like Jane. Here’s a picture of me in costume:
Do you have any fun hobbies other than reading and writing? What are they?
Recently I’ve been getting into makeup and learning new tricks to create different looks. A few months ago one of my friends introduced me to Elle & Blair Fowler’s makeup channels, and then I subscribed to lots of other YouTube channels for “Beauty Gurus.” They all have lots of interesting tips and tutorials to create tons of different looks with makeup.
I also used to be a dancer in high school—I did mainly ballet, jazz, and contemporary. Dance took a lot of time, though, and I stopped dancing in college once I realized it wasn’t something I was going to pursue professionally. I can also sort of play guitar, but I’m not very good at it. Two songs I can play somewhat decently are “Wonderwall” by Oasis and “Good Riddance” by Greenday.
What is the most fun you’ve ever had?
In college I had an incredible group of best friends, and any time the group of us spent together was some of the best I’ve had.
What advice would you give your teen readers about life?
When I was a teen, I had this constant feeling of being judged: by my friends, family, teachers, etc. I’m not sure if this was because I was being judged or because many teens worry about what others think about them. My biggest piece of advice is to be yourself, and don’t be afraid to love what you love or do what you want to do because you’re worried that others won’t approve. One of my favorite quotes from Taylor Swift says, “If you’re lucky enough to be different from anyone else, don’t ever change,” and it’s so true!
Also, don’t be afraid to try something you think you might not be able to do. The reason why I didn’t try to write a full length novel until I was 22 was because I didn’t believe I could do it. Once I finished the book, I was so proud, but I also wished I believed in myself enough as a teen to have tried writing a novel then. This can apply to many things in life: auditioning for a school production, trying out for a sports team, signing up for a class that you’re interested in but are worried that it might be too difficult, etc. When you’re a teen, it’s your time to try new things and discover what you love, so don’t be afraid to fully explore your options. The best that can happen is you succeed, and the worst that it doesn’t work out the first time you try, but it’s better than not trying at all.
Thank you, Erika, for having me on your blog for the Timeless blog tour!
Thank you for sharing with us today, Michelle! Find out more about Michelle and her books below:
IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME.
In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.
In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.
Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help.
Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began … and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined.
Timeless is the final part of the Transcend Time Saga.
The Transcend Time Saga is a Clean Romance suitable for anyone age 12 and up!
Quotes from Reviewers
"The combination of time travel, magic, and love makes Timeless an unforgettable page turner!"
-For Those About to Read
"Timeless had great twists, particularly towards the end. For something inspired by a Taylor Swift song, Michelle has come up with a great series!"
-Addiction to Words Reviews
"The Transcend Time Saga is a worthy rival of modern fairy tales. It has an essence of magic and spark that captivates you!"
-Becky's Barmy Book Blog
Find it in these awesome places:
iBooks: Coming soon
Or add it on Goodreads.
Purchase the previous books in the series:
In celebration of the Timeless Blog Tour, Michelle is giving away a Deluxe Transcend Time Prize Pack! This includes:
· A signed paperback of Remembrance
· A signed paperback of Vengeance
· A signed paperback of Timeless
· A gold Venetian mask
This giveaway is International.
About the author:
Michelle Madow was inspired to write Remembrance after seeing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video while a junior at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The song and video gave her the story idea about a high school girl reincarnated from Regency Era, England. She handed in the first chapter as a homework assignment for class, and when her teacher and classmates wanted her to continue writing, she decided to go for it. By the end of the school year, her first novel was completed!
Michelle Madow graduated from the Park School of Baltimore in 2005, where she always took two English classes each semester. She graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Rollins she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.
She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.
Michelle lives in Florida, where she is hard at work writing more novels for young adults.
Find her on her in these awesome places:
Want more Timeless Blog Tour posts?
Click here for the schedule!