Jan 30, 2017

Special Guest: Michelle Somers



I'm thrilled to be hosting a special guest today - the lovely Michelle Somers. Michelle is one of those smiling faces I always look forward to seeing, and she's truly one of the nicest people you'll meet. And yet, her books are a tad... suspenseful. I decided to ask some hard-hitting questions to get to the bottom of who she really is and what's going on in her stories..



1.    Welcome to the LoveCats, Michelle! First up, the important stuff – cat or dog person?
LOL! I’m one of those strange people that loves both for very different reasons – cats for their cuddlability and character, and dogs for their company and companionship.

Currently, we have a furry bundle of fun called Emerald. Emmie for short. And up until a couple of years ago, we had a gorgeous retriever called Charley. 




2. Oh, they are *gorgeous*! Now, tell us: what was the first category book you read? 
Wow, that’s going back a while! I can’t remember the absolute first book, but I have a few that were early introductions to the genre for me. Two that spring to mind, that still form part of my collection, are The Passionate Winter by Carole Mortimer and Wild and Wonderful by Janet Dailey.

3.    What’s the last category book you read?
Melanie Milburne’s His Mistress for a Week.

4.    That one's on my TBR pile! Next, I'm curious - who are three of your all-time favourite (romance novel) heroes?
Just three? That’s almost too impossible to choose. Here’s three of my favourite heroes from books I’ve read over the past couple of years.
Chase Kelly in Christie Craig’s Divorced, Desperate and Delicious.
Greg in Penny Reid’s Ninja at First Sight.
Lake Benson in Janet Elizabeth Henderson’s Lingerie Wars.

5.    What's something we wouldn't know about you?
Many years ago I did a course in cake decorating with my mum. In fact, mum and I designed and made my wedding cake. And, how do you cut a cake that’s taken hours of love and hard work to create? With style. 




6.    That's priceless! Speaking of celebrations, at last year’s Romance Writers of Australia conference, Lethal in Love was awarded the Ruby (Romantic Book of the Year - long), which was fabulous! Did you do anything special to celebrate?
Does a whole trail of mental cartwheels and pirouettes across the floor to the stage count as celebration?
That was an amazing night. There were so many highlights over the course of that conference weekend, but I have to say awards’ night was among the top of them.
I attended with a group of friends from my writing group, the Melbourne Romance Writers Guild (MRWG). Before, during and after the awards ceremony was one evening-long party spent with people who have witnessed my journey from newbie writer to published author. And it was ultra-special to share that evening, and the award-winning experience, with them.
And in terms of celebration? Well, after the ceremony, the group of us, RuBY included, danced, drank cocktails, and partied until all-hours of the morning.


7.    Your latest book Murder Most Unusual has a fascinating premise. Can you tell us about it?
I’d love to!
This is a story about two of the most unlikely people; Stacey, a romantic suspense novelist whose job it is to create the perfect murder – in the pages of her books; and Chase, a homicide detective who’s sworn to keep his city streets safe from killers such as those she creates. Her life is fiction, his is real and gritty and each day might just be his last.
Stacey believes the best way to write a murder is to step inside the mind of a killer and enact it. So she enlists the help of a mannequin called Renaldo, a bevy of synthetic weapons and her imagination. Unfortunately her quirky activities inspire a killer to follow her lead – but instead of fibreglass, his victims are made of real flesh, skin and bones.
As the bodies pile up, the two are thrown together in a gruesome game of murder and lies, and a race to catch the killer before they fall prey to his sick plan.


8.    A romance writer and a detective? That is super-cool. What was your inspiration for Murder Most Unusual?
Great question! To answer, I’ll have to give you some insight into how I write. I’m a ‘plantser’ – a weird and wonderful mix of plotter and pantser. But that’s not all – there are parts of my writing process that could be described as ‘scener’ as well. This is a person who writes in scenes.
Every book, every story I’ve ever written, has come to me first as a single scene. An event. An action. Something intriguing that made me want to explore further.
So, back to your original question – what was my inspiration for Murder Most Unusual?
A single, solitary image: a woman wrestling, very unsuccessfully, with a large, unwieldy object in the middle of a cow paddock. For some reason, I know this is the first dry night after two weeks of solid rain. And I know it’s sometime after midnight. The air is cold and damp, and the ground is very, very muddy. And no matter how hard she tries, that great big lump of a ‘thing’ just won’t budge.
The image was so very clear to me, yet still it left questions that begged to be answered. Who was she? Why was she there? What was she wrestling with? What events led to that moment in the field, and what events would follow?
It didn’t take long for me to discover that the image I’d seen was Stacey enacting a murder under the surreptitious watch of a sadistic killer. And from this opening scene my story unfolded.
A story where she writes. He watches. He waits. He kills…

