Wren Michaels | Interview
Universal Soldier Meets Buffy.
Paranormal romance author Wren Michaels talks with me today about her newest book, Thunderstruck, the first installment in The Thunderbird Brotherhood series, out now.
Congratulations on your new release! Tell me how you came up with the idea for this book.
I like to include diversity in my books, and I have Native American lineage on my father’s side and wanted to touch on that in a book. While my lineage isn’t Nuu-chah-nulth, which is what my main characters are in Thunderstruck, I chose that tribe because I loved the idea of a different kind of shifter than your typical wolves, bears, or cats. So when I read about Thunderbird legends, I was really drawn to it and the story just kind of poured out of me. I also have a good friend who is Guatemalan and she helped me with Reseda’s character, so I based it off her and just tried to research a way to tie the two different cultures together.
Can you tell me more about the plot of the book?
The story of Thunderstruck is about a girl who's dead, inside and out. I really wanted to do a different type of supernatural entity. I love vampires, fae, witches, angels, demons etc., but wanted to explore something new, something different. So I made Reseda a unique undead, a Universal Soldier meets Buffy kind of thing. And I liked that she was completely dead, from feelings to life itself, so what kind of character would she be then? Harsh, crass, kind of very straight to the point and blunt, with a hint of her struggling with humanity just out of reach for her. And explore how would that influence her as a soldier and critical thinker. Then I tossed Kane in, who was all those things, but had a soul, was alive, but dead in a different way, more mentally from a mistake in his past. And how the two put together would push and pull and bring the other back to life, physically and mentally.
Love the push and pull. Now, tell us a little about yourself. What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always been a daydreamer and loved to just listen to music and envision scenes in my head. I also loved books and often times didn’t want the stories to end, so I took to writing my own so I didn’t have to leave those worlds if I didn’t want to.
I can relate to not wanting the story to end! What kinds of challenges did you encounter in writing this particular book?
I did a lot of research into the Nuu-chah-nulth tribe and hoped to capture some of the lore and mysticism of the First Nations into a modern setting with paranormal entities. But being an American writing about a First Nations tribe, I’m grateful for the friends who helped me out with terminology used to do right by the cultures.
If you can, pick a favorite character from your new release and tell me why they’re your favorite.
I think my favorite ended up being Dominic of all people. I just envision him with this arrogant swagger, but he’s funny and can pull it off. He uses it to hide his insecurities and I can’t wait to tell his story in future books.
It’ll be great to find out more about him! What drew you to writing paranormal romance?
I’ve always been drawn to paranormal and fantasy stories. I think I just like the escapism from the mundane world we live in. I wanted to create my own worlds and have the control and ability to beat the villains that I don’t have in the real world today.
Do you have any favorite tropes to play with in your work?
I’m a die-hard enemies-to-lovers or forbidden romance kind of girl. I love witty banter and that sexual tension that just radiates from a couple you know are just meant to be together, but they fight it tooth and nail until they explode.
Enemies-to-lovers is one of my favorite to read! Can you describe your writing style or brand in three words.
Damsels Causing Distress
Haha. Love it. Any amusing author-related stories you want to share?
I cried in front of Charlaine Harris. I met her at a romance convention in New Orleans many years ago. I sat in on one of her panels and at the end I went up to her to say hello and when I got in front of her, I just burst into tears. And she was like, Oh Hunny, it’s really not that big of a deal. And I was all…but you don’t understand, you’re my bucket list. And she hugged me, and we got a picture together. She was amazing to meet in person.
Awwww. It’s great when you find out one of your heroes is a sweetheart. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and how is that working out for you so far?
I wanted to be a marine biologist. Even moved to Texas to go to school for it. But, alas, it wasn’t in the cards and somehow, I ended up working in medical insurance for twenty years instead. Then my husband said, make books work and told me to quit my day job and well, here I am. That’s the super condensed version. LOL
I think I had a marine biologist phase, but then realized I lived in the middle of the prairies, ha! If your latest release was a food truck, what would you name it and what kind of food would it serve?
It would be called Fry Nation and would be variations of Native American Fry Bread, because it’s amazing.
Yum! I’d be the first in line! Who’s an author or mentor who is an inspiration to you and why?
Colleen Hoover. I’ve had the opportunity to do multiple signings at her bookstore, The Bookworm Box, and have gotten to talk to her on several occasions. She’s absolutely hilarious, amazingly generous, and just an awesome human being. I hope one day I’m in a position to be able to give back to the community like she does.
Oh wow. That’s fantastic. She’s one of those authors who can make me cry with her books. So what are you working on right now? Does it connect to your new release?
I'm working on book two of the Thunderbird Brotherhood which will be Tag’s story, tentatively called Sons of Thunder.
I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for that one. Where can readers interact with you to find out more?
I have a lovely reader group on Facebook called Wren’s Renegades. Join here.
And sign up for my newsletter and you can get a copy of CREOLE CORSAIR for free! This book is not available anywhere else! Signup here.
Website and Social Media Links:
Go and join Wren’s Renegades on Facebook and sign up for her newsletter right now! Wren, thank you for chatting with me today. Let’s leave some links here so readers can find your newest release and give them a taste of what to expect.
Thank you so much for having me!!
Kane whipped his head back to the girl. She stood facing him, bathed in moonlight, arms thrust forward ready to attack. The most intense and haunting blue eyes he'd ever seen flickered between the rays of light and darkness shadowing her face. Kane scrambled up from the ground to a stance, glancing back to where Castos landed, only to find him gone.
He turned back to the girl. “Are you hurt?”
“Are you?” She cocked her head, slanting a hip to the side.
He couldn't tell if she was confused or teasing. “What kind of question is that?” Why would she ask if he was okay? He was the one saving her. Did she completely miss where he took out three of the four wolves?
“A valid one. I don't know what happened to the other two, but I saw you tussling with Gage. He's no easy match. That was Castos' number one. So, again, are you hurt?” she asked.
“You're on a first name basis with the wolves?” He sniffed the air around her, stepping closer. “You don't smell like a wolf.”
“Chanel. It hides everything.” She circled in turn with his steps around her. “But no, of course I'm not a wolf. Thanks for the insult.”
He stifled a laugh. “Many pardons, ma'am.”
“Ma'am? Do I look that old?” Her lips fell into a pout. “It's the moonlight, isn't it? And the fact that I forgot to moisturize this morning.”
Kane cocked a brow. Who the hell was this girl making jokes moments after being savagely attacked by not only wolves, but the Alpha? She looked far from old. Dark hair that could rival the finest silk draped her shoulders, almost as long as his own. Olive skin that shone flawless under the light of the full moon was only put to shame by those stunning eyes.
Kane stepped back. “No. That's not what I meant.”
“You hesitated. I do. I look old.” Her shoulders slumped as she folded her arms. “I'm too young to use night cream.”
Kane shook his head. “What the hell are you talking about? You just got jumped by a pack of wolves and you're worried about wrinkles?”
“Sorry, you're right. Thanks for the assist. But I need to jet.” She turned, but Kane gripped her by the elbow without a second thought. She glanced to his fingers digging into the leather. “Listen, hulk, kindly remove your fingers or things will get really weird between us.”
“Hulk?” Kane jerked back and released his grip.
“All that”—her arm waved up and down the length of his body—“it's hulky.”