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Today I’m interviewing Michelle DePaepe, author of The Gardener. One commenter will be receiving a coupon code from Smashwords for a free copy of The Gardener and also one for my new novella, Guardian Vampire. So without further ado, here we go.

When did you become interested in writing?

It’s funny to me that I grew up as such a bookworm, and I wrote some poetry and songs when I was banging around on a guitar as a teenager, but it didn’t occur to me that I could actually write a novel until sometime during college. When I got hooked on European history, I used to get fabulous grades on essays and loved literature, but never considered switching majors to focus on writing. (Maybe that was a rebellion thing…since my mother was an English teacher.) By the time I graduated, though, I knew that I wanted to write fiction. I wrote my first novel, A Demon Rose, in 1996. But, I consider that one to be a ‘training novel’ that will never see the light of publication. I wrote a lot of short stories after that, thinking that I was trying to run before learning to walk.

What genre interests you the most?

As a female, I have an uncommon penchant for horror–but not the type you see in slasher flicks or some of the low budget teen movies. I really like well written paranormal horror–the kind where you know it’s not a true story, but you’re still afraid to walk across a dark room at night after closing the book. When I was a kid, I lost a lot of sleep, staying up late and reading books by Stephen King, John Saul, Peter Straub, and F. Paul Wilson. They are true ‘kings’ of the genre. But, so much horror is written from the male perspective. I want to read and write more dark stories with female protagonists. I love anything with ghosts, vampires, demons, or ethereal dark creatures, and a woman who uses her brain to solve the conflict.

Who are you favorite authors?

There are so many! I love Anne Rice, Tanith Lee, Poppy Z. Brite, and Margaret Atwood. Some of my favorite male authors include Edward Lee, Bentley Little, William Peter Blatty, and James Reese. I also love older literature from authors like Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oscar Wilde, and classic horror from writers like Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and H.P. Lovecraft.

What is The Gardener about?

I consider this novel to be ‘horror lite’. It’s a ghost story that includes a bit of romance. A small town psychic gets in over her head when she tries to contact her client’s dead husband and accidently brings back the ghost of a Victorian murderer instead. Shortly after, her client ends up dead, and the client’s daughter, an art gallery owner from New York City inherits the house where the ghost now resides. She finds herself falling for a sheriff’s deputy and the ghost who tries to worm his way into her heart. But, time is running out for all of them as the psychic desperately tries to find a way to undo her mistake as the bodies begin piling up in town. (I entered this novel in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Contest a few years ago, and it placed as a finalist in the competition. I’ve rewritten it since then, and I’m thrilled to have it published online as an indie author.)

What are you working on now?

I have a few projects in the works. I’m almost done with Eaters, a short novella. I could tell you that it’s about zombies, but it’s really about finding yourself in a crisis situation where your whole world is turned upside down and danger lurks at every turn. How do you hold it together, and how do you find the strength within yourself to do what’s necessary to survive? If you’ve gotten hooked on the AMC television series, ‘The Walking Dead’, you’ll like this story.

Thank you, Michelle. I hope you sell lots of copies after people get their new eBook readers for Christmas. :0) Everyone be sure to comment so you’ll be entered for two free eBooks!


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