Today I have Michelle Madow on the blog. You may have seen Remembrance around the blogosphere (I know I've seen it EVERYWHERE!). This is your chance to find out more about it, the author behind it, and to win your own copy!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your book?
Remembrance is the story of Lizzie Davenport, a seemingly normal high school junior—except for the fact that she has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England. However, she doesn’t remember anything about her past life until her soulmate Drew Carmichael transfers into her school and triggers her memories to gradually return to her. There are a lot of Pride and Prejudice parallels sprinkled throughout the story, which I had a lot of fun with since I’m a huge Jane Austen fan!
A little about me—I’m originally from Baltimore, moved to Florida for five years, and recently moved back to Baltimore to study Fiction Writing at Johns Hopkins University. I love my classes, but am missing the nice Florida weather and sunshine! Remembrance is my first novel, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with readers.
Can you sum up your book in 10 words?
Reincarnation, True Love, Destiny, Modern Fairy Tale, Friendship, Betrayal, Secrets!
What was your inspiration for Remembrance?
Remembrance was inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” music video. In the video, Taylor sees a guy while walking through campus, and the moment their eyes connect, the scene flashes to the two of them dancing at a beautiful ball dressed in clothes that appear to be from around the year 1815. After watching the video, the characters and story in Remembrance started to piece together in my mind. I started to write it down, and ended up with a finished novel!
Wow! That is pretty amazing! I don't think I've had an answer that clear before. Usually it's a mesh of different things. I love that story!
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome when writing it?
One of the first things I learned when starting to write was that finishing a novel requires a lot of discipline. It’s a long project with no immediate deadlines and no daily schedule, so I had to learn how to make myself sit down and write every day, even if I wasn’t in the mood to do so. I was always a big procrastinator with my homework, but writing a novel taught me how to schedule my time in a more efficient manner so I was able to complete the assignments I needed to get done and still have time to write.
Do you have to do any type of research?
So much! I wanted to make sure I got the historical details accurate, so I researched Regency Era clothing, customs, activities women did then, jewelry, etc. Also, all of the objects described in the book are real things I found online (like the music box and first edition of Pride and Prejudice.)
Do you like movie adaptations? Would you want your novel to turn into a movie?
I love movie adoptions, and think they’re a great way to get a story out to an even broader audience. I enjoy envisioning what actors would be best in different roles, and I’ve created an ideal casting list for Remembrance, which you can find on my blog by clicking here!
Names are very important to a story, but not always easy to come up with. How did you come up with the names of the characters in your story?
Lizzie parallels Lizzy from Pride and Prejudice, but since the two of them are individual characters, I changed the spelling to make it clear that Lizzie is her own person. I also liked that Lizzie is a shortened version of the British name Elizabeth, which is what she went by in her past life. Drew’s name originally came to me from Taylor Swift’s song “Teardrops on my Guitar,” but it also worked because it starts with a D (much like Mr. Darcy!) and is a shortened version of the British name Andrew. It was almost like their names were meant to be!
Do you have a favorite writing spot?
I’ve moved around a lot since I first started writing, and have lived in a different place during every book I’ve written. So while I haven’t had a constant “spot,” there are certain conditions I like to have while writing. I like to work in the place where I’m living (which has so far been my room in my sorority house, the office in the house I lived in with my best friend during my senior year of college, the living room of my mom’s house, and my current apartment near my school), with absolutely no distractions. That means no music, no TV, etc. I find a focus much better that way! I’ve also found that I prefer writing in the afternoon.
I'm not able to write with distraction either. I think that's why I don't manage writing much at all with small children. But even when writing my blog posts, I have a hard time with music or TV on.
What are 5 books that you constantly recommend?
When recommending books, I consider the taste of the person I’m recommending them to, so my recommendations change a lot! But some of my personal favorites are Harry Potter by JK Rowling, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.
I haven't read Uglies yet, though I do have them, but all the others, totally agree! Well, I'm still reading HP, but I can still recommend them ;)
If you could jump in a time machine and travel to any place in any time period when and where would you go?
I would love to visit Rome during the Golden Age! I went there after I graduated high school, and loved seeing the ruins—I think the history, art, and architecture of Rome is fascinating. It would be incredible to see what the ruins looked like when they were brand new!
I'm with you! I would LOVE to travel back in time to Rome in the Golden Age! I'd be happy to go there right now. So much history! You're so lucky you've been there!
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
To keep pushing and don’t give up. The people who make it are the ones who continue to try even after numerous rejections, so it’s important to push forward until you reach your goal.
What can we see from you in the future? Is there anything you can tell us about?
I have two other completed young adult novels—a paranormal and a contemporary—and my agent is currently shopping those around to publishing houses. (I will also be making an announcement about a new project in the beginning of October)
Remembrance is available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Also be sure to check out Michelle’s website, www.michellemadow.com, where you can find links to her Twitter, Facebook, blog, and other social networking sites!
Thank you, Candace, for interviewing me on your blog!
Thanks for being on!
Michelle is generously offering up one copy of Remembrance, a jumbo bookmark and a sticker to one lucky person!
Open to US only
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Leave a comment with contact info and let us know, when you read or write do you need silence? No TV, music, etc, or do you listen to music, leave TV on, etc? Remember to leave contact info!
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Awesome #giveaway of Remembrance by @MichelleMadow US only, ends 10/20