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  by Dee Gentle
Leslie Tramposch: Managing Editor - Sara Reyes: Marketing and Publicity

September 2006 Issue

 

I Need My "Space"
Spotlight on Futuristic/Science Fiction Romance

Special Features

Publisher Spotlight: Aphrodite's Apples


Michelle M. Pillow

Michelle Pillow is a 26 year old, successful business owner. She has one vivacious daughter and a loving husband who are constantly attempting to plague her home with new pets. So far they have managed to get two prairie dogs, countless fish, two cats, a dog, and one African Grey parrot past her guard—at least that is all she has seen so far. Aside from owning two businesses, she is a freelance photographer, has a great love for romance (especially historical, paranormal) and horror.

Michelle would love to hear from you and tries to answer her emails in a timely fashion. That is if the current hero will let her go long enough to check the computer.


An Interview with Michelle M. Pillow

PNR: Have you always known you wanted to be a writer; when did you begin writing?

Michelle P.: I've always wrote stories growing up, but it wasn’t something I seriously considered doing until much later. It was one of those things that I enjoyed, but never thought to make a career out of doing. I'm still amazed sometimes of how far I've gone in such a short time. My fist book was published in April 2004.

PNR: Including anthology short stories, you have published over forty books. You are very prolific; tell us about your writing schedule.

Michelle P.: I'm always writing. It's a full time job. Whatever I do, I do I full force. But I’m also a great multi-tasker, so I'll have several projects in various stages going at once. I’ve been taking it slower as of late.

PNR: Most writers are avid readers, is this true for you? With your demanding writing schedule do you even have time to read, if so, what titles would we see in your TBR pile?

Michelle P.: I love to read. For a long time it was the classics - Oscar Wilde, Steinbeck, Jane Austin, Bronte, ect. Then I found Historical Romance novels, which is what I started writing for fun. I've expanded my TBRs to more genres in the last several years, including Shana Abe’s Smoke Thief, Marriage Trap by E Thornton, Rebel Enchantress, Cheryl Holt, Kelley Armstrong, Heather Graham, Nora Roberts, Maiden of the Winds, Dead by Dusk, Mandy Roth, Jaycee Clark, The Compass Rose…just to name a few. Then ebook/prints (since so many authors cross over into both) I have Kaitlyn O’Conner, Sylvia Day, Ryannon Byrd, Tawny Taylor, Ashleigh Raine….

I don't get as much time as I used to for reading, but I do reward myself after I finish a manuscript by taking the time to wade through my TBR pile. It’s one of the reasons I’m slowing down a bit on the writing, I want to read more.

PNR: What do you feel are the essential elements of a great story?

Michelle P.: You have to feel it when you write it. There is no other way. It can be emotionally draining for the author, but those make the best reads. There has to be plot, not just gratuitous anything—violence, sex, ect. Research is also a must. Simply saying a character is a pilot isn’t enough. You have to prove that she is. And if you’re doing paranormal, historical, futuristic you have to create a believable world down to the last detail. I love the challenge of transporting a reader into a different time and place.

PNR: You have written at least fifteen futuristic romances; what is it about this genre that captures your imagination?

Michelle P.: I never thought I'd write futuristic romances. The whole collection actually started out as a short mildly erotic story, The Barbarian Prince. But then as I got into it, the book just kept growing. Two months later, all four Dragon Lords were done. I didn't expect them to take off like they did, but as readers got them and demanded more, I decided to write the Lords of the Var for them.

I like futuristic because I can incorporate elements of research I enjoy while building the worlds. Dragon Lords and Lords of the Var are both Medieval based societies with a futuristic spin. Zhang Dynasty is based of Asian cultures. It's a lot of fun to imagine different societies and have a hand in creating their laws, costumes, traditions and beliefs. There are so many possibilities, limited only by imagination.

PNR: You have written several futuristic series that are very popular with readers, DRAGON LORDS, LORDS OF VAR, GALAXY PLAYMATES, and you newest series, ZHANG DYNASTY. Do you prefer writing single titles or series? Why?

