Firstly, let me say that Michelle Gent is awesome. Not only does she write horror books at a rapid rate, she is also editor of the Awesome online magazine. You want horror, then their magazine has it in spades.  Here she is in all her wonderful goriness!

What genre would you like to write a book in (that you haven’t yet)?

What a good question to start off! To be honest, my books cover a wide range of genres so to choose one that I haven’t covered would be difficult. I think I’d like to be able to write a children’s book. I’ve written for young adults but not for the younger set… hmm, maybe I’ll give that a go soon J

Where do your ideas come from?  Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole construct?

I think I have an internal email system in my head – my ideas just arrive. Sometimes they show up as a dream but not often. Or I’ll be talking (mainly with my husband) and there we go! Something he says or something I see just goes off at a tangent and I have an idea for a story. The last time that happened, we were in Spain, in bed in our hotel room chatting and I noticed that the automatic shutters on the window were probably hefty enough to withstand the zombie apocalypse. I wrote 25,000 words that week – but not on zombies J

When you start a new story, do you have a title for it?  Does that trigger the story?

No, it happens like that sometimes, but I don’t go searching for a title first. I think the only time I’ve gone for a title before writing the story was for the third in my Werewolf series. That was going to be a number of different moon related titles until I struck on ‘Blood on the Moon’.

Do you see the future of fantasy and science fiction as bright?  If so, which authors are driving it?

I think the future of books as a whole is bright, Fantasy & Sci Fi especially so. It’s not going to be one author driving it though, there are many wonderful imaginations out there and I’m pleased and proud to say that I know a few personally. BUT the genre is so fluid and varied that it needs more than just a handful of authors to drive it. It would need an army of authors to satisfy the voracious reading needs of the majority of the readers I know.

What themes are being overused?

Vampire romance is being seriously ‘done to death’. Sorry, I know that this is probably going to go against the popular consensus but come on already, how many vampires falling in love with humans do we actually need? Put a spin on it, change something or it’ll stagnate and collapse in on itself.

Are movies of books ruining the book?

No. Books and movies are two different animals. They may spring from the same imagination, but a writer puts the hints of pictures into the reader’s mind and the movie director puts the pictures up there for all to see and without the added imagination of the individual, it cannot compare with the mind’s ‘movie making’ capabilities. A child was asked which she prefers, books or TV and she answered with: “Books, because the pictures are better…”

Do you see ebooks threatening traditional publishing?

Certainly not for me. I couldn’t live without books and I know that I’m not alone. I had a Kindle for my birthday two years ago and I love it, it’s SO convenient, but I have more books on my shelves than I do on my Kindle. I think that’s how it will stay too.

Do you prefer to read established authors or debut authors? How do you choose which ones to read?

I don’t mind. If the back blurb sounds interesting, I’ll read the book. I do like Stephen King of course but I don’t slavishly rush out to buy his latest. I’ve read far more Indie Authors in the last two years because I’m conscious of how very difficult it is to get read as an Indie Author. I also make certain that I write a review (which is where the idea for Independent Book Reviews came from). I also read for The Historical Novel Society and I get a good number of great books through that too.

What is it about fantasy that appeals to you?

I adore mythology, legends and folk-lore and to be able to weave stories around tales that have been around for centuries (even millennia) is absolutely perfect for me.

Can I get an autographed book? (lol)

Of course! You can get Kindle signatures now, too. J

Do you have a group of people that you show a new story to? How much impact can they have on the whole story?

Not really. I show my husband of course and sometimes my daughter but they just seem to love everything I do anyway so they aren’t great yardsticks J I sometimes put out a snippet on my Facebook wall or on my Blog and people are kind enough to comment on my work, they’re also not afraid to say if something doesn’t work – I have fabulous friends J

Do you set yourself a word limit for each book?

No. I try to go for around 100,000 words and so far, that’s what I’ve done but if the story isn’t finished, then it’ll keep going until it tells me to stop. I suppose I do set a word target for my short story series. Dusty the Demon Hunter is usually around 10,000 words per tale but it’s not a conscious effort to stick to that.

Do you have a target each day?

When I’m writing, yes, I do try to get 2,000 words per day out. I’m overjoyed if I exceed the target and when I wrote the first Dusty, I sat down without knowing what I was about to write and when I’d finished, there were 8,000 words there!

Do you write constantly or have breaks between books?

To be honest, I have been writing constantly up until this year. The reason I haven’t written anything significant on my books since March (except for a couple of Dusty stories) is because I’m now the Editor for an online Magazine and it’s been taking a good chunk of my time. I was just getting into the swing of that role when I was offered the position of Producer on a new movie by award-winning film Director, Philip Gardiner, so I couldn’t very well turn that down could I? J

Do you have characters running around your head?  Do they dictate events and their histories to you?

Of course! Isn’t that how all writers work? J As I mentioned earlier with my first Dusty short, it was almost as though she came into my office, sat down beside me and began to tell me her story. She’s always in my thoughts, as is Red, my Werewolf character and now they’ve been joined by Celtica – she’s new and REALLY exciting.

After so many books, how do you keep them unique?

I have three full novels and six short stories out there so far and I don’t know how I keep them fresh and new but I do have a standard that I set for myself. If ever I feel that a character or storyline has run its course, I’ll set it down and move on. I do not want to become one of those authors that keeps on with a series because its lucrative. I always want my readers to be as enthusiastic about my work as I am and I never want to get to the day that I see a review saying “We’ve seen it all before, she wrote the same in ‘such and such’ and it’s getting tired now.”

What is your biggest (self-imposed) time waster?

Facebook. BUT in its defence, that’s how I keep in touch with my friends and the majority of people that read my work. I suppose it’s a necessary evil.

Do you remember the first time you saw your book in a shop?

Of course! And believe me, it never gets old. I get a thrill when people recognise me too J

Do you read other people’s writing?

Oh yes, I love reading other people’s writing! I edit for friends and that gives me a wonderful opportunity to give something back to the fabulous writers that have helped me over the years. We may write in total seclusion but that doesn’t mean that we can’t form friendships along the way. I’ve made a good number of friends because of my writing and theirs and one day, I’ll get to meet them all.

Would you read mine?

Yes, of course. I’ll also put a review of it on the review site too.

My links:

Twitter: @ShellGent