We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Michel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
When the stories I made up in my head wouldn’t let me sleep until I wrote them down, I figured I might as well have a go at this writing thing. It started as a way to keep my brain occupied while my husband was deployed and my kids were in school. I ended up working through my complex feelings on sending my spouse off to war, being a part-time single parent, and living far from family and friends who could help. After my husband retired from active duty five years ago, I finally had the capacity, in time and mental energy, to complete a novel. Then I did it two more times, and now I can’t seem to stop.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have self-published three paranormal romance novels and have another coming out soon through Fyresyde Publishing. I never thought I would complete one novel, let alone four. And the ideas just keep coming. I decided to go with self-publishing at first because I was afraid I would never do anything else with my books if I had to go through the hoops traditional publishing puts in the way. And then I discovered pitching events on Twitter. Getting a book summary down to a 280-character Twitter pitch is a feat in and of itself. Finding a small-press publisher willing to take a risk on your book is a great reward. It’s time to share my magical moments with readers.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pima Air and Space Museum is always tops on our list. Between having an aerospace engineer as a husband and two boys interested in aircraft and military history, this is a must-see whenever we have visitors. Sabino Canyon is another favorite. There are so many hikes there to suit everyone from beginner to advanced. The scenery is lovely and takes up a lot of space in my phone’s photos. Finally, especially for those from outside Arizona, we love going to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Part zoo, part botanical garden, part natural history museum, there’s something there for anyone with a desire to learn more about this fascinating place we call home. As far as restaurants go, it’s so hard to choose in Tucson. You can throw a rock and hit a fabulous mom-and-pop place almost anywhere in the city. For tacos like my grandma used to make, we head to El Charro Cafe. You can find us at The Canyon’s Crown when we want the feeling of an old-fashioned pub. And BrushFire BBQ is the place to go if you like your BBQ Kansas City style, which we do after spending four years just outside KC. When in the mood for an inexpensive, family-friendly theatrical experience, we like to see what shenanigans The Gaslight Theatre is up to.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I wouldn’t be able to write if I didn’t have the support of my husband David. Besides being my biggest cheerleader, he also helps me wrap my head around all the marketing that comes along with a creative career. I can’t forget the Saguaro Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. Not only have they provided workshops on the craft and business of writing, they’ve been a wonderful source of support as I navigate my way through the ins and outs of publishing.