Michelle P.: I love series. They can be tricky as you have much more character and plot points to remember, but I know as a reader I love to see a familiar face pop up in a book, where I can think, 'Hey, I know them. I know how they fell in love, what that joke is about'’

As a writer, it's a fun game, putting in little details that followers of the series will get, but won’t disrupt the new reader.

PNR: Readers cannot get enough of the worlds you create; can you tell us what inspires their development? What are the challenges you face in world-building?

Michelle P.: I love world building. Sometimes, like with Tribes of the Vampire, not even half of the world notes are in the books, but they’re there. It's hard to say what inspires them. Sometimes it'll be some random historical fact, other times it'll be an idea that strikes me and sits in my head for months begging to have a voice. My biggest challenge is to stop the research and get to the story.

PNR: As a reader, I absolutely fall in love with your characters; do you feel your writing is character driven or plot driven? 

Michelle P.: Probably more character in the finished product, as the heroine/hero's conflict tends to be the focus of most of the stories. But, when I write, i'’s a combination of both. I make the characters and their personalities. I make the world, the situation, set them down and then let them take over. I often don't know how a book is going to end when I start it. The characters just take me there, doing what they do in their world.

PNR: Could you tell us a little about how you develop your characters? Who is you favorite character to write? The most challenging?

Michelle P.: Often a favorite character will be the stubborn secondary character that I grow to love and just can’t wait to get to their story. For example, Reid in The Rogue Prince or Malak in Cupid's Favor (coming soon, NCP). But, they’re also the heroes I fight with the most when it comes to their books. The whole reason I loved them is the same reason we don’t get along in their stories—they’re willful, stubborn, alpha, who have to do things their own way. Jiri from the Tribes of the Vampire series is another fan favorite and one of mine. He hasn't gotten his own book yet, but I'm sure he'll be just as aggravating when he does.

PNR: Your new series, ZHANG DYNASTY, is part of NCP’s Harmony line and has been released in eBook and print. Can you tell us about the “Multi-Racial” theme; what are your plans for the series?

Michelle P.: I love NCP's idea for the Harmony Line. Its focus is just like any other romance novel—on the characters and their situation. Race isn’t a huge part of the conflict. It can be, but it's not meant to be the focus. The idea is that women are women regardless of background and we're all looking for the same things—love and a happy ending.

Zhang Dynasty is a new installment in the futuristic. I plan to write all the siblings’ stories. Book 2 was just turned in for consideration, Temptation of the Butterfly. The influence came from the many rich Asian cultures, whose history has always fascinated me. There is also a rival dynasty on the planet, Song. If readers take to the books and want more, I might eventually expand to their side of things. With many of my series, I let the readers guide me. If they want more, I give them more. That's why I love reader feedback. They let me know what they want.

PNR: Readers are dying to know, are you planning to continue the DRAGON LORDS and LORDS OF VAR series?

Michelle P.: This is probably one of my most asked questions. I have ideas for their children’s stories and some other 'top secret' ideas for the planet. I would love to keep writing them, just as soon as I finish up the rest of the futuristic projects - Zhang Dynasty and the tentative Space Lords dealing with Jarek's crew of misfits.

PNR: Your books encompass several paranormal sub-genres, which is your favorite to write, and why?  Do you have a favorite series to write?

Michelle P.: I love genre hopping. I've done everything from straight historical, contemporary, chick lit, fantasy, paranormal, dark fantasy and every combination in between. I started writing historical and they still have a special place n my heart, but I love the freedom of the paranormal and futuristic. With historical, the fun is finding a story that fits within the rules of the society you're in. With paranormal and futuristic, the fun is creating the society in which you're in.  I don't think I could pick a favorite. I do know that genre hopping is what allows me to be so prolific. It's great to come off a darker book like the Realm Immortal series and get to a lighter futuristic. It keeps the writing fresher, not to mention my head.

