I met Jo Michaels several months ago when we both participated in a 28-day blog challenge and since then she's been on my list of authors to read. Finally I had a chance to read her and it's great that its at the beginning of the Mystic series, a young adult paranormal tale of strength from within.
Each story deals with a particular deep emotional problem, how did you choose the issues to give to each character?
I looked around at the world and considered what people are judged for. Things that really bring out the hate or fear in other people because they don't understand those things. I have friends with every issue I address in the books and I wanted to show my readers what kind of struggles people face before the cruelty is put on top of it. Add that on, and you have a pretty messed up person that's fighting a lot of personal demons. Putting a name or a face on an issue makes it more personal, and showing what someone else feels about things that happen to them (either by their own screw-ups or nature) is important to bringing forth understanding. I'm hoping to help people see there are two sides to every story. People that are different from you or me aren't bad; they're just different. It doesn't mean they need to be judged, feared, or hated.
Even though the stories deal with women in their teens, I've noticed that cigarettes are very prevalent in their lives, especially Markaza's. Is there a certain significance to this habit?
A few of the girls don't smoke: Lily, Melody, and Shelia (who does it a few times while telling her story but it's very out of character). Markaza does it to help with the stress. She started when she had her first vision and never quit. Truth be told, a lot of teens do it and a lot of teens don't. I just want my characters to feel very real and, sometimes, real people smoke. But no, there's no significance to it.
From glimpses Markaza has seen on her crystal ball and dreams, it looks like the thing to battle will be a physical monster of some sorts. Can you say anything more on that?
It's a physical monster that's the embodiment of something prevalent in the world that grows stronger every day. When the girls pick up on what it is, they'll have an idea of how to defeat it. Can't include the spoiler! But what I can say is: Once you, the reader, realize what it is, you'll see it alive all around you. It may very well terrify you when you see how much it encompasses your life without you knowing it. My call to action is: Do something about it. It's all about the small things we do every day that make a difference.
So far I'm picturing WSTW (Women Save The World) as The Justice League. Once everyone is together and ready to go, will they have super hero type costumes?
That's an awesome comparison! While costumes could be cool, I think these ladies are unique enough without them. Adding costumes wouldn't make sense because we're celebrating their individuality.
Will the whole story be told in a series of novellas or will there be a novel at the end?
Bronya, Lily, Shelia, Melody, and Coralie are all novellas. Markaza (book six) will be a full length novel because it will tell her story as well as the final battle.
Will there be a story dedicated to Markaza?
Yes and no. You'll find out about her in book six but you'll also get the story of the battle and how these chicks kick butt and take names. It won't be done the way you may think and there's a scene in Shelia that will bring you closer to understanding what it is they have to do to win.
How often do you plan to publish the rest of the stories?
Every two months. Shelia will be released 12/21/12, Melody in February, Coralie in April, and Markaza in June.
You can read the review of the series or connect with Jo through the following sites:
|Author Jo Michaels|