Happy Wednesday! Today, the Eastern Penn Points Cafe welcomes Michelle Hauck, author, blogger, and co-host of many online writing contests – including this October’s Nightmare On Query Street (#NoQS). I invited Michelle to stop by and talk about her books, the journey to publication, and of course that spooktacular contest she has coming up. Be sure to follow Michelle online (see links below), and say hi in the comments and give her a warm welcome!
Lindsay: Hi there, Michelle, and welcome to the Eastern Penn Points Cafe! We’re so glad to have you! As we settle into our comfy booth, what will you have to drink?
Michelle: Since this is a group for kid lit, I’ll stick with my beverage of choice and say milk. Thanks!
Lindsay: And something to nibble on?
Michelle: How about a big chocolate brownie with lots of frosting? Delicious!
Lindsay: Your wish is our command! I hope that’s big enough.
First of all, congratulations on your upcoming releases with Harper Voyager! Can you tell us a little bit about the series, and when we’ll be able to get a copy of the first book, GRUDGING?
Michelle: GRUDGING: Birth of Saints is about an idyllic city that is unpredictably surrounded by a huge army and the lengths they’ll go to save the people. It involves a hunt for some allies who are witches. It releases November 17, 2015 in ebook and will have a print book a month later. Of course, there’s magic and questions of honor as it’s epic fantasy.
Lindsay: Cool! Mark your calendars, Fantasy Fans!
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to publication?
Michelle: GRUDGING is my fifth book and the second to be published. I write all types of fantasy, but actually write in middle grade, young adult and adult. It took me eleven months to write and revise GRUDGING, and it was on submission by my agent for only four months. Then everything happened really fast. We got an offer and Harper Voyager wanted to publish very soon—in only five months! It’s been a whirlwind!
Lindsay: Our October theme is “Getting Down to Business,” which can be rather intimidating for us arsty-dreamy-folk. What’s your best morsel of business advice for those writers who are querying right now?
Michelle: Be prepared for the first book not to get an agent. I know that is painful advice, but it is realistic. It took me four tries. Write something else totally different while you query. That way if it doesn’t work out, you have something else done and ready to query. Every time you query a manuscript you are making new connections with agents, and those connections can really start to count.
Lindsay: Speaking of October and querying, you’re going to be co-hosting an online contest called #NOQS (Nightmare On Query Street)! As someone currently in the querying trenches, I can really appreciate the title 🙂 Several of us from EPA SCBWI participated in your recent #PBParty, and we’re excited for more! Can you tell our readers what to expect so we can join in the spooktakular fun?
Michelle: Well, NoQS is a query contest, meaning you enter your query letter and the first 250 words of your manuscript. There is also a special question to answer about your main character’s most fearsome obsession. We will be accepting all genres of middle grade, young adult, new adult, and adult. (Sorry no PB this time.) The submission window is October 15th at 4:00 pm. We will only take the first 250 entries. There are 24 agents signed up as I write this, but it is likely to increase. You can find out more at my blog. I hope to see you there!
Lindsay: See the rules here, and check out the newly posted mentor bios, too!
Now, enough of this businessy stuff! You came here for snacks and fun, and we deliver. So…..
If you could become any book character and live in his/her world indefinitely, who would you be?
Michelle: Well, I’d want a world that is like ours with the comforts we enjoy. I need that cell phone and also contact lenses. Not a dystopian as that doesn’t sound very happy. So that probably sends me more toward an urban fantasy. I think middle grade is a safer place to be (I’m not very brave). I’m thinking early Harry Potter and I’d be the Neville Longbottom type. Safe and comfortable, but able to be a hero if I had to.
Lindsay: Would you change your own ending?
Michelle: I would insert a chapter where my character wins the lottery and never has to work again! Oh, and has a very high metabolism. And they all lived happily ever after.
Lindsay: Name your favorite….
Book on the craft of writing: Confession, I’ve never read any.
Type of shoe: I’m addicted to buying and wearing boots: brown boots, black boots, furry boots, boots with buckles. Short ones. High ones. I have a ton.
Midnight snack: I try not to eat late at night, so water? But sometimes I have ice cream.
Mode of transportation: We get a lot of snow here in this part of Indiana. My hubs is not happy unless I have something big and 4-wheel drive.
Lindsay: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Michelle: I imagine I wanted to read, and I sorta get to do that! Or be Mighty Mouse. One of those.
Lindsay: Thanks so much for joining us, Michelle! It’s been our pleasure to have you! We’ll see you on Query Street.
Michelle: Thank you, Lindsay and the Eastern Penn Points Café! You have some great questions and it’s been so fun to be here.
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Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of northern Indiana with her hubby and two teenagers. Besides working with special needs children by day, she writes all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.
She is a co-host of the yearly the writer contests Query Kombat, Nightmare on Query Street, New Agent, PitchSlam, and Sun versus Snow. Her Birth of Saints Series from Harper Voyager starts with GRUDGING on November 17, 2015. Her epic fantasy, KINDAR’S CURE, was published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, Frost and Fog, was published by The Elephant’s Bookshelf Press in their anthology, Summer’s Double Edge. Elephant’s Bookshelf Press also published another of her short stories, The Unfinished Task, in their winter anthology, Winter’s Regret. She’s represented by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.
Blog: Michelle4Laughs: It’s in the Details
Facebook: Michelle Hauck, Author
Goodreads: Kindar’s Cure
Thanks again for inviting me!