Friday Tea Time and Interview with Michelle Muto

I want to welcome new author Michelle Muto to my blog today. She’s taken the plunge into the self publishing world, and she’s gone into it well informed and with a lot of practice. She’s one of my fellow OWG writing group members and I fully expect this book to be great. (It’s on my Kindle, but I haven’t read it yet.) And damn, that’s a fine cover. Love it!

You are stopping by on a release tour for your next book.  Tell us a little bit about it.

Can you give us tell us what your book is about?

When teen witch Ivy MacTavish changes a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, everything turns to chaos. And when no one is powerful enough to transform him back except Ivy, it sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy has heard it all before – that her father, who left when she was seven – was involved with the darkest of magic.

Making the rumors worse, someone uses an evil spell book to bring back two of history’s most nefarious killers. Ivy’s got a simple plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. No problem! But she’ll have to deal with something more dangerous than murderous spirits that want her and her friends dead: the school’s resident bad boy and hotter-than-brimstone demon, Nick Marcelli. Nick’s offering Ivy more than his help with recovering the missing book – he’s offering her a way to ditch her scaly reputation as a lizard-lover. Demons are about as hard to handle as black magic, and as Ivy soon discovers, it’s going to take more than a lot of luck and a little charm if she wants to survive long enough to clear her status as a dark witch, get a warm-blooded boyfriend, and have her former date back to eating meal worms before the week’s end.

Could you tell us a little more about your non-writing life?

What life? Ha! When I’m not writing, I’m editing. Or reading. Or do promo work. But, I still manage to watch a few TV shows (Vampire Diaries & Supernatural are my favs). I do spend time with hubby and my two dogs as well.

When did you first start writing?

When I was seven. I made a Mother’s Day card for my mother, complete with a story about a princess and a dragon. She passed away in 2001. When I went through her things after she died, I found that card.

What are your favorite books?

Harry Potter, The Haunting of Hill House, Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, Stephen King’s Green Mile. And probably about a dozen more books.

Who are your favorite authors?

J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Kelley Armstrong, Dean Koontz, Shirley Jackson, D.B. Reynolds, Janet Evanovich, David Sedaris, Melissa Marr, Sara Gruen, to name a few.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your writing?

My mother, who read to me as a child and took me to the library whenever I needed cheering up. Aside from that, it’d have to be Bram Stoker, Stephen King, and Rod Serling.

Where and how do you get your ideas?

I have a very overactive imagination. Ideas just sort of pop into my head, and then I flesh them out.

What’s your opinion on writer’s block?

Everyone goes through it. It sucks. Generally, it happens for a couple of reasons: not enough plotting (generally happens around the middle of the book), loss of interest (not enough character development), or problems in setting/world building.

How many novels have you written and which is your favorite?

Four. I have two favorites: the second because I love a particular character. And the fourth because I think it’s just some of the best writing I’ve ever done.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I queried. A lot. I had a lot of requests, a ton of compliments, but no takers. I even had a revision letter from a huge agency, but in the end, another client came up with a teen witch story and they couldn’t rep me. That and a rejection from an agent who had another manuscript for nearly ten months just made me get off the query-go-round.

I’d been following J.A. Konrath’s blog and so many other writers – Karen McQuestion, Amanda Hocking, Victorine Leiske. When L.J. Sellers turned down a publishing deal to go indie, I thought I’d give it a shot. It’s been a whirlwind ever since!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep writing. Keep studying the craft. With every book, every revision, find your weaknesses and strive to improve on them.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

The Book of Lost Souls is YA, but it should appeal to adults who are young at heart and is totally appropriate for tweens. Download the sample of The Book of Lost Souls and see what you think. Hexes, hunks, and magical mayhem – just $1.99.

You can find the Book of Lost Souls on Amazon.

You can find Michelle Muto here:


And for tea time I want to do something different this time. You guys tell me what your favorite tea is!

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18 Responses to Friday Tea Time and Interview with Michelle Muto

  1. jax says:

    Alright, quick question, because I want to get this book! Is there going to be another place to get it? I have a Nook, instead of a Kindle.

    And for teas…my current favorite is Hot Cinnamon Spice, from Harney & Sons. With just a little bit of honey, it tastes like cinnamon candies.

  2. Excellent interview – I wish you much success Michelle!

  3. Michelle Muto says:

    Jax – Yes! It’s available for download on B&N! Here’s the link: Barnes and Noble

    Good choice in tea! I love cinnamon and honey.

  4. steve mchugh says:

    Great review, Michelle. Great book too, I can highly recommend it.

    Also, white tea (or green tea) with honey is my favourite tea.

  5. Thanks Angela & Steve!

  6. First, I love the cover! It’s perfect! And, I’m dying to read it. I will get it soon. I’ve just got so many others on my pile right now, but it’s on my list. And I really need an e-reader. It would make things so much simpler, neater and cheaper! LOL
    Congrats on following your instincts on this and doing what comes naturally. You’re definitely ahead of the curve compared to the rest of us. Great interview Julie, and awesome answers Michelle. Thanks for the insight and thanks for sharing..
    Fav tea: probably English breakfast. (conservative, I know!) 🙂

  7. CDNWMN says:

    The cover is totally selling me, I love it and this is on my TBR pile. Michelle I’m so glad to see your success growing and I very much admire your drive and ambition. Sometimes a gal has to make it happen for herself, so kudos! 🙂

  8. Awww! Thanks, guys!

    And many, many thanks to Julie for having me here today.

  9. Great interview, ladies! Michelle, I’m so excited for you and the success I know you’ll have. And it is an AMAZING cover!

    As for tea, I’m a simple girl, I drink English Breakfast everyday, but I also like mint, lemon, and orange spice on occasion.

  10. dbreynolds says:

    Great interview, Julie! And Book of Lost Souls is a great book. I recommend it to everyone with tween or teen readers. And Michelle’s next book is even more intriguing!
    As for tea … I don’t really drink tea unless I’m really sick, or really cold and there’s no hot chocolate available! Then it’s something fruity with no caffeine, or if I must, I’ll go with an African red tea with honey.

  11. Darlene says:

    Great interview Michelle. Love your tenacity. I wish you all the best with your writing. As for tea – I love tea! Right now my favourite is Fairmont Kea Lani Orange Pineapple, but I am fond of Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice as well. I always have a cup of tea beside me while I read and write.

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