Michelle is a Merchant Mariner by the demands of her bank account, and an eclectic creative every waking moment otherwise.
Nearly every story idea of hers is woven while traversing the rocky mountains, or driving through the Western United States. While travel is in her bones, the US has proven an incredible muse. Her travel goals are to drive down the Baja peninsula, then up the Pacific Coast Highway until it ends.
Welcome to a new entry of my favourite section, talking with authors. Today, we are accompanied by Michelle Piper, author of Sonder’s Song, whose first book, Price of Innocence was recently released.
Let’s dive in!
1.- When did you start writing?
Like most authors, I don’t remember a time I wasn’t writing. But, I didn’t start writing in earnest and believing I could take it anywhere until about 5 years ago.
2.- What made you decide to self-publish Price of Innocence?
As you mentioned about the way it’s formatted, it has some bold (ie risky) story elements. It’s also long. I knew traditional publishers would think it was too risky, so instead of catering to their formula, I decided to hold true to my vision
3.- Aspera is a really strong woman, what inspired you into writing her?
The simplest answer was Galbitorix from Eragon. When I was reading the series, I always wanted to know how an evil ruler would stay in power.
4.- From where did you draw the inspiration for the whole criminal group concept?
Again, the above answer. In its simplest form, you don’t read a lot about the evil characters. It’s always the hero’s plight. But, as I’ve grown wiser, it became firmly rooted in the idea that we all make the choices we do because of our circumstances. I wanted a study of people just being people.
5.- What aspect of writing Price of Innocence would you say was more challenging?
Writing evil characters. It took a LOT to create them as wholly separate people, with different backgrounds and mannerisms, and different motivations. Plus the mystery aspect. I have so many notes written on my drafts that say, «you’re not a mystery writer», yet somehow I pulled it off. We’ll see how book two goes, of course, but I’m more excited about it daily.
6.- Kinda off-topic, but if I’m not wrong you work as Merchant Mariner. How is that kind of life?
I am! It’s tough, and unique. I spend at least a month at a time living on ships, which means lots of time in the middle of the ocean living and working with the same 20 faces. It was a major learning curve not to lose my mind, but I’ve found so much joy in it.
7.- Did become difficult to use such a long time period in the novel?
Yes. It’s actually one thing my editor has cautioned against in book two. It took lots of careful consideration, especially since we have so many stories all coming together on different timelines. I still tell people it has some very bold storytelling methods. I’m still shocked I pulled it off as well as I did. How well? I still don’t know. Only time will tell! Lol
8.- What can we expect from Michelle Piper in the future?
At the very least finish the trilogy. I can’t leave it unfinished!
Book two sometime next year. Book three to follow that, as well as a prequel dedicated to Bran’s story. There are also plans for a merchant sailor horror, and a sci-fi/fantasy crossover with dragons. So, lots from me for a while. I don’t plan on going anywhere.
By my side, I just want to thank Michelle Piper for taking the time to answer all of these questions. I strongly recommend following her on her different socials to keep yourself updated: