Author Interview with French Enthusiast Michele Israel Harper

I am beyond delighted to be participating in today’s blog tour!

I still remember Michele Israel Harper sharing not only a cover of her latest release (which is the highlight of today’s post), but also eagerly wanting to get my hands on it as she shared updates over time.

Her biggest update?

Kill the Beast is officially in the book world!

If you love Beauty and the Beast, you are not going to want to miss this retelling. Grab a cup of coffee and come join Michele’s and I chat about history, beast hunters, and French food!

About the Book

Kill the BeastRo remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.

Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive—just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known. But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill. Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him. But things are not as they seem.

Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.

A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

Let’s Chat!

– Hi Michele! I am SO excited to be chatting with you today! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?

Thank you so much for having me today, Laura! I am thrilled to be featured on your blog for my blog tour and chat about my new release, Kill the Beast. Oh goodness, three words to describe myself. Driven. Shy. Giggly.

Driven: I work so hard to make my business a success, sometimes to the point of extreme burnout or to the neglect of my own writing. I want my authors to succeed, and I adore being the acquisitions editor for L2L2 Publishing. Finding balance can be so difficult, but I am slowly realizing that to be able to do this for the long haul, to be able to make this my life’s work, I have to make time for me, take care of my body, and sometimes say no!

Shy: If you see me at a conference or a local event and I don’t seem to recognize you, come say hi! I love chatting with my readers and other authors, but sometimes I am so shy, it’s hard for me to be the first one to say hello. Also, I am terrible at remembering names, so I may be trying to remember or not wanting to offend by getting it wrong.

Giggly: Yes, I have been called “giggles” a time or two (I’m looking at you, Amy Brock McNew), because I dearly love to laugh, and I want others to find joy in life and have just as much fun as I do. Our Creator made this life for us to live to its fullest, we only get one life on this earth, and He wants us to enjoy it while changing this world for Him. So have fun!

– I can soooo relate about being driven because I am too! Working on balance seems like a daily thing. Haha! You mention in your author bio that you have a degree in history. I had no idea! What inspired you to get that degree? (Maybe something to do with your love for all things French? *winks*)

Oh my goodness, I love history! I always thought I would become an archaeologist, so history seemed like the perfect stepping stone to get my master’s degree in archaeology. That didn’t quite work out as planned, but my thesis in order to graduate was on Joan of Arc and French history in the 1400s. I also loved historical fiction, so when I first began writing in 2010, I thought I would be a historical novelist. Not so! All of my stories have a fantastical bent to them, whether Supernatural, Paranormal, or Fairy Tale Retellings. (Sci-fi is next. Lol!)

Kill the Beast is the first book I have had to do extensive historical research, and oh my goodness, I loved it! Not everything could be historically accurate, but I tried to ground my story world in as many historical facts as possible while twisting it to fit my fairy tale world.

– Wow! That is so cool to learn you wanted to be an archaeologist. I truly had no idea and love how Kill the Beast has a historical feel. 🙂 You also mention in your bio that you sleep sometimes. Does that mean coffee is your go-to in helping you staying awake during the day? ;)

I work best late, late at night, so I will often give up sleep to get projects done. Especially if I’m writing! I often lose myself in my story and jump when my husband’s alarm goes off—the next morning. Those are some hard days, full of zombie-like shuffling around and grunts, but oh, is it worth it.

And coffee! I can’t stand how it tastes, but since I had it for the first time at Book Expo America 2015—oh my goodness, does it work!—I may have become something of an addict. But again, balance! I try not to have any on the weekends and only one cup on the days I don’t have a looming deadline. So that’s good, right? (We’re not counting the 8-10 cups I’ve been known to consume during release weeks or when editing projects are due. I don’t recommend it!)

– Ouch! That just sounds rough thinking about it! Yeah, and we don’t have to talk about the other cups of coffee consumed. 😉 Hehe! Congrats on your latest novel, Kill the Beast! Since it’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling, what is your favorite part of the original fairy tale?

Oh goodness, I love the magical mirrors that show no reflection but are powered by magical optic cables so Beauty can see the operas and plays of the world without leaving the Beast’s château. When I read that for the first time, my jaw dropped, and I had to check when the book was written again. (In 1740. The first televisions were invented in the 1920s.) Isn’t it amazing that we now have televisions, exactly what Madame Villeneuve described in her book almost two hundred years before they were invented? Wow! I wonder if she had any idea her fantastical idea would one day come true?

– I feel in total shock! That sounds incredibly awesome and is awesome with what she described now being a reality. 😮 Speaking of awesome, in Beast Hunter, the prequel to Kill the Beast, readers get a great feel that Ro is going to be a fairly epic beast hunter. What are three skills or items you think every beast hunter needs?

For Ro, she definitely needs her crossbow. It is powerful, and she has brought down many a fell creature with it. She’s not opposed to a bow and arrows, and she loves having throwing knives as a backup. But she can use anything as a weapon, really—except when the sorceress Magic takes everything away that could possibly be used as a weapon. She just wants to complete her job and take the beast’s head to her employer. Is that too much to ask?

– It would be really cool to learn how to use a crossbow! (Though I wouldn’t mind learning how to use a bow or throwing knives. Haha!) I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with? What would you guys do?

