Let’s Get 10 Know You: Michele Barrow-Belisle

Interview with Michele Barrow-Belisle

Fire & Ice (Faerie Song Trilogy #1)

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Goodreads Description

Adventure wasn’t something Lorelei Alundra was interested in. Gifted with two other-worldly talents for singing and healing, she’s always shied away from her gifts and the spotlight, preferring quiet anonymity, over attention and fame. But when she meets the enigmatic Adrius, with his dark and dangerous mystique and eyes that could see into her soul, her uneventful life becomes irrevocably altered.

Adrius turns up in every one of her classes and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Accepting his offer to help leads her into a terrifying and thrilling world, where Elves are even hotter than Legolas, and Faeries…. are nothing like Tinkerbell. The two magical beings are fire and ice opposites. One Lorelei can’t help falling for, and the other she’s compelled to be with.

Now she’s trapped, expected to prevent a war between witches and faeries, or forfeit her mother’s life. Nothing is what it seems. Not her family. Not the Fey. Not even Adrius, whose feelings for her balance precariously between desire and danger. Despite her better judgment, she can’t say away from him. As secrets unravel and unsettling truths are revealed, Lorelei must fight to save much more than her mother’s life. One mistake could put the fate of his world, and her soul, in jeopardy.

But hey, no pressure… right.

You can buy the book Here Kindle Edition £1.99 (as of when posted)

Follow Michele on Twitter

Lets get to know you

1. Hello and welcome to The Reading Rose, Can you tell us more about your book please?

Hi Rachel, thanks so much for having me! Well let’s see, Fire & Ice is a young adult fantasy romance. I like to describe it as Phantom of the Opera meets Lord of the Rings. But that might only make sense to me, lol. The story is about high school senior Lorelei Alundra, a girl who can see and heal people’s pain and can sing with the voice of an angel. But because her gifts are controlled by the dark Faerie Zanthiel who gave them to her, she’s spent most of her life hiding from them. Totally content with her semi-normal life, Lorelei is confused by her inexplicable attraction to Adrius, the new guy in her art class who seems to know more about her than any stranger should. Her mother becomes fatally ill and to save her, Lorelei follows Adrius into another realm, full of Elves, Witches and Faeries. She ends up trapped in their world, forced to fulfill a prophecy she wants no part of, or risk her mother’s life. Every shred of her semi-normal life is torn from her, when she discovers the prophecy’s true prediction—that she’s the dark magic Princess destined to destroy their world, and that Adrius is the Elvin Prince destined to destroy her. That’s the gist of it, but its full of subplots and twists that I guess I shouldn’t give away. 😉

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

I really love the main character Lorelei. But I had the most fun writing Zanthiel’s character. He’s a Shadow Faerie, dark and kinda badass—but there’s just something about him. I think because the Fey don’t have the same moral codes that humans do, his actions come across as being pretty hardcore. But underneath that icy exterior there’s a being with a huge heart. I just finished writing a novella called Freeze, and it’s his story told in his voice. It was great to delve deeper into his character and really see what makes him tick and why he is the way he is.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

When I first started the story, several years ago, it began as something I could read to my son when he was about 8yrs old. I’d already self-published a series of how-to books by that point. We’d been reading the Magic Treehouse book series together and I had the thought, like many humble authors have at some time, I could write that. And so I started writing what eventually became Fire & Ice. But the story wanted to become so much more than a middle grade novel, so I set it aside for a while. A few years later I came back to it with fresh new ideas for how to shape it into a full length novel. It sort of expanded from there, because once I gave the characters a new lease on life, they wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d finished writing the entire book. Then they went on to insist their story should be a trilogy. So then came the second book and third is underway, plus three side story novellas. Now I’m not sure they’ll let me end things, lol. But I love it. I’m always asking what happened after that?

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

I have three pieces of advice for aspiring authors, and it’s the same advice I still live by…
First piece of advice: Start. And then don’t stop. It sounds simple and yet it’s profound. So many people talk about wanting to write a book, but unless you actually start you can never finish. As the queen of procrastination, I was guilty of this myself for a long time. Eventually you have to just do it. Don’t worry about whether it’s any good, just start. Keep going until you get to where you want to go. Then celebrate, decide where you’d like to go next, and keep going.
Second piece of advice: Immerse yourself in the experience. If that means taking writing classes, then go for it. Join writing groups, go to writing conventions, network with other authors. Have a community of people who get it, is not only good for the soul, down the road it can be good for your career!
Third piece of advice: Read. Read read read! Read what you love, read in your genre, read outside of your genre, read what’s hot and selling like of the charts. Just read. It honestly improves your writing.
Just write what you love, relax and enjoy the journey. And to quote something NY Times bestselling author Lori Wilde once told me before I was published: “You can do this.”

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

The book cover was designed by Amanda Matthews of AMDesigns, who does a lot of cover art for my publisher. She’s amazing. I had very high hopes for what the cover art would look like, but I was pretty sure I’d hate it, because I’m so fussy when it comes to imagery. A cover has to set the right tone and mood, convey an emotion and a sense of mystery, and still look stunning and memorable at the same time. She totally nailed it in my opinion. I love everything about it…especially the dress!

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil… make that a crayon. I used to make up stories and invent long involved plays for my friend to star in, when I was little. I’ve kept a journal or a diary for as long as I can remember, and the ideas for stories and characters and plots dance in my head constantly. I took a long break from writing after university, but coming back to it again has been like finding a piece of my soul. Once I started writing again, it was like a drug… thoroughly and utterly addicting. And after that it follows that eventually you want other people to read what you’ve written. I guess that’s really how it began for me. I don’t really think there was a clear decision made. I never really work up and said I want to become a writer. I just wrote a book, decided to get it published, and it snowballed from there.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

For me the best thing is listening to the response it gets from other who’ve read it and loved it. The movie deal generated a ton of buzz and of course that part is insanely exciting. But so was every other step in the journey. Landing an agent, selling the manuscript, the audiobook and foreign language deals, all of that was great. But the best is moments like having your book selected by a teen book club. And sitting in the bookstore during their meeting to discuss your book…surrounded by people who adore your character and know them as well, if not better than your do. Now that is the absolute best.

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

I like to read 😉 …bet you guessed that one right. I also love to paint, draw and sculpt in polymer clay.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit and Alice in Wonderland are three of my all-time favorites. As a child I had them read to me, and read them on my own countless times. I’ve always been drawn to fantasy and the idea of stepping into another world full of magic and mayhem. In fact, I’m still waiting for the day that I walk through a door and discover another realm on the other side.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

Oooh, fun question! Let’s see…. I think Aragorn from Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien), because it never hurts to have a good-looking future king, who knows how to fight, by your side. Hermione from Harry Potter (JK Rowling), because she’s brilliant and knows like every useful spell. And Zanthiel from Fire And Ice (yours truly), because it never hurts to have two good-looking future kings who know how to fight, by your side. Plus he’s got that whole shadow-Faerie-dark-magic thing going on.

Thanks so much for the chance to drop by and chat with you Rachel! It’s been a lot of fun!

Thanks for Joining us today Michele and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews! Also keep your eyes out readers as Michele has kindly gifted me with a copy of her book so expect a review as soon as I have read it. Thanks again Michele

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