Today I have the wonderful Michele de Winton!! She has graceously agreed to stop by and let me pester her with my random questions =) AND I get to giveaway a book!! Let's get to it!
MdW: Thanks so much for having me. I feel very lucky to call myself a writer and I’m very excited about my first romance being out in the world. It’s a treat to chat with you all about the journey.
random: Where do you find your inspiration for your stories? Do you base your characters on people you know or do your characters just show up in your head?
MdW: My answer to this question is often a slightly boring, “everything I see around me.” It’s true, I do find inspiration in the everyday. Snippets of conversations, articles in the paper, photos in magazines. But with The Boss and Her Billionaire, it wasn’t every day that inspired me, rather a series of days that provided almost everything this book required fully formed; characters, setting, sunshine, cocktails…bliss.
In The Boss and Her Billionaire, Cruise director Michaela Western has everything she wants – except a sex life. There are no secrets on cruise ships and she won’t risk her career for a few moments of toe curling pleasure. But then a devilishly handsome new staffer with a body made for sin tempts her to walk on the wild side…
Investment billionaire Dylan Johns is used to giving orders, not taking them. Still, cosying up to the boss seems the best way to keep his secrets safe. But when their no strings fling turns serious, Michaela has to chose between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Where did all that come from? Real life. Well, almost.
I was a guest writer on a Cruise ship last year. I know right, who knew there even was such a thing. But I had been doing a reading at an event and the CEO of a cruise ship company happened to be there. She asked if I’d be interested doing something similar on one of her ships. A free cruise? For Moi? Count me in! Of course I said yes! It meant that my husband and I had a sort of hybrid cruise, having a full guest experience with a lovely stateroom and full access to the onshore tours etc, but also going backstage and into the staff offices and quarters of the ship. The Cruise Director on my cruise was a man and I never even met the Captain. But watching the dancers interact with guests and being involved with some of the shows sparked something in my mind. I have also been a professional dancer so felt I definitely knew what my characters would be thinking and feeling. So like I said, they burst almost fully formed onto my pages when I sat down to write them.
random: Do you have a specific or special place that you write?
MdW: Yes. I’m lucky enough to have the smallest bedroom – which is really a glorified annex - turned into my office. This is because I also write copy and literary work so writing is most definitely a ‘job’ where I turn up at the desk every day (my small boy being co-operative that is) We live outside the city a little and so I’m sort of encased in trees and bush and because I generally like quiet, I can hear the wind whistling through them on stormy days. There’s actually a scene in The Boss and Her Billionaire where Michaela and Dylan talk about missing the sounds of land, including the wind through trees and I think that’s a direct translation of what I find when I’m on the water. Sure there are plenty of other noises, but I love the rush of wind through branches out here. It’s peaceful and yet full of earthy energy.
random: While you write, do you listen to music? Do you have playlists you play on repeat while you write?
MdW: At the moment I have strains of the Fleet Foxes to write to. That’s probably because it’s the music my little boy likes to sleep to and I only get to write when he’s sleeping! The whole album is on repeat and has to get through two doors to get to me – so it sort of just drifts off into the background of my consciousness. Until he wakes up! I’m not really one for having music on when I’m writing as anything with too strong a beat or that I want to sing along to gets me too distracted.
random: What’s on your current playlist? Who are your favorite artists?
MdW: I’m a real mixed bag when it comes to music. My husband is English and I’m from New Zealand so we tend to have music predominantly from those two spheres. But what’s on really depends on whether we’re dancing or sitting quietly!
So currently on the playlist at our place is, from NZ, Sola Rosa, Great North, Fly my Pretties, and Ladi6. From the UK, The Anomolies, The Swell Season, Roots Manuva, and Mr Scruff. Oh and Lady Gaga just for something completely different!
random: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
MdW: It’s the place just passed the two thirds mark. You know your hero’s gunna get the girl. You can feel the sparks hissing at each other. Almost taste the tension when she stalks out of the room as his dark moment looms. And you can see the end in sight. For me that’s when the writing really starts to ramp up and the words seem to put themselves down on the page with much less effort or thought. When I write like that it’s usually much better quality too. The story takes over and I’m just rushing to keep up. In that space, everything is gold and the book is the shiny magical wonderful thing you always hoped it would be.
When the last word is typed that’s when the hard part starts all over again. Editing! Sigh.
random: I absolutely love book covers, they tell so much about the book, the characters, everything!! So I have to ask, how do you choose your book covers?
MdW: For an Entangled Publishing title it’s more of a team effort. The author fills out a cover art form with ideas and descriptions of what the main characters look like, what settings might work and anything that you really can’t see working. Then the art team take that input and suggestions, put them in the mix and come up with something delicious. I have to say I think they did a great job on The Boss and Her Billionaire. Those biceps are certainly delish.
random: Who are your favorite authors? What are you reading right now that you love?
MdW: Leslie Kelly, Isabel Sharp and Sarah Mayberry for steamy contemporary romance,
Abby Gaines for a more emotional read,
Nalini Singh for paranormal world building and feisty characters,
Jilly Cooper for old school sentimental I-grew-up-reading-her reasons.
I’m dipping into the July Entangled Publishing releases at the moment and eating up Nicola Marsh’s Not the Marrying Kind and Gina Maxwell’s Seducing Cinderella.
I’d love to hear from readers so I’d love your blog readers to get in touch.
Drop me a line or post a comment on my blogwww.micheledewinton.com
I also blog at The Naked Hero as The Luna goddess
Investment billionaire Dylan Johns always gets what he wants. He is used to giving orders—not taking them—until he’s forced to go on hiatus from his investment company. To bide his time and carry out an old dream, he takes a job on a cruise ship—and ends up taking orders from his gorgeous, but uptight, new boss. He is determined to loosen her up with a fun onboard romance, but their no-strings fling turns serious and Dylan is forced to confess his lies.
When the affair threatens to shatter Michaela’s own career dreams, she finds herself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Like I said earlier - Michele & Entangled were so kind to me today! They have given me a copy of this book to giveaway to YOU! You know what to do - enter below!!