Monday, February 24, 2014

Michelle Madow, Author of The Secret Diamond Sisters, Talks Process and Publishing!

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.

The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite. Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Read my interview with the author herself, Michelle Madow!

"Is this actually happening?" 
That was the first thing Savannah thought when she stepped through the golden double doors into the condo. 
-The Secret Diamond Sisters, pg 47

And you can bet that those are the exact words Michelle Madow is thinking at this very moment, as the clock ticks closer to midnight....the moment her first traditionally published book will be available on bookshelves across the country.

On the heels of the much anticipated release, I had the chance to ask to ask the author a few questions about her writing process and advice. Check out what she had to say:


What do you feel is the most difficult part of writing, and on the other side of the spectrum, what is your favorite part of the writing process?

The most difficult part for me starting the first draft — looking at that blank page one and knowing it’s going to be be the start of an entire novel. It can be pretty intimidating and feel like it will take forever. My favorite part is editing. I love examining everything I’ve already written and figuring out how to make it the best it can be!

In those moments when you feel stuck in your writing, how do you push yourself back on track?

Writing is my career, and if I don’t push myself to get back on track and keep writing, then I’m only hurting myself. Whenever I get frustrated, I remind myself of my long-term goals, and know that the only way to make them a reality is to push forward. Being an author is the only career I see for myself that’s something I’m good at, enjoy doing, and would make me happy. I love books more than anything in the world, I’ve always had a knack for creating and writing stories, and I love having power over my own schedule. Giving up is simply not an option.

If you could give one piece of advice to other YA writers looking to get their first book published, what would it be?

A writer I know once told me, “You have to write one million bad words before you write anything others want to read,” and that is so true. Writing is a skill, and like any other skill, it takes practice to improve. Experiment with different approaches to writing a novel so you can find what works best for you. I can’t write a book without outlining it in detail first, but some people like to let the story come to them as they write. There is no right or wrong way—only the right way for you.

Most importantly, above anything else, you have to write. Know what time of day you get your best writing done, and force yourself to write during that time, even if you’re not feeling “inspired.” Writing is work, and it’s not going to be fun all the time. There will be parts you will struggle with, that will frustrate you to no end and make you want to hit your keyboard, but you need to keep your end goal in mind. Set a minimum goal of how many words you can comfortably write per day, and reach that minimum five days a week. Make sure your goal per day is attainable for you—if it’s too high, it will be frustrating and will make you want to quit. And remember that even if you’re having a rough writing day, force yourself to reach that minimum. First drafts don’t need to be perfect, since you will edit it afterward.

Once you draft and edit your first book until you can’t edit it any further, write and edit a second. Your second book should be the first in a new series and not a continuation of the first book you wrote, because this will improve your chances of one of your books getting picked up by an agent. Then do the same with a third, and so on. During this time, do your research on the publishing world and submit your books to agents. If you continue to do this, if you believe in yourself and if you want it badly enough, you are giving yourself the best chance for success. Then be prepared for rejection, and don’t let rejection stop you from pushing forward and writing your next book. Remember: the people who make it are the ones who never gave up!

The first installment of the Secret Diamond Sisters comes out tomorrow, we can't wait! I know you have been counting down the days...what are you most looking forward to?

Walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelves! Bookstores have been some of my favorite places in the world since I was young -- I remember going to them and browsing the shelves for hours, figuring out what books were going to be the next I was going to read. Seeing my book among those, and imagining people browsing and finding my book is something I can't wait to see. It's going to be so surreal!


Get your copy here: The Secret Diamond Sisters on Amazon

About the Author                                                                                                            ...

Michelle Madow has visited Las Vegas every year since she was fifteen years old, and was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters while walking through the beautiful Wynn Hotel. She grew up in the suburbs of Baltimore, then went to Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college, and later went on to self-publish it as book one in the Transcend Time Saga. She wrote The Secret Diamond Sisters in the year following graduation, and is so happy to finally share it with the world!

Michelle lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, and Broadway musicals. She loves connecting with readers online, so be sure to follow her @MichelleMadow on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram. And visit her website at

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