and Fun Interview Questions
am always thrilled to take part in interviews where off the wall
questions are asked. It makes it so much more fun, and
interesting, that trying to figure out how to answer the same question
over and over.
you are interested in reading all of the interviews I have done, you can
find them HERE. It is kind of
interesting to see how some of my opinions on things have changed over
the course of the last decade+, and how many of them have
stayed the same.
[W]hat is your favorite sex toy and sexual position?
Wow. Um, don't hold back do you. <smiles> My
favorite toy would have to be my nipple nooses as I call them. I don't know
the exact name, but they're like nipple clamps, except instead of clamping
them on, you loop the nooses around the nipples and tighten them.
As for my favorite position ... I do have
several I prefer, and others I won't try. But I think I'll keep that between
my husband and me. <smiles>
Just Erotic Romance Reviews
What kind of research do
Well last week there was the swingers'
party, the month before we visited an S&M club … LOL
Seriously, I research about like anyone else does. I visit the library and pull
information from books. I do some searches online. And when all else fails, I
use the wonderful thing called 'writer's initiative' and I make stuff up.
What does your husband
think of your writing?
My husband has a great sense of humor about it
all. We even joked about getting T-shirts made up that say "Buy my wife's
books – I want to be a kept man" after I mentioned another author's hubby
thinking the same way.
And like I mentioned before, he is definitely very supportive of me. Even when I
am moody, and cranky, and irritated that my characters have the nerve to want to
do their own thing instead of what I want them to do.
Are you in control of
your characters or do they control you?
It kind of depends. Some character let me have
my way, with only minor fits, and others are demanding from word one and I
can't do anything except let them have their way.
Romance At Heart Reviews
If you could go anywhere, be anyone, do anything for
24 hours, what would it be?
Good lord. LOL Um,
sheesh. Um … I can't
pick just one, so I will answer all three.
Go anywhere – Scotland. Specifically, I would visit Culzean castle. I
fell in love with the photos of it when I was working on my stories for
the Celtic Love Knots line for Whiskey Creek Press/Torrid. I had to
take a lot of artistic liberty, because the pictures just didn't do the
details of the breathtaking castle justice. I would love to see if, to
explore the grounds and look down the cliff in the sea. To witness first
hand to effects of time on the stone walls.
Be anyone – Living on a tight budget, I think anyone rich from old money
would do. Just for 24 hours, I would love to have all the money to spend
on whatever I wanted, without feeling guilty. I could pamper myself with a
spa visit, or get into a fancy restaurant. Whatever I fancied, I'd do. I
think that would be nice, to be able to not feel guilty over buying
something. As it is, a new book sometimes causes that "can I afford
this" impulse to rear its head.
Do anything – I think if I were doing it for only 24 hours that I would
like to live in a nudist colony. Silly I know, but it's one of those
things I would like to actually experience, but I know I am not cut out
for the long haul.
Fallen Angel Reviews
your life were a movie, what would you call it? What would the theme
used to joke that my life is a soap opera called “As The Stomach
Churns.” But that was just a joke, it’s really not that
the top of my head though, I would probably call it Unbecoming
have never been one to play nice, just because society says I
am blunt, and when someone asks my opinion, they had better truly want
it. Plus, well, I write erotica.
That in itself is considered unbecoming by many.
I also make a point to mention in my newsletter when it is
National Masturbation Month (it’s May by the way), and I support sex
education in schools (some teenagers are going to do it anyways, might as well
protect them from STD’s and pregnancy).
And that’s just the beginning.
once had a professor draw a line on the board.
At the left end he put a dot and said “This is when you were
a fifth of the way down it, he put a line.
“This is where you are right now.”
At the right end, he put another point.
“This is where the human body will hold out to under perfect
He then circled the area between the line and about a fifth of
the way from the right point.
“This is where you will die.”
about scaring the shit out of those that were actually paying attention
to what he was getting at.
Life is too short for pussy-footing around.
If it doesn’t hurt others, isn’t illegal or immoral, why not?
of the ladies on a mailing list I am on has a tag line for her email
about the journey to the grave not being a careful walk, with perfect
hair and body, but rather a slide in at the last moment, body worn out,
screaming “Whoo what a ride.”
rather live my life feeling like the movie of it would be called
“Unbecoming Behavior” rather than regret all the lost chances and
feel that it should have been called “What Could Have Been.”
if they did a movie based on just the last few years, since I started
college, it would probably be called “Dazed and wondering what the
F*** is going on.”
a lot more than you were wanting, but there it is.
theme song would be Genesis “Land of Confusion.”
