Friday, December 20, 2013

Balancing Life and Writing by Guest Author C.M. Michaels

Balancing life and writing 

Deciding to write a novel you intend to get published is on the same level as far as a time commitment as going back to school, working a second job, learning a foreign language or going to the gym seven days a week. And like those activities, in order to see it through to completion you need to make sacrifices and have tons of support. Some of the cuts are easy… scaling back on the TV viewing, doing a little less recreational reading. Others are far more impactful, like leaning on family members to pick up the slack on household chores and ensure no one starves to death. If you are not on a first name basis with your pizza delivery guy, you will be.   

Before I started writing Dangerous Waters I did all of the cooking, dishes, laundry and mowing for our family (along with regularly tackling items on the never ending “honey do” list, of course), while my wife handled the cleaning. Given my general adversity to cleaning, I thought I made out well in that deal. I also used to read / watch TV for 4-5 hours a night. What’s happened since launching my writing career? My better half has taken over doing all the dishes and cooks at least three times a week—pretty much any night we don’t order out. I watch 2-3 hours a week of TV at most, and have greatly curtailed my reading time as well, which I have to say has been the hardest part. The mowing has been hired out, and projects I started on the house years ago remain partly finished. Such is the life of a full-time employed writer.  

At the same time, it’s important to not let writing dominate your life completely. More than likely you still have a job to do that pays the bills, and spending quality time with your loved ones should always be top priority. I’m happy to say that, after seventeen years of marriage, my wife and I still go out on a date each week. Regardless of what writing deadlines I face that time is sacred. We also eat dinner together each night and look forward to cuddling up on the couch to watch our favorite shows. Your significant other will need to be your cheerleader, confidant, editor, test reader, voice of reason and drill sergeant during your writing journey. It’s easy to take them for granted if you aren’t careful. Force yourself to unplug regularly and show them how much their support means to you.

For Emily Waters, a nature-loving, small-town girl with an overprotective father, heading off to Boston University to study conservation biology is a dream come true—until a chance encounter catapults her into a mythical world she’d do anything to escape.

The latest victim in a rash of abductions near campus, Emily is brutally attacked before being rescued by a powerful new friend. She survives the ordeal, only to find herself held captive and presented with an impossible choice. While preparing for the unimaginable life she must now embrace clues soon emerge that Emily may not be entirely human, and her physical transformation awakens goddess-like powers that her new family cannot begin to explain. Dealing with her human first love, the not-so-platonic relationship with her coven “sister,” and her new vampire sort-of-boyfriend further complicates matters, not to mention being secretly hunted by the psychopaths who attacked her. And as the only known offspring of a once all-powerful race, the climactic battle is only the beginning of her journey.

Have Your Attention? Check Out This Excerpt

“Would you stop already?” Teresa grumbled, glaring at her ever-pacing brother. “No one’s following us. Relax.”

Travis finished scanning Beacon Street and ducked back into the alleyway. “God damn it! Do you ever listen? I told you we had to cool it for a while. What the hell were you thinking?”

“The bitch spilled her drink on me.”

He sighed and tiredly rubbed his eyes. Arguing with her was like trying to reason with a bratty three-year-old grabbing candy in a grocery checkout line. “So we’re homeless because someone accidentally got diet coke on your shirt?”

“Quit being such a queen,” Teresa said with a huff. “You know Stefan thinks of us as his kids, which is totally weird by the way. All he’ll do is make us listen to his rules again. If you wouldn’t have talked me into running, we’d probably be watching TV by now.”

“If Stefan and Alexander just wanted to talk, they would’ve waited until we got back, not raided our feeding room like a two-man S.W.A.T. team. This is serious, Terr. If they find us, they’re going to kill us.”

For the first time in as long as he could remember, his snarky, narcissistic sister looked vulnerable. She crossed her arms to conceal her jittery hands and looked into his eyes. “So what do we do? I’m not living on the street again, or in the skuzzy-ass hotels we used to stay in.”

Travis placed a comforting hand on his baby sister’s shoulder. “Things aren’t like they used to be, sis. Even you have to admit that Stefan taught us a hell of a lot. Once we get out of town, we can trance a bank manager and get all the money we need. I thought we’d head south—you always wanted to see Orlando.” 

Acting as if he hadn’t even spoken, Teresa shrugged off his hand and headed further down the dimly lit alley, veering around overflowing dumpsters and piles of loose garbage before slumping back against the brick wall behind her. “And what about the skank who started all this? We just leave her to her fairy-tale life, sipping wine in her mansion?”

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Meet The Author

C.M Michaels grew up in a small town in northern Michigan as the youngest child of a close-knit family of seven. He met his wife, Teresa, while attending Saginaw Valley State University. Together they’ve provided a loving home for several four-legged “kids”, including Sophie, their eternally young at heart, hopelessly spoiled Spaniel. 

He has always enjoyed writing, and still has fond memories of reading his first book, a children’s novella, to local grade schools when he was 14. Dangerous Waters, the first book in the Sisters in Blood series, is being published by Freya’s Bower on September 5th, 2013. C.M. is currently working on the second book in the Sisters in Blood series along with a Fantasy romance. 

When he’s not writing, C.M. can be found curled up with a good book, watching movies or hitting the hiking trails with his wife. An avid reader since discovering Jim Kjelgaard novels in early childhood, his favorite authors include Kelley Armstrong, Peter V. Brett, Richelle Mead, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Claire, J.R. Ward, Laini Taylor and Tessa Dawn. 

C.M. currently resides in Louisville, Kentucky.

Be sure you leave be sure to enter C.M. Michaels' contest. He will be awarding a $50 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes and Noble. To increase your chances of winning be sure to visit the other stops on his tour. The other stops can be found here:

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  1. Thank you for hosting me today! I will be available to reply to comments this evening.

  2. Very useful advice!


  3. Chad,

    I really enjoyed you article. I think you've done a great job of balancing. I love the fact that you and your wife still have date night. You've got a great book out there. I must say I'm enjoying it. Merry Christmas to you!

    1. Thank you, Teresa! I'm so happy to hear that you are enjoying the book :) Please shoot me an IM or an email and let me know what you think when you finish. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  4. Your wife is really lucky to have someone who is so dedicated to your relationship, as well as being dedicated to writing. You should give marital advice since most couples today do not make their relationship a priority and certainly don't continue to have "date nights" (especially after 17 years of marriage!) Good for you! It sounds like the recipe for a successful marriage, writing career, and life!