Feb. 2, 2022

Talking Dirty with Michelle McLean

Talking Dirty with Michelle McLean

Save a horse, ride a cowboy.

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Michelle McLean is on the Steam Seat this week! We talk about how she waded through 200 rejections before landing a contract with Entangled, how Victoria Holt drew her into romance, nerd out on paranormal romance vs. urban fantasy, and just have a general blast talking all things hot and heavy. And she shares what it takes for her to get the steam scene from brain to page! Plus I read a smokin’ hot scene from Hitched to the Gunslinger


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Grab your copy of Hitched to the Gunslinger on Amazon.



Elle 0:01
Michelle McLean is a jeans and T shirt kind of girl who's addicted to chocolate and goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has degrees in history in English and is thrilled that she sort of gets to use them. Her novel Truly, Madly sweetly written as Kara Archer was adapted as a hallmark original movie in 2018. When Michelle's not working, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found baking diamond painting, or trying to find free wall space upon which to hang her diamond paintings. She resides in PA with her husband and two teens, the world's most spoiled dog and a cat who absolutely rules the house. She also writes contemporary romance as Kiera Archer. Welcome, Michelle to Steam Scenes.

Michelle 0:44
Hi, thank you so much for having me.

Elle 0:46
I'm super excited that you're here. Um, I, uh, you had sent over an excerpt from your book hitch to the Gunslinger, which I believe is your most recent release, correct? Yes, yes. Yeah. And I loved it. I absolutely. Yay. So you're in for a treat.

Michelle 1:06
So stick with us.

Elle 1:08
So okay, first question is sort of the obvious. I always ask it and I feel like it's the most unoriginal question, but like, let's get it out of the way. When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?

Michelle 1:20
It seemed that questions always funny to me, because I always, from when I was little, was always making up stories. And when I was in fifth grade, I entered this young authors contest, and wrote a little book and won the award for it. And then but it never seemed like a job that like was a real job. You know, it was kind of Oh, yeah, I want to be right. And that when I grow up, I want to be an actor. You know, it's not a real job that regular people can get. So I've never really seriously considered doing it. And then right, my son was born. I would make up little stories to tell him before he got the bed and wrote one of them down. And but you know, I was like to read the romance novels and those have these stories in my head. So I was bored one day while he was napping and figured, okay, I'll try and give it a shot. Yeah.

Elle 2:10
So okay, so you love romance? So I guess you were always a romance reader.

Michelle 2:16
Yeah, my my earliest memory i My mom said I was two she gave me for Christmas, a big box of remember those books on tape where they that you have the book and then you put the tape in? It reads the story to you. She gave me a big box of those. It was all fairy tales. And she said I was sitting on her lap one day, she was reading me Snow White. And I stopped her and told her that she skipped a line. She said she did it wrong. And I recited it back to her word for word. She's like, Oh, my goodness, this child. But so my earliest memory is reading these fairy tales. And I think that just sort of, I don't know, maybe I imprinted on them like a baby duck. Because

Elle 2:53
Oh, that's really, you know, actually, the first time that I'm sort of putting it together that fairy tales are kind of like, or at least the way that they were written for kids not the original gram. Right, like, creepy and scary and shit. You read that? You know, you read those kids?

Michelle 3:09
Right? Oh, okay. Version. Yeah, there. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. So I think that's just those are the that's the earliest stories I can remember being told and reading so I think that's just kind of gotten ingrained in me. And then the only other books I really remember reading, I read everything I could get my hands on, but the ones that stick out, I read the Little House on the Prairie series. And those Yeah, I just I kind of go through my mom's bookshelves and she didn't have a ton of books. But she had a whole bunch of Victoria Holt books, those Gothic romances. I know. That was my very first romance I read. And you know, I mean, you've got those dark brooding heroes and, and her books always have all that mystery and suspense and you get these really intense books, but you can you know, you know, it's going to end happily. So you can get really invested in the story and really get attached to these characters because you know, you're not going to lose at the end right?

Elle 4:13
Even though you're biting your nails, you're you know that everything's gonna turn out okay.

Michelle 4:18
Yeah, there was one she wrote one book and I don't even remember the name of it. I was so angry with this book because it's the only book she wrote that I read that doesn't end with a happily ever after that the hero ends up with somebody and the main character was actually a horrible woman she didn't deserve hopefully. She's gonna redeem herself. So you know, you know it's gonna it because that's how it ends and it didn't end that way. And I chucked the book across the room. I was so mad at it, but Oh, wow. For the most part, yes. But that's what happens when you have romances and you write romances, and then you don't give the reader that happily ever after. You're gonna lose him. I stopped writing her for a while. left.

Elle 5:01
I'm super surprised that she did. I mean, that's, that's bold.

Michelle 5:06
No. And it was the only one she did well, and I read, there was one other one where it's the secret woman where it's the woman, the main character falls in love with the sea captain who's married to a woman who's mentally ill or something. And so they love each other, but they don't ever really get together and then he leaves because he's not gonna cheat on his wife. And then he comes back 20 years later after his wife dies, and they get together at the very end. I didn't love that one either. Because there was a 20 year gap. Yeah. At least they did end up together at the very end. This other one, I think it might be mascot the enchantress or something. It was. I'll have to I have all of her books. I have searched high and low for all of her books. Um, I'll have to look now but yeah, that one. Still not happy with that. I read that in high school. I was probably 14 or 15. When I read it. It still makes me mad. So yeah. Happily ever after.

Elle 6:07
That's excellent. So you you're what you're saying is you would never do that to your readers?

Michelle 6:14
No, never. You gotta have the happily ever after. And, you know, I actually tried. I have a paranormal book. And I when I started that writing it I wasn't going to make it a romance. Okay, so much romance in it. I heard Okay, apparently I can't take it out. Even if I so I'm just gonna go with it. That'd be a romance, right?

Elle 6:38
No, is that paranormal book out? Did you ever publish it?

Michelle 6:41
I'll probably end up self publishing it one of these days because I really love it. But no, that was my job. And

Elle 6:48
I started an urban fantasy. So I Yes.

Michelle 6:55
Yeah, um,

Elle 6:57
okay. It's so is it? Was it part of a romance or urban fantasy with parents with paranormal l like with romantic elements, like, because I'm actually I've got a story in the works. And I'm really struggling with what it is right now. Right.

Michelle 7:12
Back in the day, I had a blog. And it's still up. It's, I haven't been on there in years. But it's still I have a blog post on the difference between paranormal and urban fantasy. And I interviewed all my writer friends to see what they thought the difference was because they're very similar. But from what I gathered from them, the difference is magic. So like, if you can take all the different elements like the werewolves, or whatever, out of the book, and it's still the regular world that we know, it's urban fantasy, but if you take all those elements out, and it's a different No, maybe I'm gonna have to look that up now. Magic, because I remember thinking like, like, Lord of the Rings, if you took all that stuff out, you'd have a still a completely different world than what we have today. Right? So that was, I'm gonna have to look at it now. I don't remember. blog post.

Elle 8:10
I guess I'm sort of more wondering like for you like what? Like, at what point do you sort of say, Okay, this is a paranormal romance. Or this is an urban fantasy or paranormal with romantic elements. So like, what the where the romance fits into this, you know, because I always want to make sure that I'm not confusing my readers,

Michelle 8:25
if the romance is the central plotline of the book. I mean, you're going to have obviously the other elements going on. I mean, like Twilight, you know, I mean, Twilight was one of my probably the first urban fantasy that I read. The whole book is Edward and Bella and their epic love story. And you just happen to have, it's just happens to be between a teenage girl and the vampire. If you take the vampire out and put a normal guy in there. You still have a romance or a love story. But you have the extra the extra things in there and you know, so if that if that love story is the central plot of the book. Then you've got the romance that the romance if if you have the happily ever after at the end, right if there's no happily ever after, it could be a love story, but it is not a real and I will die on that hill. Arguments because yeah, Nicholas Sparks is always is always shelved in romance. But yeah, his characters don't end up together at the end most. If not,

Elle 9:35
it's not a rafter dad.

