Her debut novel Lethal in Love won both the Valerie Parv Award and Romance Writers of America’s Indiana Golden Opportunities Award before publication and was snapped up by Penguin Random House after a pitch at Sydney's 2014 RWA conference. It hit virtual bookstores in July 2015 as a serial ebook.
In 2016, Lethal in Love was re-released as a single ebook the same weekend it won RWA’s Romantic Book of the Year Award for long romance.
Michelle lives in Melbourne, Australia with her real life hero and three little heroes in the making.
What makes a great romance heroine?
Backbone. I love a heroine who’s her own boss. A woman who isn’t afraid to stand up for what she wants or believes in.
A great example is Dee Byron from my short story, Love Through Time. Dee is a kickass character who’ll do anything to save the people she cares about. She’ll even travel through time, risk everything – giving up on love and her future happiness – to make a difference.
Then there’s homicide detective Jayda Thomasz from my award-winning debut, Lethal in Love. Jayda is a homicide detective foremost and a woman last. Despite adversity, she battles through life with a take-no-prisoners daring I wish I had but even a hint of.
I believe the time for women to stand back and wait to be rescued is over. We’re more than capable of rescuing ourselves.
That’s why I always write my heroine’s with courage. With determination.
With a heaped serving of mettle.
And, of course, backbone.
What made you want to be an author?
You ask that question as if I had a choice. Lol!
I didn’t choose writing. Writing chose me.
But, what to write?
I’ve always had a fascination for psychology. For delving into what makes people tick.
What better way to analyse the whys and wherefores of the human mind than to throw two of the most unlikely characters onto the pages together?
But don’t stop there. Oh, no.
Next, surround them with mayhem, with murder. Kill one or more of their inner circle. Then turn the world against them. Leave them with only each other to rely on. And in those moments, when they turn to each other for comfort, make them fall in love.
But give them reason to believe that any love, any relationship between them, is hopeless.
Then sit back and see how they react.
And that doesn’t even take into account the killer’s point of view.
What makes a killer? What gives him the need – the craving – to kill?
All these questions, the possibilities and more, make fascinating research. Add to that the ability to make people fall in love every single day, and you have what makes being an author the best job in the world.
What is the secret life of a romance writer? What goes on between you and your keyboard (or quill) behind closed doors?
Not so secret. And not so different from any of my counterparts.
I write, because I can’t imagine doing anything else. And in between those moments when my characters kidnap my thoughts, I’m a mother, a wife, a taxi driver, a cook, a cleaner, a counsellor and a teacher.
I run when I need to clear my mind, and drink coffee when I need an energy boost and I seldom go anywhere without my camera – especially when I’m out with my three beautiful boys.
When I’m not writing, I’m voracious reader. I love romance, the hot and spicy kind. And if it’s a little bit humorous, or a little terrifying, or a little of both, I love it even more.
When I’m not chauffeuring the kids to any of their numerous activities, I love family time and can spend an entire evening playing rummy tiles, cashflow or trivial pursuit (the kiddie’s version, because I can’t for the life of me answer the adult’s one).
If you have one piece of advice for aspiring authors, what would it be?
Find your tribe.
It’s important to realise, as you sit at your computer and create, that although you write alone, you don’t have to be lonely.
The writing community is an amazing one. Welcoming. Supportive. Nurturing.
So, find like-minded writers, ones who inspire you, who make you feel good about yourself and your stories. Ones you can inspire and encourage in return. Form partnerships and encourage each other. And work together to make yourselves and your writing stronger.
I know that there are so many other pieces of advice that I could give, but without my ‘tribe’, I doubt I would have achieved as much as I have in the past six or so years. The beautiful women of Melbourne Romance Writers Guild are the backbone to my success. They are my inspiration and my cheering squad, as I hope I’ve been to them.
And we are all-the-more stronger for our solidarity and support.
Is there a genre you’d like to try writing but haven’t yet?
Interesting you ask this question. I’ve never delved into time travel, but I’m a fervent lover of the old series Quantum Leap. I have the spark of an idea for a killer time travel series, but how to know whether I could even write the genre?
Give it a go.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done for my anthology short story this year. Love Through Time is a time travel suspense which was both fun and a challenge to write. I hope after all I’ve put Dee and Colt through, I’ve done their story justice.
Find out more about Michelle
Website : www.michelle-somers.com
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/MichelleSomersAuthor
Light dimmed from Colt’s eyes. ‘Dee. She’s dead.’ The words bit out through taut lips, his pity, his anguish, wrenching her gut.
So real it made his betrayal that much worse.
She hauled her mind back from the body in the library. ‘Not yet. But she will be if I don’t leave now.’
The furrows between his brows weren’t unexpected. He was still unaware that what was done wasn’t necessarily written.
When would that change?
He reached for her, then dropped his hand as she stepped back. ‘I saw the explosion. Saw her in the flames. I tried to save her…’
The images played in her mind, nausea smacking her afresh. ‘I know. But the beam collapsed and you were too late.’
His head jerked. ‘How do you know?’
Her gaze darted to the gaping wall behind her, the fire opal around her neck cold and unfamiliar. As was her determination to do what she’d vowed never to do – tinker with time.
‘I have to go.’
‘You can’t do this alone.’
‘And who’ll help me? You? Like you did before?’
He gave a long suffering sigh. ‘I locked you in the closet because I care about what happens to you.’ Words like strings, they tugged at her heart.
She ignored the pull with a shake of her head. ‘And I arrived too late.’
‘I saved your life.’
‘And sacrificed Lucy’s.’ She dragged a hand across smoke-bitten eyes. Blinked. ‘Your altruism is only exceeded by your arrogance.’ Slowly she backed toward the jagged cavity. ‘Once again, it’s been a pleasure, Colt.’
‘I still love you.’ The strings yanked.
She knew that too. So many things. And none that made a difference.
The ending was foretold.