First off, can you tell everyone a little bit more about yourself?
MD: I am the lead singer in an epic rock n roll band called “Love Bites BUT So Do I.” I have lost my mighty throne to a massive case of stage fright. So, now I put my lyrics and dreams down on paper to the tune of YA Paranormal. I will romance your senses with word and song. Follow me and I’ll show you your muse.
What age did you start writing? What inspired you to start?
MD: About six or seven I wrote my very first comic book, with full illustrations but I didn’t really notice my knack for it until I was 13 when I wrote a short story for school. It was a syfy story...I received an A. ;)
Tell us about your book Ember.
MD: Ember is basically the search for hope. Wrapped in exotic locales, beautifully sensual characters, teenage angst and the fear of past mistakes. Oh yeah, it also has a kick butt soundtrack!
How many books will be in the series? Do you have any other books planned that you'd like to write?
MD: Ember is set for a 6 book story arc. I have two other series that I’m preparing for release in the near future. I have another dozen manuscripts plotted out but not enough time to write them. Ha! Anyone own a time machine?
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
MD: Music and my never-ending appetite for eye-candy. Comic books and fairytales have always been around too. I live life with a constant musical symphony playing in my head, I call it my “life’s soundtrack.” That is what I try to capture in my storytelling.
What is the best and worst part about being an author?
MD: Best part - the stalkers! (My friends and followers are the best!) Worst part - the money! (Unless your initials start with J.K. there isn’t much of it to go round.)
Are your characters based on people you know?
MD: Yes and no. I dip into the family gene pool every once in a while for certain characters BUT most of the time I build my muses from their needs and experiences.
Are any of your characters a lot like you?
MD: All my characters seem to have a tiny piece of me in there somewhere. My main protagonist in the Ember series, Max Valentine, shares the same dark and romantic longing that I have lived with all my life. He has a sweet sense of humor too, and I have been told that he and I share that as well.
Do you listen to music while you write? Do you have playlists for your books?
MD: Of course! I use music for everything...writing, entertainment, healing...dancing! Playlists are my calling card. Ember and all my other manuscripts share one main attraction...a musical soundtrack. It’s written right into each and every story I create. Some of the chapters in my books ARE actual song titles. Music and words collide!
What are you currently working on?
MD: Book three in the Ember series...Aftershock. A new short story called “Bright Eyes.” (And a secret project I hope to announce soon...)
Are there any specific things you have to have while you write?
MD: Music and eye drops! Music because I live and breathe it. Eye drops because I am addicted to them. The more hard core, the better! (My special eyes.)
Do you have a certain place/time you write?
MD: Usually at night. I’m a creature of the night. My favorite time to write though is late summer at night, during the summer monsoons. There’s nothing like the desert thunderstorms and a pen and paper (or my lovely guitar).
What do you do when you're not writing?
MD: I am a dance machine! You’ve been warned!
Do you read all the reviews about your books?
MD: Yes and no. It’s so easy to read the good ones over and over again but the bad reviews are tricky. Constructive criticism is very important to becoming a better author but bad reviews seem to come off more personal than they should. Basically, if you take the time to experience my words than I will take the time to hear what you thought of them. If you didn’t enjoy my story than let’s move on. No harm, no foul.
Tell us about your journey to get published?
MD: I finished Ember in the summer of 2008 and spent the next 2 years trying to get it signed. I was almost signed on three separate occasions. One of those times I was already spending my first royalty check only to have it all fall away in the final hour. That was tough. By this time I had the sequel already done and the first book in an entirely new series ready for publication. So I put the Ember series on the shelf for a little bit. In early 2011 I saw an interview with a self published author that turned me on to self publishing. I did some studying on the subject and decided, what the heck...let’s try it. After 6 months of trying to promote myself I was shown the way to a new indie publishers doors. Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing scooped me up and have given a new life and mojo to Ember and my series. I’m not just an employee at CH&BB, I am part of a growing family. I am head over heals for them and I really hope I can finish out my series through them.
Do you read? Who is your favorite author?
MD: I love to read but lately I have no time to. I wish I could read in my sleep! Imagine the dreams we would have! Favorite author would be Mr. King! Stephen King shaped my literary childhood and teenage years. Man he scared the poop out of me...hahaha.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors like myself?
MD: Write as much as possible. Believe in your words. Follow your muse. Your muse will never fail you...never.
Describe yourself in three words:
MD: Artist. Dreamer. Romantic.
MD: Not even possible for me to choose. I’m a victim of my DNA, and I was made to experience all the music of the universe!
MD: Three way tie! “The Crow” - “The Shawshank Redemption” - “Aliens”
MD: Red or black (depends on my mood).
MD: Chinese!!! (Kung Pow!!! Hahahaha)
Where can fans find you?
MD: All the usual places...
Facebook Book Series:
Anything else you’d like to tell everyone?
MD: From the above questions, it is pretty obvious I am here to make you smile and have a good time BUT all joking aside...since I have started this journey, I have met so many amazing and unique people. They have pulled me into their lives and shared their trials and triumphs with me. I have been made aware that my words have helped some of these fantastic human beings through some very difficult times. That humbles me. It amazes me. My writing will never change the world...it’s not meant to. But it does offer an escape. So, to those kindred spirits that may be reading this...THANK YOU. I BURN FOR YOU. REMEMBER YOUR SMILE AND SHINE ON! PEACE.
Thanks so much for allowing me to interview you! :)
MD: I had a blast! Please invite me back! I’m begging here! Come on! Ha!
Rock on! Dream out loud! - M.