Welcome to the Mother/Gamer/Writer Indie Spotlight, a creative way for self-published authors to shine on the blog. To learn more about the Indie Spotlight, please feel free to view interviews and articles from Past Featured Authors, and if you are an author yourself and you are interested in being featured, please Fill Out This Form.
Please welcome author M.L. Woolley to The Indie Spotlight! Not only is Michele a World of Warcraft (game on!) player, but she is also the author of powerful stories, stories that will capture your attention and leave you breathless. Today, we are featuring one of those very stories, Dark Passage centered around an old Victorian house in Olalla and the mysterious reason our main characters are drawn to it. Check out her interview as we dive deep into the novel and her life as a writer, and enter our (INT) Dark Passage Giveaway!
- Title: Dark Passage (Chosen, #1)
- ISBN-10: 1470027313
- ISBN-13: 978-1470027315
- Publication date: 7/1/2012
- Paperback: 310 pages
- Find It: Goodreads/Amazon/B & N
Jen hides in a rundown mansion when her life falls apart, has vivid experiences with a beautiful male entity who longs to be her soulmate, and must choose reality of living or dead. Her childhood friend Ivy 19, from a rough past, can communicate with the dead, and other supernatural gifts emerge. Ivy will resist the evil that would separate the lovers.
“With one final glance behind her, Jen urged her horse forward, and toward the safety of the mountains. Her heart was heavy and she immediately thought of the other realm. Her hope was that they were aware of what had happened and would help. Chaos was already breaking out; and the world was in danger of slipping back to a time of great darkness, reminiscent of the Middle Ages.”
1. Welcome Michele to Mother/Gamer/Writer. For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
It’s a pleasure to be here Diayll and thank you for taking the time for this interview. I am a writer by night and during the week I serve the public as a social worker. Social work is part of who I am because I have lived many of the situations of the people I have been fortunate enough to help. The world is a dark place and there is much suffering that the general public does not experience or know about. My stories are taken from people who have refused to give up and have pushed forward from broken lives and made something out of their lives. Each of my characters are infused with the courageous people who took ruined lives and created something great for themselves. I admire people who refuse to look at the obvious and reach for the impossible. Who is to say what is real and what is not real? Perhaps a bit of magic helped them become great people.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my 20 something daughters, riding my horse, playing World Of Warcraft (Yes- I took love to game) and spending time with friends.
2. Do you have a particular writing style? Any odd writing habits?
My writing comes from my heart and from the memories I hold of people I have known. I enjoy telling each of their stories and bringing their personalities to life. My writing embraces the diversity of each person and how they overcome the impossible.
Writing early in the morning or at night are my favorite times. I do a great deal of research (it may not seem like it but every writer spends an hour of research for each hour of writing) finding the tidbits of information that make a character come to life. For instance, the demons were created from my study of the occult and reading ancient books of the dead. I spent countless hours at the courthouse reading 1920’s trial records and exploring eye witness accounts of actual ritualistic murders. I am a visual person and I find the research absolutely necessary in writing a passage or chapter. I have written passages from the nightmares I have had after reading the eye witness accounts.
3. Who would you consider your favorite authors, or where do you draw inspiration?
There are many authors who have contributed to my inspirations and they span a broad collection of genres. I have always enjoyed horror and paranormal authors. My particular favorites are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Patterson and even Bram Stoker. I enjoy the stories that intertwine real lives with impossible situations. Most recently, I read Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay. That story was intriguing in how it weaved its way through so many lives and in the end there was finally resolution. I enjoy a story with a measure of shock to kick it off and unexpected twists and turns throughout the story. I am an avid reader and each book touches me in so many ways that I couldn’t begin to put my finger on which one inspired me the most.