Michelle 9:40
It's a love story. It's a love story. It's just not a romance.

Elle 9:43
It's not a romance. Okay, so you have your son, and he's little and you start writing your first book while he's you know, taking his naps and stuff. What was that like for you? What was that process? And it was a romance, I'm assuming.

Michelle 9:57
Yes. It's actually I did that. To get published it was the my very first novel that was published called it's well now it's called to trust a thief. Oh, and it was very Victoria Holt ish. It's a Victorian set. It was a Victorian lady who was real klutzy, you know, she's not a very lady like lady and a jewel thief, who they end up going after the same treasure. And it's kind of an enemies to lovers because they need to team up in order to be able to get to find this treasure. And they're both planning on double crossing the other one, but in the meantime, they fall in love while they're searching this, she's in a boarding school for you know, or finishing school. And he, he comes in as her dance instructor. And so they teamed up to find this treasure and end up falling in love with the process. And I loved because I've made it's more of a gothic type, romance, you have all the danger, because there's bad guys coming in trying to get the treasure also, and there's kidnapping. I kill some people off and

Elle 11:06
wild story and this was your first book.

Michelle 11:09
Yeah, it was fun. When it finally got published, and it took years, I mean, I wrote this book, I would write, I would try to write 1000 words a day. And I just remember watching because I had written, sort of tried to write books before, right, where I only get two or three chapters into it. And then I would just put them away. And I was like, Okay, I'm not gonna do that. This time, I'm actually going to finish this whole book. So I everyday I have a piece of paper taped to my wall, and I write down the word count, so I could watch it grow every day. And that was a lot of fun. And then, you know, life got in the way I had a baby. And then I ended up having another baby who was a preemie, and it I stopped writing it for about two years and went to grad school. And don't know why I thought this would be a good time to finish Pavel because I had two babies, my husband traveled for work. I was working from home on this ecommerce site, and was going to grad school and figured, okay, I'll finish my novel now.

Elle 12:09
Holy shit, I mean, I guess, I guess it's one of those things where like, you know, you just, you just get you just pile stuff on top that you like you get it done, because you have so much to do

Michelle 12:20
I work really well like that. If I have nothing to do. I won't get nothing I have to have. Yeah. But luckily, because I got my master's in English, but with a creative, creative writing focus. So I was able to use my novel as my senior thesis. So finishing it was actually schoolwork. So that helped a lot. But yeah, I didn't finish it until

Elle 12:46
where did you go to grad school for my ask?

Michelle 12:48
It was a national university. It was an online.

Elle 12:51
I was an online. Yeah, yeah. Cuz I'm thinking of doing one of those online creative MFA program. I

Michelle 12:57
loved it. And it was yes, word is my Bachelor's was in regular, you know, in person classrooms and the Masters was just as hard just as challenging. It was, but you know, I had two babies. So it was I was actually able to do it. Instead, I never would have been able to do it having to go to a campus and yeah, it's a good option. Yeah,

Elle 13:18
yes. I mean, did you What made you decide to go do this, you know, get your MFA.

Michelle 13:26
I always kind of wanted before I thought being a writer could be a real job. I either wanted to be a librarian or a college professor, or I was always that nerdy girl, you know that libraries are my happy place. So my I actually got my bachelor's degree in history, I wanted to be an archivist and go work in one of those federal buildings where they archive all the old manuscripts and, or my curator

Elle 13:54
that I wish I had known that like archivist was a job because I probably would have done that. I just like, my old shit.

Michelle 14:01
Yeah, my, my college counselor actually, I cuz I didn't know that that was a job. And he's like, you know, if you if you want to, cuz I wanted to mount or major in history, but it's like, what can you do with a history degree other than be a teacher and I didn't want to teach and, I mean, I'm kind of an introvert. I like I like being in a quiet room surrounded by books. I don't want to be with people. So he's like, Well, you don't have to teach people. People make me nervous. He's like, Well, you can, you know, you could be an archivist. That would be a perfect job. And you know, he's describing it, you're in this airtight sealed room with nothing. I was like, okay, that's the perfect job for me. So,

Elle 14:47
like you had me an airtight seal.

Michelle 14:51
That's all. So that was my original career path. And then I got married and had kids and and then when I I've always I still wanted to do something like this or, like I said, being a librarian is also just a dream job. So I was thinking about getting my master's in the library Arts and Sciences. And I was like, well, just in case I mean, English is probably it's more broad I can, I can be a teacher if I need to. So went back to school for that. And while I was doing that creative, the creative writing focus, you know, I really love doing this, I wish I could do this as a real job. And but by then, you know, the internet has, I'm 44, the internet wasn't a big thing. When I was graduating high school. And at that point, I was online all the time, I was doing school online, so I was able to actually look up what it would take to get published. And I think just having that information, like, you know, maybe it wouldn't be that hard. I just sent out query letters. And, and, I mean, it took it looks. It took, I graduated. And so I finished my first book in 2007. My actually, my very first book that was published was in 2011. But it wasn't, it's a nonfiction book on how to write essays and term papers. I don't think you're ready. Now, well, I said, I had this blog, and I, every week, I would have a post on how to write one of these, you know how to write a certain form of poetry, or how to do a certain essay. And one of my friends was like, you know, you really should compile those and make a book and like neck. So I did that. And fished around for an agent. It was just weird. Because I got an agent real quickly, we got a book deal real quickly, that book came out. But I was like, I don't want to write nonfiction. It was fun. And I enjoy it. But I want to write novels. And my agent didn't read fiction. And I did have this book at that time. And I had been rewriting it and editing it. And it probably for about five years, I think I rewrote and edited just this one book before I finally wrote that paranormal book. But I love this book so much. It's like, No, this was gonna get published. I don't need to read your books, I'm gonna get this one published. And I finally I think it was probably 2012. I was like, alright, nobody's biting, I have queried this thing. I think I stopped counting at about 200 rejections because I had written and rewritten and I'd rename it and send it out again, and then rewrite it and send it out again, you know? And, wow, I was like, All right, nobody's gonna take this. Self publishing was just starting to be more popular and easier to do. So I figured, okay, I'll just self publish it. But I found five publishers that took an agented submissions. So it was kind of my Hail Marys like, Alright, I'm just gonna send it out to these five. When they reject me, then I'll self publish it. And I ended up by three offers from the purchasers. So yeah, I've been trying to wait to it. I've been

Elle 18:08
waiting. So when you're submitting, you're submitting for agents that those 200 submissions are resubmit. Oh, and then you just submitted it on your own?

Michelle 18:15
Yeah. Because there's not a whole lot of there's more now I think, but there wasn't a whole lot of publishers back then that took on agented submissions. And entangled isn't my publisher now. They were brand new. I think they only been around for a year or two at that point. All right, right. So in lyrical press was one of the other ones I got. And I think they are now part of Kensington, I believe. Yes. Yeah. And then the other offer was from a smaller publisher that's no longer around. So yeah, that was I mean, especially after that many rejections and like I said, I stopped counting at 200. But they didn't stop coming after. So after that many I honestly just expected more rejections. So to get offers was mind blowing. And then yeah, it's been. Yeah, it's been really, really wild. That's a no, and

Elle 19:13
it's really, ah, yeah, and that's really great to sort of hear because I know like the, you know, I've spent 20 plus years working in entertainment. And so it's sort of like, the whole thing. It's not you it's me really is a thing like when you're submitting like it's it really is not the quality of the work or whatever, it's the person on the other end, receiving the submission is saying, Yeah, will I be able to sell this?

