Interview with author Heather Michelle
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an Author?
When I was in school, English was always my weakest subject. Give me math or science and I could rock it, but passing English was a struggle. I wasn’t a strong reader, I was terrible with spelling and grammar, and just the subject alone was enough to give me a stomach ache. Yes, I know what you’re probably thinking. Not typically the roots of someone who becomes an author.
When I was in seventh grade, I had never actually finished a book before. Every school book report was poorly done and if I even started the book, I never finished it. I had a third grade reading level, and I know this is lame, hated the feel of paper. I still do actually. In seventh grade is when it all shifted. I had a sleep over with a few friends, and as we figured out what movie to rent, my friend said she wanted to listen to the first Harry Potter audio book instead. We stayed up late listening and that was the first time I ever realized books actually had something of value to share. After I finished the audio book, I got number two from the library, and that was the first book I ever actually read. By the end of seventh grade my reading level had gone from third grade to ninth grade, although I still hated every book they assigned in English class.
Fast forward a few years, I still love to read, but all other skills are terrible. I was told most of my life that my spelling and grammar would hold me back, so it did. I was embarrassed to try and get better. Eventually I decided to start writing fan fiction. I was terrible. Well, that’s not entirely true. People loved my story but begged me to get a beta reader. And as I kept writing, something magical happened. I started to figure out where my mistakes were, and get better.
After figuring out that people really did like my writing, and my stories, I decided to work on my own worlds and characters and stories. If you have ever wanted to be a writer, you will know the first advice anyone gives you is to write every day. This is SO true. You don’t need to take it as law. We all have days or even a week here and there we need to do nothing for our own mental health. But it is a truth that the more you write the better you get at it.
For a long time I let my insecurities over my skills stop me from writing, but that was such a mistake, because it wasn’t until I just did it anyways that I started to get better and improve. I will always be a little self conscious on my skills, and I will always use an editor. But I have stories in me. Fun amazing stories that I can’t wait to share, and I will never let fear or self doubt hold me back again. In the same breath, I encourage anyone who wants to write to just start doing it. You will never regret starting, and you will only ever get better.
I grew up in northern California, sandwiched between the ocean, the redwood forests, and the mountains. I deeply believe leaving your hometown, at least for a season is one of the healthiest things you can do to gain perspective. I left, and financially I don’t see myself returning, but I do love to visit. It’s such a beautiful part of the country, and serves as a backdrop for a lot of my imagination. In A Misplaced Child, Elodie also grows up in the same area, although we don’t see as many wonders of Earth as we do in the Twoshy.
I read, then I read some more, and when I have a headache or want a little variety I will play video games, or maybe to a craft project, and listen to an audiobook while my hands are busy.
Imposter syndrome is real, and I have it bad. Look up Neil Gamins quote on Imposter syndrome if you are unfamiliar. I still have a very hard time with calling myself a writer. I still say “I wanna be a writer someday” instead of “I am a writer.” I think it will be interesting to see how many published books I need to have before I am able to say it with confidence. Two? Three? Maybe I should just take my own advice and start claiming it, say it over and over again till it feels true.
I have a tendency to get obsessed with a movie, I will love it so much, force all my friends to watch it, and then watch it myself over and over again until I need to take a very very long break from it. I did this with the movie sweet home alabama in highschool (don’t judge me!) I did it with Inception a few years later, most recently I did it with Jupiter Ascending, the best worst movie EVER. The only movie I’ve never grown tired of is Pride and Prejudice(2005). When I get tired of it, I might switch to the 1995 series, or maybe watch a modern adaptation. But I love that movie, the music, and everything about it.
I can’t imagine A Misplaced Child ever becoming a good movie. Young actors who have to age up so quickly… I don’t see it working well, or ever having the budget it needed to really be great. I think it could probably become a good mini series, or a TV show. I have Elodie’s story all planned out, book two is in the editing phase, and book three is outlined, so I know how things will end. And spoiler alert. It’s gonna be good. Anyways, the characters age a bit between books, and I don’t think that usually translated well in movies.