Phil Collins has a voice that sends shivers down my spine, and
some of the lyrics to that song just ring true for me.
was your first celebrity crush? Is he still hot?
I cringe admitting this, but my first celebrity crush was David Bowie in
have no clue why, but at end when he was in the white outfit, something
about him just caught my attention.
Then again, I wasn’t even 10, so don’t hold it again me.
for him still being hot, well, he wasn’t that hot to begin with, in my
Like I said, I wasn’t even ten at the time.
Romance Junkies Reviews
What do you feel is the most important thing that first-time authors should
If a character is whispering in your ear, listen. If a concept comes to
you, and you know you could make something kick-ass of it, go for it. But
understand, writing is only like breathing to some talented few. The rest of us
have to work at it, to slowly get better. The first draft of anything is likely
to be shit. What you make of that first draft will mold you into an author. You
have to be willing to listen to your characters, and to trust yourself, but you
also have to be willing to work hard.
All Romance e-Books
Is there anything in your closet that your fans would be surprised by?
Not really. I am a T-shirt collector. Most of my wardrobe for
classes and such is made up of T-shirts I have gotten from zoos, theme parks,
festivals I have visited like the Japan Festival and the Renaissance Festival,
Wild On Books
found the perfect guy. Now, would you rather be marooned on a deserted island
with him, or snowed in at a cabin in the desolate woods?
rather be snowed in. Although an
island has more of an ability to move around, there is only so much you can take
off if the heat goes too high. Snowed
in, you have more options for warmth.
Plus, let’s face
it, sand isn’t comfortable in and around certain parts of the body.
There is also the fact that, at least to me, sand-burn is actually worse
than carpet burn. Youch!
If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would
Oh boy! First she’d be sure to let everyone know that I am not an
exciting person. She complains about that often enough to me. When we go on
vacations (my family and I) and she tags along, she rushes off to do stuff while
I am content to sit back and watch my hubby and daughter – kayak, snorkel,
climb up very tall rocks and stand on the edge to look over all the while
screaming “look how far down it is”, and other such things.
She’d have to tell everyone I often write in my PJ’s and they aren’t
even sexy. While she’s flouncing around in a see-through negligee, flirting
with my husband (who of course can’t see her), I’m in a nice comfy outfit.
She tried though, bless her heart, to get me to be more daring. But I can’t
see sitting in a leather bustier and thigh high stalking and garter belt while
writing. But it’s nice to dream about.
She’s also be sure to make sure that everyone knows that I am not a morning
person, and in fact I get grouchy without my 9 hours of sleep, or if I am woken
up too early. I used to answer the phone “if you’re not dying I’m hanging
up” but my parents didn’t think it was too funny. LOL I am so not a morning
If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine
would you be? What would you be named?
I’d either be Marissa or Meredith. I love those names, and always
wished my parents had gone a little different way with the M naming. As for what
kind of heroine I would write myself as, I’d be soft spoken with an iron will.
The hero or other heroine would know that I wasn’t a pushover or a doormat,
but at the same time, I would willingly submit to all kinds of delicious
intimate torments in the bedroom. It would be an equal partnership, none of this
“you stay here where it’s safe while I go risk my life and limb and
hopefully come back to you”. Uh uh. I also think I’d be curious, and some of
the problems that plague us would genuinely be my fault, but it would be
If you had to write yourself as a villain, what kind of villain
would you be? What would you be named?
I’d be fun and enjoy being a villain! The best villains I have
seen on shows aren’t the stereotypical tortured, turned bad by incidents in
their lives; rather they have fun with it. I’d choose to be a bad girl. I’d
be one of the good bad guys though, because I wouldn’t want to do anything too
evil, just enough to give a girl a reputation and make people fear me even as
they are in awe of me. I also wouldn’t have to stop and explain my plan to
everyone I have captured/enslaved. I’d be quick witted, and actually smart.