Michelle 19:39
Well, and that's the thing because I've got it. That's probably one of the reasons I didn't give up on that book, because a lot of my rejections and I got a lot of, you know, partial and full requests where they'd read the manuscript. And a lot of those rejections they liked the book. They just either had something too similar or they just didn't think it would sell historical wasn't selling real well back then. It was just always It was never the story necessarily or the writing, it just was always seemed to be something else or you know, you just get that nice warm rejection.

Elle 20:07
Right. Right. Right. Because yeah, I just I always think that it's so important to sort of point that out, especially for, you know, new writers that it really it's, it's, it really is about the market at the end of this and like, you know, and you know what, and your book might not be perfect, but if they think it can hit the market there in the right way, there are people that help you with cleaning the book, you know,

Michelle 20:32
and that's what the editor always says, it's, it's not even necessarily the, the book that she's looking at, it's the voice if you've got that voice that she really loves, then, most of the time, whatever story you happen to have can be cleaned up and fixed. I mean, sometimes it can, it just needs to be scrapped. But if she if she's, if you've got that unique voice that they really love you I mean, there's been times where I've actually submitted some young adult books to them once. And before I decided I really didn't want to go that direction. I was just gonna stick with adult but they didn't actually like the book, but well, they liked it. But they Egyptian gods and they didn't want to publish Egyptian gods at the time. But they liked my voice. So they wanted to wanted me to write something else for them instead. So I mean, you never know. It's

Elle 21:18
yeah, yeah, you do. So okay, so trust a thief is your first so you're writing this in grad school. This is your thesis, your thesis of your ma MFA project or whatever they call it. Was it steamy?

Michelle 21:35
No, I, I grew up. I grew up in a very conservative, very conservative House. My mom always hates it when I tell the story. But she had the Clan of the Cave bear series on her shelf. And I was okay. Well, I think when I found those, and those have their steamy scenes in them, and when she I don't know if she'd even ever read them. She just had them in her office. And well, I think when she realized what kinds of scenes were in there, she was just horrified. And I went to reread the book for like, the fifth time. I mean, I had read this book many, many times, and she had torn all the sex scenes out of the book. Yeah. I mean, I was, you know, irritated but I was also just laughing like, Mom, I've read that so many times. I've got it memorized at this point, but okay, so yeah, I

Elle 22:33
vaccines are redacted I love

Michelle 22:37
which, also my grandmother really wants to read hitch to the gunslinger. So my mom had me send her a copy so she can go through and redact sex scenes before she says it. So my grandmother, I love i It cracks me up. So, and my mom says she actually said so. Okay, so what pages do I need to skip? So she'll read my book. And then I'll say, okay, skip pages 165 through one. She'll just skip those pages.

Elle 23:07
So, from this conservative background, was it was it a struggle for you to write like, okay, so wait, maybe yeah, what was your first Jamie book? Oh, it still is. Okay.

Michelle 23:17
It still is. Well, I and honestly, it's been a long time. This is so bad to say it's been such a long time since I've read to just leave. I don't remember how steamy it is. I think my first few historical books are actually they're not closed door, but they're just they're like I cracked door. Yeah, I mean, they're, they're pretty, I think. And then the more books I started writing the the more used to it. I think I got and it is, it's still hard though, to write those things and not picture my mom or my grandma reading them. Oh, right. Yeah, I actually

Elle 23:55
have the mom looking over your shoulder, you know, voices in

Michelle 23:59
your head forever. You never lose that. So I actually, I actually save the steamy scenes until, for the most part sometimes not. But generally, like when I wrote the hitch for the Gunslinger, I wrote their wedding. And then I, you know, the next chapter and I in brackets I just wrote wedding night, and then I skipped it, and I moved on to the next chapter. And when I finished the book, then I go back in and add the sex scenes. Typically.

Elle 24:28
Yeah, it's so funny. You are one of the few that do that. Really interesting because I do a mix sometimes I'll just go I just can't do this right now. And I'll sort of like you know, all caps bold. Insert sexy in here. Yeah. But most authors are like, Oh, no, I have to write it straight through No, or the character art is this. It's that and it's like, well, yes, it is. But sometimes you just can't get there. You know, well,

Michelle 24:55
and I, I mean, some of the other. The other scenes in the book I actually just wrote as they happen And they're shorter scenes are kind of equate and most like the other two scenes that are in the book. I didn't really plan either I just was writing the scene and it just kind of happened. Like, okay, I'll put that in. So those I did add, but the bigger ones, I don't and sometimes I think when, when you write them after you've gotten to the end of the book, you know, the characters so well, by then, for me, it's just it's easier to I'm in their heads more. Yeah. So it's just, it's just easier for me to just save them for the end. And and I don't always do that, but But yeah, most of the time I do. And but I skipped around with all my scenes. So

Elle 25:37
Oh, you do? You're not like a writer.

Michelle 25:40
I can't I try to be and I because I outline out before I start writing. But okay, like, my first outline is just kind of, uh, I mean, I have to have a synopsis for my editor. Before we write, and we try to fix, you know, any glaring issues before I go in, but it's not, you know, I'll have okay, this is what happens to the beginning. And that's really detailed, but the middle is generally, okay, this is this is going to happen, but there's no details, right. And then I have the end is usually pretty set. And then once I get about 15, to 20,000 words into the book, I hit that wall, and I'll stop and I'll go back to my outline, and then I flesh out everything else. So okay, so I have to kind of get started before I can really get all the details go and then and stuff always changes. But I like I do like outlining as much as I can and you know, going back in and fleshing out the outline, because then if I get stuck on a scene, I mean, there's some scenes, I just like you said, if you're just not feeling it right then or, or if it's a section that I want to skip over, then I know what's coming up next. And I can just skip to whatever that I might just have another scene in my head better. And I know I can just crank it out real quick. So I'll skip to that scene, I'll write that. And then I can go back and go get those scenes that were more difficult for me to do. But I'm pretty good at skipping around when I need to

Elle 27:03
feel slightly vindicated at the moment. So thanks very much.

Michelle 27:08
Most writers I've talked to say they have to write very linear and I, I don't know, I think that's I think that's just too rigid for me. I did try. Okay, so remember how I said the first book I edited and rewrote for like five years, I did not plot that book out ahead of time. So that's what happens when I don't plot at least a little bit ahead of time, is I'm gonna have to spend five years rewriting the book. So yeah, I have to have some sort of plan going forward. But I do kind of like the freedom of being able to shake it up a little bit and skip around if I need to. I think that that satisfies the pants during me while still getting the plotter in there. Right.

Elle 27:48
Right. You know, it's so funny because I you know, I'm sort of in between I pants, I pa I mostly pants. Just not always the best thing for me. I mean, like that really, like I get an idea. Or I see like for for like the when I when it comes to me, I always get that first scene. That's how I always start. It's like that first scene, that first moment with these characters. And it's sort of like my aha, and I'm like, Oh, that would be so. And then, you know, and then I'm so anxious to write it. I'll just start Yeah, and then and then I won't. And then I just feel like there's momentum here. And I'm like, I don't want to go back and outline got that's gonna be such a waste of time. And then, you know, like, 20,000 Worth into it, you're like,

Michelle 28:33
Yeah. And I usually, that's some of my books kind of start with the character and some of them will start with a scene but it's almost never the beginning scene. Like to trust a thief I had that scene that popped into my head with that one was towards the end where the main character gets shot, and she thinks he's dead. And, you know, the big dramatic scenes are always the ones that stick in my head first. So I kind of, you know, put that down and then I have to go okay, now, where am I going to start? Because I can't start with I have to start you know, they gotta meet each other. Right? So I kind of work backwards when I outline and then right forwards and I don't know, I'm just That's wild during this.