9.    What are you reading?
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule – a chilling insight into serial killer Ted Bundy through the eyes of someone who once called him a friend.
And following that, I’ll be delving into something a little lighter – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

10.    What are you watching?
So many things! Lately I’ve been waiting for a lot of my favourite shows to start up again after the summer break. While that happens, I’ve been getting my fix of cop shows such as Criminal Minds and Luther. Hubby tends to shy away from the more cop-based shows, so when we watch together, the picks are a little different, including series like Grimm, The Blacklist, Lethal Weapon, and just tonight we started a new series on Netflix called Stranger Things. Not sure how I’ll go – the supernatural has a tendency to scare the crap out of me!

11.    What are you listening to?
The sound of my kids running rampant on the second-to-last day of the holidays. LOL!
But I imagine you’re talking music. I listen to a whole range of music genres, depending on my mood. But something I listened to just recently – on a road trip with the family – was the soundtrack to Jeff Waynes’ War of the Worlds. Too many years ago to mention, I loved listening to this musical rendition of Orson Welles’ classic tale, and it was such a joy to share my enjoyment with my three boys.

12.    What’s making you smile?
The release of Murder Most Unusual.

13.    Well, of course it is! It sounds awesome. So, what’s next on the horizon for you?
Two fabulous projects.
The first is the beginning of a series of ‘how to’ books for writers called The Simply Writing Series. With this series, I intend to break down the different elements a writer needs for both creating and promoting a great story. The first in this series is due for release in March this year. The title? Simply Synopsis. 

With special focus on romance, Simply Synopsis will demonstrate how to simply construct an engaging and fresh synopsis that contains all vital information while hooking the reader, and maintaining tension and emotion. 

I can’t wait to share it with you, and the methods in this book form the basis of the online workshop (OWL) I’ll be presenting through Romance Writers of Australia in September this year. 

And the second project? An exciting new romantic suspense set in Chicago. A kind of James Bond meets Stephanie Plum. It’s full of suspense and tension, some weird, wacky and wonderful characters. And more than a few Sound intriguing? I hope so.

Absolutely, that sounds intriguing! Thanks for visiting us, Michelle.



Michelle is kindly giving away a copy of Murder Most Unusual to one commenter. Given that this book has a romance author and a homicide detective, Michelle is curious about what characters you'd most like to see pitted against each other in a rom-sus. Perhaps a couple that you've not seen before. I'm looking forward to reading your ideas!


Michelle Somers is a bookworm from way back. An ex-Kiwi who now calls Australia home, she’s a professional killer and matchmaker, a storyteller and a romantic. Words are her power and her passion. Her heroes and heroines always get their happy ever after, but she’ll put them through one hell of a journey to get there. Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making. She loves hearing from her readers, so if you’ve enjoyed this insight into her mind and her writing, visit her website www.michelle-somers.com and sign up to her newsletter for more of the same. 

Murder Most Unusual buy links:

49 comments:

  1. What a great interview Ladies loved it and this new book is calling to me I love your stories Michele such edge of your seat suspense with a hero and heroine who are just awesome :) Congrats on the release

    Who would I like to see pitted against each other I am not sure how about a taxidermist (someone who knows how to slice) killer and maybe a Abby (NCIS) style cop ??

    Have Fun
    Helen

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    1. Helen, that's a really good idea. Kinda scary, but good, lol.

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    2. Thank you for your lovely words, Helen. So glad you love my stories.
      And a taxidermist killer... the imagination is already going wild! I like it!
      Thanks for popping by.
      Michelle xx

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  2. Hi Michelle!
    So wonderful to read all about your amazing work. I really enjoyed doing Margie Lawson's Immersion with you last August, and I'm really chuffed the last category you read was mine.
    I adore the premise of Murder Most Unusual. Can't wait to read it! Love the cover, too. All the very best with your career.

