Interview 2 with Anne Michaud

Last time I interviewed you, Girls and Monsters had just come out. What have you been up to since then?
It’s been CRAZY. After my first publishing experience with a small press (beside participating to an anthology, obv.), I decided to do things my own way and self-pub my novel HUNTER’S TRAP. Quite the learning curve. I guess I made all the mistakes novices do, but I did take notes of every little thing I’d never do again; i.e. paying way too much for a cover, spending way too much for the ebook and print layouts, wasting way too much time on promo. And so for my next project, GIRLS & GHOSTS, I was on a roll and got the first three short stories out (the entire collection comes out October 24th). Around the New Year, I got the crazy idea to write a 5-book series about a girl seeing ghosts, and then I got the crazier thought of launching the entire thing on the same day, September 24th. So here we are:)
I used to play in a band and wrote the lyrics. I set some rules for myself such as never using the word Pain or talking about the sky or other overused things like that. Do you have any similar rules for your writing? Situations you won’t put a character in or things you won’t make a character say?
No! They decide, I just write it down:)
What’s the most horrifying movie you’ve seen lately? Can you recommend something to our readers?
It’s not a movie I’ve seen lately (because really, the movie industry gets so much shit out that I simply refuse to pay and/or watch any of it), but the one that comes to mind is The Strangers (2008). Holy Molly. I don’t know if it’s because it really could happen and there’s not an ounce of paranormal in the storyline, but the whole home invasion/killing at daylight thing really, really FREAKED ME OUT. So yeah, that would be my suggestions for anyone who’s looking to NOT sleep for a few months and be paranoiac about every tiny noise… even at day.
What about music? Any new albums you feel we should check out?
I’m old school Goth, so anything from The Cure, Skinny Puppy, Nine Inch Nails, Sisters of Mercy, Joy Division, Bauhaus… yeah, I’m old and like old bands. Then again, I do like to listen to film scores when I write: like I’ve been OBSESSED with the Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) soundtrack, it’s so hypnotic. Also The Piano (1993) and The Crow (1994). But anything dark and moody and dramatic, me likes:)
I just finished reading Whispered Echoes and I loved it. What was your main inspiration for this story?
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it:) Alyx comes from many sources, but mainly from people I’ve encounter that have been haunted by ghosts and who are seeking the truth. I’ve noticed that most girls always question their sanity at first, then they fold back within themselves in fear of being discovered until they bloom into acceptance of witnessing something special — which is what I tried to do, here. People do see ghosts, it’s a fact and science has always tried to explain it: Einstein was an avid paranormal researcher, like Paul & Marie Currie, classic writer Alexandre Dumas and countless others. And what I don’t understand is that in a world where it’s considered normal to know that the Kardashians get laser hair removal on their coochas and how much pot Rihanna smokes in a day, ghosts and everything paranormal is still a stigma. So this is my inspiration; a girl that finds herself in a world that is set up against her.
Is there a specific time of day that you do most of your writing? When I do things it’s mostly around 12 or 1am.
I’m an early bird: I get up, go jogging, and begin writing right away. If I work on transcribing contracts (which is often since it’s nice to eat and live in a house), I push my writing time back to after my day job work is done, which is around 1h30, 2h00 — but my very best is done around6h00, 7h00. And in the afternoon, I turn into a brain-dead zombie who reads.
About a month ago, I started working on a novella and got about three chapters in before realizing “Shit, this is Jacob’s Ladder”. I ended up going through three or four rewrites before giving up on it and starting something new. 
Has that ever happened to you? Where you write something and then BAM, Jacob’s Ladder.
YES! Or when bad luck strikes and the thing you’re working on is someone else’s ‘New Release’ and you have to let it go. So that’s what I do: I let it go.
A bunch of our readers will probably get a cat or dog by the time this is published, can you do us all a favor and name their pets?
As a Crazy Cat Lady myself (I only have two but plan on five someday:) I can only give my best advice and it’s to keep with the classics. My Main Coons are named Mr. Darcy and Lizzie, in honour of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice, but my next one shall be called Chester/Lady Marmalade (for an orange cat), Earl Grey/Beatrix (for something in a grey hue), Stella/Barnaby (of darker colours). My dog’s name is Poe, so you can never go wrong with Edgar or Bernice, either.
What for you, is the most difficult part about writing a novel? I personally find it’s the opening paragraph. That always drives me insane.
Well, I cannot — and I mean it, CANNOT — begin writing the entire novel unless I have my opening sentence. It sets the tone, it brings the reader into the world, it gives the character voice: it has to be perfect. Once that’s done, I simply follow my detailed outline and don’t stop until it’s done. The only hard part is if the scene isn’t interesting enough (and that happens plenty in the first draft), but you have to push through, because you never, ever know what might come out of it.