Today I’ve got an interview with Michele Seigfried, a new author who has already achieved some success with her first novel, Red Tape. You can find out more about Michele on her website at www.michelelynnseigfried.wordpress.com.
JGA: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview. To start with, can you tell us a bit about yourself, and how you got started writing?
MS: I’m a municipal clerk, a wife, a mom…and very recently, I can say I’m an award-winning author. My first novel, Red Tape, recently received an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Beach Book Festival. I only started writing seriously last year. Prior to that, I only wrote for myself or when I was in school (too many years ago to mention!).
JGA: How do you go about the actual process of writing?
MS: I tend to write in front of the TV, in my recliner, with my laptop. With a 16 month old, it’s hard to find time to write, so I typically write at nighttime, after I put her to sleep. I love sinking into my chair, kicking my feet up, and escaping to another world – with the baby monitor at my side!
JGA: How do you personally like to read books you buy these days?
MS: I’m still a fan of the paperback! I enjoy novels mostly. I also just recently started to download a couple of books to my Android with the Kindle app.
JGA: Which authors (or books) have had the most influence on your writing style, and why?
MS: I’ve always been a big fan of Janet Evanovich. I find her books fast-paced, intriguing, and full of comedy. I love her Stephanie Plum series in particular, since I’m from the area she writes abo. It hits home for me.
JGA: How do you go about planning your writing?
MS: I start with having a main idea for a book, then I draft a number of short stories that are interrelated. Next, I try to tie the stories together and see where I’m lacking character or plot development. I use a calendar to see if the dates line up and I also use an outline, but I don’t usually stick to the outline. My books end up taking on a life of their own!
JGA: What made you decide to write your novel, “Red Tape“?
MS: I had been thinking about writing a book for at least ten years. When I saw a coworker of mine put her book into print, and learned more about self-publishing, I realized it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. And so, Red Tape was born.
JGA: How does the finished book differ from your original idea for the story?
MS: I guess I thought my first book would have a more serious tone. Then I introduced Bonnie into the mix, and she added comedy into the story.
JGA: Can you talk a bit about the main characters in your novel. What sort of people are they? How did they grow and change from your initial ideas for them?
MS: Chelsey Alton is the Municipal Clerk, and Bonnie Fattori is her side-kick. Chelsey is more down-to-earth, and serious. She starts out being a very nice girl, and changes into a somewhat disgruntled employee….which no one can really blame her, because of what happens to her. Bonnie is Chelsey’s opposite, in both looks and personality. She’s sexy and sassy, inappropriate at times, and has an off-beat sense of humor. She stays true to her character throughout the book.
JGA: Who are the readers who would enjoy “Red Tape” the most?
MS: I think readers that enjoy cozy mysteries would be the people who enjoy Red Tape the most. Also, anyone who works in government, will absolutely love the book!
JGA: What other items are you working on at the moment?
MS: I started to write a sequel to Red Tape, but since I have a little bit of writer’s block, I turned to my other hobby – art. Next thing I knew, I was illustrating my first children’s picture book. It’s called “S if for Shore” and it will be out in July.
The sequel to Red Tape will be forthcoming early in 2014. Chelsey and Bonnie will be back, with a cast a new characters as well. There will be a little murder, a little government corruption, and the rest I’ll keep a secret for now.
JGA: If you could somehow change reality and become the author of any published book instead of the person who originally wrote it, which book would you make your own and why?
MS: Oh boy, I’d have to pick one of the Harry Potter books. I think they are so creative, and of course, being so successful, who wouldn’t want that type of success?
JGA: Is there anything else you would like to mention that I haven’t asked?
MS: I just want to say thank you for hosting me on your blog! I truly appreciate it. If anyone has other questions for me, please leave a comment, and I’ll check in to respond! Also, everyone can contact me on my webpage at www.michelelynnseigfried.wordpress.com. On the webpage, there is more information about Red Tape, including a free chapter, a list of events where you can see me to get your books signed, samples from my children’s picture book, and an e-mail sign up for updates such as giveaways and appearances.