PNR: In your opinion, what is it about the futuristic/sci-fi genre that seems to cross the traditional male/female reader boundaries? Do readers expect more or less romantic elements in this genre?

Michelle P.: With sci-fi, they expect more technical information. With futuristic, they expect less. That's the main difference I see anyway. I’ve had males email asking who I gear the books for - males or female. In truth, I gear them toward readers. I write what I like. I enjoy the romance (which tends to be considered traditionally female) and I like the fighting and intrigue (which tends to be considered traditionally male). And there are male and female readers who enjoy the same things.

There are always critics no matter how you do things. Luckily, I haven’t been accosted by too many, but there are some who expected more flora and fauna description or those who wanted more sex, less sex. Not everyone is going to like what I do and that's fine. That's why there are so many wonderful authors to choose from. But I'm blessed to have such a wonderful, loyal following of readers who enjoy what I do and want more. Those are the people I keep writing for.

PNR: You have written in the paranormal, futuristic, historical, contemporary, Chick-Lit and dark fantasy genres; is there a genre you haven’t written but would like to try?

Michelle P.: The only genres I haven't tried are Inspirational, Romantic Suspense and Mystery. I’ve had some that have had suspenseful elements, but nothing I'd call straight suspense. I did a Romantic Comedy on accident. I can't seem to write funny on command, but when I don't think about it funny things happen. I'd love to write a mystery or suspense, but have no plans to do so right now.

PNR: Your stories are very sensual; do you find it challenging to write the love/sex scenes in your books?

Michelle P.: Love scenes are just like any other scene. I like to do them only if they further the story or the relationship. The number that is in a book really depends on the publisher the book is geared for. They’re not my favorite scenes to write, but I don't mind them. I like the ones where the characters are arguing. I love considering the fight from both points of view.

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?

Michelle P.: Currently, I work with four great publishers and have books coming out with all of them. For Virgin Publishing, I have Bit by the Bug releasing Jan 2007. We plan to follow that book with another, Along for the Ride (tentative title). It'll be book 2 of a series for their Cheek Line.

For New Concepts, I have the futuristic. Naughty Cupid 3: Cupid's Favor will be out the end of this year to complete the trilogy of books. A print version will follow next year sometime, a collection of all three Cupid books. There are also the Tribes of the Vampire series I should be working on, but haven't had time to start. Those tend to be more consuming because of the huge world that spans all throughout history.

For Ellora’s Cave, I have Pleasure Cruise 2 contracted (with Mandy Roth) and the second Call of the Lycan book: Call of the Untamed that’s just awaiting a release date.

Then for Samhain, I'm really excited about the Realm Immortal series. It’s strong fantasy with romance in it. Book one (King of the Unblessed) has done wonderful and book 2 (Faery Queen) is in edits right now. It releases in September. I also have a book in their Talons collection, Seize the Hunter. I've just seen the covers and they are amazing!

PNR: Thanks Michelle, for taking time out to talk to us. Where can readers find out what’s new and how can they contact you?

Michelle P.: Thank you for having me! It’s been great.

Website – www.michellepillow.com

Email – michelle_pillow@yahoo.com

Michelle's Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/michellepillow

Books at New Concepts - http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/michellempillow.htm

Books at Elloras Cave- http://www.ellorascave.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=MP

Book at Samhain- http://www.samhainpublishing.com/michellempillow.shtml

Pillow Talk Blog - http://michellespillowtalk.blogspot.com/

Free story - http://www.ravenhappyhour.com/raven_reviews1.htm

Join the Author Announcement group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/michellempillow/

Join the Author Chat group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Raven_Vampire_Nightclub/

 

 

Featured in this issue:

Futuristic/Sci-Fi Romance
Aphrodite's Apples Press

Interviews with:

 
Michelle M. Pillow
 

Website

 Books

  Blog

Yahoo
                  Group

MySpace

 
 
