Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with the characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you two authors who are writing books together—Mindy Hayes and Michele G. Miller!
Who wants to go first?
…I’m Mindy. [She’s the blonde.]
...I was born and raised in San Diego, CA and was pretty distraught when my parents moved me to Salt Lake City, UT right before my junior year in high school.
…My husband and I met in college and were married in 2007. He’s pretty funny, so I decided to keep him around.
…We now live in Summerville, SC because I love the green.
…I’m a Dr. Pepper addict. I have one a day and if my body wouldn’t hate me for it, I’d drink it all day, every day. Though I prefer Mr. Pibb, the only place that serves it is Chipotle, which brings me to…
…OH MY GOSH. I LOVE CHIPOTLE. Chipotle’s my life. Steak burrito with corn salsa. Every time. EVERY TIME.
…Oh, have I mentioned I’m a creature of habit? I go to the same restaurants every week and order the same thing off of their menus every time. EVERY TIME.
…So, I don’t like change. You want to throw something at me and throw off my groove, you should probably give me a little warning to let me get used to the idea first or I just might start rocking in a corner.
…My ideal day would be to stay in my pajamas all day and read a good book or have a chick-flick marathon and eat popcorn.
…Popcorn is my required nighttime snack.
…I’m a hopeless romantic, but I LOVE a good tear-jerker(book or movie). I want to feel ALL THE FEELS.
…If you were to spend a day with me, “seriously,” “dude,” “fetch,” and “awesome” are words you’d probably hear repeated multiple times.
…My life would be oh so dull without music. I turn on music whenever and wherever I can. Honestly, music is playing more often than not during my day.
…I love Paramore. If I could be Haley Williams, I would.
And Michele writes novels with fairy tale love for everyday life. Romance is always central to her plots where the genres range from Coming of Age Fantasy and Drama to New Adult Romantic Suspense.
Having grown up in both the cold, quiet town of Topsham, Maine and the steamy, southern hospitality of Mobile, Alabama, Michele is something of an enigma. She is an avid Yankees fan, loves New England, being outdoors and misses snow. However she thinks southern boys are hotter, Alabama football is the only REAL football out there and sweet tea is the best thing this side of heaven and her children’s laughter!
Her family, an amazing husband and three awesome kids, have planted their roots in the middle of Michele’s two childhood homes in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Michele: Yes. I used to write angsty young adult romance during seventh grade math! My dream was to live in New York, work for a magazine, and be very chic. I write books, live in North Carolina, and wear comfies all day long. #almostthesamething
Mindy: No. Writing is something I started doing in my mid-twenties. I wasn’t even much of a reader until the Twilight books came out. Now I devour books.
Why did you choose to write your genre? We dabble in multiple genres. We have a desire to write things that move people. We love to break things so we can put them together, regardless of the genre. Evoking strong emotions is something we strive for with every title.
What is the strangest story you’ve ever written?
Michele: It’s not necessarily strange but with my fantasy series I do a lot of research on medieval times. Running of castles, weapons, clothing.
Mindy: Without giving spoilers, I’ll say poisons or things to do with blood transfusions and death.
What are you currently working on? As co-writers we are finishing up a 90s novella for an anthology releasing this fall, Love in the 90’s, and working on a YA contemporary romance. Individually we both have several WIPs on our plates.
What motivated the plot of your latest book? The idea of walking through life one day at a time sparked the idea for the Paper Planes. We wanted to go back to the 90’s when the internet wasn’t around and write about how two people sharing a common tragedy could connect.
What was the hardest story for you to write? Michele: Into the Fire. It’s a YA standalone about a girl who self-harms. It’s a realistic look at how we can lose ourselves in the face of tragedy, but also how we overcome and find our happily ever after.
What process do you use to plan your novels? We’re inspired by so many things. Songs, art, other stories, and television/movies. We seriously are horrible planners. Typically, it’s just crazy plot bunny jumps into our head and we run with it. Often we let things marinate for weeks, if it doesn’t go away we know we need to work on it.
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? We can’t pick a favorite child 😉
Michele: West (From the Wreckage series) and Amber (Paper Planes series) are favorites because they are effortless to write. There’s something very me, about them.
Mindy loves her snarky boys. Kai from Faylinn is a favorite.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? We pour bits of ourselves into our characters. It’s inevitable—a quirk, a food like, a catch phrase—something of ourselves always leeches into each character we create.
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? We both have. We read a lot. Mindy watches movies or shows. You have to power through. Find something you love and know to write so you can find your love for the craft again.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? We’re genre hoppers. We write whatever the story tells us. Or as Mindy likes to say, “we do what we want.”
Which authors inspire you? We’re inspired by all creatives. Pouring yourself into work for others to pick apart isn’t a job for the faint of heart. There are authors to aspire to be like because of their brand and reach, but ultimately regardless of success what we admire and what inspires us is the people behind the brand. Colleen Hoover is inspiring. What she does for charities and the way she communicates with her fans is amazing. Tarryn Fisher gives selflessly of herself to her fans and her writing is amazing. The new crop of Fantasy writers publishing these days inspire us to write better fantasy. We like writers who write different. Explore tough topics and give the basic boy meets girl stories a twist. There are so many people to look at for inspiration. So much talent, and giving, in this community. [Very true.]
What novel would you read multiple times?
Michele: I re-read my old-school regency romances every year. Judith McNaught is my go to.
Mindy: Tarryn Fisher. All day every day.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? (Person could be a fictional character) Michele: Thor. Hemsworth or the actual Norse mythology god.
What is your favorite quote?
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary?
Michele: I’m a bear (all kinds) lover. I can watch them at zoos for hours.
Mindy: This is Michele because Mindy didn’t answer this one, I can tell you she loves baby goats. Her in-laws have them and she thinks their adorable. She has a video of them jumping around like crazy little lunatics climbing on each other. They are super cute.
When you’re not writing… Mindy and I write full-time thanks to the hard work and generosity of our husbands who support our dreams 100%.
Find this awesome team online:
Michele G. Miller
It was a pleasure getting to know you ladies! I look forward to adding your books to my very crowded shelves soon.
Join me next week when Zachary Chopchinski will be dropping by!