4. What was your favorite scene or chapter to write?
There is a character called Ivy who intrigues me in so many ways. I knew a few girls like Ivy over the years and perhaps recognize glimpses of myself in her persona. She is the girl that loves to take risks, is not afraid to speak her mind and is the classic bad girl. She is a sister, daughter, friend, lover and the girl people love to hate. My favorite scene is when she realizes she has a destiny and that her life is key in putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Have you ever known someone who is a “mean girl” and later on you find out why? It’s that glimpse into the soul of that person that draws me into their story. There is always more to someone than meets the eye.
5. Were there any ideas or character you had to leave out that you would like to revisit or work into another novel?
This story focused on Jen and Bill and in part two we will build on Ivy and Lisa. Lisa is a conceited, self-centered person always looking out for her own agenda. She makes choices in part two that change the course of her life forever.
6. Is there a message, or underlying theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There is always more to life than meets the eye. When things seem beyond hope there is always opportunity to change the course of your life. Deep down, beyond what people see on the outside is a great person waiting to do something tremendous with their life. My theme to everyone I know is never to give up on yourself and push forward to the dream in your soul.
7. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write what is in your heart and don’t give up. People may tell you that you will never succeed but ignore them and keep working toward your goal. Write for the love of telling a story and you will find success. Success is measured in many ways and may not necessarily make you famous or wealthy. Success is in how you make others feel and what your story brings to their lives.
8. Please list all locations where readers can find you and your work. (Twitter, FB, Goodreads, Blog, etc.)
Twitter (mlwoolley1), Facebook (ML Woolley), Goodreads (ML Woolley), firstname.lastname@example.org, Amazon.com, Barns & Nobles & additional venues in the near future.
9. What books are currently on your bookshelf?
Currently I am reading Divergent, revisiting some favorite classics, the new Stephen King and there are about 50 other titles on my Kindle to read yet
10. Your latest novel is Dark Passage. What is the background behind the story, are any real life events reflected in the novel?
The house in the story sits down the road from where I live. It overlooks the Puget Sound and belonged to a friend of the infamous doctor who murdered her patients. It is said to have been a place of ritualistic torture and murder according to the locals. The home is haunted and I have experienced first-hand paranormal phenomenon inside the place. Check out “Starvation Heights” on Google for additional information.
Over the years I have had encounters with paranormal entities. My brother died a few years back and I am certain his spirit visited me the night of his funeral. I was fast asleep in bed after a terrible day of grief. Not long after I finally drifted off to sleep I was woken to the musical tinkling of a tiny music box. It had been given to me by him for my 16th birthday. The box played for about an hour (it was not wound and the top was closed) and then ended abruptly.
When my mom died a couple of years ago I had many paranormal experiences in my home. We could hear footsteps walking around (our girls are early 20’s and moved out) and the garbage disposal going off. There were also incidents of photos of her and I being moved around. This was a tremendous loss for me and I think she was around to let me know she was ok.
Dark passage is woven with the fabric of various ideas. It features ideas from my imagination, events that have occurred and people I have known over the years.
11. Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans, or to people who are considering reading your novel?
Writing is a passion that is fueled by imagination. My stories burn in my heart and there is so much more to come in the months and years ahead.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions; it has been my pleasure having you on Mother/Gamer/Writer!
Thank you for having me on your blog Diayll- I appreciate the time you have taken…
Contest is Open Internationally
The winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
The winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
About the Author: Michele's educational background is BA in Psychology, MA in Education and an MED in Counseling Psychology. Education focused on applied principles with a diverse theoretical approach. Writing plays a very small part of what I do...more Michele was adopted and grew up in Washington State. While raising her two girls, she worked her way through college and graduate school working for a housekeeping service. She has spent many years in social services as social worker, crisis worker, counselor and case manager. Her first interest has always been helping people to live better lives and become all that they can be. She was remarried later in life and lives with her husband in a small town in Washington- I never give up on a goal once it's set in my mind. "Everyone has potential and can achieve their dreams. NEVER give up on yourself"- Michele
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© 2012, Diayll – MotherGamerWriter. All rights reserved.
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