Friday, September 28, 2012
Interview with Misha Crews
Welcome to Friday! Today, I have Misha Crews on the blog for an interview.
Hi Misha! Welcome to Storm Goddess Book Reviews & More. I'm so glad you made time to visit with me today, and thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Tell me about yourself, and your writing.
Well, I've always loved stories. When I was a child, the phrase "Tell me a story!" was a song I was always singing (I'm sure it caused my parents many a headache, though they never complained). I remember riding on the bus with my father, when he would tell me the stories of The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (modified for a youngster, of course!). When I was old enough to read novels I got hooked on mysteries: Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my favorites. Eventually I realized that I wanted to tell my own stories.
How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
Like most writers, I've pretty much been practicing the craft since I could hold a pencil! I've written three novels, all different genres of romance. My first novel, Homesong (originally published in 2008 by Vanilla Heart Publishing, currently in production for re-release by CWC Publishing) is a multi-generational, small town romance. My second novel, Still Waters (which was just re-released in August), is a romantic suspense set in 1956. And my third novel, Her Secret Bodyguard, is a contemporary romantic suspense set in Los Angeles.
Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
A little bit of both. I usually start with a general concept (the first act), then try to figure out the ending (the third act) so I know where my story is headed. At that point I like to dive in and start writing, fleshing it out as I go. Around halfway through the process I'll try to do a detailed outline based on what I've written so far. It's an imperfect system, but I cherish my imperfections, so I'm okay with that!
What is a typical writing day like for you?
Right now I'm still working full time, so my typical writing day is somewhat scattered. I try to snatch a few minutes during my lunch break, and an hour or two in the evenings. "Catch as catch can" is my personal motto. I also have a weekly date with four of my local writing pals, which is always fun and productive.
Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
My favorite book of all time is A Christmas Carol. It's such a beautiful story. I've read it every year since I was thirteen. I'll read anything by Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Nora Roberts or Sue Grafton. Other must-reads are Lawrence Block, Karen Cantwell, Christine Nolfi and Geri Krotow. But honestly, I enjoy all types of books so it's difficult to play favorites! I just love great stories and interesting characters. I love books that make me laugh and books that make me cry.
What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
I'm currently working on a quartet of novels which take place my fictional town of Angel River, Virginia (the setting for Homesong, my first novel, which is about to be re-released). I'd love to be able to write and release them all in the next year.
If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
Wow, it's hard to choose just one! My first thought was telepathy, but in the movies people who can read minds seem very tortured, so that doesn't sound like fun. The ability to fly would be super cool, but really, how often would I use it? My car has heat and a nice sound system. (Could you fly while wearing earbuds? Doesn't seem safe.) Hmmm... I think I would have to say telekinesis, because it would be soooo great to be able to clean my house while I'm sitting on the sofa.
If you could keep a mythical/paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Okay, now that easy: Pegasus. Ever since I first saw Fantasia I've wanted a Pegasus. Actually a Pegasus-unicorn would probably be my ideal pet. And (added bonus), I wouldn't need the ability to fly on my own, because I'd have my winged companion at the ready.
Tell us a little about your latest release.
It's called Still Waters, and it's a romantic suspense novel set in 1956. The story is about a young woman who loses her husband in a tragic accident. On the day he dies, she finds a snapshot of him in the arms of another woman. The discovery of that photo sets off a series of events that takes her on a journey through layers of family secrets and deception.
What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members.)
Caffeine, especially in the form of that blessed beverage known as "coffee." (A moment of silence, please, in respect for this life-giving substance.) I didn't start drinking coffee until I was well into my grown-up years, but now I'm hooked. It's entirely possible that I'm single-handedly keeping the Starbucks corporation afloat.
Could you ever co-author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
Funny you should ask! I'm just now working on co-authoring a novel with a good friend of mine who is as yet unpublished. The book is a supernatural thriller. That's outside my usual writing genre, which is turning out to be a lot of fun!
If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
I don't want to get too gloomy, but the person would definitely be my father, who died suddenly last year. And what would I ask him? To tell me a story.
What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
I've always enjoyed drawing, painting and photography. Visual art tells its own kind of story.
If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to a movie, what would you pick?
Okay, I assume we're not talking about one of my own books, because that would be too easy! I'd have to say it would be Merlin's Keep, by Madeleine Brent. One of my all-time favorite novels, it's a terrific story and would make an outstanding movie.
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
Songwriting. I struggle to tell a story using 60,000-plus words. Songwriters can convey a whole saga in 100 words or less (plus music, of course). Amazing! I envy that talent.
Blue: color of the sky, the sea, and my mother's eyes.
Weather: Hot or cold?
Cold. I love bundling up and drinking cocoa. So cozy!
Favorite place to read?
The big wingback chair in my living room. There's great light all day, a big tree outside my front window, and the cat to keep me company.
All of them. Oh, wait, you want a serious answer? Okay, well if we're talking about an entire meal, it would be steak, fries and salad from a local restaurant here in Virginia. It's our "special occasion place," and dining there is something we look forward to several times a year. Plus: best steak ever!
Favorite non-alcoholic drink?
From Starbucks (of course!), a caramel affagato-style frappacino, no whipped cream. Affagato-style means that a shot of espresso is poured over the top of the drink (not blended in), which gives it a really interesting and delicious taste as well as a high-octane kick. It's ridiculously high in calories and kind of pricey, so I don't indulge all that often.
If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
The moon. Like all dreamers, I've spent many hours standing on Earth and gazing up at the moon. I'd love to reverse those positions, and see what it does to my perspective on life.