I would be sultrily dressed, black latex/leather wearing, corset top and
thigh high slit skirt, at least within my own domain. As for out in the world as
I am trying to enact my dastardly plan I would be the height of comfortable
fashion, and turn heads, male and female, wherever I go. : )
I’d also have to have a thing for the hero/heroine. LOL
As for a name, I dunno. Something fun, but yet whimsical. Have to think on
that some more.
If you were a Superheroine, would you wear tights and a cape?
Cape, oh yeah. Tights, not a chance. : ) Probably I’d wear sheer
stalkings coated in an anti-snag spray, with 3” spike heels, cause I wouldn’t
have to worry about breaking an ankle. And I’d go for one of those cute full
corset outfits, the kind that covers just as much as a leotard, with the
underlining of the cape matching the lace ties on it. My “normal” dress
however would be a conservative business suit, with a pair of half frame
glasses, low heels, and hair done in a conservative style.
Would you live in a biodome for 5 years? What would your must have
Yeah, I’d go for it. I am a biology major, so I think it’d be
fun. : ) I’d have to take my family though. Wouldn’t want to be without them
for five years.
We’d have to have lots of books. Lots of them. And a way to get new ones to
me – either paper or e-book. I read about 2-5 books a week, and it is an
I’d want my pillows – all five of them that I sleep with at night (which
includes a portion of hubby’s)
Also have to have a computer just for me to play on. Nothing work related,
just play and write. That’s about all I’d need, beyond the normal hygiene
and clothing needs.
Hubby and my daughter on the other hand – they’d need music files, game-boys, computer games, somewhere to golf and their golf stuff, drawing supplies
and lots of paper and colored pencils, a computer for each of them, the list
goes on …
In your next life, if you came back as a critter, what would it
Oh boy. Um, I’d probably want to be one of the few animals in the
world that will have sex just for pleasure, rather than as a biological
imperative. There has to be others, beyond the ones we know of so far – which
would be Dolphins, a species of ape, and one or two others which I can’t
remember at this moment.
I just couldn’t see coming back as something that spends its days hunting,
and its nights sleeping, with occasional mating to continue the species.
I also wouldn’t want to come back as anything too ugly, I might get killed
just because I was ugly. Alternatively, I wouldn’t want to be too pretty, with
a nice coat or horns or whatever, then I’d have to worry about being poached
So I guess a Dolphin would be good. Might even get to do a show at Sea World.
Michelle M Pillow
* * *
My logo is a lilac rose, what is your favorite color of rose and do you think
you’ll get any this Valentine’s Day?
I actually prefer yellow and white roses, over pink and red. Although the
ones that are light pink with the magenta tips are pretty cool.
I’d have to say white is my absolute favorite
As for getting any roses, my husband and I decided long ago that he isn’t
to buy me any roses. At Valentine’s Day they simply cost too much and don’t
last long enough. So we do live plants, if we have to give flowers. Simply
little gifts, if anything at all. Nothing extravagant.
What is your favorite
A nice steak, with varying sides, and candlelight. Maybe soft music.
Although, one of the most romantic meals I ever made for my husband was
homemade chicken nuggets and fries, over candlelight. We were just starting out,
couldn’t afford steak. But I wanted to do a nice, romantic dinner for us.
That’s still one of my favorite memories.
How do you know when you’re in love?
Wow. I guess that differs from person to person. Everyone is going to
experience it a bit different, from the breathless anticipation when you have to
go a few days without being able to talk, to the simple pleasure and warmth of
curling up with someone and feeling cherished and safe.
I don’t know exactly when I knew I was in love with my husband. Just one
day I knew. That insane fluttering of nerves had steadied into a sense of calm
when he was around, and I was thinking about my future in terms of what “we”
could do, rather than what “I” wanted.
* * *
Tell me a little bit about your design business.
How does it mesh with your writing?
design allows me another creative outlet. I am a non-traditional college
student right now, and I need something to balance that aspect of my life with.
Often times, I don’t have time to sit and develop a story and write everything
down that needs to be put together at once. But I still need the stress
cover art, webpages, and graphics provides that. It also gives me
something to do when I am not in the mood to write, or when I need to work
through an idea.
it actually meshes well with writing. The only time conflict arises is
when I have a deadline for a graphic and I am in the mood to write. I have
to balance the two. But then again, I have the same conflict when it is
time to study and a story demands to be told.
before I started designing graphics for others, I did my own website. As
my friends can attest, I have had something like a dozen layouts and designs in
the last 6 years. So it has always been a part of my creative process.
