Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Micalea Smeltzer author of Dark Hearts
Hi Micalea, thank you for agreeing to this interview
Tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from?
I’m 23, so I still very much feel like a baby in this crazy writing world, but I’ve always been an old soul. I live in Northern Virginia, where there are lots of mountains, farms, and winery’s.
Tell us your latest News/Current Projects
My newest release is Dark Hearts. It’s probably my favorite book I’ve written. I love the story, the intensity, and depths of the characters. I love characters with hearty back stories and both Jace and Nova have them. I’m currently writing When Constellations Form, which is Xander and Thea’s second book—their first book is When Stars Collide.
When/Why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written. Since before I actually knew how to write. I would drawn scribbles and tell whoever would listen the story in my head. I didn’t think seriously about writing as a career until my senior year of high school. That’s when I realized it was my dream job. I think writing has always served as an escape for me.
Tell us a little bit about “Dark Hearts”
Dark Hearts is the story of Jace and Nova. They’re friends to lovers. They both have very intense, complex, pasts. Neither wants to love, but find that falling in love with each other is inevitable. Nova’s past is even more complicated than Jace’s and it’s revealed that she’s hiding a big secret but you’ll have to read it to find out what that is.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
All entirely from my imagination. I did slip one of my friends into the Outsider series once, because she asked, but she wasn’t a main character. It was just a funny little blip that was actually based on something that she actually did in high school—so I knew she’d know it was her.
Are the names of the characters in your novels important?
YES! I’m soon picky about names! Like honestly, I’ll change a name five or six times if it doesn’t feel right. Not only does it have to be a name I like, but it also has to sound right with the significant other’s name.
What was the hardest part of writing Dark Hearts? Or any book?
Honestly, there was no hard part with Dark Hearts. That book POURED out of me. The hardest part was probably finishing it because I didn’t want it to end. I kept messaging my editor telling her I didn’t want it to end, haha! I guess that’s why I decided to give them another book! Usually for me the hardest part of a book is either the very beginning or the very end. If I start out in the beginning fine then I usually have a road block at the end and vice versa. I don’t really know why. The middle always seems to be smooth sailing and I think that’s because that’s where the bulk of the action takes place.
How do you find your inspiration?
From anything and everything—music, quotes, books, names, a sneeze. Lol. But seriously, I find inspiration from just about anything. I got the entire idea for Finding Olivia because I saw someone get a flat tire, haha.
In ten words or less, describe your writing style.
Quirky & character driven.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I have to listen to music. Sometimes I light a candle.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Totally depends on the scene. Usually it hypes me up though, but sometimes I’m exhausted after a stressful scene or when my characters are being stupid.
Does a big ego help or hurt writers?
Hurt, most definitely. Always be humble.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
Lol, they say not to but I usually do. I can’t help it. Bad reviews don’t bother me anymore, though I do sometimes get irked when the bad review makes no sense or is just pure bashing. A constructive bad review can be so helpful though—some of those I’ve truly taken to heart and used to better myself. As for good reviews they usually just make me smile.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I can’t recall anything specific, but I was really sensitive as a kid and took everything to heart. So I think it’s important for people to realize words can be both good and bad, and to think before you speak.
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate, longhand, etc.?
I wrote my first book almost entirely longhand. After that they’ve all been on the computer.
Do you think covers are important in the buying process?
Oh, definitely. As a reader I’m a total cover whore, so I make sure my covers are something I’d buy.
Is there another genre that you would like to try? Or one that you wouldn’t try?
I’m open to anything. I get bored if I write the same thing over and over again. Romance will always be a part of my stories though.
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first one that comes to mind is Before I Die. I SOBBED. My brother saw me in my room, and was like, “Why are you crying?” And I pointed at the book and he shook his head and walked away mumbling that I was crazy, haha.
What is your writing kryptonite?
Lol, I don’t know.
What authors do you like to read? What book(s) have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
Abbi Glines, Regina Bartley, Cambria Hebert, Molly E. Lee, Lucia Franco, Wendy Owens, Jennifer L. Armentrout, …do we have all day?
How do you feel about eBooks vs print books?
Depends on my mood, on which I prefer. I love my kindle (especially since I can read at night in the dark) but nothing beats holding a paperback.
How do you relax?
Uh…writing, haha. It usually relaxes me. Sometimes I read or watch movies, but a lot of times I don’t have the patience to sit still through a whole movie. Unless it’s Jurassic Park.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Don’t give up. It sounds cheesy but it’s true. It’s easy to get discouraged, but you have to persevere. When I first started I was 18, so incredibly shy, and knew nothing. I had to research everything and just go for it.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I think you’ve pretty well covered it! Loved the questions!
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
You can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. I’d also recommend joining my Facebook group, Micalea’s Minions. I’m there the most.