Please welcome T.J. Michaels as part of The Qwillery's Authors After Dark Author Spotlight Interviews.
TQ: What inspired you to become a writer?
T.J.: Honestly, I was sitting around with a friend of mine reading 'Golden Surrender' by Heather Graham about 20 years ago. Seriously. And I thought, hey I can write that. So I sat down, wrote a ginormous book having no idea what I was doing, but had to sit it on the shelf for years and years while I raised children and settled into my career. Then, in 2005 I picked that book up again. My kids, who were almost grown by then, looked at me and said, "Hey, when are you going to do something with that big book?" And with their encouragement I sat down, wrote a new full-length novel called Primed to Pounce. It became my debut novel a year later. And I've been going ever since.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
T.J.: For me, it's balancing family and the day job. It's very very difficult. I don't have a husband or mate to lend support either emotionally or financially, so anything and everything that happens at my house is all on me. I spend a LOT of time working and traveling for the job that pays the bills. I write when I can and sometimes it's tough because I'm always so danged tired. All I can says is, COME ON LOTTERY...but I should probably buy a ticket first, eh?
TQ: What writing achievement are you most proud of?
T.J.: Actually there are three things - my debut novel received 4 stars from Romantic Times and that was huge for me. Also, the next two books after that were nominated for CAPA awards. It was amazing to me because I was up against some incredibly talented authors, such as NYT bestselling authors Lauren Dane, Cheyenne McCray and several others. In fact I was so busy 'fan girling' that I wasn't even disappointed when I didn't win. The nominations were a big enough honor.
TQ: What one thing should everyone know about your writing?
T.J.: Each book, so far, has bits and pieces of my life, the people I work with or come in contact with, as well as places I've been. Because I've traveled all over, that means you find characters with all kinds of backgrounds, beliefs and quirks. Some are dark, all of them are naughty *grin*. The women are kick-ass and their men are, well, kick-assier *grin* and there's always, ALWAYS a reason for the sex. it drives me nuts to read a book where the characters just fall in bed for no reason, so I try not to write that into my books.
TQ: Please tell us about your latest and upcoming works.
T.J.: I was watching the History Channel and program came on called "Lost Books of the Bible". One of the books caught my eye and I came up with an awesome idea for a book. After spending what felt like a bazillion years researching I finally finished a book where I had to actually create some of the mythology around the story and make it work with the existing information about the lost book. It's a book with nuances in the angel hierarchy that I've not seen in any other novel, though Fallen angel books seem to be coming out of the wood work (I love Fallen books but I'm not currently reading very many of them while I'm working on my own Fallen series). The series is called "Seals of Destiny". And it's gooooood.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
T.J.: Thanks bunches for having me! And let's be sure to find each other at the AAD conference!
About T.J. Michaels
Writing like a madman, er, madwoman, TJ hasn't lost steam. Her mind? Yep, that's gone, but steam there is aplenty. A true Taurus, TJ isn't slowing down and she's definitely too stubborn to stop when she sees the fence!