Just now I have broadened my horizon and am not re-designing my website as
often; instead I am working up graphics for others.
Michelle. Thank you so much for visiting with us. Could you tell us how you
learned about the Lakeside Nature Center?
I do volunteer work at Lakeside Nature Center, and this interview was
based around that information
I found out about Lakeside from my husband.
We have an 11-year-old daughter who loves animals, and we often visit
zoos. So when we moved back to the
Kansas City, Missouri, area, we got a zoo membership and starting spending one
Saturday a month there.
one of our visits, my husband decided we should swing by Lakeside and see how
they had changed from what he remembered. They
had changed a lot!
started visiting the nature center every time we visited the zoo.
During one of our visits, my husband found out about volunteer work that
can be done at the center and he signed up for the training classes.
Due to my school load (we’re both non-traditional college students), I
wasn’t sure I would be able to commit to the time needed, but he found out
that the only commitment is 30 hours a year, and training classes.
So I signed up as well.
first 30 hours is mentoring time, where we get to pick who we want to work with
based on days of the week we are available and what that person specializes in.
For me it was a no-brainer. I was going to work with whoever worked with
then, I have helped care for baby squirrels, birds, opossum, rabbits (sadly most
of them die due to the shock to their systems), owls, geese, a mallard duck,
kestrels, hawks and an eagle.
love getting to actually hold, interact, feed and care for these animals.
What is most rewarding though is when they are able to be released back
into the wild. During my most
recent volunteer day, after being out of the country for two weeks and dealing
with finals the two weeks before that, I found out that the two red-tailed hawks
that I had been helping feed had been released.
I admit, I was sad, because they were the first animals I really got to
deal with. But I was also glad.
It meant that the staff had live feed tested them, and deemed them fit to
survive in the wild.
of what I do is the messy work. But then again, animal rehab is not glamorous.
Some of the rehabbers that do home rehab spend all their free time caring
for small baby mammals, like rabbits, opossums and squirrels.
And here’s a little bit of trivia – most mammal babies need
stimulation to urinate. So the
volunteers have to take cloths and wipe them over the animals privates, after
they feed them, to get them to clear their bladders.
for what I do, since I try to work with the raptors as much as possible, I spend
a lot of time cleaning cages and cutting up mice and rats.
I’ve tubed birds, to get food into their stomachs.
I’ve force fed an owl, using tweezers and mice chunks. Kind of gross,
but necessary work. I also get to
help hold the birds down for medical care, since the raptors generally come in
with some kind of injury. And
occasionally, I am the one who sticks my hands into the cage to grab the
birds’ legs and try not to get bit in the process.
in all, caring for these animals is a lot of hard work, and very messy, but fun
and rewarding. I know there are
other volunteer opportunities out there, but as a biology major and a general
science geek, this one fits me the best.
more, it’s something I can share with my whole family, since my husband
volunteers, and our daughter recently joined the junior keeper program.
She gets to care for some of the education animals, those that cannot be
released back into the wild, but still have a full life helping to educate the
do a lot, Michelle. What motivated you to volunteer with the center?
started working at Lakeside in January 2009, so it’s only been six months, but
in that time I have learned a lot and I hope helped out, both the staff and the
always loved animals, and I strongly believe that the wild should be allowed to
be wild. It drives me nuts that
people go out into the woods, catch a critter, and try to make a pet of it.
That’s why we have pet stores, and animals that are domestically bred
to be pets.
for motivation, I admit, I do it because I get to work with animals that I would
never be able to get close to otherwise. But
also because I get to help rehab these animals, getting them back into top form
so that they can be released into the wild.
I am helping to make sure that these species survive so that my
grandchildren can one day enjoy them.
a beautiful motivator. In addition to caring for the animals, what else does the
Nature Center focuses on education of the public, conservation of the natural
world, and rehabilitation of injured animals.
work is so important because they don’t just patch up animals and send them
back into the world, although that is a vital aspect, and one that I enjoy
taking part in. They are also an education source.
work hard to educate the public about why wild animals need to be allowed to be
wild. They have staff that does
classes for the public on a variety of topics. They do programs out in the
schools and other avenues, and they always welcome questions.
of the biggest heartbreaks for all of the volunteers is the baby rabbits.
