Author Interview // Author Jess Michaels
We are so thankful to have USA Today Bestselling author, Jess Michaels, here to answer our questions. Jess has written several series within the erotic historical romance genre and is sure to appease the appetites of her 1797 Club fans in 2018! Thank you, Jess!
When was the moment that you knew writing would become part of your life?
I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t write. My Mom had a story I wrote when I was a kid (a romance even), probably around 6 or 7? In second grade, I declared I’d be a writer as a job. So it’s always been a part of my life.
You write erotic historical romance. Was your plan to always write within this genre or did your writing have other plans?
I’ve always liked super sexy romance, it’s what I like to read and write. I’ve written super sexy historical romance and erotic historical. Sexiness is always going to be a part of my books, the level of it will depend on the characters and what works for their book. 🙂
Which of your many series do you find to be your favorite and why?
The series I’m writing right now is my favorite at present. The 1797 Club is a group of men, all destined to be dukes, who became friends and decided to band together to help each other when they were kids. Their band of brotherhood and bond of love is a real pleasure to write.
Do you have a favorite character from your books? Why this specific character?
Oh that’s too hard! I’ve written so many books and I love all my characters. Favorites would be Graham from The Broken Duke, Gray from An Affair in Winter, Marcus from The Scoundrel’s Lover. What they all have in common is this hard edge that covers a lot of hurt and also a deep decency. I like alpha guys, but I don’t really write “alpha-holes”.
What do you find to be the most satisfying moment while writing?
So many! Getting a new idea is a thrill, especially when I can see it has legs (like the 1797 Club series idea). I love the plotting part, it gets me excited. Writing is a very peaceful place for me, I’ve written through terrible personal tragedy, so it’s a place I like to go even in the worst of times. It’s almost meditative, I live in that moment when I’m writing. And finishing is always great because by the time I do, I usually need a break.
I read your blog post about receiving the rights back to your books after Samhain Publishing closed. You came to the realization that the circle of events that happened had to happen for you to continue writing. Do you feel all writers should experience traditional publishing at some point within their writing career?
Dear Lord, no. I’m not saying traditional publishing is not a viable path. It most definitely is. Lots of people find enormous success there. But it was, at least for me, a terribly abusive and toxic environment. I would never suggest that it is something everyone must experience or that it’s the best place for everyone. It’s all about looking at the options with really open eyes. Know that trad publishing is NOT perfect, nor is it likely to pull most authors to the top and support them. But indie is a LOT of work and requires a lot of energy to make it a success. Don’t jump blind at anything and don’t expect overnight success. It’s a long road, but the journey generally takes you where you need to be.
What is your favorite genre to read and why?
I’d say romance is still my favorite to read. I also read a lot of nonfiction, especially books on mindfulness. Right now I have so many books on my shelf to read. We’re about to head out to vacation and I’m looking forward to reading a bunch on the plane. I actually run a Goodreads group The Jess Michaels 2018 Reading Challenge, where we set goals and check in on what we’re reading. I was WAY under my goal in 2017 (personal issues) but I’m digging in for 2018!! Anyone is welcome to join us: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/121860-jess-michaels-2018-reading-challenge
What author has inspired you the most in your writing?
So many! When I started I cut my teeth on Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypas. Now I have a close circle of author friends who blow my mind with their stories, their heart and their kindness. Jenn LeBlanc, Grace Callaway and Kate Smith are my go-to girls when I just need to talk. I think that’s what inspires me now, watching others walk their path and hear them cheer for me as I cheer for them.
Of course we have to know, what is in-store next – books, events, etc.
Well, it’s a big year for publishing for me. I have six books coming out:
- The Duke of Nothing (January 16)
- The Undercover Duke (March 27)
- The Duke of Hearts (May 22)
- The Duke Who Lied (July 24)
- The Duke of Desire (September 18)
- The Last Duke (November 13)
This will finish out my 1797 Club series. As far as appearances, etc, I don’t have any planned for this year, though if RWA or other writer groups are looking for a speaker, I am available to do that so a few of those things may pop up.
Author Jess Michaels is a USA Today Bestselling author. In addition to writing bestselling erotic historical romance, she proclaims to love geeky stuff, cats, and more cats, and is Team Captain Swan for all you lovers of Once Upon a Time. She shares her home with her husband in Northern Arizona.