Elle 29:13
So do you remember which book had your first like that door is wide open? Do you remember what it was?

Michelle 29:18
Yeah. Oh, wait. I'll have to my first historical book that is see me is romancing the Rome runner. That one I was like, I had just decided, You know what? I'm going to be writing steamy books. So I'm just gonna read a steamy book and not with a steamy and that one was so much fun. Right. That one is that one set in the 1920s. Chicago is such

Elle 29:43
a Black Panther trailer for that. It looks so good.

Michelle 29:46
Oh, it was so much fun. That is absolutely one of my favorite books. It was such fun to write and that went yeah, that one steamy and then I kind of went back not because I don't want it to be steamy. Just, I don't know. My historical books just don't tend to be steamy and I think probably Part of the reason is you know your characters aren't generally getting together as quickly as they would in a contemporary setting right usually wait till marriage and yeah there's more of a build to it so it just organically just doesn't really happen as quick but when I started writing the Kara books, they carry Archer books. And like I said, I'm not sure where those fall in between all the historical books, but those um, it was for the for entangled lovestruck imprint and they they're steamier books, you know, they're they're sweet imprint is the bliss books and the lovestruck is expected to be a little steamy so I kind of wet my feet I guess, in the steamy or scenes writing 1000. So that helped me with the with the rest of them. I just you get used to it after a little while. But yeah, like I said, they're still difficult because I still get my books great.

Elle 30:58
I have to say like you were so prolific, like I'm just sort of like, like, gobsmacked like you have to have all of your historicals and there are a ton of them. You have a couple series. And now it's like you know, you look at your contemporaries under Kiera Archer. And it's like you've got a zillion books under the contemporaries as well. As you have that Hallmark Channel movie, which is like, we are going to be talking about that. And and you also have 69 million Things I Hate About You is chapters interactive store. Yeah,

Michelle 31:29
yeah. And they've actually started they put those on the kiss app. Amazing. Oh, truly, now the sweetly is on the kiss app. Okay, and 69 million things is on chapters. And the second book in that series will be on Chapter soon. Also.

Elle 31:46
I mean, that's, that's like wild. Do you do you are do you? Are you writing the chapters? And track? No, no, that's there, give it over. And then they get into whatever it is because I know it's like a different kind of writing.

Michelle 31:59
It is it's because it's a it's a choose your own adventure. I mean, they have the it was fun. Because when they when the 16 million things came out on there, I got to go in there and play play the game. And so I mean, they have what happens in the book as a choice. But then they also have other choices in there. So I went through and I pick different choices to see how things would turn out. It wasn't weird. It was weird. It's a lot of fun. And I swear there was one scene in there. It's like I don't remember if I wrote that scene or not. Go look and see. Oh, well. I honestly couldn't remember if it if it would have been one I'd written or not. And that's it. Yeah, it's it's a lot of fun because it's I mean, you know, I wrote the books but it still be fun to be able to go in there and see what a different choices people will make. And yeah, it's

Elle 32:46
so Okay, so tell the top talk to me about Truly, Madly sweet me a sweet Hallmark deal. And I've had Samantha chase on and she had a Hallmark Christmas Story of hers was turned into Hallmark movie and I think so I think you both are the only ones. What was that? Like?

Michelle 33:03
It was weird. When I first Well, it's the way it came about because um, Dylan Neil is the the star of the movie. And he also with his wife wrote the screenplay. Oh, okay. He goes through, I was able to talk to him after all this got going. And apparently he goes through sometimes and just does a dive looking for material. And he was scrolling through Amazon one day and came across my book. And he said it was the title that really grabbed him. He loved the title. And then when he saw that it was about a cupcake truck. He he was I don't think he read anything else. Other than that he didn't read the book before he they optioned it. He He loved the premise of it because for Hallmark, they're really specific with their guidelines and their stories. I mean, you know what, how a Hallmark movie is gonna work. When you go into it. They're really specific. And a cupcake truck was something that he hadn't seen and so he had his people email me and they email me directly so I thought when I got this email that it was just one of those spam emails that you're thinking, well, they would email my publisher right? They wouldn't email me and I mean, come on, who's gonna they might be No, so I almost deleted it and ignored it. And I was like, well, just in case and the I think it was the vice president of one of their departments with his name was on there so I googled him and it said that he did work for Crown media with oh, maybe I forwarded it over to entangled and they look at their like it's really all they were all excited. But yeah, I mean, I just about deleted that and just moved on with it because I didn't think it was real. So That's hilarious. Yeah. And then they did the contract that takes forever to do. I mean, that took, I think five or six months to get hammered out. And yeah, Hallmark actually moves pretty quickly from what I've been told when it comes to movies, because when they optioned the book, it could take forever. And they still actually, the book was optioned, and it still took, they had to renew the option a year later. And then right after they renewed the option is when they started getting going on filming and everything, and I didn't get to be part of most of that process. Dylan was really amazing. He, he would message me and email me and send me screenshots of the set. And oh, that's great. Yeah.

Elle 35:44
I know, a lot of times, you can kind of the author of the work can get kind of cut out of

Michelle 35:49
the whole film. Oh, yeah. I had no say in it whatsoever. And he was actually he was really good. Because Because hallmark is so specific in what they want for their movies. The movie is actually quite a bit different than the book The Yeah, yeah. The beginning is, yeah, the beginning. 15 minutes, maybe it's really close to the book. And the backbone of the story. I always tell people, it's kind of like a Cinderella story. I mean, you know, like made Manhattan. It's not Cinderella, but it's a Cinderella story. So you know, what's gonna happen? It's, you know, rags to riches. It's kind of like that. It's like, it's like, they took my story. They added a daughter, the, you know, the hero had now has a daughter, which isn't in the book. And of course, they take all the sex scenes out. And

Elle 36:38
that was gonna be my cousin, because hallmark is squeaky clean. So I was wondering, what was this a naughty book, or clean with this one? Oh, no.

Michelle 36:48
There are scenes in the book. I mean, they there's makeout scenes in the kitchen where a bra gets flung up in the mixer and yeah, there's it's not clean remotely. So they took all those scenes out. I mean, the movie, they don't kiss until the very end, and there's one kiss, like the credits roll. But I mean, for the most part, it's, it's still my book. And it's my story. And it's so watching that on the screen was, I mean, surreal, in the best possible way. But that's really cool. It's definitely an interesting experience. Yeah,

Elle 37:25
that's pretty wild. Um, Bobby, I'm glad that you were being sent screenshots and pictures and stuff. Because like I said, you know, when they shut you out of the park, which I think, you know, I get that they don't want our little fingers in it, like, but, you know, and I'm, I'm always like, option, my work, please, I will totally stay away. I'm like, No, it's fine. Do what you want out of the professionals. You know, you're going to be in the process, like you want to, like see, like, peel the curtain back and see what's going

Michelle 37:56
on. There's also there's a, an account on Twitter, I think it's called What's filming. And people who live there where things are filming, you know, just fans will go and take pictures and they'll post them and they'll ask the Twitter account sometimes what's this? You know, the here's a scene from this, what is this? And they'll tell you what it is. So I started completely stocking that account, because people were posting pictures of them filming my movie. There. I think the first one they posted was a picture of the cupcake truck parked along the side of the street. And they posted it so it was amazing. Oh, it was amazing. It was a lot of fun. I was looking I was like I think that's the main character. Oh, I think that's the best friend. Oh, I think that's yeah, it was just it was so much fun. Oh my gosh, that's cool. Yeah, that's really cool. Yeah, I got to look Keep it keep tabs on it that way a little bit. And then like I said, Dylan, not really during the process more post production like he sent me a screenshot of when they were doing the title the title credits and it based on the book by Kira Archer popped up he sent me a screenshot of that from the from the production room and that was I got that phone call that's Oh yeah, he tried real hard to keep me in the loop which was very very nice of him.

