Interview with Michelle Ermens

This week I am delighted to be featuring Michelle Ermens, whose new book The Essence of Magic is launched today! Get your copy now! It's on a special introductory price until 6th April, so don't miss out.

Tell me more about your book? 

In The Essence of Magic, we follow Thera, who has always known that she’s different from her loving, human family. But if she isn’t human, that would make her a special, and they haven’t been seen in human territory for hundreds of years.

After a visit from a masked stranger who warns her of danger and an attack on her village, Thera is forced to flee with her mother and two younger siblings. They end up with no other choice than to enter special territory, a dangerous place filled with strange creatures and magic. Thera’s only chance to protect her family might be to get some magic of her own.

Often, in young adult books, the family of the main character is either absent or not very loving, but I wanted to go in the opposite direction. Thera’s mom and younger brother and sister play a big role in the book. She loves them more than anything and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do to protect them.

What prompted you to write it?

It actually all started because I had a good idea for a character, the masked stranger, and the more I thought about him, the more an entire story evolved in my head. Even though this character didn’t end up being the protagonist.

My books often start like that, with one good character, or sometimes just one good line, and then something big grows from that.

What are you working on at the moment? Are there already plans for the next book after this one?

I just finished writing all six books in the Magic’s Source series, so at the moment I’m going through them, rewriting and refining them. I hope to publish the entire series this year.

I also started a new series in the same universe. I can’t give away anything about it yet, but the story doesn’t completely end with the last book in the Magic’s Source series.

When did you first start writing? And what made you start?

I started writing when I was a little kid. I loved reading more than anything else, it was my way to escape from the real world, and the more I read, the more I realized that I had a lot of stories and a lot of incredible places and characters inside me too, so I started writing them down. First just pen to paper, often in between my homework, and later, thankfully, on a computer. But I still have all those notebooks with short scenes and old ideas and sometimes I love to look through them so they can give me new ideas.

What was the first full-length novel you ever wrote? (I realise this may not be the same as the first book you have had published!)

The first full-length novel I wrote was called Souls of the Air. I wrote it when I was fourteen and I still love it to this day. It was never published, of course, but I do plan to rewrite it one day and make an entire series out of it. It was filled with dragons, which I love, so I can’t just forget about it.

Which is your favourite secondary character in your book, and why is it your favourite?

My favourite secondary character is probably Corean. He is a young boy part of a monstrous clan of specials, so he looks rather monstrous himself, but he longs to be different. He loves to read and learn, he’s incredibly sweet, can never stop talking, and is awkward around other people, which I think is adorable.

Where is your ideal writing space?

Rather than one ideal writing space, I would love to travel the world while writing my books. I hope that dream comes true one day, but until then, I usually just write behind my desk or outside in the garden when it’s sunny.

What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given? (not necessarily writing-related!)

If there’s something you really want to do, then you should do it. Even if it fails, that’s still better than not trying at all. Ten or fifty years from now, you’ll definitely regret the things you didn’t do more than the things that didn’t work out.

And now for some more random questions... 

What’s your radio tuned to most often?

Pop music, probably. When I’m not listening to the radio, it’s often musical numbers, Disney songs, or older songs that I know by heart and that I can sing along with.

You’re stranded on an island. You can choose one of the following three things. Which do you choose and why?
1. Limitless supply of paper and pens.
2. A computer which will never run out of battery and which can access the internet, but you can’t post anything/get help via it, only read what others have put up.
3. An endless supply of loo roll. 

Number 1! My two favourite things to do are writing and drawing, so with endless paper and pens, I’ll never get bored when I’m alone on an island.

You can only wear one of the following colours for the rest of your life. Which colour do you choose?
Yellow. Orange. Green. White. Pink. Green. 

I usually only wear black or blue, so green comes closest to that.

Cats or dogs?

Cats all the way! We have the most adorable calico cat at home called Jasmine.

City or country?

I’ve lived in both and I have to say that for now, I’d prefer the city because it has more going on and everything is close by. But later in life I do see myself living in the country because it has a lot more room and green.

Real book or e-book?

Nothing beats the feel and scent of a real book in my opinion, but I do have an e-reader because it’s too heavy to bring real books with me everywhere I go. (I did a five hour hike once with an 800 page book in my backpack and I do not recommend it!)

Fountain pen or biro?

Biro. It’s a lot more convenient and I write a lot faster with it. Plus, I love clicking or twisting the end of the pen while I’m thinking about what to write.

Thanks very much for letting me bombard you with questions!

You can catch up with Michelle at all the following places:


Get The Essence of Magic here (US) or here (UK)

And don't forget to check out Michelle's book Lucky.

US readers click here
UK readers click here