Author Interview with Michelle Zink

Hey y'all!Today, I'm hosting MICHELLE ZINK for an interview and several giveaways. Yes, I mean MICHELLE ZINK. Author of the bestselling trilogy Prophecy of the Sisters and A Temptation of Angels (out this spring), she is absolutely amazing. One of the sweetest out there, always interested in what you have to say, and a brilliant writer, she was such a joy to interview. Her answers were beautiful. Hope you love it as much as I did!
                                                                         Michelle's Books
Aren't the covers gorgeous? And the books are amazing. These are in chronological order (like Michelle's writing, haha).
A Temptation of Angels comes out in early 2012. I'm really excited and jealous of all you who got manuscripts early! Enjoy them!
My Interview with Michelle:
Did you want readers to hate Alice or pity her?
I didn't really want them to feel either. I just wanted them to see her as the complex, mysterious creature she is.
Did you study the relationship between twins for this series?
 I've always been fascinated with sibling relationships (I'm an only child) and with twins in particular. Over the years, I've read a lot about the connection between twins. I thought it would be interesting to depict a relationship in which twins were bonded by their obvious history and genetics but at odds in every other way.
Your you love him or hate him (or her!)?
I love her when she actually drives down my long driveway to deliver something for which I have to sign instead of leaving a note in my mailbox saying I wasn't home - when I WAS - thereby forcing me to stand in line at the P.O. for my package. :/

What's your opinion on negative reviews? Do you read them or ignore them?Unfortunately, when you have a Google Alert, you get it all - the good, the bad, and the ugly. I try not to let negative reviews wound me, but they sometimes still do. I try to remind myself that not every book is for every person. I definitely don't mind negative reviews put in a kind light, i.e. "I didn't enjoy this but if you like XYZ, you may." But the ones that are just mean always sting a little. I also have a particular hatred for people who post reviews as "Anonymous" or using accounts on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. created for the sole purpose of being hateful without having to answer for it. Cowardly! 

What's your guilty pleasure reward after writing?
Writing itself really is the reward for me, but I love to indulge in movies with my kids after writing a lot. It helps to focus on something visual when you lots of words overloading your brain, but I don't watch TV, so movies are it!

For signings, do you prefer a book to be battered and well-loved or brand new and cared for?I don't have a preference. My hope is that even the new ones will become battered and well-loved over time. 

How did you react when you found out that your debut was getting published or picked up by an agent?
When I found out Prophecy was selling in a pre-empt to Little Brown, my daughters and I did what we call the Girly Jump. Basically, we jump up and down, screaming. In our house it's reserved exclusively for first kisses and book deals. ;)

What's in your reading pile?Too much! I need to read the last book in Stieg Larseen's Millenium Triogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. My son bought me a beautiful set in vintage-style cloth covers and I LOVE the first two. I have adult books by Karen Marie Moning and Richelle Meade, I'm in the middle of The Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice, and I have an adult sci/fi Dystopian called Robocolypse that I'm dying to read. I also have an ARC of Jennifer Hubbard's Try Not to Breath that I can't wait to get to. I ADORED Jennifer's debut, The Secret Year, and am really looking forward to her new one, too. 

How did you feel about Henry and his part in the book?
I feel sad for what Alice did to him, but I also know it was what the story wanted. Lia could never have left to resolve the prophecy if Henry had remained at Birchwood. She just felt too responsible for him.

What emotions were you struck with after finishing Circle of Fire?It was so bittersweet. I'm incredibly proud of this series, which I hope will be a timeless story that readers today will introduce their girls to someday the same way I introduced my daughters to my favorite books. But it was very sad to say goodbye. I cried writing the last lines and still get teary reading them. 

Do you believe in writing chronologically or out of order?
Oh, I could never write out of order! That would mess with my OCD too much. I always write chronologically, but I think every writer has to do what works for them.

Any advice for writers?My advice echoes the advice of other writers to read and write as much as possible. But I always add this - finish something. I spent so many years dabbling, starting and stopping, abandoning projects before they were complete. I didn't know then that it will NEVER be easy. That there will ALWAYS come a time, in every single book, when your doubts get the better of you, when you're bored, when you just want to start something NEW. I don't regret it. I learned a ton. But the turning point in my career was when I committed to finishing something. I got a big-picture view on the craft that changed everything.

How much research went into this series?
Just enough to get the details right, but not as much as people think. I've never thought of this as historical fiction. To me, it's always been a fantasy that happens to be set in the past. I didn't want my readers to get bogged down in historical details to the exclusion of the story, and I didn't either.
What emotions did you want to convey in Alice and Lia's relationship?
Just the complexity of love. The complexity of loving someone who isn't always easy to love. Of trying to accept ALL of them - the beautiful and terrible. Because when you get right down to it, aren't we all a combination of both?

How did you come up with the prophecy?The initial seed of the story came from the biblical legend of the Watchers, a legion of angels who were said to have been sent to Earth to watch over mankind. In the legend, the angels fell in love with mortal women and were banished from Heaven, after which they were referred to as the Lost Souls. Hearing that phrase – the Lost Souls – was my dun-dun DUN! moment.

What legend would you say had influenced Prophecy of the Sisters the most?

The legend of the Watchers above.

What's the most touching response that you have ever received from a fan of Prophecy of the Sisters? 
I've had so many. So many people say that the story has touched and moved them in a way they will never forget. But just the other day I had an international reader post on my Facebook wall that the series had taught her that no one could stop her, to fight for what she wants, that love was waiting for her, and never to forget the people we lose. That's pretty amazing stuff.
Keep your eyes out for giveaways, donated by Michelle Zink! :)
Please ignore the awful formatting. Wordpress is being stubborn, per usual, so there may be some funky quirks in there :)