Elle 39:19
So okay, so you're writing contemporary you're writing strictly Do you have a preference Do you prefer writing contemporary Do you prefer writing historical

Michelle 39:28
really I really love being able to do both in and like I said I had the My first book was a nonfiction and for what for several years I did my day job was ghostwriting medical articles. So oh, oh, wow. Nonfiction stuff going on. It's just it's kind of like it lets me stretch different parts of my brain. So it's almost like a palate cleanser. If I write too many historicals in a row. I don't get bored with them, but it just got avant Yeah. So being a to and I did tend to kind of write Like, the gunslingers, I'm writing the second gunslinger book right now. But after this, I get to switch back over to contemporary. I mean, I'm writing a new care Archer book, and then I'll switch back over. And I'm also doing a Victorian Victorian Duke series that'll be coming out. Wow. So I'll get to switch back over and write the Victorian series and then I'll probably do another gunslinger. Yeah, it's just I love being able to switch back and forth, it keeps it all fresh and fun.

Elle 40:28
Yeah, yeah, I find I know, like, I'm kind of, I just finished book five in my rockstar series. And I'm sort of ready to not leave it. I love my series, and it's gonna keep going. And I have, you know, I have it sort of, you know, in my head planned out for at least a couple of books ahead. But I just feel like it's time to maybe try like just dive into something a little bit different. Yeah, mix it up.

Michelle 40:51
It really it just really kind of keeps everything nice and fresh. And, and fun. I mean, you know, anybody doing something for too long? I think it I don't want to say get bored with it. Because I'm not bored with them. You know, it's just, you just need something a little you need a palate cleanser in there to just kind of spruce, you know, spice things up a little. And then yeah, yeah, it's

Elle 41:13
like, you need to take some time away from it in order to come back kind of refreshed because I sort of feel like I'm running out of, I don't know, if it's even running out of ideas, but it's just all starting to feel like a little bit like maybe I'm doing the same thing over and over again. And they need to like go away and do something different so that I can come back to this. And and continue doing it in like a fresh and unique way. You know, if that makes sense?

Michelle 41:35
Yeah, totally. That's why I do would you?

Elle 41:39
Would you ever go back to writing cleaner? Or sweet?

Michelle 41:44
My mother asks me on the daily. She keeps saying, you know, those Amish romances do really well, you should write an Amish

Elle 41:59
are doing really well? They are.

Michelle 42:02
I mean, I wouldn't I would never say no, I because I I don't even really start out when I write a book thinking oh, this is gonna be super steamy, you know? So yeah, I might actually be easier for me to start writing the sweet romances than it would be to maybe write like an erotica because, like I said, the sex scenes are, are actually pretty difficult for me to write. So yeah, I mean, sweet, sweet romance would actually be kind of fun, I think but I don't know. I I would try it. But I swear, I think sometimes, you know, like the two smaller sincere and gunslinger I just started writing. And those just happen. I mean, then what do you do it's part over. So I guess it's

Elle 42:40
if you're struggling to write the steamy bits, like, what how do you get yourself through it.

Michelle 42:50
I probably spend more time editing those than I do any other book and I, or any other part of the book. And I tend to just when I'm writing the first I just write it, you know, I get it all out and then go through and then I can start changing things. I I like, I'll see, I'm totally I can't even talk about them. I can't write them. Like I like I think what makes a good steamy scene is when you have it when it's not just kind of a laundry list of this part goes there. And this parts touching this part. And you know, when you get the characters, personalities, and their little quirks, and, and all that stuff, when you can mix that in with the scene. I think that's what makes those scenes fun and what makes them really good. And that's probably why it's easier for me to write them after I've finished the rest of the book, because the characters are in my head. So well, by the end of the book. Yeah, that when I go back and write that scene, and like I said last time, sometimes I will just write the scene straight through. And it's, it's not it's not a laundry list. I do try to keep it you know, more entertaining than just, you know, he touched that. And she did, you know, but once you get those little funny character quirks in there, and you add that into the seat, because I mean, you know, in a real life situation, you're not just laying there doing the day, you're, you know, you talk and you joke and you having fun with each other, and that those are the parts that make those scenes really fun. So, yeah, yeah,

Elle 44:27
you're stumbling, and you're, you know, you're awkward. And you're

Michelle 44:30
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially if it's the first time or you know, yeah. So I think I try to focus more on those parts of the scenes than the actual what they're doing. Because when you really when you come right down to it, there's only so many ways that happens. And oh, and focusing, I mean, some people do it really, really well. And my hats are off to them because it's just not something I think I could do really well, but Yeah, I think I think it's all the characters and if you can just get that those personalities, those distinct personalities in there. Right, that makes the scene happen.

Elle 45:12
Well, let's let's get into it. Let's get into hitch to the Gunslinger and the steamy bits here. If you have sent me a wonderful scene, it's the wedding night scene. Can you set this up for us?

Michelle 45:23
Yes, they so when they first meet they get in a fake engagement almost instantly. They don't know each other at all. He's He's this infamous gunslinger who kind of stumbles into town and right in the middle of this fight she's having with this corrupt landowner who wants to steal her ranch. And she sees how these men react to this infamous Gunslinger and she's thinking, okay, he can help out. This is my fiancee, you meet, you know, and he's just looking at her like, okay, whatever. But he follows her home. And then they they come to this deal with this arrangement, that they're going to be fake engaged, but, and they're together for a couple of weeks. And then they go to town one day, and her best friend and the townspeople have decided they're going to help them out. They're too busy to have a wedding. So they're going to help them out. They throw them a wedding, and they have to get married. So now they've haven't really planned on ever going through with it. And they've now been kind of forced to go through with it. So they get married. And she's thinking right before the wedding, she's thinking he might actually, you know, want this to be like a real, real, real, real marriage. And at that point, you know, they've been together a few weeks, they irritate each other, but she's not not interested. So go through with it, and then they have their wedding night.

Elle 46:48
Oh my god. So not only was it like this fake fiance trope, but you also have this kind of sort of fake wedding, but not really a fake wedding. You know, like, that's sort of a really interesting twist on the trope. It was fun. Okay, so this is this is now after the wedding, the surprise wedding surprise, we're getting married. And I guess here we are at the wedding night now have they have they had an but they haven't had an intimate moment beforehand. Have they? Know Is this

Michelle 47:20
the first time their first kiss is at the wedding? Yeah, you may now kiss your bride. That's their first kiss. There's I did try to you know, you get trying to get that building sexual tension between them. There's definitely lot you know, lingering looks and improper thoughts and things. But the first time they've even really touched is when they kiss when they get married.

Elle 47:42
Oh, wow. Okay, so this is kind of like right after this. Like they've never, they've never been like they've never had this sort of like touchy relationship and now it's like they're going for it. Right?

