23 Jul 2014

A chat with author T. Michelle Nelson

Can you tell us a little about your book, Death Warmed Over?
Death Warmed Over is the third and final book in my series. It wraps up the story of Lily Drake, a single mother who has fallen in love with two vampire cousins and her transition into vampire society. Lily is the only human known to come from two powerful bloodlines needed to make a fierce vampire and she has been prophesied to save the race. Lily, however, is silly at times, initially has no understanding of the vampire culture and does some crazy things to save herself, her son and the other people she loves.
In this book, all questions are answered and Lily’s fate, as well as that of her family, will be revealed.

What inspired you to write it?

I love reading these types of books, but for the most part, there really weren’t any that I had found that had a main character that was older, around my age. Lily is thirty-five in the first book. She’s divorced and has a son. She has real life problems like work, paying her mortgage and being supportive to her child as he attends school. She isn’t your stereotypical eighteen year old cheerleader type who waits around for vampires to come and save her. She takes charge and makes decisions for herself. I wanted to create a character that would inspire, one that wasn’t weak.

How did you come up with the idea for the cover?

That I had absolutely nothing to do with. My publisher, Inkspell Publishing handles the cover ideas, and their designer, Najla Qamber, is a genius. The first time I saw the Lily Drake cover, I literally squealed. They really nailed it in my opinion.

If it was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
photo credit: Glyn Lowe Photoworks. via photopin cc
I’ve been asked this before. Lily should be someone very funny and down-to-earth. I’d love to see someone like Drew Barrymore or Alyson Hannigan play Lily. As for Mathias, only one actor comes to mind and that is Jackson Hurst. He is the living incarnate of how I see Matty. Rodrigo Santoro would be my dream Valentine, among other things!

What is it about this genre that appeals to you so much?

I love the fantasy of it all. I think with all the vampire books, the big draw is of course, the dangerous sexy vampires, but more than that, the idea of immortality. As I grow older, the thought of never waking up to find another body part sagging, no more wrinkles and a nonexistent metabolism sounds like heaven.

What made you want to become an author?

I’m not sure I really wanted to become an “author” in that sense. I just started writing. I’ve always been a reader from a very young age, and writing seemed like the thing to do when I ran out of books in the house to read. I never had some idea that writing would be a career. It was for fun. When it is no longer fun, I’ll quit, but right now I’m having the time of my life.

How do you come up with character names?
Lily is my favorite flower. I’ve always liked that name. The others were mostly friends of mine, and the old vampires were names that I researched that were authentic names to the time of their births.

Name one of your all-time favourite books?
I have three, for three very different reasons. The Art of War, The House of Mirth and Gone with the Wind. The Art of War made me really think. Gone with the Wind made me smile and at times laugh out loud. The House of Mirth is that tear-jerker that elicits one of those girly moments.

Who, or what, inspires you?

My friends, my family, but mostly my son. That kid can say some of the wittiest, funniest things I’ve ever heard, and that’s only with my writing. As far as just being inspired about life, he does that every day. He is the strongest, smartest, coolest person I’ve ever known.

Where is your favourite place to write?
My bed.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?

Gone with the Wind

Name two of your favourite authors.
Edith Wharton
Margaret Mitchell

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Edith Wharton and Margaret Mitchell for sure. These are two ladies who defied the times they were raised and both won Pulitzers, but their writing accomplishments are only part of the reason, they were truly remarkable, intelligent women.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
Every night I put Vick’s VapoRub on my nose. I can’t sleep if I don’t.

Who would play you in the movie about your life?

Probably someone much younger and prettier. Isn’t that how it usually goes?

Tell us an interesting fact about where you live.
My books are set in Mount Vernon. It’s a gorgeous old town and the home of Dan Emmett and Paul Lynde.

What are your (writing) plans for the future?

I’m starting a new series about a woman who becomes a vigilante after having survived a horrific attack. She devotes her life to helping others who are being victimized.

Tell us one thing that's on your bucket list.
Move to New Orleans.

Favourite myth / fairytale?
I love the Greek mythology. I’m going to go with Medea.

Who did you want to be when you were a kid?

Joan Jett.

T. Michelle Nelson became enamored with vampires at an early age when she watched George Hamilton in “Love at First Bite.” As she got older, her tastes leaned more toward the dark and morose, but her love of all things vampire never wavered. Little has changed over the years, except now T. makes up her own macabre stories of the undead… mixed with a splash of romance, tough heroines and tons of dark humor.
T. Michelle Nelson is a native of Benton, Kentucky and a graduate of Murray State University. Currently she resides in a small town in Ohio, which is also the setting of her Lily Drake series. The first two books in the series, Life and Death of Lily Drake and 'Til Death Do Us Part, are currently available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon or any of your other favorite online bookstores. A short story prequel The First Time is also available. Death Warmed Over, the third and final book of the series will release in late June.
When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her spending time with her son, singing out of key, watching B-Horror movies or discussing world problems with her little dog, Toadie.
Death Warmed Over - Lily Drake Book Three 

In the conclusion of the Lily Drake series, Lily must choose not only what is best for herself and her son, but for her people. Her sword will be stained with blood through her efforts to preserve the lives of the people she loves, but she won’t be able to save them all.
When a devastating loss crushes her will to live, can Lily go on and be the leader she has to be? What is she willing to sacrifice to save others?
Death comes to everyone...even the Queen’s house...
What doesn't kill you will make you wish it did...
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