An amazing, highly prolific writer, Mireille Chester, is here today to share with us her latest project. You can also read a bit about her life and writing, and see who she turns to for support. Welcome, Mireille!
1. Let us start this interview in a traditional way. Tell us five things you consider important about yourself.
First and foremost, I am a wife and mother. My family is the most important thing to me.
Second, I love to help people. Sometimes I manage to volunteer for too many things and get zero hours of sleep trying to catch up, but I don’t mind.
Third, I think learning is something we should keep doing our entire lives. Never stop learning. I love trying new things even if I end up failing horribly. Yes, I think Pinterest is evil. Seriously. Does anyone ever master the projects on there? Lol
Fourth, I don’t particularely care what people think of me. I think this helps a lot when it comes to reviews and just generally being happy with life.
And fifth, I’m a social media addict. Want to know something about me? Just look me up. Can’t find it, just ask. Lol I love meeting new people.
2. You write as Mireille Chester and also as M. G. Chester. Please, explain to our readers why the separate author profiles. Is there a difference in the books?
I decided to use the two names simply because each writes for a different age group. I write my stories aimed at adults under Mireille Chester while my middlegrade books are by M.G. Chester. I had nightmares about kids ordering books online thinking they were getting fun faerie books, but instead getting some inappropriate novel with mature adult scenes in it.
2. You are quite a prolific writer and also a wife and mother of three. How do you find the time to write? Do your children help you create fantasy worlds you so love? Is it difficult to snap out of the fantasy world and get back into reality and vice versa?
When the kids were younger, I used to write at naptime and bedtime. Now that they’re all in school full time, I write while they’re at school and when they’re in bed. My oldest son, Anthony, is one of the major reasons I took up writing again after not doing it for years. He was born with cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Writing was a great way to escape some of the stress and to just disappear into made up worlds for a short while.
As for whether they help, they definitely do. Faerie Dreams, my middlegrade series, was actually my daughter Ashtynn’s idea. She came to me one day and told me I should write a story about a girl who falls asleep and wakes up in a land with faeries. I’ll also ask them what kind of new creature should appear in the story. We have a great time coming up with them. One of my favorites is the Florsh. They’re in my Quelondain books. I mean, who doesn’t love small cows that hatch from eggs and have a poisonous bite. Lol I think Emery was the one who helped out with that one.
Jumping back and forth from real life to fantasy life can be difficult at times. Sometimes I’ll be extremely immersed in a scene and when I look up and out the window I wonder why it stopped raining so quickly. Lol
4. An author’s life is not as easy-going as many assume, especially in this brave new world of self-publishing. Who do you rely upon for support in all your writing endeavours?
I know it’s been said by so many authors, but my husband is my solid rock. He’s the one who pushed me to keep at it all those times I thought I’d quit. My mom is also a huge supporter. When I first started writing Crossover, I asked her to read a few chapters and she told me no, she’d wait until it was out in print. Lol
Nowadays, I have a huge online family that are there to help out. Other authors, bloggers, and readers are a huge part of why I love this job.
5. What do you like most about the fantasy genre? Do you like reading it, too? Who are your favourite authors? Is it easier to write adult fantasy or YA and middle grade?
I love the fantasy worlds because anything and everything is possible. There are no rules. If I want to write about tiny meat eating mammoth, well, I can. And I have. Tlarissons are not to be messed with. lol
I’ve been reading fantasy for as long as I can remember. It has definitely been my favorite. Some of the authors I adore who write these are Anne McCaffrey, JRR Tolkein, Margaret Weis, and Tracy Hickman. Basically, if there’s a dragon and magic, I’m hooked.
As for whether it’s easier to write for one age group as opposed to another, I don’t think so. To me, each story has its own flow and feel. The only thing that changes for me are how complicated the plots are and how mature the relationships can be.
6. What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you? Especially, for instance, when writing a trilogy. Is it the planning, writing, editing or promoting?
Definitely the promoting. When it comes to the story, there is no planning. I don’t even write it in order for the most part. Almost every story I’ve written has started out as an ending. I actually wrote Chael’s Luck from end to start. The writing process itself is the best part. My imagination just gets to let loose and do what it wants. Editing can be a challenge, but with the help of a qualified editor, that whole aspect of it can be much less painless. My biggest issue has always been promoting. Though I love to meet new people, I’m not a person who easily talks about herself. I’ve never been one to say, ‘Hey! Look at me!’. Slowly, but surely, I’m working on that.
7. Would you like to try writing a different genre? Which and why? What is the one genre you think you would never write?
That’s a great question because I already tried. Lol Eggnog Kisses was supposed to be a contemporary romance… by the end, it was a Quelondain novella. Angered Seasons was supposed to be zombie thriller. Though there are zombies (sort of), it managed to become a fantasy as well. I can’t say too much about that one, though. Spoilers and all that.
Hmmm. A genre I would never write. I don’t think there is one I’m completely opposed to, to be honest. I like to read everything, so, supposing a dragon didn’t make its way into the story, I think I’d like to write all of the genres.
8. How do you handle reviews? What was the funniest, most interesting or most flattering thing you’ve read about your work?
I’ve learned to read reviews and do two things… enjoy the good ones and letting the bad ones slip away. I love that so many people enjoy my stories, but I also know that not everyone loves every book they read. I know I’ve had some novels I’ve put down because I couldn’t get into them.
One of the best things I’ve read was one review arguing with another. The first reviewer had mentioned that she thought the books might fall into the beastiallity genre because the characters were shapeshifters. The next reviewer put up her review and called the other one out, saying that because the characters are never in animal form when they are having intercourse, that it was not beastiality. It may not seem like much, but I thought that was pretty awesome.
9. Imagine you are offered the movie rights for your favourite novel. They ask you to write down your dream list for the cast. Who do you see portraying your main characters and why?
If Crossover was ever made into a movie, I might die from the excitement before I could answer the question. Keep this on file just in case, alright? lol
Hayden: Emma Stone. Everytime I see her I think Hayden. I think it’s her eyes.
Jasper: Colin O’Donoghue. Again, the eyes. Oh my god, those eyes. lol
Mel: Nina Dobrev. Cool, calm, and sexy.
Luke: Stephen Amell. He’s badass.
Tyler and Trent: I have no idea who would play the twins. Lol I’m open to suggestions for 8year twins.
Brice: Bradley James. The younger one of the bunch who can still kick ass.
Zane: Shemar Moore. Just has that intimidating quality.
Dawn: Amy Adams. She seems so bubbly and happy.
10. Do you still remember the feeling you had when you published your first book? I imagine it was quite a buzz. Do you still feel a buzz upon publishing?
Oh, wow. Yeah. It was amazing. Absolutely flooring. I got off the phone with the publisher and screamed as loudly as I could. Lol Then I phoned my sisters and my mom and my husband and my inlaws. My sisters brought over a bottle of champagne. It was a great day.
Every day I see published with a new book it feels the same way. I still get the jitters too. I’m always very nervous. Publishing a book is really an emotional roller coaster and I love it.