Monday, January 7, 2013

Meet C Michelle Jefferies

Hello. Thanks for being a guest on my blog today. Can I offer you a virtual cookie?

Yes, thank you. I love cookies, especially sugar cookies with frosting and sprinkles.  Unless they're those tracking cookies that slow my computer down.

Pretend for a moment that your books are your children. Please introduce us. We’d like names, ages, quirks, birth stories, any details you would like to share.

My oldest child is actually a short story in a Christmas anthology named "Sing We Now Of Christmas". The name of the story is actually "A Real Tree." Written with the song "Oh Christmas Tree." in mind. It was the first Christmas story I ever created. (You see this author mommy is quite a Grinch.) It was also the first piece I ever worked on in first person in a young adult voice.  "A real Tree"  is five months old. And while the season for this baby is over I love to read this story any time of the year. The story was conceived under the idea of what Christmas would be like in a hundred years in the future on a different planet. When the father had lived on Earth but his children had never had a traditional Earth Christmas. I actually wrote it a few years ago but when Michael Young Sent out a call for Christmas stories I knew I had to share my sweet little baby with the world.
The next oldest baby is literally my "baby" of stories. Emergence is the first story baby I worked on polishing and sending out into that big bad world. It is the baby that is nearest and dearest to my heart even if I am not supposed to have favorite children. This is the one story baby that took five years to write rewrite polish edit and submit to get it into the world. I had 44 rejections just on Emergence. This is also the only story baby that I completely rewrote after I had started to submit. It was after I seriously revised my query letter that I received three full requests and finally had two offers. It was a hard decision, but I am so glad I am with my current publisher. Not that the other publisher was bad, they were new and had less distribution. Emergence is just a newborn, he's only three months old, born on Halloween how cool is that? He's the best story baby. Everyone loves him and is telling everyone how cute he is. (giving him great reviews) and asking when he's going to have a sibling.

Well those are my only story babies, but I have great news I am expecting! Yes and it's triplets! This spring I will be delivering a middle grade non fiction about manners for young girls. I am using faeries to teach the manners lessons. There will be craft ideas and recipes and instructions on how to throw a proper party. The tentative title is Enchanted Etiquette. I was asked to produce another Christmas story for next years anthology. This story is called Second Christmas and is based on the song "I'll be home for Christmas". It is an alternate universe story using my main character from Emergence named Antony. The third story baby is the Sequel to Emergence tentatively titled Latent. this one is the first finished story baby where I used the boy meets girl boy looses girl, boy works hard to get girl back type of structure. It was different to write but so much fun to create.   I have a few more story babies in the planning, A futuristic suspense with a western theme, a YA scifi/steampunk that is written and in the hands of my alpha readers and the third and fourth books in the Emergence series. Some Urban fantasy ideas are brewing in the back of my mind.

WOW! You are one busy mama!

The world is going to end in 30 seconds, which means you only have that much time to pitch one of your books. Ready. Set. Go!

Antony Danic is the corporation's prized hit man until he refuses an assignment. Now he's going to find it's a lot easier to kill a man than to keep him alive. Emergence, futuristic suspense.

Sounds suspenseful. :) Please give us a peek into your writing life. How much time each week do you spend writing? Is your desk messy or clean? Do you have a schedule or are you sporadic? What helps you stay motivated? We want to know what makes you tick as a writer.

When my office was downstairs my desk was insanely cluttered. It was a junk depository for my kids as well as a catch all for me. My new desk is only  two feet wide so there is only room for a cup of pens my laptop and a stack of papers.
I try to spend a few hours writing every day, one hour in marketing and promotion and one hour on revision and editing. But I also have a toddler I have nicknamed destructo boy. I rarely get three hours of writing in. But the goal is there and if I get three, then I am ahead for the next day. Some days I get nothing done. Whether its me being distracted, the toddler or some sort of creative block. I try to write when the older kids are at school, once they come home there's no time to do anything but manage the house and kids. I love schedules and I'd love to keep to a schedule but with the toddler I am more sporadic than I'd like to be.
There are a few things that keep me motivated, One, I love to write, I love the process, even the revision and editing process. Two, I have these characters in my head and they don't stop talking very often. If I am writing, they are more cooperative. Three now that I am published, I have fans, and people asking me if there's a sequel and when its coming out before they even hand me the book so I can sign it. Most seem disappointed that it will probably be late summer or fall before it is out.
What makes me tick, that's an interesting question. I love words the way they look sound and how they go together to make an idea come alive. I used to read the dictionary because I love words so much. I love the sight of black letters on a white page. I love paper and the smell of a new book.

You sound much more organized than me, and I don't have destructo boy. I never thought of a smaller desk, great idea!

Please tell us some of your favorites.
Favorite treat: Sea salt and cracked black pepper kettle chips. So so so good and so bad for me!
Favorite stress reliever: Going to Karate or Yoga. I have little samples of Serenity and Balance DoTerra Oils and I smell them when I feel stressed.
Favorite office supply: Hard question. Walking into an office supply store is like kids in the toy aisle. I'd have to say paper and pens are my favorite. Second favorite, Post it notes. Yes I am a geek!
Favorite punctuation mark: The m-dash. Because in suspense it meas that something is interrupting the dialogue, usually something serious.
Favorite day of the week: Friday, my date night with hubby.
Favorite movie: I have to choose? Um . . . Master and Commander with Russel Crowe. I like his long hair and I love the whole ship thing.

Describe for us what your surroundings would be if you walked into your favorite piece of art. Feel free to be as literal or figurative as you would like.

I would be surrounded in soft pinks purples blended with greens. The lilies are floating on a pastel blue pond.  the brush strokes are heavy but the whole picture looks smooth. There's a white bridge and I could sit and stare at the Waterlilies paintings by Monet for hours.

And finally, if you could ask Barack Obama one (polite) question, what would it be?

I thought the movie question was hard. Okay . . . Why have you apologized to other nations for Americans?

Thank you so much for visiting today! If you would like to check out Michelle or her books, visit her website at


Unknown said...

Thank you for the interview I had a great time. Aren't those waterlillies pretty?
C. Michelle Jefferies

Angie said...

A lovely interview of a lovely lady! I am reading Emergence right now!

Melissa Lemon said...

Thanks Michelle! I do love the waterlilies.