Futuristic Series
 
Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
March 3, 2006
ISBN #1586088548
e-Book
~~~~~~~~
ISBN 1586087770
Trade Paperback
 
Read the Reviews!

Zhang Dynasty: Bk 1

SEDUCTION OF THE PHOENIX - Prince Zhang Jin is a man raised in honor and tradition, so it is a great surprise when he is compelled to claim a stranger as his bride who has neither. Francesca La Rosa is hardly a match fit for a prince. Though beautiful, she is a thief with one thing on her mind--stealing the sacred Jade Phoenix of his people. But the mystery doesn't end there. With the aid of the spirits of his ancestors he must discover who this woman is, why she would destroy the Zhang Empire and most of all, if she could ever return the love that is growing in his heart.

Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
February 19, 2006
ISBN #1586088211
e-Book
 
Read the Reviews!

Lords of the Var: Bk 5

THE PIRATE PRINCE - The Pirate...

Prince Jarek has no official title in space. Known simply as Captain to a misfit crew, he sails the high sky doing what he pleases. That is until one of his men is kidnapped by intergalactic drug dealers. Now he's on a mission to save his wayward friend. But instead of a crew man, he rescues a woman desperately trying to be free of her master. Or so he thought...

The Princess...

Princess Zhang Mei has just been told her future by a seer. It seems fate has given her in marriage to Prince Song Lok--future ruler of the only other dynasty on her home planet of Líntian. She will do her duty to her family, but first she wants something for herself. And when the pirates come to steal, she knows exactly what she wants that something to be--her.

Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
September 2, 2005
ISBN #1586086324
e-Book
 
Read the Reviews!

Lords of the Var: Bk 4

THE ROGUE PRINCE - The Charmer... Prince Reid, Commander of the Outpost, is happy to live by his father's ways. No woman is safe when he sets his sights to charm her. Reid doesn't want love, he wants a good time. When the opportunity arises to get away on an ambassador's mission, he jumps at the chance--especially when that trip includes exotic destinations with even more exotic women. But there's one woman he hasn't counted on... The Woman who would not be Charmed... Jasmine St. Claire appears to have it all. But, looks can be deceiving. On the run, she chooses the one ship that can take her away from it all--that of the Var ambassador. What she didn't count on was the charming Var Prince who's decided he wants to claim her for his very own.

Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
July 18, 2005
ISBN #158608545X
e-Book
 
Read the Reviews!

Lords of the Var: Bk 3

THE BOUND PRINCE - A simple mistake... Captain Samantha Dorsey and her crew are on a mission, a mission to complete a Galactic Scavenger Hunt and claim the prize money. Flying about space for a year collecting their items, they only have one thing left to get--a primitive wild beast. Drunk and feeling like some fun, Sam and her crew fly to Qurilixen to finish their collection by snagging a white tiger. Only the next morning, severely hung over, Captain Sam realizes that they got more beast than they bargained for. They kidnapped a warrior Prince. A royal destiny... Prince Falke, Commander of the Var Armies, is a man raised to fight. Out of all the Var Princes, he alone must be the hardest. When the beautifully frustrating female Captain kidnaps him, no one knows where to come looking. Now it's up to Falke to use all his training, and powers of seduction, to find his way back home. Rating: Contains graphic sexual content, adult language, and violence.


Buy it now!

 New Concepts Pub.
May 29, 2005
ISBN #1586085409
e-Book


Read the Reviews!

THE PLAYFUL PRINCE
  Lords of the Var: Bk 2

To play. Prince Quinn, royal Ambassador, isn't looking for a serious relationship. In fact, he's never even considered it. Hopping from lover to lover, he's content to enjoy himself, never taking anything but his work seriously. However, when Dr. Tori Elliot is sent to the palace to test for biological weapons, he can't seem to stay away from her.

Or not to play. Tori Elliot has just finished her last assignment and is on her way to a much needed vacation. But when the Human Intelligence Agency stops her ship and demands she heads up a team on some remote planet, she knows it in her best interest not to refuse. Ever serious, she knows she's there to do a job and no matter what, she's going to act like a professional. Meeting Prince Quinn, his body pressed against another woman in the palace halls, she knows he's not the man for her. Too bad he's the Ambassador and too sexy for his own good. Fighting her desire, Tori must try to do he job while not succumbing to the playful Var prince.