Okay, I'm gonna, here we go. Are you sure you still want to be my wife? In truth? He asked, not knowing what answer he wanted to hear the most. If she was wise, she'd say no, because getting deeper involved with him was never a good idea for anyone. But he was honest enough to admit to himself at least that he wanted her to say yes, because he needed her desperately. He held his breath that she trailed her hands up to his arms to circle his shoulders. She pressed herself even closer and rose on her tiptoes until her mouth was a breath away from his. I said yes. When the Reverend asked me all those questions Gray, she said I meant it. Make me your wife. He didn't wait for her to ask again. He captured her lips his mouth moving over hers with an urgency he could no longer control and he scooped her into his arms again and walked into her bedroom. But if you'd worried that his exuberance would frighten her he shouldn't have. As he lowered her feet back to the ground she returned his kiss with a passion that both startled and amused him. When he lifted her lips. She immediately opened to him and he dealt inside tasting and exploring every bit of her. Her arms tightened around his neck trailing up to tangle in his hair. And when a quiet whimper escaped her lips gray groaned, crushing her to him staking a claim with his kiss that had her clutching at him with a passion that spirit his own. He didn't let up moving his mouth to trail down the column of her throat she dragged in a shaky breath, tilting her head to give him better access. And when his hand curved around her buttocks and squeezed bringing her up against the hard length of him. She gasped and ground herself against him. Damn woman he grounded here and if you keep that up and I won't last 10 seconds. Well, we'll just have to work on your stamina, she said kissing a burning path across his jawline while her fingers tugged at the bow tie sunshine had meticulously tied what seemed like days ago. He snorted and pulled her closer again. I'll admit there are many things I need to work on. But stamina is not one of them. She shrugged and pushed his jacket from his shoulders. All I've got to go on is what I've seen since you've been here and he cut her off with a serum Kiss that had her swaying in his arms. When he finally pulled away they were both breasts breathless chest heaving. judging me on my performance during chores is unfair. His fingers his fingers fumbled at the interminable row of tiny buttons on the bodice. She said on buttoning his vest and pushing it off his shoulders. I don't know one could consider performing your husbandly duties as a chore. He's snorted sweetheart. Any man who counts making love to his wife as a chore isn't worth the ink on the marriage license. Before she could respond to that he growled and frustration and pushed away from her. What she sputtered as he marched from the room. Stay there. I'll be right back, he said and walked away. He marched across the small house straight to the kitchen, where he selected the sharpest knife you could find and hurried back to the bedroom. Mercy's eyes widened as she took a step back when he came at her with the knife raised. What are you doing? She raised her hand toward him off though he was pleased to see she didn't look afraid. more curious and a bit exasperated. He pointed at her boss with the knife tip. I'm cutting that damn dress off you. He stepped forward and she wanted him off again this time with a laugh. You're not you are not cutting up Mr. Vieira's gown. She'd never forgive me. Just give me a minute. She got to work on the buttons, making much quicker work of them than he had if you're impatient. You could work on these she said as she settled onto the side of the bed and stuck out of foot clad in a small heeled boot that was also fastened for the dozen or two buttons. He hadn't paid much attention to women's fashion other than to admire the way a woman looked while wearing it. But he'd never actively hated women's clothing until that moment. There were so many damn layers. He'd probably age another year before he got them all off. He got one of her boots off by the time she'd finished with her bodice. She stood so she couldn't fastener courses, so for expediency sake, Grace shoved his head under skirts to continue working on the second boot. Mercy let out a tiny shriek. What are you doing, getting your other boot off, but before she could respond, he managed to undo enough buttons to remove the second boot about the same time that her corset hit the ground. It was also about that moment that he realized what an amazing opportunity being beneath her skirt skirts afforded him. He grinned glad she couldn't see it because he had no doubt the expression was filled with a hedonistic delight that might offend her, if not downright frighten her. But he was like a starving man being presented with a feast and he was determined to enjoy every bite. Oh, my God. Okay, this was so fun and sexy. It was absolutely glorious. And it was really long. And I'm sorry, but I loved it so much that I couldn't whittle it down, right. I mean, there was a lot going on here and there was really not any sex.

Michelle 52:48
I think that's what I love about those seats, because gray is, you know, the whole book is him being this grouchy, lazy person who would rather hide in a hole and have to deal with anybody. And she's this determines, you know, overachieving woman who's takes no nonsense from it for anybody. So putting these together was just really fun.

Elle 53:14
I loved what you did with the clothes, I know, historicals are always filled with sort of, like, marvelous, like clothing, scenes, you know, with the undress, because there are so many layers and buttons and this and that, but I thought that this was actually really interesting and unique way to kind of handle everything. Like he goes off to get the knife and he's like, you know, he's so frustrated by everything he like, goes under her skirts, you know, like, it was really kind of amazing. And I I absolutely love those moments. Thank you. How are you coming to? I mean, do you have like a dress on a on a on a mannequin? You know, on a form that you're like, oh, okay, like, how does this work? How do you do this? I don't write historical I never could, I would love to, but I just don't think I could.

Michelle 54:01
I think 90% of the research for these books is researching all the little details like clothing and undergarments and whether men rule or jewelry back then because I wasn't sure during the wedding if she should give him a ring or not. Or just if just she should get a ring and that I mean they were married like the the other. The Madame de Vere. She's wearing her gown. Madame de Vere is the madam of the the brothel in town. So I had to research brothels and what they look like and the real nice ones were called parlor houses. So this was a very nice one and how they were decorated and just all the little tiny details whether you know, toilets were around at the time yet or what kind of drinks they drank in the saloons because gray doesn't drink alcohol. So I had to find something else for him to drink and they actually drink a lot of mineral water. which I didn't realize that we would even have back then. Yeah. So he drink. That's all he ever drinks is mineral water. And so I mean, those little tiny details are the ones that you probably spend most of your time researching.

Elle 55:15
Like, where do you find it? Are these like, are these this information on the internet? Are you diving into archives? Like where do you find though?

Michelle 55:23
Google is glorious. You can find a lot of information on Google. I do sometimes I know with like, trust a thief. I wanted to know, I needed to know. They were going they were walking through the garden in January in England. So I needed to know what kind of plants grew in England in January. So I actually found a horticultural society group, and looked up the information that they had on their website. And I've talked to groups online like that. collectors of ancient weaponry, ancient guns, and, and they're cool. Yeah, cuz, you know, I have a Highlander series. And I needed to know what kind of pistols I had if they had pistols. And so, a lot of those special interest groups have a lot of really good information. So if you can find those, and they all have blogs and websites, and it's just amazing what kind of information you can find online. Wow, it makes it a lot easier than having to go to like a library.

Elle 56:30
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, yeah. You don't really have especially during a pandemic. Oh, yeah. Yeah. I am fascinated by all of these little these, these very, very specific details that are kind of going on in the books, and you're also writing and how you are able to kind of incorporate the sexiness, you know, like Okay, so I'm going to read the next little bit is like so much shorter. And it's actually right after the bit that I just read, so you know, I had to stop myself. Mercy just dropped her corset and reached behind her to untie her skirt. When the feather light touch of grace fingers skimmed across her across her leg. She gasped, what are you doing? In response, she felt the garter ties holding up her stockings release, gray wrapped his hands around her leg and drag them downward, pushing the stocking down as they went, the sensation of his fingers on her skin was enough to set her heart pounding, and she reached for the bedframe to keep herself steady. But when his lips trailed across her inner thigh, as as he removed the second stocking, her knees buckled and she plopped onto the bed. Gray didn't let up. Instead, he pressed closer, forcing her legs wider to accommodate him, she fought between the urge to squeeze them shutter, open them completely, one would trap them against the most intimate part of her, but the other would give him full unfettered access, either options set her blood roaring through through her in a rush of desire. Oh, so Okay, yeah, obviously, we've had a shift in perspective, which is also sort of super interesting, because is pretty perspective. And I guess it was the time and what was going on and everything else, but his perspective was just a very kind of, I don't know, masculine perspective. You know, it was a little bit more, um, we're unbuttoning the dress,

Michelle 58:14

Elle 58:18
like, he had very specific things that he was doing

Michelle 58:20
very goal oriented.

