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Member Spotlight: Michelle M Pillow

author Michelle M Pillow and an image of her book Merely Mortal

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is my way of exploring and understanding the world. It’s a medium that allows me to create complex characters and intricate worlds, like the supernatural realm in Merely Mortal. Through writing, I can delve into themes of mortality, belonging, and human emotion, offering readers a chance to reflect on their own lives. For the world, writing is crucial because it fosters empathy and understanding. It bridges cultures, experiences, and perspectives, allowing us to see through the eyes of others. For example, in Merely Mortal, I aim to connect readers to Tamara’s journey, making them feel her struggles and triumphs in a supernatural context. Writing is also a form of escapism, providing a mental break from reality. It’s a way to inspire, educate, and entertain, all while pushing the boundaries of imagination. This is why I believe writing is an essential medium for both personal expression and global communication.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Writer’s block is something every author faces, but I’ve developed a few habits to overcome it. One effective remedy is to immerse myself in my characters’ perspectives. For example, stepping into Tamara’s shoes in Merely Mortal helps me understand her motivations and emotions, reigniting my creativity. Taking breaks is equally important. Whether it’s a short walk, reading a different genre, or simply stepping away from the computer, these breaks can provide a fresh outlook. Another method I rely on is writing prompts or freewriting. This can stimulate new ideas and directions. Reading widely also combats writer’s block. It exposes me to different styles and narratives, which can spark inspiration. Sometimes, discussing plot points with fellow writers or friends can lead to breakthroughs. It’s important to remember that writer’s block is temporary. Patience and persistence, coupled with these strategies, usually get me back on track.

What is your favorite time to write? Early morning and late at night are my favorite times to write. There’s a stillness and tranquility that comes at that hour, making it an ideal time to immerse myself in the creative process. When the world is quiet, my mind is clear and fresh, ready to tackle new chapters and develop complex characters. For Merely Mortal, these early hours have been particularly productive. The uninterrupted time allows me to delve deep into Tamara’s world, exploring the supernatural elements and the intricate relationships that define her journey. Morning writing sessions also set a positive tone for the rest of the day, giving me a sense of accomplishment and momentum. The fresh start of a new day often brings a fresh perspective, helping to overcome any creative blocks from the previous day.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The best writing advice I’ve ever received is to write consistently, even when inspiration is lacking. This discipline keeps the creative process flowing and allows for continuous improvement. Embracing new styles and techniques is equally important. For instance, writing Merely Mortal in the first-person POV was a departure from my usual style. It challenged me to dive deeper into the protagonist’s inner world and offered a fresh narrative perspective. Consistency also means setting a regular writing schedule and sticking to it, which helps in developing a strong work ethic. Another piece of invaluable advice is to accept that first drafts don’t have to be perfect. Editing and refining are crucial parts of the writing process. Lastly, I encourage writers to read widely and diversely. This not only broadens one’s horizons but also provides insight into different storytelling methods.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Being a writer in today’s age is incredibly exciting due to the immediate connection authors have to a global audience. The digital era allows for instant sharing of stories, enabling writers to reach readers worldwide. This is especially promising for my new book, Merely Mortal, as I can engage with fans from diverse backgrounds and cultures almost instantly, while also connecting with my reader base about the story. Social media platforms provide a space to interact with readers, receive feedback, and build a community. The ability to self-publish and access various online tools democratizes the publishing process, giving writers more control over their work. Additionally, the abundance of resources and research materials available online enhances the quality of storytelling. The current era also fosters collaborations and networking opportunities with other authors and creatives. Overall, the potential for innovation and connection makes this a fantastic time to be a writer.

Michelle M. Pillow’s Merely Mortal is out next Tuesday with ‎The Raven Books LLC.