Oh goodness, I would want to hang out with Wisdom from my book, Wisdom & Folly: Sisters. As a master craftsman at the Lord’s side and with the wisdom of the ages, she would be fascinating to learn from. I would have so many questions for her!

I think I would love to hang out at her study and library in the clouds, but I’m terrified of heights, and that glass floor might be too much for me! But I love my Kindle, so those thin, transparent, glass-sheet books that roll up into scrolls would be lovely to see in person. I might even beg her to let me take one home. 😉

And if you meant a Kill the Beast character (which I am just now realizing you might have meant instead of choosing from all of my characters), it would have to be the Queen of the Fairies. Especially since she can bestow powers upon anyone she chooses! Or, say, provide counter-curses for unfortunate young princes who happen to offend sorceresses . . .

– Eeeekk! I would love to hang out with Wisdom too and totally just experience her world for reasons you mentioned. Plus, I love the joy she brings to those around her. <3 Lastly, I know earlier this year you went to France. If you could celebrate the release of Kill the Beast with a traditional meal from France, what would you make or serve?

Oh my word, the food in Paris! There is nothing quite like it. It is so fresh, so free of preservatives and junk, I had no idea what I was missing till I took the first bite. And nothing is crazy salty or too sweet! Oh, this is a hard question.

Um . . . all of it? Lol! I think I would have freshly baked baguettes with slices of cheese and meat, croissants, café (coffee), macarons, crêpes, fresh fruit, and fresh-fruit tarts so guests could sample all of my favorites. And well, if it was catered by a French chef, I would let him or her choose whatever they desired, because French chefs are absolute geniuses in the kitchen! There was nothing I disliked, and I love to try new things.

– Now I want to go visit Paris so I can experience all this deliciousness! Haha! Thank you so much for chatting with me, Michele! 

Thank you so much for having me today, Laura! I am so honored you wanted to be a part of my blog tour.

In Him,

Michele

About the Author

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête— and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author ofWisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the years to come. Visit www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com to learn more about her.

Facebook Party Tonight!

Come celebrate Michele Israel Harper’s newest release, Kill the Beast, with her and I at her online Facebook party! She has lots of prizes and behind-the-scenes peeks into her huntress’s story world. Cannot wait to see you there!

>>> RSVP HERE <<<

Blog Tour Schedule

  • Monday, Sept. 17th, Guest Post: “Fairies in the World of Kill the Beast,” Pam Halter, www.pamhalter.com/fairiesfantasyfaith
  • Monday, Sept. 17th, Review of Kill the Beast,” Cathy Jeppsen, www.mybookaday.com
  • Tuesday, Sept. 18th, “Review of Kill the Beast,” Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com
  • Wednesday, Sept. 19th, Guest Post: “French Inspiration Behind Kill the Beast,” J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com
  • Thursday, Sept. 20th, Visual Post: “The Châteaux of Kill the Beast,” Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com
  • Thursday, Sept. 20th, Visual Post: “The Characters of Kill the Beast,” Christina Morley, www.abooksandmore.blogspot.com
  • Friday, Sept. 21st, Behind-the-Scenes Feature: “Kill the Beast: It Only Took Four Years,” Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com
  • Saturday, Sept. 22nd, “Review of Kill the Beast,” Rachel Poli, www.rachelpoli.com
  • Saturday, Sept. 22nd, “Kill the BeastExcerpt,” Mehsi S., https://twirlingbookprincess.com
  • Sunday, Sept. 23rd, “Interview with Author Michele Israel Harper,” Jebraun Clifford, www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com
  • Monday, Sept. 24th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature: “The Story Behind Beast Hunter,” Jannette Fuller, www.jannettefuller.com/blog
  • Monday, Sept. 24th, Guest Post: “Kill the Beast: A Beauty and the BeastRetelling,” Jaye L. Knight, www.jayelknight.blogspot.com
  • Tuesday, Sept. 25th, Release-Day Post: “Kill the BeastReleases Today!” Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com
  • Wednesday, Sept. 26th, “Review of Kill the Beast: Why I Identify with the Beast,” Cathrine Bonham, www.cobonham.com
  • Thursday, Sept. 27th, “Author Interview with French Enthusiast Michele Israel Harper,” Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com <— You are here!
  • Friday, Sept. 28th, “Kill the BeastExcerpt,” Teresa Beasley, www.arbookcorner.wordpress.com
  • Friday, Sept. 28th, Visual Post: “Kill the Beast: Fashion in 18thCentury France,” Lea Doué, www.leadoue.com
By | 2018-09-13T21:49:23+00:00 September 27th, 2018|Author Interview|2 Comments

About the Author:

Laura A. Grace has a thrilling obsession with supporting her favorite authors. From hosting blog tours to throwing virtual parties, she's always seeking new ways to spread the book love. More than once her handsome ninja husband has heard the squeals of a late night fangirl as she reads a new plot twist or hears from her author friends. She and her family live in North Carolina, where they wield plastic lightsabers and keep an eye out for wandering unicorns.

2 Comments

  1. Michele Israel Harper September 27, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this lovely post, Laura! It was an honor to chat with you, and I am thrilled about this blog tour. Thank you, dear!

    • Laura A. Grace September 28, 2018 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Thank you so much for letting me chat with you and celebrate the release of Kill the Beast! Let me know when we’re going to Paris! 😉

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