Elle 58:25
While she's a little bit more given, like, we're getting a little bit more of the sensations with her now, you know, which, you know, I mean, and again, is this now, when you're writing? Are you? Are you sort of aware that this is happening within these perspectives? Or is this something that just kind of comes naturally?

Michelle 58:45
I don't know, I guess, I don't, I don't think I I don't plan it. So I, I do try, I like doing the scenes from both perspectives. Not just, again, I hate saying because I don't want to get boring. But, you know, sexing can get real repetitive if all you're doing is describing motions, or, you know, so if you if you get both perspectives in there, and you're getting what's going on in both their heads. Plus, one of the things I really love about intimate scenes is that's where a lot of the emotional connections happen. And they're their relationships, you know, building to the next level. So if you can get in both of their heads and not just feel physically what they're feeling, but also get the emotional connections when, as they're feeling it, then I think that's what really makes the intimate scenes really, really good is because you're not just getting that, oh, he touched her arm and it felt really good. It's, it's, you know, she looked in his eyes and knew she'd never be the same and you know, you get up if you can get that from both of their heads. That's I think what it really makes some plus I like it when you can get those little character quirks, you know, gray is very demand does not like to put forth effort for it. So it's forget these little buttons, I'm just gonna cut the stupid thing off, I just, you know, oh, hey, I'm under skirts taking your Buddha four cents on here, I'll just, you know,

Elle 1:00:19
he's an opportunist.

Michelle 1:00:22
So that's what makes it funny because that's, that seems gonna be different than any other CNI. Right between any of the characters, because there is no other character that's like Gray, who, you know, has a little quirks that he has. So, yeah,

Elle 1:00:37
I mean, I, one of the things that we sort of we often talk about on this podcast is like a Kama Sutra notwithstanding, there are really only so many positions, you can kind of be when you're having sex, and it's sort of, you know, how do you how do you make that, you know, unique to each moment? And even if, even if it's like, the three missionary positions in a book, right, like, let's just say for sake of argument, how do you make each one of them different, so it doesn't feel like oh, look, here's another missionary position, right, because you can write them so that they feel like such a unique experience in each, you know, in each section.

Michelle 1:01:13
Well, and it's not the physical stuff, that's the unique part. It's the, the emotional stuff and what they're talking about. And like, like the second section in the book, she's out shooting, learning how to shoot a gun with great sidekick, and gray kind of looks over and sees them doing that kind of gets a little jealous that she's, you know, spending time with this other guy. So he kind of Marches over and, and tells the other guy to go home and just kind of marches are right up against a tree and they have a little fun for it. And it's you know, I mean that what they're doing might not necessarily be any are too much different than what they had done before but the whole surrounding scene and you know, it's she's laughing I'm doing and he's like me, I'll just enjoy it and you know, so the all the other little particulars are what make the scene unique. Not really the fish right? Or what's going on?

Elle 1:02:07
Right? The dynamic between them can change the supply chain and yeah, yeah, okay, we keep going. Okay, this is strapping kids, this is another long one.

I, her voice came out and a squeak and she tried again, I've gotten the bodice off, you can come out from underneath there. Now. She said wanting to stop him from doing whatever he had planned, while at the same time her body wanted nothing more than to urge him forward. I'll be just a minute his muffled voice said from beneath her skirts. Gray, her voice shook as he found the edge of her bloomers and pulled them off. And she didn't know if she was pleading with him to stop or to continue or, or she'd uttered his name because it was the only word she could remember. Just then she dragged in a breath trying to get in some much needed oxygen into her body. You don't need to do that part I think I can manage. It would it probably would have sounded more convincing if a voice hadn't been so faint. But I've begun already, he said his lips continuing their torturous path along her inner thigh before she could dredge up a coherent thought. And I really don't mind. His mouth moved even higher upper thigh until he reached her aching center. Surely he couldn't mean to. He pressed a kiss to her core that made her gasp and jerk backward with a startled yelp. He emerged and leaned forward planting one hand on either side of her hips as she sat on the edge of the bad. Trust me, he said, capturing her mouth and another searing kiss that had the room spinning. Trust me, he murmured again against her lips. He looked at her waiting for a response and when she finally nodded, his face lit up like it had when Martha had handed him the cherry pie. He ducked back beneath her skirts, his mouth retracing its path along her inner thighs. He took us time to get back to her center. Only this time he did not pause. He pressed a kissed her aching core. She sucked in a tremulous breath, her hands fisting in the pulp beneath her. When his tongue darted out to taste her she lost her wits all together. Great, wait, stop. She screamed against him that she wasn't sure if she was trying to escape or get closer. He flipped her skirts up. What I'm busy. She tried to choke back a laugh, but with his hair standing a bit on end and it's his face read, either from his exertions or the airless confines of the depths of her skirts. She couldn't know, though she was fairly sure her own face was just as read. I know but you you just you can't just his eyes flashed and he crawled on the bed as she scrambled back. I can't. She shook her head. But her body trembled with anticipation as he loomed over her. And why can't I he asked his face going absolutely predatory as he wedged his body between her legs again, because it's not decent. She gasped out writhing against him, the vibration of His laughter his hips, pressing into her head or arching off the bed, then it's a good thing. I'm not a decent man. Good luck with reading this list. Ah, absolute delight. This is so great. I'm wondering, Is your mom gonna listen to this podcast?

Michelle 1:05:06
I am not sure. I'll tell her about it. I don't know. She's really funny to me because she used to. I don't know if she's ever actually read my sex scenes in my books. I'm sure she must have. I know she wrote one book and

Elle 1:05:27
she got the parts to skip over, don't you like Yeah, well, I

Michelle 1:05:30
do now she because I think the first cup like I said, my first few books, the historicals they weren't very steamy. And then they started getting a little more stupid. And I will tell her because like when rents Romancing the restaurant or came out. I was like, Yeah, you might want to skip this one. This one's pretty steamy the whole way through and, and she knows the care Archer books are a little more steamy. I'm not sure how many of those that she's read. So if you look at the dedications to some of my books, I don't want to my Highlander books, I said, Hey, Mom, you can read this one. It's not as steamy as the other ones. So I don't know if I've gotten a little desensitized to me. They're not that steamy. I mean, I've read some really steamy books. So mine are actually fairly tame compared to a lot of other books, Fred's Oh,

Elle 1:06:20
I mean, yeah, I guess when I'm, as I'm like, reading through this, and I'm sort of thinking about other scenes that I've read and stuff like that. I guess. It's tame, but it's not. I mean, there's a lot going on here. I mean, like, you're not saying like, you know, you're not throwing the words around. Like, yeah, no, you know, whatever. And, like, there's no like, real, like, sort of looking and your face or whatever the words we use going on. But, but it's hot.

Michelle 1:06:52
Sometimes, just the implications all you need.

Elle 1:06:55
Exactly like when you can sort of take this and have are like, okay, so I'm very curious, to does this style, does your style change depending on like, with the contemporary, because I feel like with the contemporary, we can get a little raunchy here, right? Because this is modern day, depending on like, sort of like what genre genre you're writing in, because like they are being a rock stars are kinda, yeah, it's a little racy. It's a little,

Michelle 1:07:20
they are steamier that language is, I mean, you know, I'll drop the F bomb more often. And so there's a lot more of that kind of language going on, especially during those scenes, because, you know, sometimes that's the only word that suffices. Yeah. And I do use some, I think the language a little different, but I don't know, I think that's just tell I write the scenes, probably across the board, you know, language notwithstanding, but just action wise and where I try to focus more on the characters, internal thoughts and that kind of thing. That's, that's pretty much the same, I think between both genres.

