Let me introduce you to this dynamo! Her name is Michelle Luis and she is the author of the Aria Trilogy. So far she has written and self published the first book named Aria and has completed the second book which you have the pleasure of seeing the cover reveal and synopsis! I hope you will download the first chapter of Aria and support this debut author and watch her as she progresses through her literary career!
Why don’t you first tell us a little about yourself?
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and three children. I’m currently an at-home mother but I have a B.A. in Communication Studies and consider myself a Jack-of-all-trades. I’ve worked in retail management, the legal field, emergency medicine and the software industry. They were all great experiences but none of them provided me with the creative outlet that I needed. Now I write in order to feed that craving.
Did you always possess a passion for writing? When did you have the epiphany that you actually wanted to publish your work?
I have. I’ve always written short stories but I never thought I’d tackle a project this big. Writing a novel was something only professionals did. I never considered myself a ‘real’ writer. I never would have dreamed that I would someday publish a novel, let alone an entire trilogy. And there was no epiphany. I started writing Aria for myself and as I got closer to finishing it, I figured why not try and get the thing published.
I feel like many people are coming into writing a little later in life as they come to realise that the hustle and bustle of a business career is not all it is cracked up to be. How did you find that transition in writing and do you do any other work apart from your writing?
I never had time for writing a few years ago. My children were young and I was working full-time for a busy software company. I eventually quit my job when the chaos became too great. I felt as if I were doing both jobs ‘half-assed’. I cast no judgement on any parent for working or not working. It’s a personal decision and you have to choose what makes you the happiest. Now that my kids are older, I think about returning to work but to be honest, I love writing. If I could make a few pennies doing it, I’d be thrilled.
You are a busy mother, how do you make time to balance your life with writing?
I write while everyone’s at school. It’s the only time that I can and even then, I only have a couple of hours a day. I’m a busy person. I try to write first thing in the morning before my mind starts thinking about what needs to be done that day. Life can be very distracting. Sometimes I’ll listen to some music before I write and put my mind in a proper state. Romantic scenes, action sequences...they get their own genre of music.
I never know how to respond when someone asks me that question. Should be simple to answer, right? It’s not. Aria is paranormal in nature and it has a little of everything - action, mystery, suspense, but it’s a love story in the end. It’s about two people, Nya and Jack, who’ve lost everything in their lives but find solace in each other. Their fledgling romance quickly blossoms and by the end of the story, they’re willing to sacrifice everything to be together. But, of course, there’s drama along the way. Nya gets caught up in Jack’s mysterious past and she quickly finds he hasn’t always been truthful. Jack knows the only way to protect her is to walk away but he can’t. Jack wants Nya. And sometimes the thing we want most, comes with a heavy price.
How did this story come about? How was this idea born?
Aria was a story I had in my head that just wouldn’t go away. I kept thinking about it; it begged to be written. So I started it on the back of an envelope while sitting in my car one day. I scribbled down notes, ideas, names of characters...anything I thought of. Then I went home and started typing. I started in the middle too. There was a scene that I just had to get out. It was a simple, romantic story at first with no beginning and no ending. It all started with that small scene.
I would love to see that envelope with all your scribbles! It’s amazing when ideas strike you in such an intense way. I find it interesting that you have chosen this genre of New Adult (NA) as it is quite new, what drew you to this style?
By accident, actually. I believed from the beginning, and still do, that Aria was a Young Adult novel. It was the literary agents that told me otherwise. When they started calling it New Adult, I was baffled. In fact, I’d never heard of it. They said it was too mature for YAs but I respectfully disagreed. My protag is nineteen and finds herself experiencing her first serious relationship but it isn’t all sex. My story is sweeter than that. There’s still an innocence about it. But because it rides a fine line, I market it to both audiences.
Yep. A few years ago, no one was representing it. It just wasn’t something that agents wanted to take a chance on. Everyone that wrote NA ended up self-publishing and I fell into the same boat. It’s different now. Some agents are starting to come around. Many indies have had great success selling this genre, they’ve really paved the way for others. I think NA has a bright and prosperous future.
How did you get through the rejections from publishers for your book and what would you say to the aspiring authors out there experiencing the same thing?
It was difficult until I learned WHY I wasn’t getting represented. Not everyone is so lucky, they never get an answer. I can’t imagine how frustrating that would be. Just keep in mind that many agents are looking for something very particular. Getting published obviously has to do with quality writing and appeal but it also requires good timing and a little luck. My advice? Keep going. Keep writing. If you end up self-publishing, don’t sell yourself short. Be a professional. If you don’t take yourself as a serious writer, no one else will either. Is it easy? No. Ain’t gonna lie. But in the end, you’ll be your own boss and you’ll make your own decisions about the fate of your novel.
You are working on the second book of the trilogy at the moment. Can you tell us anything special about what is in store? Also are you working on any other projects?
I actually just finished the second book in March. It’s called Rain. Jack and Nya are now on the run for their lives. They spend a great deal of time evading predators all the while trying to mop up Jack’s bloody past. There are new characters and old enemies and the emergence of a new threat throws a serious wrench in their game plan. I’m working on the third installment and I hope to have it released this fall. As far as plans after The Aria Trilogy, I’ve got a couple of ideas simmering but it’s too early to discuss them. I can only work on one story at a time.
Thank you for doing this interview with me I enjoyed it a lot! Your book sounds amazing and I wish you the best of luck in writing the next few instalments of The Aria Trilogy. I cant wait to read it! It is on my tablet waiting to be opened! I will be posting a review once it's done. I cant wait to see what else you produce in your literary career!
If you want to hear more from Michelle and watch her progression in the literary field you can follow her on her other accounts:
- Michelle's Website: http://www.ariatrilogy.com/
- You can also find her book here
Chapter 1 Free Sample
Book 2 of the Aria Trilogy Cover Reveal + Synopsis
No place is safe.
No one can be trusted.
And time is running out…
Jack’s enemies want nothing more than to see him dead and they’ve travelled the ends of the Earth to find him. As Jack and Nya now flee for their lives, they encounter old friends and new enemies, hoping to find a solution that will end this feud once and for all. But friends and enemies aren’t always what they seem and the two turn for help in the ugliest of places.
As Jack’s past comes to light, it threatens to smother the one thing he has fought for the most – his love with Nya. Jack will do anything to protect her and Nya will stop at nothing to save him. But as friendships crumble and alliances weaken, Jack’s deepest secret is revealed, leaving them to face their greatest challenge yet. Desperate, Jack is forced to strike a deal he knows he can’t fulfill and Nya is torn between her love for him and what she knows is right.
Jack and Nya have endured so much so fast, have surpassed great odds to be together, but will their love survive their darkest hour?