Book blurb:Natalie is lost. Physically and spiritually. She has no family, few friends, and the only boy she ever loved had just rejected her.
When she finds a tearoom in the middle of the woods, she has no idea that her desire for a strong, sweet cup of tea will change her life forever.
Her journey begins when she steps through the Doorway to PAM.
As an introduction, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live in England, though originally I'm from South Wales. I have many creative hobbies, like scrapbooking, steampunkery, photography, knitting, sewing and creating mixed media art. I have had many, many different jobs, in all different areas. I have worked in offices, shops, kitchens, restaurants, schools, colleges, but I have yet to find a vocation that fits me as well as writing novels does. I love movies, and have a huge DVD collection. When I write, I see every scene as if it's a movie, so would love for my books to be made into movies one day. I love travelling, and lived in New York for ten months a couple of years ago. My plan is to travel around Europe in a VW camper van, and write novels as I go.
What is your book about?
The Doorway to PAM is about a place that people find when they are at their lowest. Whatever their circumstances, if they feel they cannot carry on living any longer, they will magically find themselves at Pam's. It is here that they will find the spark that will reignite their passion for life and set them back on the right track. The book follows the life of one girl in particular who finds herself at Pam's, having lost everyone she loves.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing creatively for myself when I was eight years old, and I wrote my first poem. I wrote poetry for many years, most of the time, the lines would come to me just as I was drifting to sleep at night. I wrote short stories as well, and when I was sixteen, I wrote a novella called Heaven Dot Com. I didn't write anything other than my diary for about eight years, then I began writing novels.
What genre do you prefer to write in?
To be honest, I write whatever comes into my head, but my books are usually quite spiritual, I named them Spi-Fi (Spiritual Fiction). They deal with life after death, angels, faeries, alternate dimensions among other things. I believe that I am more of a Spiritual Secretary than an Author, as when I write, the words flow through me onto the screen before I've even had a chance to think them. Many times I have read through my writing and have had no memory of writing it.
What is your biggest writing achievement to date?
Writing my first full length novel. I wrote it in two months, and it was the longest piece of writing I had ever done. Up until then I wasn't sure if I was capable of writing an entire novel. The day the proof copy arrived through the post was amazing, I couldn't believe that I had written a book.
What inspired you to write this book?
As with most of my writing, this book started out as a scene in my head, of a young girl who felt completely lost in her life coming across a tearoom in the woods. I knew that when she entered the door, it would change her life. I jotted down a couple of ideas, and then just started writing. I began this book as part of Nanowrimo in 2009, but I didn't finish it in that month, it took me quite a while to finish writing due to all the many distractions in my life at the time. I find the Nanowrimo method to be incredibly productive though, and it's how I try to write all of my novels.
Who is your favourite author, and what is it about their work that strikes a chord with you?
My favourite author of all time has to be L.J Smith. I started reading her books when they were first published about 15 years ago, and they provided a wonderful escape from the dreariness that was school. I used to hide in the library and read The Secret Circle. I loved her worlds of witches, werewolves, vampires and shapeshifters. The Night World introduced me to the idea of soulmates, and I still occasionally read her books now.
What book are you reading now, and would you recommend it?
I am currently reading The Secret to Instant Healing by Frank J. Kinslow, and I would highly recommend it. I have been practising the methods and have found them to be very beneficial so far.
What are your current projects?
At the moment I am doing another edit of my first novel, The Earth Angel Training Academy, to remove a few typos that made their way through to publication. I am also in the process of finishing the sequel to it, called The Earth Angel Awakening, which will be published on the 1st June 2012. After that I will be writing and publishing my fourth novel, The Elphite, on the 1st December 2012. My aim is to write and publish two novels a year. I'm also planning on making book trailers for them as I did with The Doorway to PAM. (you can find it on Youtube)
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
I have to write using my netbook, I'm afraid pen and paper are no good to me because my hand cannot write as quickly as the words flow. Usually I sit on my bed, (bad for the posture, I know) or in the nicer weather I like to sit out on the deck in the sunshine and write. But to be honest, once I'm in the zone, it doesn't matter where I am or what's going on around me. As for when, I am more of a night person than a morning person, and I find that I have my best ideas after ten o'clock at night, which is not so good if I have to be up the next morning.
What would you say was the hardest part of writing your book?
I always find the characters names to be the hardest part of writing, there's usually quite mad reasons for my character names, for example, Natalie in the Doorway to PAM was named after the salt shaker on the kitchen table at the time! I needed a name and I looked down and saw 'Nat' (I think it said natural or something like that) on the label and so my main character was called Natalie.
Who designed your book cover – and was the cover something you deemed important?
The cover was interesting for this novel, because I was trying to design it without the title. The design and the title ended up arriving together in my mind, but before I could make the design a reality, I had a reading with an excellent psychic who told me that there would be 'a door opening for me in 2012', which I thought was a bit vague, until she went on to describe the door in great detail. What she described was the mental image I had for the cover of this book. I found the perfect door in Ross-on-Wye, England, and asked their permission to photograph it, and the woods that are layered on top are the woods that surround my home. I then used Photoshop to layer the photos and create the light coming through the doorway. I do think that the cover is an important part of a book, I must admit, I do actually judge books by their covers.
Did you try to go down the route of traditional publishing first – or did you feel that self-publishing was right for you from the beginning?
I self-published my novella, Heaven Dot Com, in 2007, mainly because I wanted to see it in book form and I didn't think that any publisher would be interested in publishing it due to the length. When I started thinking about publishing The Earth Angel Training Academy, I did at first think of going down the traditional route, and submitted queries to my favourite publishers and a couple of agents that I followed the blogs of. After waiting several months for replies, and then receiving rejections, I decided that I didn't want to waste any more time and that I should just do it myself. It still took me a year after that to actually publish it, but I am glad that I did, because I liked the fact that I retained control over the manuscript and the cover.
On the whole, how have you found self-publishing?
The steepest learning curve for me has been the marketing and promotion side of things. I'm learning every day, and I know I have a lot more yet to learn. I suppose my biggest fear was that people wouldn't see it as being 'real' publishing, because I did it all myself. But in actual fact, I have found that people are far more impressed that I published it myself, than if I had done it traditionally. There is a lot of work involved in self-publishing, not to mention a lot of self-belief required, but I think it's more than worth it.
Where can we buy the book?
The Doorway to PAM is available on Kindle (UK, US, FR etc.) and also as a paperback from Completelynovel.com.
Do you have a website or blog where we can keep tabs on you?
I have a website – www.michellegordon.co.uk and a blog – eata.wordpress.com.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Have belief in yourself, if you have the desire to write, then you are a writer. The most important thing to do is to write because you love to, and not because you think it's a good way to make money!
And, finally, do you have anything else that you’d like to say to everyone?
Enjoy life, love and laugh as much as you can, and if you do decide to buy my book, please please please leave me a review on Amazon!