Elle 1:08:03
Right. Okay, got a little bit more to go.

Michelle 1:08:07
She's such a trooper.

Elle 1:08:08
Thank you. Thank you for humoring

Michelle 1:08:11
me. Well, I'm glad that makes me very, very happy. Like, I get very self conscious about these scenes. So if it weren't your fabulous job. Very good to hear. She'd been caught

Elle 1:08:29
in a lightning storm once the bolts had struck all around, and one in particular had struck far too close just before did hit. She been filled with an energy that made every inch of her tingle with the power she wasn't sure she could contain. She was sure she'd be incinerated on the spot. That moment paled in comparison to the sensations gray created within her. Okay, I'm just going to break here for a minute before I keep going to say, this was such a gorgeous analogy, analogy that sort of broke away from the scene that's going on. So I should say like, his tongue is really sort of doing some work now like right before this, and she's thrashing, okay. And she's like, really having a good time. And it's feeling very good. And she's no longer embarrassed because, like, you know, you can't be at that point too busy doing other things. Yeah, yeah. And so this is where and I kind of really loved this because I love the analogy I love that it kind of like took us away from the scene without taking us away from the scene. And I love this as a device as it's used and I'm sort of like file that away for later Miss thang so that maybe you can try it one of your students coming up because I thought that this was really fantastic. Do you do this often? Or was this just kind of a thing that happened with it?

Michelle 1:09:43
I try to because that's makes me feel it sounds weird to say that's kind of my cheat, but that's how I can I get away with not being too much into the what's going on physically? Because if I can make the song That's up. Yeah. So that's what I like to focus on. Is that internal so? Yeah, I do try to do that more more than I try to focus on the physical stuff I try to focus on on that.

Elle 1:10:15
Okay. All right, I'm gonna keep I'm gonna finish this off here. Oh, super,

Michelle 1:10:19
their little Freudian slip.

Elle 1:10:25
Her hips bucked beneath his mouth trying to draw him in closer as the exquisite pressure built with it within her with such intensity that it bordered on pain. And when his fingers joined in, she lost all control. Her body took over completely and she ground herself against him chasing that crest that was just out of reach, gray redoubled his efforts, and the building wave finally crashed over her pulsing, pulsing through her until she threw her head back with a cry. That was half laughter and half a sob of pleasure. Oh, we traveled to get here. Do beautiful. I mean, honestly, I was like, What are my notes is like, okay, masterful writing really? Oh, wow. I mean, really amazing. So like, you know, that MFA program? I would like to thumbs up. Yeah, I mean, I don't know how much of this was nature or nurture. But

Michelle 1:11:19
let me tell you.

Elle 1:11:22
There was no teaching of that. Yeah, no, this was absolutely gorgeous. And they thank you so much for sharing this particular scene. It was, it was it was just, you know, I think it had this really, I don't know, like, I feel like the stands up is like the perfect steamy, like the example. Oh, be honest with you. Like, I'm just gonna lay it there. Like it just really, because you've got the sensations, the emotions, you don't you also have a little bit of the dirty, which we all love, you know, but not so much that it becomes this sort of, like, I don't know, like that, sort of like the porn that can desensitize you to things, you know, because sometimes, like, I'll be reading a steamy book, and I love steamy books, and I'll skip over the SAS. Because it's not it's just an act of sex, you know, and I and, you know, and I feel horrified, because I'm like, people probably do that to my books, too. You know, but like, I'm desperately trying to sort of master this act of being able to, to write a scene that nobody wants to skip over. Because, yeah, that good. And it's just that integral to the characters in the story.

Michelle 1:12:29
Yeah. Well, that's what I hate when my mom wants to know what pages to skip. I hate that she skips and I get why she does. But it's like, it's not just a sex scene, it's, you know, when you skip over those scenes, you're missing so much of the building of their relationship. And all the little, you know, I mean, that's where all the good stuff happens. It's all the good emotional stuff. Not not, I mean, of course, the good physical stuff, but, you know, just aside from the physical stuff, that's where all the really good relationship stuff happens. And I don't know, I kind of hate it when she wants to skip over, because so maybe I could just mark out a few words, because if you know that she misses all the really good stuff.

Elle 1:13:18
Yeah, there's a little bit sort of just jumping forward a little bit when they're actually now having sex. And, um, you know, again, like, there's this little paragraph that I pulled out that I thought was so phenomenal. And I think that this really does speak to like, what your mom is missing, when she's skipping over the scenes. But the more they move together, the more that storm built inside her again, the discomfort from his unfamiliar body blended with the pleasure he drew from her lips, from her with his lips and hands. God he was destroying her one piece at a time, breaking down who she had been, who she thought she'd been, there was no escape from him. And she didn't want one but it still terrified her she'd never be able to walk away now, not as a whole person who like that is some serious emotional, like emotional wringer stuff right there. You know, and if you're sort of, if you're if you're skipping through this, because you're like, Okay, dirty part dirty part dirty part, you are going to miss that. And that's how, you know, that's a that's a big revelation here and in the story.

Michelle 1:14:17
Yeah. Well, that is I mean, that's, that's where a lot of that emotional connection happens. And if you skip it, and, you know, she'll ask, like, Well, why can't you just write the books without the sex scenes? And like, because, I mean, you could and I'd love I mean, I've read a lot of sweet romances, and I think they're really good and they're wonderful, beautiful stories, but a lot of times in those stories, I think they can get away with skipping those scenes because those scenes wouldn't happen until the end anyway. Like the Hallmark movies where you know, they don't really get together really till the end. So you when you're not really skipping over those scenes, you're just they're not there yet. And I don't know I think when you skip them, you're just missing such a big part of their story when you're trying to tell, you know, love story between two people. And that's, that's a big part of somebody's relationship. So if you're trying to really get all those pieces out there and really tell their story, that's a big part of their story. And how do you how do you skip that?

Elle 1:15:19
Oh, this was gorgeous. Thank you so much for being here. Um, what do you have coming up next? I know this was we just had this, the gunslinger book just released and hitched to gunslinger August 24 2020 21. But you always have so much in the hopper what's coming now?

Michelle 1:15:37
I have my next release is one of the care Archer books. It's a new rom com series that starting that comes out. It's called I decking love you. Oh. And that one comes out October 11. And then I have a for Michelle. To go third person here. I have a new Victorian Duke series for the historical those are going to start releasing, I believe, at the end of this year. And then so I've got those and then the rom com series for Kira. They kind of says release just kind of go back and forth. And then there is another gunslinger book is coming next summer.

Elle 1:16:23
Wow. Wow. That's amazing. You are so productive.

Michelle 1:16:28
Well, I am on my deadline right now. So I'm not sure about that.

Elle 1:16:34
And where's the Where do you hang out on social media? What's what's the best place?

Michelle 1:16:38
Um, usually Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the my three big ones. Okay, cool. Michelle McLean over on Twitter Michelle McLean books on Instagram. And she'll McLean on Facebook. Excellent. And then you can find my website has all the links for everywhere I am I have some Pinterest sites and things like that. So if you want to see information boards for all the books that they're over on Pinterest,

Elle 1:17:03
cool. I will also be putting those in the show notes so people can just you know, click on over and and find you easily online. All right. So Michelle, thank you so much for doing this. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your work. This was really awesome. Thanks for inviting me

Michelle 1:17:20
and making it easy. I was nervous. Like I said the sex scenes I saved for last they're not the easiest thing to write. So I was like, talking about it. This will be fun. Actually, it was surprising.

Elle 1:17:37
Oh, I'm glad we made it we got through. We absolutely have to come back so we can have more dirty talk. Yeah, absolutely.

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