Today, I'm interviewing Ingrid Michaels. I met Ingrid through Twitter. We became Triberr mates and now Ingrid is one of my best friends in the writing world. Welcome, Ingrid.
First, tell us a little about yourself.
As writers, we often become emotionally attached to our characters. Who is your favorite hero you’ve ever written?
That's a difficult choice to make, mostly because many of my heroes tend to be anti-heroes. I like 'em all, but some I like because of their darker traits. Jakob, for example, is a vampire in my Diagnosis Love novella series. He is tall, dark and sexy, but my view of vampires is that they are basically bloodthirsty sharks dressed in nice suits. I do have a couple of 'normal' heroes, such as Jean-Marc Lalonde. He's a handsome, caring French Canadian doctor who signed up with Doctors Without Borders and helps refugees in Muhajeria, Sudan.
Have you ever fallen in love with or had a crush on one of your heroes? Tell us about him.
There's Dr. Jean-Marc... and also my new hero, JP. JP is an art historian! I taught college-level Art History for a couple of years, so I share his passion for art. JP is sensitive and passionate, both about art and the love of his life, his girlfriend Karen. He enjoys good food and good company. He's witty, urbane, refined without being pretentious. I would date him in a second if not for… um... you know... Mr. Michaels... :-)
How do you develop your heroes? Do you imagine their personality or their physical appearance first? Do they grow as personalities as you write or do you do a character sketch before you type the first word?
Although most if not all of my romances are character-driven, I develop my hero based on the role he plays in the story. So, I'd have to say that although I usually start with a thumbnail sketch partly based on his occupation, his personality grows as the story develops. Of course, everything changes as the story evolves.
I like to give my heroes a personality quirk, just so they aren’t too perfect. Have you ever written a quirk for one of your heroes and what was it?
*laughs* Well, Jakob likes to feed on people, and he began as a suicidal vampire, so that's a bit quirky. :-) Jake (no relation to Jakob-the-vampire, just some unfortunate timing in release dates between two different projects) is a normal CPA type of guy who has Friday Night Hookups with his very imaginative wife Maggie. Meanwhile Witman, a painter with some paranormal connections, likes to paint Sorelle's passions. JP is diabetic and in Illegal Forward Pass I have a hot, athletic NFL quarterback who puts his family and community ahead of everything else.
How do you name your hero?
Well, other than the unfortunate Jake/Jakob mishap, I go back and forth between a list of names I keep adding to and looking at geographical origins that might come into play in the story. For example, in Bahdria, Jean-Marc is from Quebec, because I wanted to feature a French Canadian hero. In Diagnosis Love, Jakob is from Hungary, because there's a strong literary connection between Central European countries and vampirism.
Who is your favorite hero in books, movies, or television?
My favorite fictional hero is Clark Kent, aka Superman, Smallville version. I love how the writers made him so vulnerable! Even though he had all of these superpowers at his disposal the poor Superboy/Superman was fraught with emotional and psychological insecurities. Yes, the show felt like a soap opera, but I always appreciated how the viewers sympathized with the human side of Superman. Smallville also offered writers a lesson: no matter how invincible a character appears, one can always find weaknesses to exploit in dramatic situations - in Superman's case this is a universal trait shared by every viewer; our heart and soul, our very humanity.
Who is your hero in real life?
My hero in real life is my big brother! Several years ago he was diagnosed with fourth stage non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, with a 30% chance of survival. He not only beat the odds, he made a full recovery! He had chemo and radiation treatments, and he came through better than ever! He was so courageous. There was simply no way he would let cancer beat him. He truly is my hero - and the inspiration for my Diagnosis Love novella, along with my as-yet unpublished novel-length love story: Love and Death.
Tell us about your most recent release and where we can find it. Who is the hero and what do you like about him the most?
My newest release is a sweet contemporary/historical romance novella titled Giovanna's Dilemma, available from Noble Romance Publishing. The aforementioned JP (the art historian) is just one of my heroes! This novella is set in the present and also, in a neat flashback, in 1434 Bruges, Holland. In the historical section, the hero is a sweet sixteen-year-old boy named Pieter Baes, Jan van Eyck's assistant, who is in love with Giovanna Cenami, the young maiden betrothed to the much older Giovanni Arnolfini. What I love about both of these heroes is how Pieter and JP are so devoted to the love of their lives. Of course, Pieter has much stricter social mores to contend with than contemporary JP, and my heart really goes out to the boy. I assure you, yours will, too.
You can purchase Giovanna's Dilemma from Noble Publishing at https://www.nobleromance.com/Books?author=178 Or it will be coming soon for Kindle on Amazon.com. See Ingrid's Amazon author page at http://www.amazon.com/Ingrid-Michaels/e/B0050JT86I
Thanks for joining me on Suspense, She Writes, Ingrid. It was great getting to know you better. I look forward to reading Giovanna's Dilemma. I enjoyed Bahdria very much, so I am sure this book will be terrific as well.
You can find Ingrid Michaels' blog at this link.
Ingrid's Twitter @IngridMichaels
Ingrid's Twitter @IngridMichaels
And now dear bloggy readers, Ingrid is giving away one copy of Giovanna's Dilemma to a lucky commenter. Leave your comment as well as an e-mail or twitter address so I can contact you. I'll draw one winner at random on Wednesday, May 30th.