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
March 1, 2005
ISBN #1586083694
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
THE SAVAGE KING
  Lords of the Var: Bk 1

A girl with a mission...
Agent Ulyssa Payne is on a mission. It's her job to make sure the Medical Mafia leader doesn't leave the planet of Qurilixen. But, when her target is killed by his own daughter, her mission is over. Now, she stuck on a barbarian planet for three months until the Agency comes to get her.

Getting kidnapped by King Attor, she's left in the Var harem to await his return. But, when the King dies in battle and doesn't come for her, she's stuck dealing with his son, the new savage King of the Var. This is one complication Ulyssa didn't need.

A royal complication... The Var Princes were raised by a hard man who put no stock in love-especially love with one woman. Bred to never take a life mate, these men will do everything in their power to live up to the dead King Attor's expectations and never fall in love.

Kirill is a man who must do his duty, only he didn't expect to do it so soon. When his father dies, he knows it's his destiny to be King. What he didn't expect is the troublesome mistress that's now his to deal with.

Available in Trade Paperback ISBN 1-58608-799-1


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
January 21, 2005
ISBN #1586085778
e-Book

Read the Reviews!
THE WARRIOR PRINCE
Dragon Lords: Bk 4

The Survivor…

Though no one could ever command her, this warrior would try to conquer her heart…

Physically scarred in childhood in an act of betrayal, Pia has never been considered an attractive woman. One horrible mistake and she is on the run. Desperate to hide her identity, she makes a deal with Galaxy Brides—in exchange for a new face, she’ll marry anyone they put in front of her. Never did she realize her future husband would be the most handsome warrior of the Draig.

The Warrior…

Though no man could thwart the brave Draig leader, a woman would be his undoing…

Zoran of Draig is a man who knows what he wants. He has to. Being a Prince and the Captain of the Draig Guard, he has to make swift decisions, be ready to battle at a moment’s notice, and most of all, he always has to be in control. When his wife, the one person who should obey him refuses to, Zoran discovers the battle for his heart’s desire is fiercer than any he has ever waged before. Could the conqueror become the conquered?

Available in Trade Paperback ISBN 1-58608-732-0


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
November 12, 2004
ISBN #158608576X
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
THE DARK PRINCE
  Dragon Lords: Bk 3

Out of the fire…
Intergalactic thief, Olena Leyton is one of the best space pirates in history. Sailing the high skies in search of adventure is in her blood. When her crew is scattered in a run from the law and her ship crashes, exploding into a ball of flames, the injured Olena is forced to find sanctuary on a Galaxy Brides ship. Posing as a blushing ‘mail-order’ bride to elude the bounty hunters that pursue her, Olena finds herself heading to the primitive planet of Qurilixen. But, being a bride isn’t something that Olena takes seriously.

Into the flames…
Prince Yusef of Draig, Captain of the Outpost, leads a simple life away from the palace. He knows from the first moment he sees his fiery temptress that he will possess her and make her his bride for all time. However, Yusef learns that playing with fire will always leave a man burned. But, with passions as powerful as this dark Prince’s are, he is not willing to give up his bride without a fight.

Available in Trade Paperback ISBN 1-58608-731-2


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
September 9, 2004
ISBN #1586085484
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
THE PERFECT PRINCE
  Dragon Lords: Bk 2

A Perfect Escape…

Nadja Aleksander has everything she could ever want in life, except her freedom. Skipping out on her engagement, to a man her controlling father has chosen for her, Nadja books passage on the first spaceship she can find. Bound for a planet of primitive humanoid males, Nadja plans on finding a simple, hard working man who will allow her to live out her days in total obscurity.

A Perfect Mistake…

