Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday Double Feature: Anne Michaud

She who likes dark things never grew up. She never stopped listening to gothic, industrial and alternative bands like when she was fifteen. She always loved to read horror and dystopia and fantasy, where doom and gloom drip from the pages.

She, who was supposed to make films, decided to write short stories, novelettes and novels instead. She, who’s had her films listed on festival programs, has been printed in a dozen anthologies and magazines since.

She who likes dark things prefers night to day, rain to sun, and reading to anything else.

She blogs http://annecmichaud.wordpress.com

She Facebooks: http://www.facebook.com/annecmichaud

She tweets @annecmichaud

Buy it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCQ1Q6W

Girls and Monsters Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17335353-girls-monsters

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Anne:
Play with story length to really test your abilities and expand your own voice – believe me, when you know you've got a short frame to world-build or develop plot, there's no more wasted words. Some say the best way to learn how to write is by starting with short stories, and I couldn't agree more. How can you expect to finish a full novel if you can't write its shorter version?

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Anne:
It changes every week!! Right now, it's The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters. The POV cannot be fully trusted, the mansion comes alive on the page, and I can almost hear the old dog panting as an echo in the halls... People who like ghost stories and don't mind being left to mourn a few characters should read this book. By far one of my favorite horror book, with Let the Rigth One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist – and yes, that movie, but the Swedish version is the only one that counts.

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for Girls and Monsters?

Anne:
Very easy: I had a bunch of homeless short stories dying in my computer when I realized they were pretty good but needed some expansion, so I started lengthening them into novellas and pretty quickly, I noticed two things in common: Girls & Monsters. VoilĂ , I had found my title, too.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing any of the stories for Girls and Monsters? What were they and how did you fix them?

Anne:
I did have some bumps writing A Blue Story, because trying to find a middle between being cruel to animal (which is true terror for me) and having enough horror to spook the reader was hard to balance. My betas did a terrific job to keep it YA friendly, which was also a challenge.

A.L.:
Which one of the characters in Girls and Monsters is your favorite and why?

Anne:
Scarlet for Black Dog, because she was the most fun/hard to write about. I used to have a friend who cut herself and heard voices, and she unknowingly became great inspiration for this story – which is the darkest of the collection, which also explains why this character is my favorite.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Anne:
Well, it started on a very cold night in London while I was completing my Master's in screenwriting – this is when I feel in love with pounding the keyboard with my frozen fingers, writing down the images flashing in my head, giving voice to characters who begged to come out. Then I directed three short films to realize being on a set surrounded by actors and technicians wasn't my thing, that I preferred being alone in a room full of people coming out of my imagination. So I wrote short stories, got them published in magazines; I wrote novellas, got them published in anthologies; wrote novels that never found agents, let alone publishers. So what was a girl to do? Approach small presses with dark tendencies and see what would come of it... enters DarkFuse.

A.L.:
What are you working on now? Sequel? Something new?

Anne:
I'm finishing up Girls & Aliens, another collection of five very dark novellas with soft sci-fi elements. I'll be starting my YA thriller Killer Girl right after I finish my French novella about a Little Boy in Hiroshima. And then, Girls & Ghosts.

A.L.:
Which is your favorite of the novellas in Girls and Monsters and why?

Anne:
We Left at Night would be my second favorite, just because when I dreamt it, it was so real and sad and became part of one of my main observation regarding the apocalypse: yes, surviving is key, but what about what you're leaving behind? What about your dreams, your future, the aftermath? I've been thinking about it so hard, I'm afraid it'll be printed into every other stories I'm writing.

A.L.:
What's your favorite scary movie and why?

Anne:
I've worked in film so I don't get easily scared, but the first Paranormal Activity scared the sh*t out of me, like The Strangers with the creepy masks and the day-killings. They're not favorites, but just thinking about them makes me switch open the light by my bed, which is why we see scary movies in the first place, right?

A.L.:
What's your most favorite depressing/dark song?

Anne:
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea by my beloved The Cure. One of my favorite song from my favorite band, you can actually hear the waves through the melody. I love everything they do, but that song just tears me apart every time I hear it, which isn't often because I just can't take its heartbreaking beauty.

The Giveaway:
Anne is giving away an autographed copy of GIRLS AND MONSTERS.

Girls and Monsters: This dark but uplifting collection of five Young Adult novellas includes:

Death Song: Liz is in love with Joe, but the monster of the lake has other plans for them.

Black Dog: Scarlet is engaged in a struggle for her sanity, but according to the voice in her head, she may be too late.

A Blue Story: When Katherine's beloved dog goes missing, she fears her strange new neighbor might be involved.

Dust Bunnies: Christiane faces her childhood arachnophobia and ends up confronting even greater fears in this test of sisterhood.

We Left at Night: Brooke and her family must abandon their home and their lives to make it out of a disease-plagued town overrun by zombies.

Girls & Monsters is for everyone who has ever been brave enough to confront their childhood fears...and lived to tell about it.


Read Goodreads reviews.
Read A.L.'s Review.
Buy on Amazon.
Buy on Barnes and Noble.

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