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    1. Melanie, the premise of Murder Most Unusual is fascinating, isn't it? Though I'm known to be a great big scaredy cat, so I might not be able to read this one. Or only peeking with one eye... :)

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    2. Hi Melanie
      I loved being at immersion with you too. So upset I can't make it to the next one.
      Glad Murder Most Unusual is calling out to you. It was so much fun to write.
      Thanks for popping by and saying 'hi' :)
      Michelle xxx

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  3. Welcome to the LoveCats, Michelle, it's so lovely to have you here. :-)

    You decorated your own wedding cake? I'm staring at that picture in awe -- go you! (Mind you, the chainsaw made me laugh). "Murder Most Unusual" has a fab premise and I'm really looking forward to reading it. And like Melanie I adore the cover.

    Hmm, and as for an unusual pairing in a rom-sus...what about a desert sheikh and a no-nonsense girl from the bush? ;-)

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    1. Oh, that could make a really interesting rom-sus, Michelle! Is the girl from the bush a bush police officer, by any chance? And the desert sheikh visiting...? :)

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    2. Well originally I had cross-dressing stable hand, but that sounded too much like a historical. So, I'm thinking she's in Sheikh-land doing something with his marvellous Arabian horses. Maybe there's sabotage? ;-)

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    3. Ooh, what a fab idea! Just imagine the conflict in that story :)
      I'm so in love with Murder Most Unusual. It was a tough story to let go. But now it's out there, I'm hoping readers will love it as much as I do :)
      And I was so lucky with my cover designer - Lana is amazing!
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Michelle

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    4. Sabotage? Michelle, I see a future for you in suspense writing. :)

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  4. Waving to Michelle. I remember your awe and excitment last year as I read out your name and presented you with your Ruby! So thrilled for you!

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    1. It was such a cool night! I remember claiming a congratulatory hug from her afterwards. :)

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    2. Thanks Amy! Was so amazing to receive the award from you!
      I think 'shell-shock' might be the word to describe. I really have very little memory after my name was called. It was all so incredible!
      Waving madly back!
      Michelle xxx

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  5. Lovely interview Michelle :)

    I'm impressed with your wedding cake - amazing :) Now, you need a heroine who decorates cakes and then stumbles over a dead body ;)

    All the best with your new release x

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    1. Oh, that sounds like such a fun premise, Joanne! I can imagine all sorts of shenanigans already. :)

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    2. haha! Thanks Joanne!
      I love that idea. A cake decorator heroine (those cake knives can be pretty lethal!), and who would you pick for a hero?
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Michelle xxx

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    1. Hi Donamae
      Lovely to see you here!
      A lot of hours and a lot of love went into that cake (not to mention, a lot of brandy :) )
      So, you're a dog person? I'd love to hear a bit about your furry pets.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Michelle xxx

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    2. Another dog person! Donamae, I love cats, but am most definitely a dog person at heart too. :)

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  7. Hi Michelle! *waves* so fabulous to see your lovely face on the blog. That some impressive cake decorating skill!! What a nice moment that must have been to see it at the end, knowing how much effort went in :)

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    1. Stefanie, I thought the same about that cake - awesome skill. I don't think I have enough hand-eye coordination for all the fine details.

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    2. Hi Stefanie
      *waves back*
      Thanks! Was very special not only spending the time with Mum making the cake, but also sharing it with our family and friends.
      Can't believe that was 17 years ago!!!!
      Thanks for stopping by to say 'hi'
      Michelle xxx

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    3. LOL Rachel! I don't think I have that coordination any more either! Or the patience. The days of spending hours making flowers out of icing are long gone :)

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  8. Just finished Lethal in Love. It was good reading

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    1. Barbara, that is so cool! Did you buy it in the one volume or did you get it when it was in 6 parts? I have to confess, I loved the covers on the 6 parts. (Though that Ruby badge on the front of the combined volume is pretty special!)

