Born in the North East of England, Michelle Betham is an ex-media technician turned author of sexy, steamy – but sometimes humorous – romance novels.
Having spent a couple of years living on the Spanish Canarian island of Tenerife, she now lives in County Durham with her incredibly tolerant husband and her extremely mischievous West Highland Terrier. She spends most of her days living in a complete fantasy world while she listens to rock music and gets far too easily distracted by Pinterest.
She’s at her happiest with a large bar of chocolate and a glass of wine, but that happiness has been known to be magnified ten-fold if Timothy Olyphant’s on TV.
Q. Hi Michelle. So glad you stopped in. Great to have another HarperImpulse author in the house! So, can you tell us about your writing first please?
Well, the genre I’d put my writing in would be that of Contemporary Romance, although I do tend to lean more into the erotic side of romance. It’s actually where I’m most comfortable, for some reason! Although my most recently published book is very much a sweet, contemporary romance, a short novella, with a word count of around 28,000.
As for my target market, I write for women first and foremost, although I do have a few men who’ve read one or two of my books, and enjoyed them! I write for adults, obviously, but I couldn’t really put an age to my target market. I’d like to think people of all ages (18+) would find something in my books to enjoy. But I’m definitely aiming at those who love a good dose of sexy escapism.
Over the past three years I’ve self-published eight books, ranging from light-hearted rom-coms to steamy romances. But three of those books have now been/are going to be published by HarperImpulse. The first of those books – The First Christmas Without You – was released just before Christmas last year.
I’m currently without an agent. At the beginning of my writing journey I did submit to several agents but after the usual rejections I gave up and decided to go it alone. Nothing was going to deter me!
One of my most memorable writing successes was when my cruise-themed comedy romance Bon Voyage got to #1 in both the contemporary romance and humour categories on Amazon UK back in 2012, and number #53 overall in the Kindle Top 100. That was an incredible feeling, especially as it was a book I’d self-published.
But I consider my most memorable writing success to be the day I got the phone call from Charlotte at HarperImpulse. That was my dream come true, and the day I realised that I could actually do this.
There were plenty of rejections along the way, and I’m not sure I could call any of them all that memorable, because the majority of them all said much the same thing! I’ve obviously just tried to forget them all!
My writing journey, to date, has been interesting, to say the least. Deciding to self-publish first has taught me some invaluable lessons, and gave me the confidence to carry on with my lifelong dream. It’s been hard work, but it’s also made me realise that you never stop learning.
Q. Wow – amazing Amazon ratings! Excellent. And Charlotte is lovely – I hope many more aspiring authors get The Call from her! So can you share your top three tips for writers?
1. Never give up.
2. Always believe in yourself.
3. Find your own voice, and learn to love it!
Q. Some great tips 🙂 So now can you tell us about your work? Do you have a day job or do you write full-time? What’s a typical day for you?
I used to be a media technician at the University of Sunderland before we moved to Tenerife for a couple of years, but since coming back to the UK, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to write full-time. And I’m so grateful to my fantastic husband for giving me the opportunity to follow my dream.
On a typical day I get up pretty early, walk the dog, do all the usual household chores, but by 9.30 a.m. I’m usually settled at my desk. I like to spend the morning writing – I seem to write better in the mornings – and the afternoons catching up with emails/working on blog posts/checking social media. However, there are days when I’ll just hide away in my writing cave for the entire day. It all depends on my mood, to be honest. I don’t really have a rigid routine.
Q. And what do you love and/or hate about writing full-time?
I’m always being told I have my head in the clouds, so to be able to spend every day using those daydreams to create new stories and characters is an absolute dream come true. I’ve got an incredibly over-active imagination, so to be able to put that imagination to good use – I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my days.
The life of a writer can sometimes be an incredibly lonely one, and there are times when I really feel that loneliness. I do love spending time with my characters, I really do, but sometimes I can’t wait to have a conversation with a real-life human being!
Q. Lastly, tell us what your favourite wine is.
We actually make our own wine at home (not always sure that’s a good thing, having it on tap constantly!!), but my favourite wine is anything white, quite dry, and preferably sparkling! When we lived in Tenerife I couldn’t get enough of the local Cava!
Brilliant; home-made wine! That stuff can be pretty strong – I had some at the RNA conference 2012 and it almost knocked me out of my chair! Thanks for stopping by and sharing with us Michelle.
You can buy Michelle’s books at:-
Amazon – amzn.to/1jS3ujI
Kobo – bit.ly/1bdnN5W
Hope you enjoyed this post. There’ll be more Writing, Work and Wine with… posts coming soon plus some ‘New Release’ posts.
Until then, Happy Writing, Nikki x