Today’s author interview spotlights Kenzie Michaels, Author of the Contemporary Romance, Off The Clock.
WCP: What was your inspiration for Off The Clock?
I had joined a local writer’s group, and the leader mentioned the group was kicking around the idea for an anthology centered around a place of business, and everyone would take a different employee, to write their story. My brain kicked into gear, and two weeks later walked into the meeting with the first two chapters of OTC, and told them I’d started my story. I passed it around, and Travis was impressed when he realized it wasn’t your typical ‘cheesy romance’. I’d surprised him with Cara’s relationship with her mother. Then he informed me they planned to set the anthology at a fast-food chicken place. I kept writing my story, and the title stuck.
WCP: Do you have any other genre you’d like to try your hand at?
I have two paranormal romances in the works. One deals with a Cupid, and the other an alien. And don’t laugh; I also have a zombie story; another idea I had for the anthology, which never got off the ground.
WCP: Do you have any favorite authors in Romance? Or ones that have influenced you more than others?
Regina Carlysle, Bronwyn Green, Anny Cook, and Brynn Paulin were wonderful to me when I first met them online, and helped me tremendously as I began this venture into e-publishing. I had read one of Mary Winter’s books back in 2005, which inspired me to see if I could write something that spicy, but it wasn’t until two years later I began reading e-books more often and trying to be e-published.
WCP: Is there anything you would like the readers to take away from the story?
I just want to whisk the reader away into a quick reality break. Sit back, relax, and let your imagination be your guide.
WCP: Do you have anything else in the works?
I have about ten unfinished projects at the moment. My characters have been on an extended vacation without me, so I hope this summer I’ll be able to get one or two finished.
WCP: What about writing life/being an author took you by surprise?
My 1st rejection took me by surprise. It turns out I had been heavily influenced by Danielle Steele and Judith Michael, and head-hopping was a no-no by 2007. I still slip into that habit every once in a while, but I catch it a lot sooner now.
Secondly, the self-promotion. I was soooo naïve back in 1999; I remember saying to people, ‘If my agent gets me a publishing contract, I may need to take my BFF; she’ll do the interviews while I’ll be in the Green Room with a two-way radio, feeding her answers.’ Of course, that didn’t happen, and I’ve since been on both TV and radio.
Last, I didn’t expect my family to be so unsupportive. They like it when I get a royalty check, or am recognized in the community, but when I’m ‘in the zone’ or working on the computer doing promotion, they don’t take me seriously as ‘working’. I’ve had to interrupt chats in order to fix meals, or sit down and eat with the family, or even had to grab a notebook to continue writing if my kids needed the computer for homework. Before I was published, they were fine with me locking myself in a room to write non-stop. So I’m not exactly sure what happened.
Now for some fun questions: WCP: What one modern technology do you think you could live without? (Not that you’d like it, but you could if you had to.)
I can live without air conditioning. My family laughs because in the summertime, I literally wear two sets of clothes. I have to strip off a layer to go outside, and carry a sweater when we go out to eat. I get that cold. Even in the car, if there aren’t dual controls, I’ve been known to have a blanket over me.
WCP: If you could sit down and have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and what would you eat?
I’ve been mulling over this question for some time. I’d like to sit down with so many….Queen Elizabeth I, Princess Diana, Neil Diamond, Tommy Shaw (from Styx), Mary, the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene. A feast for the royals; pizza with the rock stars; and probably roast lamb with the Mary’s.
WCP: Chocolate, bacon, chocolate with bacon, or none of the above?
Chocolate! Esp Hershey Bliss Milk Chocolate squares, or Dove Milk Chocolate.
WCP: If you could be any man/woman, living or dead, who would you want to be? Why?
I’d love to be a back up singer for either Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, or Bon Jovi. I love music, love to sing, and singing karaoke one night a week is my stress-reliever. Maybe a year-long tour with one of these bands would cure my wanderlust to see the world?
WCP: Any last words? Um, for the interview, that is. (grin)
Thank you for letting me be here today! Here is where I can be found in cyberspace: