Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Author Interview: Missy Welsh

Exquisite Quills Welcomes Missy Welsh

EQ: Welcome to EQ! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

MW: Hello! Thank you so much for letting me stop by today. I’m Missy Welsh and I write erotic m/m romances. I’ve written college age coming out stories, short story collections, and paranormals with vampires and werewolves. In fact…

EQ: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

MW: My last release was ISHERWOOD, a werewolf story in this world I’ve been building for the last few years. What I like best about all my stories are the characters I get to create, and ISHERWOOD’s Finn Webb and Cas Maine are no exception. They have lives and problems independent of their budding romance that I try hard to explore and give page time to as I build their story. It’s important to me that they feel like real people, even if one of them spends time as a wolf every month. In fact, I got so attached to one member of Finn’s family, his nephew Kieran Talbot, that I had to write two free short stories featuring him because I just couldn’t stop thinking about what happened next. Even now, I’m working on two sequels to ISHERWOOD that will explore the lives of Finn’s beta, Varick Ward, and also the youngest member of their new pack, Sawyer Croft. Both men just have to find their love and have an adventure too.

EQ: Describe how you create characters.

MW: I’ll do a lot of things to suss out a character. Sometimes, it’ll start with a photograph of a man with an interesting expression or one in just the hint of a situation. So I’ll ask myself who is he? And, sometimes, he’ll answer. I’ll get a snotty voice telling me to mind my own business, or an embarrassed laugh, or a monologue about the crap-tastic day he’s been having. Then I’ll ask him what he wants and, if he’s been talking, he’ll keep going. Yes, it’s like interviewing myself and there’s probably a padded room for me somewhere, but hey, it works because one thought builds on another and another until there’s this guy in my head with a story to tell. And then I really give him a crappy day…

EQ: Describe how you came up with the plot of your novel.

MW: I have to have at least a basic understanding of the characters before I can think about plot. Once I know who they are, then I start asking what if? Say he’s controlling, likes to know what’s going on and be able to lead the way. Well, what if something happens that takes away all his control? What if it makes him have to follow someone else? I might not immediately know what that “something” is, but I already know this guy isn’t going to be happy about it and he’s going to work like mad to get his control back where he wants it. I try to keep taking away the things that are important to my characters, so they’ll have to struggle to get those things back. And there’s my plot!

EQ: What was your defining moment as a writer?

MW: I’ve had many defining moments, but this was the earliest. As a freshman in high school—so age 14—I had an English Lit. teacher who I’ll call Mr. Schmidt. He was a slight man who wore bow ties and wire-rimmed glasses. Sharp, fun, he is still one of my favorite all-time teachers because he got us all to talk to each other about reading and writing, thereby making us think so much more deeply than I ever had before. I started imagining myself in other people’s shoes and trying to figure out what they would do if this thing happened or that one. I wrote my first story during the free-writing time in his class, and it was an epic adventure about myself and some of my classmates who went on a disastrous camping trip. There was romance and adventure and those who didn’t make it back expired in the most passionate ways. Mr. Schmidt loved it. We discussed it several times, and he taught me about constructive criticism and how good writing could always become better writing if I kept learning and applying. Then, one day in the middle of the school year, Mr. Schmidt “left” and we had a substitute for the rest of the year. We were told he’d decided to retire. I’m sure the sub tried, but it wasn’t the same for any of us, and I can’t even remember his name. I know I felt abandoned. It was near the end of the year when we were told that Mr. Schmidt had passed away after being very sick. It was several more years before I learned that Mr. Schmidt and his partner had died of AIDS-related complications within weeks of each other. Twenty-four years later, I still remember his quirky smile and how he made me feel brilliant for being a writer. I’d like to think he’d be proud of me for writing about gay men falling in love and happy that he left such a lasting impression.

Find Missy Welsh at these places:

Read these titles by Missy Welsh:


Aniko Laczko said...

That's so sad about your teacher, but I bet he would have been happy to know what an impact he made on your life and be extremely proud.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

It sounds, though, that you got a first rate introduction to writing and reading from your teacher. Thanks for joining EQ for the interview.

Diane A said...

Great interview! Ever since reading "My Summer of Wes", Missy Welsh books have been an automatic buy! Thanks to EQ for interviewing one of my fave authors!

Missy Welsh said...

Yes, I like to think he knows, Aniko. :)

Missy Welsh said...

He made it fun to learn. Thanks for letting me visit, Jane!

Missy Welsh said...

You're so sweet, Diane! Thanks for that and for stopping by. :)