Today I am being interviewed by my crazy German friend Alice. She was mentioned earlier on in the blog tour as being one of the most invaluable friends I have, and someone everyone should have. So here you have it, our interview!
Alice: What fascinates you the most about writing? What is the most fun for you?
Chelle: oohh, good question!
I like the lack of rules the most. Or rather, I like the lack of other people’s rules.
I’m the one in charge of the world, I can say who lives, who dies, who comes back. And if something changes in the world, I’m the one that says why and how the laws change.
As for the fun part… all of it. From the tears to the laughs, and the heartache to the joy, all of it is fun. I might complain and whine whenever I am killing off the characters, but I do love it.
Alice: If you could choose to be a member of one of your races from The Keepers’ Chronicles, which one would you choose, and why?
Chelle: This is where I should say the Keepers. How I would love to be Serenity and see what it is like to influence someone’s mind, or maybe experience the speed and senses… but no.
As much as I love the Keepers and everything they do, I love the Cats.
Alice: So you, Michelle Birbeck, would be a Were Cat?
Chelle: Yeah, I would. Want to know why?
Chelle: Can you imagine what it must feel like? To be human one second, and a Cat the next? To go from standing on two feet to running through the woods on four. And to be able to turn your head to the sky and cry out in a voice that would scare the hardest of men?
They are sleek and fast and are so beautiful!
And the purr, I do have a thing for the purr.
Alice: Very cool!
Alice: There have been a few authors that have commented on how certain characters speak for them, for example JK Rowling has said this about Dumbledore (if I remember correctly), do you have a character that expresses opinions that match yours on certain things? Or that you identify with the most?
Chelle: My characters and I do share opinions on certain things, but at the same time we don’t on others.
For example, love is love no matter who it is between. A lot of my chracters have lived through times when marriage was not as we know it now, and relationships between same sex couples were not only normal, but in some societies seen as more pure than hetorsexual couples. Marriage used to be for power and station and an heir, whereas that couldn’t happen between same-sex couples, so anyone in that sort of relationship had to be doing it for love, not anything else. So having lived through that, they now have the opinion that love is love, and this mirrors my own opinion.
We tend to agree on the sticky subjects, like capital punishment, and other controversial subjects. Yet on others, we disagree completely. the best example is The Seats. I don’t agree with their hunts. At all. But just because I don’t agree with hunting someone down and torturing them to death for the simplest of crimes, doesn’t mean it’s not going to happen!
So we do share some and we don’t share others, but I think that is to be expected with any characters in any book!
Alice: Your main character Serenity has lived in many different times and many different places… If you could choose any place and any time to live in… where and when would you choose?
Chelle: Can I choose two seperate ones? One for time and one for place?
Alice: Of course! One for time and one for place.
Chelle: Place is simple: Ferney voltaire.
I am so absolutely in love with the place, which is on the Swiss-French border, and if I could, I would live there. Without a doubt. It is set at the foot of the mountains, close to Geneva, with everything I could possible want close by. I’ve got Lac Leman for all the nearness to water I could ever want, and the Swiss mountains for all the woods and walking.
As for times, either Greek or Victorian. Greek because of how free everything was, and how wonderful their views on religion were. And Victorian because of the dresses and the corsets.
I have a thing for corsets and pretty dresses, so I would adore being able to dress like that every day. Of course, the lack of broadband and toilets might be an issue…
Alice: I know of a few writers that drink high amounts of coffee while writing… or smoke like a chimney… do you have something like that? That goes hand in hand with writing for you?
Chelle: I don’t have something that I do every day, and I don’t drink a lot of coffee unless I want to end the day shaking like a leaf. But I do like to partake in a glass or three of wine during a really intense writing session. And I have a weakness for bags of chocolates. Though I am trying to do less of that one…
Alice: What advice would you give young or aspiring writers?
Chelle: Never give up? Never surrender? (And without the question marks that’s a quote from a fantastic film called Galaxy Quest). With all seriousness, though, if writing is something you want to do, then do it. Keep learning about the craft and practicing, keep writing, and keep at it. Revise and revise again, and remember: you can’t please everyone. No matter how well you write, there will always be people who don’t like what you’ve written, and that’s okay.
But I think above all else, the advice I would say don’t write for everyone else, write for you. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing, how can you expect anyone else to?
Alice: Thank you for letting me ask you random stuff!
Chelle: And thank you for asking me the random stuff!