Oh My Shelves welcomes author Michelle Osgood to the blog in celebration of her new release, The Better to Kiss You With – out now from Interlude Press – and answer a few questions for us.
* * * * * *
OMS: Hi Michelle thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
MO: Hi, thanks for having me! I’m a writer who lives in Vancouver, BC, with my partner Elizabeth and our two black cats. I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and have been fascinated with storytelling for as long as I can remember. The Better to Kiss You With is a paranormal romance about Deanna, the moderator of an online werewolf role playing game, who falls for the mysterious woman living above her.
OMS: What is the most satisfying thing about being a writer?
MO: This is a tough question! I think for me that part of being a writer means I’m never satisfied. I’m always thinking about what I can improve on for the next story. That being said though, it is really satisfying when you’re at a party and someone asks what you do and you get to say “I’m a writer”.
OMS: Do your characters ever take over your writing and make the story go somewhere you hadn’t originally planned?
MO: Absolutely. I’m not an obsessive outliner, so while I generally have an idea of where my story is going and where I want it to end up, the parts in the middle are fuzzy. It’s really up to the characters what happens—and sometimes once the middle bits have been written and become clear, the ending isn’t what I originally imagined at all.
OMS: How did you celebrate the release of your book?
MO: There’s no better way to celebrate anything than with a whole bunch of your favourite people, and a bottle (or six) of bubbly. Which is exactly what I did.
OMS: How did you come up with the idea for this book?
MO: A friend had me and Elizabeth, my partner, over with a few other women for a wine and cheese night. We hadn’t been to her place before, and it was this tiny little apartment in this old brick building—I was completely charmed by it! I remember telling her as we were leaving that night that I was going to set a story there.
OMS: Have you ever written naked?
MO: Yep. A lot of my best ideas come when I’m not trying to think of them, and a lot of times that means while I’m in the shower. I’m always paranoid that if I don’t write the idea down right now I’ll forget it—which means I’m often jumping out of the shower and racing through the house to find a notebook. Naked.
“I think I know blood when I see it,” Deanna pointed out. “It was definitely blood.”
Beside her on the floor, Nathan leaned his head back against the couch and, behind the black frames of his glasses, rolled his bright blue eyes. “I’m not saying it wasn’t blood. But just, like, blood happens.”
“‘Blood happens.’ You sound like a tampon commercial.”
Deanna choked on a mouthful of wine.
“Anyway,” Nathan continued, “it was probably just a dead animal. Dogs love that stuff.”
“He wasn’t happy, though. He was scared. Something scared him. And Arthur’s brave. He doesn’t scare easily.” Deanna wiped the Pinot Gris from her chin and they both leaned forward to look at Arthur, who was sprawled artlessly on top of his dog bed and snoring loudly. Deanna smothered a giggle with the back of her hand and grabbed the bottle of wine.
“Just don’t confuse fantasy with reality. I think your job is messing you up.”
Deanna snorted. “Wolf’s Run is a just game, Nathan. I haven’t forgotten that.”
“Really? Because you’re talking about mysterious bodies torn up in the woods, and if that doesn’t sound like werewolves…”
Deanna gave Nathan a shove. “Ha, ha, very funny. I’m not like that weirdo who thinks that werewolves actually exist. It’s role-playing. Playing being the key word.”
For the most part, the players of Wolf’s Run were a good crowd—with the exception of one user who seemed to think that he actually was a werewolf. Apparently, he took offense to the game’s depictions of “his species,” considering them inaccurate and insulting. The rants had been going on for months, and the situation would have been laughable, except that in the last few weeks his posts had taken on a more threatening tone. Every time Deanna deleted his posts and blocked his username he simply created another account. The Wolf’s Run team didn’t want to block his IP address because IP addresses could be shared by a large number of people, and doing so might block legitimate players from the game. Besides, it was child’s play to circumvent a block by logging in from a third-party app or web service, or just logging in from a different location. Deanna could only shut him down and hope that this time he finally gave up.
“Well, then just accept that Arthur found a bunny rabbit or something and decided it would be a good idea to roll around in its mangled corpse.”
Deanna shook her head. “You didn’t see him. It was a lot of blood.” It had taken two desperately unpleasant baths and an entire bottle of shampoo to get Arthur clean. Deanna had had to scrub her bathtub three times before she’d felt comfortable using it again.
Nathan grabbed her hand with his long, thin fingers. “Listen, you’re my best friend, and I love you, and I’m sure that it was really terrifying, but I’m also one hundred percent sure that you are blowing this way out of proportion. No more fantasy werewolf role playing nonsense for you.”
“Until my shift starts in…” Deanna tapped the screen of her phone. “Ten hours.”
“Until then,” Nathan agreed and clinked their glasses. “Now, tell me more about your hot neighbor.”
Deanna buried her head in her hands and groaned. “It’s awful. She’s gorgeous. And I can’t think around her. Or speak. I turn into a spluttering sixth grader with her first crush.”
“That’s disgusting and adorable. Tell me more. What’s her name?”
The Better to Kiss You With by Michelle Osgood
Release Date: April 21, 2016
Pages: 182 • Cover Artist: Monika Gross
Published By: Interlude Press
Interlude • Amazon • ARe • B&N • Smashwords • iBooks • Book Depository • Indiebound
Deanna, the moderator for Wolf’s Run, an online werewolf role-playing game, wanders the local forest with her dog Arthur and daydreams about Jaime, the attractive, enigmatic woman who lives upstairs. When threats from an antagonistic player escalate, Deanna wonders if her job could be riskier than she’d ever imagined—and if her new girlfriend knows more about this community than she had realized.
Tour Dates & Stops: