January 8, 2012

The Book of Lost Souls & Don't Fear the Reaper by Michelle Muto: Interview & Giveaway

Today I am hosting Michelle Muto, author of The Book of Lost Souls and Don't Fear the Reaper, for an interview. Enjoy!

Why did you decide to take the independent author route versus traditional publishing?

I had The Book of Lost Souls with a top NY agency for several months. They loved the book, but another, more established client decided to write a teen witch story, and they thought that Don't Fear the Reaper was a bit dark, so I decided to try the indie route. I didn’t see any reason to let two manuscripts that agents were on the fence with sit on my computer, wasted.

What are your favorite aspects of paranormal to read? How did you encompass that into your work?

I love that with paranormal fiction, the rules for world building are only limited by imagination. I love that paranormal fiction takes us far away from our real lives. It’s like Harry Potter. Who wouldn’t have wanted to go to Hogwarts?

How do I encompass that? I love to add small details that make the paranormal seem real. I like to give the reader something they can imagine in their own minds.

What was your inspiration for Don't Fear the Reaper and The Book of Lost Souls?

With Don't Fear the Reaper, it was a challenge. One of the agencies that read the full manuscript of The Book of Lost Souls wanted something darker, more dystopian. Turns out, I made it a bit too controversial for them.

For The Book of Lost Souls, it was the early Harry Potter books. I loved the innocence, the humor. I wanted to read more books that were fun and light, so I decided to write one.

In both of your books you have a strong female main character, what do you think are the most important attributes of a believable female MC?

She’s got to have faults and she must grow in some way by the end of the book. I also think it is important that the reader relates to her in some way or feel empathy/sympathy for her plight.

Do you have any favorite books/series/authors in the paranormal genre that inspired your work?

Plenty! Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Kelley Armstrong, J.K. Rowling, old Alfred Hitchcock movies (The Birds, for one), Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone, Shirley Jackson, the television series Supernatural, and Bram Stoker to name a few.

Which usually comes first the characters or the plot?

It’s always the plot, yet once the top-level aspects of the story are in my head, I’m character driven.

What are you currently working on?

The sequel to The Book of Lost Souls. Then, I’ll be working on the sequel to Don't Fear the Reaper. But there are so many others that I’m always ‘working’ on.

Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

Believe in yourself and your ability to change your small corner of the world. Believe in the magic that is you. The late Henry Ford once said, "If you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right."

And, thank you, Dear Readers. Because, every author with a story to tell writes with you in mind.

Thanks for stopping by Michelle!

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before - that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history's most nefarious killers. Ivy's got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end.

Grief-stricken by the murder of her twin, Keely Morrison is convinced suicide is her ticket to eternal peace and a chance to reunite with her sister. When Keely succeeds in taking her own life, she discovers death isn’t at all what she expected. Instead, she’s trapped in a netherworld on Earth and her only hope for reconnecting with her sister and navigating the afterlife is a bounty-hunting reaper and a sardonic, possibly unscrupulous, demon. But when the demon offers Keely her greatest temptation—revenge on her sister's murderer—she must uncover his motives and determine who she can trust. Because, as Keely soon learns, both reaper and demon are keeping secrets and she fears the worst is true—that her every decision will change how, and with whom, she spends eternity.

Michelle has always loved storytelling. When she was a child, her favorite stories were of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.

As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she's doing what she loves best - writing and storytelling.

Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords

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  1. Thanks SO much for hosting me, Kate & Jessica!

    I wish everyone entering the best of luck. Thanks for entering!

  2. What a fabulous interview. Great questions!
    These sound like great books. I always enjoyed the creepy-crawly type stories when I was young, but write the opposite now. It'd be fun to revisit the darker side for a bit while reading these books. ;)

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Um, holy cow, these books sounds amazing! Even if I don't win these, I am definitely snagging myself a copy. The Book of Lost Souls has especially piqued my interest.

  5. The books sound amazing, I am excited to read them both!!

  6. I'm with the rest of the posters here! Both of these books sound like they are perfect for me! I've got them on the top of my TBR list now.
    I would love to know if Michelle was a daydreamer as a child - someone this creative would have to be, I would think!
    Thank you so much for such an awesome giveaway!

    Gena Robertson

  7. I love the cover of Lost Souls and the book sounds really intriguing!

  8. Hehe, I own The Book Of Lost Souls (and it's on my to-read-next-list) and I read the sample and can't wait to read Don't Fear The Reaper; the cover especially drew me in :)

  9. I got a sneak peak of this book with chapter one on Courtney Cole's blog and it became a must read for me. I bought it, waited for it to show up on my Kindle then started to read and read and read and I didn't put it down until I was finished. Yes this book deals with a teen suicide but shows the side that most don't depict. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, and it made me think a demon was worth routing for. This is definitely a must read in my opinion.


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