Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the Spotlight with Bayou Book Junkie ~ Author Annabella Michaels

In the Spotlight with Bayou Book Junkie ~ Author Annabella Michaels

Note: This interview was conducted in November 2016, so some questions will reflect that. 

Hi Annabella Michaels and welcome to Bayou Book Junkie. Annabella has been writing since 2016, publishing her first book in her Souls of Chicago series, Feeding The Soul, in June 2016, her second, Music Of The Soul, in September 2016 and her upcoming release, Protecting the Soul, which will go live next week on January 17!

Annabella is married to her high school sweetheart, is a mum to two kids and loves movies, cooking, the beach and socialising with friends and family. Well, that’s the stuff that my nosing came up with, but now, without further ado, here’s Annabella herself to tell all. 😊

BBJ: Hi Annabella. Please tell us and readers all about yourself, what life in the Michaels household is like and which part of the vast US you call home.
Annabella: Hi! Thank you for having me. I live in the same small town outside of Cincinnati, Ohio where I was born and raised. My husband and I have been happily married for 22 years and we have a daughter and a son who are each in college, but living at home. My house is kind of a zoo with 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats. Come to think of it, it’s more like Noah’s Ark than a zoo. LOL

BBJ: Americans have such amazing desserts, but I barely qualify as a passable cook (actually, not sure if my hubs and son would agree 😬). Please, could I have a fail-free fave recipe of yours to try out?
Annabella: My husband is the baker in our house, but a simple recipe that even I can’t mess up is Dump Cake.
Coat a 9x13 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Pour 1 can of pie filling of your choice (my favorite is cherry) into the pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle one box of yellow cake mix evenly over pie filling. Melt one stick of butter and pour over cake mix. Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Delicious!

BBJ:  Are you a pantster or a plotter? What inspired the Souls of Chicago series?
Annabella: I like to plot out all of my ideas before I write. I do my best plotting as I drive my car and sing at the top of my lungs. My inspiration for the Souls of Chicago series came from my nephew. He’s 24, living in the city and hoping to find the man of his dreams.

BBJ: Could you tell us what made you start writing, and in particular, why MM?   
Annabella: I’ve always been an avid reader and my best friend kept telling me that I should write my own book. I put it off for a long time, never believing that I would be able to write anything that anyone would want to read. She told me to just write whatever I wanted and no one would ever have to see it if I didn’t want them to. One day, I took her advice and Feeding the Soul ended up pouring out of me. I loved every second of it. I started reading MM books a few years ago and fell completely in love with that genre. When I decided to write, there was no question in my mind that it would be MM.

BBJ: What’s currently making you happy Annabella, and most bugging you?
Annabella: I’m currently happy about the holidays approaching. We have a big family and I love to get together with all of them on Thanksgiving and Christmas. What’s bugging me is the hatred and violence we’re seeing in our country right now.

BBJ: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for your hubs and vice versa? Care to admit who’s the bigger softie?
Annabella: Hmmm. I guess the most romantic thing I’ve done for him was taking him on a cruise this past summer. He’s always wanted to go on one and I surprised him with it last Christmas. He’s definitely the biggest softie. He does little romantic things for me all of the time such as picking flowers for me or leaving love notes for me to find after he’s left for work.

BBJ: What are you working on now, and when we might see another offering?
Annabella: Currently, I am finishing up my third book in the Souls of Chicago series and I’m hoping to release it in January.

BBJ: Name 3 things that drive you mad and 3 things that make you incredibly happy.
Annabella: Things that drive me mad. 1) Being mean to others 2) Not cleaning up after yourself 3) chewing with your mouth open.  Things that make me happy. 1) my family 2) my friends 3) BOOKS!!!

BBJ: You have the chance to make Feeding The Soul into a movie. Who would you cast as Giovanni and Caleb and why? (and yes, in this scenario, you have all the budget you might need).
Annabella: What a fun question! Let’s see, I think I would cast Joe Manganiello for Giovanni because well…look at him! Caleb is much harder. I have such a clear image in my head that I’m not sure I could find someone that would be right. Whoever it is would have to be extremely sweet and loving.

BBJ: Does your hubs read your books? How open are you able to be with friends/family/colleagues about writing MM romance?
Annabella: No, my husband hasn’t read my books, but he has benefitted greatly from my “research” LOL. My family and my closest friends know I write, but our town has some pretty narrow-minded people so unfortunately, I have to be careful who I tell.

Available on January 17
Preorder it on Amazon

BBJ: Can you tell us a little about how you’re feeling as an American after the events of 8 November 2016?
Annabella: I’ve spent a lot of time crying recently. It hurts to see people I love being attacked for who they are and living in constant fear. It’s horrible having a leader who invites hostility against all minorities. I worry what effect his actions will have on the entire world, but personally it’s killing me to have my nephew ask me if he needs to hide the fact that he’s gay, or an author that I love and respect being called F***** as he walks into the grocery store. One of my dearest friends is a 24 yr old gay, Latino. He fears for his and his 10 yr old brother’s lives. I also worry about my daughter when our president with his own actions, tells men that it’s okay for them to touch her against her will. The US has never been perfect, but I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life and it feels as if we’ve taken a giant leap backwards as humans.

BBJ: And now, the quick-fire round:
What are you most passionate about? Human rights.
Favourite scent on a guy? Sandalwood.
Jensen Ackles or Jared Padalecki? Jensen Ackles.
What’s your star sign? Leo.
Finally, slave to cats, BFF to a dog or something else entirely? Slave to cats.

BBJ: Thanks for popping in, Annabella. We hope you had fun

Anabella: Thanks so much. I’ve had a great time.

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