Exclusive Interview with

Michelle Schad

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

When did you start writing?

I've been writing since I was 8 or 9. Most of that was just silliness. Serious writing didn't begin until I was around 19 years old. I've been writing almost daily since then.

What makes writing your passion?

It is cathartic. I write to escape the world, to do the things that I cannot actually do, to explore places I can't get to. I live through my work and pour pieces of myself into it.

How long have you been writing?

As long as I've been able to properly hold a pen and form legible words. I've been telling stories for a lot longer. :)

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Terrifying! I couldn't believe it was real and definitely didn't think anyone would actually buy it! It's worse than letting a child go into the great big world (which I have also done and it is also terrifying).

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

I wanted to write a fantasy world that was a little different and these characters have been with me for almost 20 years. I didn't want the typical 'elf' or 'dwarf' or any other fantasy trope so I made mine different.

What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

The most annoying part is how people react to you saying 'I'm a writer/author'. They look at you and go 'oh, that's nice' like it's just a hobby. They don't treat it as a real career unless your name is plastered all over the place.

How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

I watch silly horrible scifi movies or write erotica. It's weird but it works.

We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

I have to write. I would literally go nuts if I didn't. I would say new authors just need to believe they can continue on. If they can keep confidence in themselves then words will follow.

If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Don't wait for the kids to be older to write. Do it when they nap instead of doing the laundry.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I do and I appreciate the bad ones more than the good ones. The bad ones tell you where your weaknesses are so you can fix it. And if I don't like it or agree with it, I just ignore it.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

Good reviews mean I've successfully told a good story so that makes me feel pretty good.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Not really. I don't actually live in a fantasy world or go on life-altering quests. My most exciting adventure involves locking my keys in the car during a deluge. Not much to relate to in a fantasy novel.

Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Reven. He's definitely my inner self. He is the me I would be if society would let it happen without repercussion.

What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

I think it's important for catching the eye. If it doesn't catch your eye then no one reads the story anyway.

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I don't mind chatting with my readers. I'm happy to answer questions or have discussions with them. It means they're as invested in the story and characters as I am.

How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Oddly embarrassed. Like... I'm living in a dream and any minute now I'll wake up.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

It's a tie between Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. Both tell stories in vastly different ways but stay true to themselves above all.

What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

If I could make it as big as one of my favorites that would be amazing. I'm ok being the little guy on the Best Sellers shelf at the bookstore though.

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Yes. One, that I'm actually re-writing because I realized it could use a little more love and attention. It happens.

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

Switch places? Can I be JK Rowling for a little bit? That could be fun.

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Haters gonna hate. It isn't worth the energy to give them the attention they want so I wouldn't say anything.

What would you say to your readers?

Enjoy the story! And if you don't enjoy it, feel free to use it as extra toilet paper! ;)

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I live in Virginia with my husband and 3 kids. My 4th and oldest kid has recently moved out of the house. We have 3 cats, a dog that thinks he's a cat, and many dust bunnies that invade our noses.

What is your day job if you have one?

I am a part time admin assistant for an insurance agency.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I sew, collect and paint Asian ball jointed dolls, refinish furniture, and play table top RPGs.

Did you have a happy childhood?

Yeah, for the most part. Every family has ups and downs. I hated moving, it was hard when my parent's divorced but otherwise life was pretty good.

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

An incredibly vivid imagination? I started writing more when I got pregnant for the first time because it was snowing a lot and I was bored.

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

Yes. I have a steampunk novel sitting on my 'fix me shelf'.
I have a sci-fi/fantasy blend about people from Earth that warp to a different plane that has fantasy elements.
I have lots of short stories too that could easily become books. A lot of things, as all authors do.

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

A lot of things, actually. It should be as important to teach life skills to kids of all ages and not just how to properly take/pass a test.
Emphasis on trades should be as important as the intellectual education. Emphasis on the arts to encourage self-expression.
More communication with the parents so we are well-informed and can actually help our children.
Too many things to list.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

1. To have normal feet.
2. Live by the beach without having to worry about rent/mortgage.
3. To be able to get my thoughts/visions from brain to paper/screen without a struggle.

What is your favorite music?

Alt rock and classic rock

Share a secret with us 🙂

I did not know that the B&O Railroad (yes, from Monopoly) was a legitimate thing until October 2019 when I attended HallowRead and saw the railroad in Ellicott City, MD. I felt a little stupid when I found out it wasn't just a square on a game board.

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!