Thursday, January 19, 2012

Behind the Gate Interview and Giveaway: Michelle I Brooks

In Beckoning Light, Charlotte finds a hidden world behind a gate.  Although you will not find any hidden worlds here, with this interview series I hope to give you a glimpse "Behind the Gate" of some great authors and fantastic bloggers.  

For the first Behind the Gates interview I have the pleasure of welcoming Michelle I Brooks, the author of the dark and unique YA paranormal romance/urban fantasy Bone Dressing. I loved Bone Dressing and I am really excited to read book two, The Dreaming. I got to talk a little with Michelle AND she has graciously offered a free e-book for giveaway.
Want to know more about Bone Dressing? Chandra at Unabridged Bookshelf has a great review: Unabridged Bookshelf Review of Bone Dressing

Where did you come up with the idea for Bone Dressing?
Bone Dressing visited me one night in my dreams … the whole series of seven books … the main characters, their tale from start to finish … the stories within their story … and the story that takes place outside the pages, within the reader. The details have come since, but the entire process has been more something that’s simply flowed through me, rather than something I created. It’s more like I’ve just given it breath, a voice of its own.

One of the great things about your books are the characters, how do you come up with them and are they based on real people?
Hmmm, how do I come up with them? Simply said, I don’t. They come up with me. Bone Dressing is told through the eyes, the heart and soul, of Syd. It’s the story of a young woman who’s a bit lost, a girl trying to make some sense of herself … of the world around her and her place in it. So, written from her perspective, Bone Dressing and the characters in it are ultimately her creation. Life is how we choose to see it. If I sat down to write and forced the creation of people as I chose, regardless of Syd, her feelings, her needs, the story wouldn’t be Syd’s, it would be mine.

Are they based on real people?
Well, yes and no. They are based on the sinner and the saint that live in the hearts of us all. The only difference is, some of us, Mr. A. for example, cozy up to the sinner, while others, like Patricia, are more comfortable with their own innate goodness. Syd tends to fall in the shadowed never-land that lies between the two. She struggles with either extreme, particularly within herself, as does Beau, although to a much lesser extent. Then, of course, there are the rare Sarah’s of the world who seem to see past all the definitions and simply see the whole person, perfect just as they are … no assembly required … utterly unbroken.

I know you are currently working on the sequel to Bone Dressing, The Dreaming. What are a few things readers can expect in this new book?
Huh! What to expect from Syd? Expect her to be exactly that … Syd. Nothing more, nothing less. But, do remember, Syd isn’t some lost little girl from Kansas who can’t seem to find her way home. Syd’s chosen to leave her world behind her ... she left all the comforts of her life, good and bad, to chase down her big, bad Wicked Witch of the West … and her sweet little dog “Toto” is a black panther capable of pulling the spirit from her very bones. So expect Syd to try to figure out how to use her newfound gifts, expect her to be faced with more of the unexpected, expect Mr. A to be hot on her heels … and expect Syd’s feelings for Beau to develop the way a girl’s do as she begins to face her own developing sensuality, her innate desirability.

What do you do when you are not writing?
I have three teenagers and a new hubby. What do I not do? I love and laugh, and hug and kiss, and cook and clean, and work and play, and try to find the time to write in the midst of it all … the hugging and kissing’s the best part though!

What are some of your favorite books, and what do you look for in a good book?
Favorite books … there are a million. I’m a sucker for a great story. Among my all-time favorites are The Hobbit, anything by Poe or Shakespeare, To Kill A Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye … As for what I look for in a good book, that’s easy. I look for something engaging, usually something from a perspective that’s different from my own. I’m definitely not put off by something written with a unique voice, or in an uncommon style of expression.

If you found a hidden gate in your backyard, where would it lead to?
Oooh, you heard about my hidden gates, did you?! Why, those are secret passages. They take me to the very edges of my own imagination … medieval castles shrouded in the mist, the taste of dark magic hanging in the air … white sandy beaches tattooed with only two set of footprints, mine and those of a mysterious  stranger hidden among the palm trees swaying gently in the balmy breeze … the blistering hot never-never deep within the Australian outback, where Syd’s adventures may have taken her …

Tell us four random things about yourself.
Four random things, huh? I adore the feeling of free-falling. The Middle Ages would probably have been a much more comfy time for me to have lived this life. Smother just about anything in habaneros or jalapeños and I can probably suck it down in ten seconds flat with a smile plastered on my face. Kissing booths are highly under-rated … what a great way to spend time in my next life, bringing joy to others through the warmth of a human touch. I am, after all, a kissing enthusiast … some things will never change.

To find out more about Michelle and her books check out these links:

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment (with email) below and on January 26th I will randomly select the winner.  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Kali

    Thanks for the book giveaway! Look forward to reading it in the future :)

  2. Looks like a terrific book, I'm in!

    Sara Hampton

  3. Sounds like a good book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Want to read it too! Signed up!

    vaneric16 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  5. Awesome interview! I can't wait to read the book, sounds great!

  6. I really would like to read the book!!! It sounds fantastic!!! Thanks for having this giveaway!!!

  7. I have the book and can't wait to read it. Wish I had more reading time!

  8. Sounds like an awesome book. I would love to win it.

    sweetreaderma at comcast dot net

  9. Sounds awesome!

  10. Interesting interview :) I'd love to read the book!

  11. Michelle seems like a very cool person, plus you gotta' love anyone who enjoys hot peppers that much. 'Bone Dressing' sounds like it would be a very good read. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy :)

  12. I really enjoyed Bone Dressing and have been anxiously waiting for The dreaming! Thanks for the chance to win :)

  13. I'd love to read the book. Sound great!!!!!

  14. Thanks for coming by everyone! The winner has been selected. Michelle has been notified and will contact you soon. For those of you who didn't win, Bone Dressing is available for .99 cents on Amazon