All too often, they are brought in when they shouldn’t have been.
Their urine is light colored, meaning mommy rabbit was nearby, but she
doesn’t want to impress her scent on her scentless babies.
So she doesn’t hover over them. Many
of these babies are kidnapped, and the volunteers repeat over and over that if
possible, the goal is to leave the wild as it is.
Unless they are injured, don’t move the babies.
all too often, they are moved and brought to the center, and then the volunteers
have to try and keep them alive. Wild
baby rabbits are timid as anything, and often die of shock while we are trying
to care for them. Having a baby
rabbit die in your hands is heartbreaking, and makes you question why you are
doing this to yourself.
the volunteers keep going. They keep caring. They keep trying to educate the
public, and they keep interjecting energy into education, conservation and
is why I think they are worth supporting. They
don’t have an easy job. In fact it can be messy and can rip your heart out.
But they do it anyways. Not for the
glory, but to make a difference.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
The least interesting fact about writing has to be the hours we spend on getting
the word out there about our work. Promotions aren’t all book signings and
radio shows, and it isn’t all done by the publishing company. A lot falls to
the author. There is a lot of grunt work, a lot of planning, worrying, and busy
work that goes in to it. Not much glamour in it, for the most part.
The most interesting has to be creating a whole new world, developing characters
with their own personalities, thoughts, dreams and nightmares. They live and
breathe through us, and even though they are not real, they still exist in some
way. I think that has to be the most interesting, and thrilling, aspect to
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series?
I actually prefer stand alone stories. Very few of my stories, even in my
series, actually intertwine. They are in the same universe, with the same rules
and all, but the characters don’t intermingle.
I am the same way about my reading tastes. I like books set in the same
universe, and occasionally will read a series that is highly intertwined. But it
has to grab a hold of me so tight that I am not ready to let go of the
characters after one book. Or two … or three even.
That very rarely happens.
It also seems, especially here lately, that series peter out before the author
wraps them up. Because they are selling, and people are wanting more, they keep
writing. Which I have no problem with. But when it starts to get old, when it
starts to get flat, end the series. Reach the conclusion to the issue thread.
Let it go and move on to something else.
I hate when I get to the point that I am ready to stop reading because the books
don’t interest me any more, and I have to borrow them from the library rather
than buy them, just so I can skim the book to find out how the encompassing arc
is resolved. I hate the feeling when I want to email the author and say, ‘Just
end it already. Sheesh.’ Which is why when authors say ‘this is going to be
an open-ended series’ I am less likely to give it a try than I am if they say
‘I am doing so many books and that is it for this series’.
I am also starting to get sick of the trend of writing a book that isn’t a
full book. One author I used to auto-buy has started doing that. The series is
so continued that at the end of the book, I am left feeling that nothing
happened. No great resolution was reached. It’s always ended with an unspoken
‘to be continued …’ like the series finale to most TV shows. Not resolving
everything is fine. Keeping the main story arc is fine. But there needs to be
some semblance of closure at the end of each book.
So yeah, mark me down in the stand-alone column.
If you could travel through time to visit a
special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
This may be a bit controversial, and I am not meaning it to be. Please,
understand, I am a science major. I am a geek at heart.
So if I could visit anyone, it would be Charles Darwin. I would love to be one
of the great minds he corresponded with. I would love to be able to point him in
the direction of a monk that was doing incredible work in genetics and say there
is your proof. There is the back-up for evolution. (Darwin, in case you don’t
know, was the first person who proposed a full theory of evolution, via decent
with modification. He made the Galapagos Islands famous, especially the variety
of finches that live there and nowhere else).
It’s one of the ironies that Darwin’s theories would have been better
worked, been more streamlined, if he had had just an inkling of what Gregor
Mendel was up to. (For those that don’t know, Mendel was doing work on
cross-breeding pea plants and from that was getting the beginning inklings to
how transmission of traits, ie genetics, occurs).
Oh Mendel published. But the world of books and scientific papers isn’t what
it is today. Most were buried in obscurity.
I’d have loved to have been there on the eve of Darwin’s great ideas. To
help him formula and reason through what he was seeing. To converse with him, to
work through ideas, to simply be there as a sounding board as he postulated
something that would unleash a story of controversy that still resonates 100
As I said – geek.
Romances and More