"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Michele Hauf lives in Minnesota with her husband and two children. She writes historical romance, fantasy, and action/adventure contemporaries.
Though she has yet to meet a vampire, she feels sure they spend much time in Minnesota. Where else can you find six months of winter with so little sunlight? A vampire haven!
An Interview with Michele Hauf
PNR: Welcome Michele, can you tell us a little about how you started writing; was it something you have always wanted to do?
Michele H.: Hmm, nope, never had in mind to become a writer, but I’ve always had very dramatic and fantastical stories going on in my brain ever since I can remember. One day I thought I might write one of those stories down, and well…I haven’t looked back since.
Thus far, I’ve published 16 novels and novellas in the romance genre, including historical, action/adventure, paranormal and fantasy. I like to write a variety of things, so I’ve been very fortunate to find editors who encourage that.
PNR: Readers are very excited about Nocturne’s new DARK ENCHANTMENTS series from Silhouette, the premise is very intriguing. How were you approached to join the project?
Michele H.: Actually, I and three other authors, who have known each other for about twelve years (we met online and were assigned to one another as critique partners all those years ago) decided we wanted to do something together. I had been writing for Nocturne at the time, and we thought something paranormal would be fun. We put together a proposal, detailing the ‘world’ we would set the story in, along with brief overviews of our own stories, and sent it in. The editors liked it, and what do you know—we got to do this fabulous project together!
PNR: FAMILIAR STRANGER, book one of the series will be released August 2007. Could you tell us about your contribution to the Dark Enchantments series, where does your story fit into this world?
Michele H.: My story introduces the world of Dark Enchantments to the readers. The four authors involved created two opposing factions. The Cadre is a hermetic order that has been around about 400 years. They are dedicated to the study and science of Otherworldy Entities. They hunt and capture demons, but generally do not destroy them. They are benevolent---most of the time.
And then there’s P-Cell, a black-ops section of MI-5, which was created in the 1940s to eradicate the Otherwordly Entities from this earth. Their motto is ‘shoot first, ask questions never’.
Yeah, we liked the idea of pitting those two forces against one another. Would make for great conflict, and also add a lot of action/adventure to the stories.
PNR: Whose concept was the Dark Enchantments world? What is your unique take on this world as it relates to your book and characters?
Michele H.: The concept was created by all four authors: Nina Bruhns, Cynthia Cooke, Michele Hauf, Pat White.
My take on it is…I love it! It’s set in a world I wouldn’t mind visiting. Though, you’ll find in the three books that follow mine, the demons may even be the heroes. In my story, the demons are villains. I just couldn’t go there, with having a demon as hero. Didn’t work in my imagination. But that was cool, because we wanted to show that not everything in this world is either good or bad, some things are a mixture of the two. And you never know who is on what side.
PNR: How much freedom were you given in developing your installment of the series? Were you given an outline, names, etc. or just the concept to develop?
Michele H.: Again, the entire series was created by the authors, so it’s all our doing. (Good, bad or ugly.) J We actually created a bible, which is similar to what a publisher will do if they create a series. It featured an outline of each story, pictures of hero and heroines and an extensive term list.
PNR: Though each book is a stand alone taking place within a common “world”, did you brainstorm with the other the authors for continuity within the Dark Enchantments world? What has been your experience collaborating with so many talented authors?
Michele H.: Oh heck, we did a lot of brainstorming. I think we initially started out wanting to have a common thread through all the books, starting in mine, then coming to a conclusion with Pat’s book in November. But the more elaborate the world became, and the more each author took off on her own, we just decided that setting the stories in the actual world was enough of a tie. And we didn’t want readers to have to read book #1 to get what was going on in book #3. Each book stands alone.
Though we did create recurring secondary characters, which was a lot of fun. I especially like Ophelia, the gate keeper you’ll meet in my story. She’s a sweet little old lady, when she wants to be. J
But the real benefit of doing a series like this is so each of the authors can introduce their fans to the other authors’ writing. We’re all great friends, and we all read each others’ stuff, and enjoy it, so what a great way to promote each other.
And I really do enjoy the whole collaboration part of it. Even though we each had very separate stories, just discussing plot points with each other sometimes introduced great new ideas. It was fun!
PNR: What was the biggest challenge you faced working on the series? The most rewarding aspect? Would you do it again?
Michele H.: Biggest challenge? Okay, to be honest, not every day was a party. L As with any collaboration, there’s always going to be differences in opinion. And we all had our days when we didn’t agree with everyone else. To be expected. Heck, it can’t be easy all the time.
Rewarding? Getting to work with my friends! And, have you seen the covers? Silhouette did an amazing job with the covers. All are in shades of purple and they tie together quite well. Each has a landmark or architectural detail in the background that ties into the story. We’ve got them all posted at the Dark Enchantments blog. Go check them out!
