1. Do you write a single genre or do your fingers flow over the keys creating tales in many forms?
I have surprised myself in the stories I write. My first book, The Freedom Thief, is an historical adventure taking place in pre-Civil War Kentucky. My second, Cheers, Chocolate, and Other Disasters is a contemporary story about psychological bullying. The third, Lily Leticia Langford and the Book of Practical Magic, is also contemporary in time, but is a fantasy dealing with magic. And my last book, Night Cries: Beneath the Possum Belly: Book One, is a paranormal/historical mystery. These are all teen and young adult books.
Does your reading choices reflect your writing choices?
Not really. I love mysteries, and my book shelves are full of books by James Petterson, Jonathan Kellerman, Tami Hoag, and Sandra Brown. I also have books by YA authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Markus Zusak, and a couple of others.
Are there genres you wouldn’t attempt?
Absolutely! Science Fiction is way beyond me, as is true Fantasy where you are building a whole new world. And even though I like historical novels I probably wouldn't ever attempt an historical romance,
2. Heroes, Heroines, Villains. Which are your favorite to write?
Since I write for teens/young adults, I don't have many "real" heros or heroines or villians. In my first book, the hero was a 13 year old boy, and I loved him! In the second, truthfully, my favorite was the "villianess" who seemed to be trying to ruin the 13 year old "heroine"'s life for no good reason. The third book was about an 11 year old girl with an IQ of 160, and she was fun! My last book was the hardest, as the heroine is a 16 year old psychic...but the "bad" guys are not human, and they were also fun to write.
3. Heroes. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or plain imagination create the man you want every reader to love? Do they come before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
So far, I've only had one hero, and he is 13! He was "born" after I started creating the plot, because it made more sense for the story to have a hero rather than a heroine. Ben was created only a little bit from imagination, and mostly from the real life stories I had read in my research about the everyday people who took part in helping slaves escape from slavery before and during the Civil War. Those were the real heros.
4. Heroines. How do you find them? Do pictures, real life or imagination create the woman you want the reader to root for? Do they appear before the plot or after you have the idea for the story?
All of my other books have heroines, and all of them have come to me and demanded to have their stories told. My husband is not a writer, and he thinks there are times when I have seriously lost my mind...like at 3 am, when I jump out of bed and go searching for pen and paper because a character has awaken me, demanding I write about her. So...do they come from my imagination? Well, I guess so...unless you believe that charactes speak to you BEFORE you've even thought about their story!
5. Villains or villainesses or an antagonist, since they don’t always have to be the bad guy or girl. They can be a person opposed to the hero’s or heroine’s obtaining their goal. How do you choose one? How do you make them human?
I believe a villian, or antagonis, can be just about anyone or anything, and sometimes they are so subtle you don't realize for a while that the person, or "thing', is really the bad guy. My historical novel had several antagonists: Ben's father; the slave hunters; the "Abolitionists" who only wanted to turn Ben and the slaves in for the reward money; and in this story, weather and locations were also the "antagonists," in terms of trying to keep Ben from his goal. In the second book, the "new girl in town" was the bad girl, but no one ever knew exactly why she went to such lengths to hurt the heroine. It wasn't until the end of the book that things happened to draw sympathy to her. The third book...hmm, not sure just who the villian was there, but the Book of Magic sure didn't help the 11 year old heroine! And in the last book, my villian was disguised as a tall, handsome teacher...who was pure evil. There was NO way to make him human!
6. What is your latest release? Who is the hero, heroine and or the villain?
My last book was released on the 6th of August this year. My heroine is a 16 year old psychic, daughter of French-Creole parents who own a traveling carnival/circus in 1935. Gabriela has been hearing the voices of 3 little girls, crying out to her to find their murderer, so they can go to heaven. This is the first of 3 books, and there are many villians in different "disguises" throughout this book, and the series. One in particular who lasts through the 2nd, and possibly the 3rd of the trilogy. On one hand, he is a valued member of the carnival crew. But is he, really? Throughout the series, there are gargoyles and witches who could be working closely with the heroine...or...they could be desperately trying to keep her from finding out the secrets of this small town. Who knows what lies Beneath the Possum Belly?
7. What are you working on now?
I am working on the second of the paranormal trilogy, Night Wings.
I had started the second of the Possum Belly trilogy, but due to some new factors concerning The Freedom Thief, I have begun serious work on the sequel to this story. Everyone wants to know what happens to Ben when he returns home, so this is what my next book will be.
Where can people find you:
My blog is: http://www.mikki-wordpainter.blogspot.com
I'm also on Facebook and Twitter, but rarely, as I don't like social media.