A Day in the Life of.....
Michele Drier was born in Santa Cruz and is a fifth generation Californian. She’s lived and worked all over the state, calling both Southern and Northern California home. During her career in journalism — as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers – she won awards for producing investigative series.
Her mystery Edited for Death, called “Riveting and much recommended” by the Midwest Book Review is available at Amazon. She’s working on the second book in the Amy Hobbes Newspaper mysteries, Labeled for Death, out in spring 2013.
Her paranormal romance series, SNAP: The Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, is available in ebook, paperback and audible at ebook retailers. All have received “must read” reviews from the Paranormal Romance Guild. SNAP: The World Unfolds, SNAP: New Talent, Plague: A Love Story and Danube: A Tale of Murder are available singly and in a boxed set at Amazon, B&N and Kobo. The fifth book, SNAP: Love for Blood rated 5 stars, is now out. She’s writing SNAP: Happily Ever After? for release in summer 2013 and a seventh book in late fall 2013.
A Day in the Life
When I first saw the 1984 movie Romancing the Stone, I had no idea that my life would take after Joan Wilder’s.
No, not the sexy Joan Wilder who has adventures with Michael Douglas, the Joan Wilder who at the film’s opening sits alone writing, then feeds the last can of tuna to her hungry cat.
My day usually starts around 4 a.m. when my cat begins sitting on my head. I can ignore him for a few minutes, then stumble out to the kitchen to feed him and open the door so he can go out. Back to bed to read until the book hits my face or falls on the floor and I’m off for another three to four hours of sleep.
Once awake for the day and back in the kitchen, I make a pot of coffee and feed the cat, again. He’s gotten used to having me around during the day and takes advantage of it.
While the coffee brews, I check the overnight email. I belong to several writers’ loops and get maybe 250 emails a day. Most of them are scanned and deleted, but I glance at all of them. These are the mines of information where I learn about contests, conferences, new classes, keep up with what the business it doing, find new places to advertise, new sales outlets, new software.
When I’m being good—not often enough—I take a 40 minute walk. I feel righteous when I do because I not only get some exercise; I use the time to work through plot problems. I need to do this before sitting down to deal with email and marketing because once I’m at the computer, I lose track of time and sometimes don’t remember to eat until noon.
Marketing takes up an hour or so. As an unknown writer, even with six books out, I have two facebook accounts, a Twitter account, two email accounts, a webpage and am on LinkedIn. I also spend time researching places and blogs for book reviewers and sending off requests.
And for a couple of days (and nights) a week, I’m at my daughter’s house, watching her children while she works a 12-hour night shift as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse.
I write every day I’m at home, whether it’s chapters, a blog, a review or a critique, but at my daughter’s house all I can do is keep up with email. I’m in awe of those people who can write with a two-year-old around.
Afternoons, I write. I have four more mysteries and three more vampire romances already plotted—some notes but mostly in my head. I’m what’s known as a pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants, not from an outline. For me, it’s an exciting way to write because my characters are there to tell the story, to introduce me to their friends, to act in ways I may never have thought about.
With no distractions or interruptions—except the cat yowling at me for attention—I can write 3,000 words a day. Because I’m a panster, I get lost in the story and suddenly realize that it’s getting later. As a long-time journalist, I stop writing about 5:30 p.m. in time to catch some of the national news. And some of this winds up in my books. In SNAP: New Talent the Huszars hire some Chechen thugs to kidnap Maxie and terrorists from the former USSR break-away nations will be showing up in later SNAP stories.
I watch television while I’m fixing and eating dinner, then go back to email. This is also the time when I read books that I’ve agreed to either review or critique, usually two or three a month. Critiquing a book may take twenty to thirty hours because I read, comment and make suggestions or corrections on plot, pacing, dialogue, characters and grammar.
In addition to the Kandesky Vampire Chronicles, I write traditional mysteries, so I watch an hour of so of real (as opposed to “Reality”) police and mystery shows and then read. I’m a sucker for the written word, but mostly read the genres I write in, looking out for techniques and styles, particularly by authors who sell far better than I do.
The bedside light gets turned off around 1 a.m., just time enough to get into deep sleep before the cat sits on my head again.
SNAP: The World Unfolds
SNAP, a multinational celeb TV show and magazine, is the holy grail for Maxie Gwenoch. When she snags the job as managing editor, she’s looking for fame, fortune and Jimmy Choos. What she finds is a media empire owned by Baron Kandesky and his family. A family of vampires. They’re European, urbane, wealthy and mesmerizing. And when she meets Jean-Louis, vampire and co-worker, she’s a goner.
The Kandesky vampire family rose in Hungary centuries ago. They gave up violence and killing to make a killing on the world’s commodities markets and with that beginning they built SNAP, an international celebrity multimedia empire. Now cultured…and having found food substitutes for killing…they’ve cornered the world market for celebrity and gossip journalism.
They haven’t fully left the past behind. Their Hungarian neighbors and rival vampire clan, the Huszars are starting to ramp up attacks, maybe looking to start a war to take over all the Kandeskys have built.
Maxie believes she’s found her ultimate career. She doesn’t realize that she’s found a family feud like none other, a centuries-old rivalry between vampire families, with her as the linchpin. Bells ring with Jean-Louis, but she doesn’t realize they’re alarm sirens until she learns that Jean-Louis is second in command of the Kandeskys…but by then it’s too late.
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