Michelle Hiscox - Inspired by Romance and Horror

Michelle Hiscox - Inspired by Romance and Horror
author of the day

Michelle Hiscox is a newly published author who comes with a fresh approach to paranormal romance with her debut novel A New Day at Midnight. Her work is dark, exciting and very hard to put down. Today Hiscox reveals what inspired A New Day at Midnight, talks about her writing habits and her love for things that go bump in the dark.

Please give us a short introduction to A New Day at Midnight

Condemned to play host to a demon, the scarred Romani leader Merik Hearne has amassed a fortune with only one goal in mind -- to possess Hannah Worthington, the traitorous beauty that has eluded him for over a decade. With an exchange of coin, everything he has been striving for is within reach, but nothing is as he imagined. The tender, sharp-tongued woman he encounters tests the bounds of his convictions and he is torn between the promise of reckoning and longing for a love that once destroyed him.

Why did you become an author?

In short it's because I had a story to tell. I've written stories for as long as I can remember, and after reading books by so many great authors, I decided to give it a try. I love how authors create worlds, create people, and take me into their lives. I really want to do the same for others.

What inspired A New Day at Midnight?

It came from years of reading, both horror and romance novels, and a combined love for the two. Paranormal romance wasn't a popular genre, or one I even knew existed when I found my way to novels, but I always relished any bit of romance I could find in the horror novels I read. I enjoy the darkness, the uncertainty, I always secretly hope the antagonist will find good within themselves. In later years I couldn't get enough of authors such as JR Ward and Karen Marie Moning. The desire to create my own characters and story, to captivate people like these authors captivated me, just grew over time.

Merik Hearne is a domineering, overbearing man.  What does Hannah see in him?

My initial response is the pain, and at times elusive kindness, beneath the tough facade. For Hannah, I think the shared past between her and Merik draws her in on a subconscious level. The more she sees of him, the more he exposes himself, the more she sees the man lost beneath. There is often so much more to people than questionable choices and beliefs, and Hannah gains insight into this as the story progresses.

Which character did you find the most challenging to create?

Definitely Merik. He's a completely damaged individual, despite his sense of misguided purpose and drive to find power in a world in which he is an outcast. From a tormented mind comes twisted ideals, and it was difficult to navigate his journey back to himself while incorporating the weight of the Vetala he became. The 'other' within him is a dominating force but I wanted to show a good man still existed. It was a difficult balance. 

What type of books do you enjoy for your own reading?

Horror and romance will always be on the top of my list, but I enjoy everything from true crime to gritty graphic novels. I'm open to a lot of genres, but biased toward my favorites most of the time.

Your book is written in a bit of a historic style. Why did you take this approach?

It is where I envisioned the story from the very beginning, it was something I never questioned. Merik and Hannah belonged in the past, and I believe that the time and place influenced elements of the plot in ways that I didn't envision.

Why paranormal romance? What is it about the genre that appeals to you?

Everything, I've always loved monsters and everything that goes bump in the dark. I'm a fan of the tortured soul, or redemption, and ultimately of love. Paranormal romance has it all.

How is A New Day at Midnight different from other vampire books?

The characters, the history and origin of the Vetala are all original, as is the story of Merik and Hannah.

Your book explores some less conventional ideas.  Did you have any reservations about writing some of the scenes?

I didn't have any reservations. I interpret 'less than conventional' as meaning something that not everyone will approve of, but I never let that stop me. My ideas are my own, and the characters in the story, particularly Merik, are a metaphor for human struggle, loss, and ultimately delving beneath it all to find out what the truth really is. It's about moving past what life has led you to believe about yourself and knowing who you are. Essentially, I feel the greatest thing about fiction is just that, it's fiction, but it makes people feel true emotion, either their own or those of the characters. The great thing about books is that people can make their own decisions about what they do, and don't, choose to read. 

Tell us a bit about your writing habits. How do you make time to write? Do you plot the story out before you start writing?

'Making' the time to write is exactly what I do. I have a family and a full time job. Because it's something I love so much, it just has to happen. I write at night when the house is quiet, when I'm taking a trip out of town, jotting notes when an idea strikes me. I'm committed to writing and driven to do it. As for plot, I start out with some general ideas for characters and events, maybe a very loose outline, and go from there. There are always certain scenes, certain conversations, that come to me well before they should in the story, and I write them down and save them for a later time. They always turn out to be my best work.

Readers report that they couldn't put the book down. How did you manage to keep them interested until the very end?

The reviews I've received have been overwhelmingly positive, which I'm very grateful for as a first time author. The key for me was wanting to read it myself when the book was finished, about the emotion the characters and events evoked in me, and the simple fact that they made me feel at all. Intensity was so important, and it took a lot of thought, effort, and honestly, revision until I felt the scenes were all they could be.

What are you working on right now?

I'm working on the next installment in the Hearne family saga, tentatively titled Chasing Dawn. It takes place a few decades after A New Day at Midnight, and focuses on Merik's brother Nathaniel and his journey to love despite the curse of the Vetala.

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

I have a website, http://micheehiscox.wix.com/michellehiscox1, which also has a contact page. I'm always happy to get feedback or answer questions about my work!

This deal has ended but you can read more about the book here.