Prince Olek of Draig, royal ambassador, is pleased with his refined and blushing bride. When she chooses him to be her life mate, appearing happy in her decision, his heart soars—until the next morning when his new little Princess wants nothing to do with him. Olek doesn’t know what he’s done to upset his alluring bride, but he is determined to reignite the spark that burned the night they met.

Available in Trade Paperback ISBN 1-58608-690-1


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
May 15, 2004
ISBN #1586084461
e-Book



Read the Reviews!
THE BARBARIAN PRINCE
Dragon Lords: Bk 1

Breaking up was never so hard...

Going undercover at Galaxy Brides as one of the prospective mates to these Viking-like barbarians, Morrigan has no intention of getting chosen to stay. But when Ualan of the Draig picks her to be his wife with the aid of his mystically glowing crystal, it is all she can do to say no.

Waking up from a drug-induced night of torturous and unfulfilling pleasures, Morrigan discovers her spaceship has left without her and Ualan is claiming she is his wife. It’s not exactly the story this reporter had in mind. And to make matters worse, Ualan refuses to take no for an answer.

Being cursed by the Gods was never so frustrating...

Prince Ualan is like all others of his race on the male dominated planet of Qurilixen. He is raised to trust the mystic powers around him and when it comes time to marry, he is ready to follow those powers to choose his life mate. When the stubborn, yet achingly beautiful, Morrigan refuses to accept their shared fate and his supreme authority over her, it is all he can do not to break her lovely neck.

Available in Trade Paperback ISBN 1-58608-673-1


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
May 19, 2006
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
XENA
  Galaxy Playmates 4

 

Agent Xena has nothing in common with the exotic dancer she's pretending to be. Her assignment should be like any other. Then why does dancing for the high-powered businessman thrill her beyond anything she's ever done? And when things get heated between them, will she follow her instincts or take him in for the crime she was sent to arrest him for?

 

 


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
July 8, 2005
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
DIAMOND
Galaxy Playmates 3


 

Galaxy Playmate Diamond is going home while on break from work. Werten isn't exactly a hot spring of activity and she knows once she's there she'll have to be a good girl. But, being good is so overrated--especially when eyes of fire and promise follow her wherever she goes. Liam is a man from her past, her brother's best friend and the bully who teased her mercilessly growing up. What better revenge than to prove to him she's not the awkward girl he once knew? There's only one problem. He's not exactly the boy she remembers either. Rating: Contains very explicit sex, graphic language, may offend sensitive readers.


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
December 19, 2004
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
QUARTZ
  Galaxy Playmates 2

 

Galaxy Playmate Quartz is a woman who knows what she likes and she likes variety in her men. Knowing she'll never be satisfied with just one man in her bed, she doesn't even try to have a monogamous relationship. But when Thor, her new bodyguard, is sent to protect her from a stalking fan, she discovers that she just might be happy with one man in her heart—so long as he's the right man.

Thor has loved Quartz from the first moment he laid eyes on her. A complete shifter, he's able to play Quartz's games and give her the variety of lovers she wants. For, in the end, she'll belong completely to him.


Buy it now!
 
New Concepts Pub.
October 1, 2004
e-Book


Read the Reviews!
SAPPHIRE
Galaxy Playmates 1
 

 

Sapphire loves what she does for a living—being a stripper, a dancer, a star, and she's Galaxy Playmate of the Year. She can make men beg. But, when a telepath starts coming to her shows, teasing and tormenting her mind, it's soon she who is doing the begging. Roark, a humanoid telepath, knows the first time he sees Sapphire that she's the one for him. He's a little surprised about what she does for a living, but has no problem with her continuing her career. Spending six months following her, joining their minds so they can get to know each other on a subconscious level before they meet, Roark is finally ready to make his presence known.

For a Complete List of Available Titles

Visit Michelle's Website


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