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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Michelle M. Pillow

author Michelle M. Pillow and an image of her book The Seventh Key

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? During the pandemic, talking with my readers, the need for a mental escape has never been clearer or more detrimental to personal well-being. Good fiction helps us to feel, to connect to our world, to process and inform our opinions. It teaches us how we want to be, and who we don’t want to be. But, sometimes, it also helps us escape reality and forget our problems even if only for an hour. I write in several fiction genres, many of them falling into the realm of paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy. Sometimes it’s easier for us to see ourselves reflected through the lens of a different world, like a futuristic society or historical realm. With paranormal creatures, we can explore what it means to be human, process our humanity and our mortality, and even confront our fear of death. The best fiction doesn’t hammer the reader with these lessons but rather lets them enjoy and explore the range of emotions they inspire. This is what I try to do with my work. I want the reader to feel something and to be able to read themselves into the work whether it is to agree or disagree with the characters. Seeing characters deal with problems (even dealing with them poorly) helps us to navigate our own issues.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? If there is time, switch gears and do something else. Sometimes changing which part of your brain you’re using is all you need. So, I’ll do admin work or tax bookkeeping. Or, I’ll clean something. I often joke you can tell a writer who’s blocked by how clean the house is.

What is your favorite time to write? I write anytime and anywhere. Being a full-time author means I’ve had to finish deadlines no matter what life needs from me. I can’t count how many times I’ve written in hotels, or in the car on long road trips, airports, doctor’s offices, coffee shops, parking lots. I rarely leave home without a laptop. If I’m home it’s on the couch or kitchen table, or outside. The only place I don’t tend to write is in my office.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Write the book. No book, then there is nothing to be an author about. It’s easy to get caught up in the other details–marketing, promotion, admin work. There is always something pulling you away from the manuscript. And when you write that book, write the next one, then the next, the next…

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? The same thing that excited me when I first started. I get to make things up for a living. I love to entertain my readers and the fact they keep coming back for more is amazing. It makes all the hard work worth it.

Michelle M. Pillow’s The Seventh Key is out now with The Raven Books.