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    2. Oh, lovely! So glad you enjoyed it Barbara :)
      If you're wondering what Chase's story is, all is revealed in Murder Most Unusual.
      He was way too special not to have his own book.
      Thanks for popping by!
      Michelle xxx

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  9. Sue Gerhardt GriffithsJanuary 30, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    I love reading questions and answers I find them always so interesting and fun. Love the cake Michelle. Clever you!

    Trying to come up with ideas but they all sound lame but I reckon Helen's idea sounds terrific. Love love love Abby in NCIS so reading a character similar to hers would be good fun. Maybe she can be pitted against someone like Ted Danson's character in CSI. The older male. Love that.

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    1. Sue, I love Helen's idea too! Abby is an awesome character and I've been wanting her to have a HEA for ages. This could be the way!

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    2. I think you're onto something, Sue. Abby was one of my fave characters in NCIS (a very close second to Tony :) ).
      I have to admit, I'd love to see her come up against someone more serious, more staid. I think she'd probably shock the pants off him! Figuratively and literally :)
      Thanks for stopping by to say 'hi' Sue!
      Michelle xxx

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  10. Hi Michelle. Seeing you hacked into your wedding cake with a chainsaw how about Dexter meets one of those foodie judges. Plenty to get your teeth into there....

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    1. Hah! That's a really good idea, jjhicks!

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    2. LOL, I love it jjhicks!!
      I can just see it now...
      Thanks for popping by and the fab suggestion. Who knows, it might just make it into a story...
      Michelle xxx

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  11. Hi Michelle, I loved reading your interview and learning more about you. That wedding cake is amazing. I also love Luther and can't wait to see what happens next.

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    1. Jennifer, that cake almost kinda makes me want to learn to decorate cakes. I wonder if I'd end up eating as much cakes as I decorated...

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    2. Hi Jennifer
      Thanks so much for dropping by :)
      Isn't Netflix wonderful? I've discovered so many fab series that I never would have watched otherwise. Luther is just one of them.
      Problem is, I'm spoiled for choice!
      Michelle xxx

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  12. A fantastic post thank you. A librarian and a cowboy could be loads of fun.

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    1. Mary, that is *such* a good idea for a pairing! I'd totally read that. :)

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    2. Yes! I can just see it now!
      Fab suggestion Mary. And wouldn't it be great if she was a city girl, to boot!
      Thanks for stopping by! Lovely to hear from you.
      Michelle xxx

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  13. Michelle - unfortunately the combination of not reading romantic suspense often enough and a slightly fried brain from a lot of training in my day job has me with no ideas on the two I'd love to see pitted against each other. Romance Writer and Detective sounds awesome though. The two titles in this blog post are going straight on my to read list as both stories are intriguing to me.
    Is that a chainsaw for cutting the wedding cake?

    Rachel! Did you really have to add more books and author(s) to my already crazy to read list?

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    1. Lol, sorry, Lyn! I know what you mean - my kindle is crazy at the moment, even with it all sorted into lists.

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    2. Hi Lyn
      Lovely to hear from you. And I totally get the fried brain thing. Must be this time of the year!
      Thanks so much for adding Lethal in Love and Murder Most Unusual to your TBR list. I'd love to know what you think once you've read them :)
      I can tell you, writing Stacey and Chase's story was a lot of fun. Although, at times I think I scared myself - being a suspense writer, I'd like the suspense part to stay fiction, not fact!
      Thanks for popping by!
      Michelle xxx

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  14. Our winner will be announced on Monday!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! I can't wait to announce :)
      This blog has been so much fun. And I love some of the responses in terms of hero-heroine couples. It'll be hard to choose...

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  15. Great interview, Michelle. I love that wedding cake and the chainsaw!

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    1. Kandy, that photo made me giggle out loud. :)

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  16. I'm late, I'm late - I'm so sorry! Such a fabbo interview, girls. Having read your first, Michelle, I'm fascinated by this next book. But maybe I'll read it in daylight and not at night! Loved the pic from your wedding! No idea what would make a great pairing for a romsuspense but after seeing that photo I have to say a cake decorator and a lumberjack. :)

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    1. Ooooh, a cake decorator and a lumberjack? That would be such a fun story, Annie!

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