Michelle Gent was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire in December 1964, the eldest of three children.
Michelle decided to take a year off work to produce her book Deadlier...Than the Male.
On amazon.co.uk the product description for Michelle's book says:
Deadlier…Than the Male is set in and around Mansfield in the heart of Sherwood Forest, England and takes the reader into a dark and dangerous world where werewolves not only exist, but exist alonside humans - undetectable until just before the human becomes the victim.
Werewolves do exist and they exist alongside our society; they have their own rules and hierarchy, they hide in plain sight and have done for millennia.
This is a werewolf tale with real BITE - Twilight for grown-ups!
May I ask you what was your inspiration for writing Deadlier…Than the Male, and why that title?
At the time I started writing Deadlier, I was working as a Door Supervisor (bouncer) at a nightclub in town. I do like to 'people watch' and that job was the perfect opportunity. The moon was travelling across the sky above the rooftops over the road from where I was working and I could imagine someone leaping from rooftop to rooftop, silhouetted by that moon and that's really where the story started.
I wanted a story that could encompass five hundred years or so and an immortal legendary beast was the perfect vehicle for my character.
The title comes from Rudyard Kipling's poem 'Female of the Species'. I wanted a strong female character, scared of nothing, kiss-ass and powerful in her own right. The silly, soppy dependent characters that need a male to lean on irritate me. Yes, it's great if you have someone you can lean on, but relationships that smack of desperation leave me cold so I wrote the book I wanted to read.
The cover for your book is very striking. Book covers are really important, so did you have any input in to how the cover of your book should look, and did you have a preconceived idea of what you wanted?
There are two covers for Deadlier - the first was done and donated by a friend of a friend in exchange for the credit to him in the book. That's a street scene of the town where the story is mostly set.
I did have a preconceived idea for the cover but the first artist I commissioned made an awful job of it to the extent that I cancelled the commission. Then Pixeldome came up with his picture.
The second cover was done for me by a film director friend. He suggested the cover, I loved it and we went with it.
Many authors have a special time of day when they like to write, and maybe a special place that they like to write also. Do you have a special place and time that you like to write?
When my husband worked shifts, I'd write late into the night. Now he works days, I grab the opportunities when I can. I can only seem to write when I have peace and quiet though, so if I'm amongst any kind of distraction, I just have to jot down the ideas and work on them later.
Some authors write straight onto their computers, and some write long hand first, and transcribe it onto the computer later. What is your preference, and why?
I do both. I like both. If I write late at night, I write in bed and so use a notebook and pen. Otherwise, I'm in my lovely attic office (where there are distractions of the internet, etc., unfortunately).
How many drafts do you expect to do for a novel like Deadlier…Than the Male?
Lots! Deadlier took around two years to write and a further nine before it was ready to go. In the meantime, I took it apart, edited it, expanded it, put it back together and all sorts of jiggery pokery.
I think I could still do something more with it - I may try taking it apart again this year.
When you started writing your novel did you set yourself a word count for each day, and how important do you think it is to set yourself a writing goal?
I don't recall a set word count as a target, but I was always pleased to hit the 3,000 word mark.
If by setting a word count target that's how you get yourself to stay in that chair, then I'm all for it but for goodness' sake, don't beat yourself up about it if you don't manage that target. Any amount of words is writing.
When I wrote my first Dusty the Demon Slayer story, I wrote 8,000 words in an evening. I've never repeated either the total or the quality in one sitting, but I hope to, some day.
Michelle, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me and taking part in The Review's Author Interview, it's been most interesting and insightful.
Michelle Gent can be found at Gingernut Books Ltd
Michelle can be found on Facebook here
Louise Rule is author of Future Confronted
Louise can be found on Facebook here