Would I do it again? Yes! I enjoy the challenge of working things out with others, and gaining new ideas through collaboration. I’d work with these ladies again in a heartbeat.
PNR: What advice would you give to an author looking at being part of a series like this?
Michele H.: Actually, right now, I think publishers are very open to the idea of authors presenting series ideas to them. If you can hand them a proposal that details the project and each of the books, something professional, and clearly thought out. And if you are already with an editor, you may have an idea what she is looking for, or ask her if she would be interested in an idea you’d like to present. I think editors are always looking for great ideas, and if you can show them one, they may just take a chance on it. Probably the series lines might be easier to break into with an idea like this. But I wouldn’t rule out single title publishers. I’m all about a challenge, and taking dares. If you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll go do it. So if I think I’ve got a great idea, I’m certainly going to go for it. The worst they can do is say ‘no’, but if you never try, you’ll never know.
PNR: Will Nocturne be revisiting the Dark Enchantments world in the future?
Michele H.: Each of the authors has an interest in doing further projects with the DE series. Nothing sold at the moment. And we’re not exactly sure if it’ll be another group effort, or if it’ll be separate titles that come out when the author works on them. I, especially, would love to do Raskin Rubythorn’s story. So I can’t say no, but for right now, there’s nothing in the works.
PNR: Could you tell us about your current projects, what can readers expect to see in the coming months? Do you have any additional series in the works? Single titles?
Michele H.: Well, right after Familiar Stranger, I have a September release, KISS ME DEADLY. (Don’t ask me how I ended up with back-to-back month releases. It’s cool, but weird.) KMD is a vampire/witch story. It’s actually book #2 in my Bewitch the Dark series, which debuted with From The Dark last November. As with all my series books, each story is very much a stand alone read, but it is set in the same world, so that’s how they are tied together. If you read From The Dark, I had a witch who slays vampires as a secondary character, Ravin Crosse. She’s back as the heroine is KMD. I couldn’t resist her story, especially when I paired her with a vampire she tried to kill. J
I just handed in book #3, STALKING BUTTERFLIES, in that same series, but it’s not scheduled yet. That story features Truvin Stone, who makes an appearance in KMD. And I’m working on #4 right now, which is the son of the couple from book #2.
Next year will also see a Rogue Angel novel I wrote published (again no firm date for it though). Have you read this series? It’s awesome! The heroine is an archaeologist/adventurer who inherited Joan of Arc’s sword, and is constantly landing adventures that see her saving the world (or at least a small part of it). Though the author name on the books reads Alex Archer, each book is written by a different author. (That’s how many of the adventure series are done by the Gold Eagle imprint from Harlequin.) So watch my website for more info on that release.
And I just sold a novella to St. Martin’s Press! I’m very excited about it. And guess what? This was another project that I pulled together, along with a few friends, Lois Greiman and Leandra Logan (we all live close to one another, and do lunch a lot). We came up with a concept to do an anthology with the theme ‘faeries gone wild’. We invited a ‘big name’ author to join us, and surprise—she said yes. So, while the ink hasn’t even dried on the contract, I can say to watch for this anthology (hopefully) some time in 2008. And the big name? Another fellow Minnesotan, MaryJanice Davidson. This is going to be a hilarious take on faeries and their antics in the mortal realm. I can’t wait for this one to come out!
PNR: Thank you Michele, for giving us a peek at this exciting series, where can readers find out more about you and your work?
Michele H.: Check my website at: michelehauf.com
If you like to read blogs, I post fairly regularly at: dustedbywhimsy.blogspot.com
If you like to read Nocturnes, find the Nocturne author site at: nocturneauthors.com
And I have a passion of making lists. So if you want to browse the oldest and largest listing of vampire books online, do check out: vampire-books.com
What do you do when the one you love may be your mortal enemy?
Recruited by a secret paranormal organization to hunt demons, Jack Harris never guessed the revenge he sought for his partner's death would be this complicated. Jack's worldvview is black-and-white -- until he is ordered to follow Mercy Bane, a beautiful woman who is also a familiar with shape-shifting capabilites. Mersey belongs to the Cadre -- a peaceful hermetic order that captures and studies Otherworldly Entities -- which is at odds with Jack's organization.
As Jack delves deeper into the inner workings of the Cadre, he finds himself drawn to Mersey like a moth to a flame. She may challenge all his beliefs, but she brings color and passion to his world. Jack doesn't know whether what he fells for Mersey is love or lust. But if he doesn't figure it out soon, they may become the hunted instead of the hunters.
Featured in this issue:
Tales From the Sea Jennah Sharpe Skylar Sinclair Dawn Thompson Dark Enchantments Nina Bruhns Cynthia Cooke Michele Hauf Pat White SHOMI Liz Maverick Marianne Mancusi Eve Kenin
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