Michelle Hardin is a dreamer from a town called Warrensburg in the Heart of the United States…Missouri. She is a graduate of Columbia College with a Bachelor’s in Psychology that she hugs close to her heart every night before bed. Michelle Hardin is a thinker. Her love and addiction to the romance genre began when she read 50 Shades of Grey on a dare. After she read that sexy little masterpiece, she immersed herself in everything Romance and became an avid reader.

For a while Michelle wondered if she could write a novel, if she could tell a captivating story. And one day-after her sister told her to just do it already, she decided to try it out. She started writing a story about a girl named Keira that just entered college and would eventually fall in love with the son of a mafia boss. Then she scrapped it. She restarted it and began a story about the tortured son of a Mafia boss that falls in love with a waitress from a small town. She scrapped that one too. Finally she began Dangerous Beauty. The story started off as “the son of a Mafia boss meets girl”, then it became the son of a Mafia boss meets the Daughter of a hit-man. And thus her passion for writing began.

Michelle spends her days writing novels and planning for the future. She enjoys creating stories that entertain, shock, and pull heart strings. Dangerous Beauty was the first chance she took at writing and she hopes with all her little heart that people enjoy reading her books as much as she enjoys writing them

1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?

Well first, so excited to be doing this interview and answering your questions! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Writing became another passion of mine the moment I first put pen to paper to write my first novel. I just went right in. No outline, no plan; I just started writing, and as the words flowed out of me, I knew that this, writing, was something that I was meant to be doing. It just came so naturally. I finally had a way to truly explore and express my wild imagination. This is also what I love most about fiction writing. The freedom I have to explore the depths of my limitless imagination. I love my genre so much because there are so may different ways to tell a love story whether it be in an action, drama, or comedic style I have the option to explore many different story telling avenues.

2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?

Absolutely! I love talking about my stories. They are wild and passionate romances between beautifully complex wild, and passionate people. My first series is a Mafia romance theme about love between a Mafia Boss’s son and a Hit Man’s daughter. The first three stories center around them, and then we venture off into the lives of the secondary characters. The Dangerous Beauty Series is the most popular series I have going at the moment, but I am currently exploring other paths and series possibilities and I’m incredibly excited about the future.

More about me and my work can be found all over the internet. You can visit me at my website michellehluvs.com, my Instagram @michellehluvs77, or my Facebook fan page @AuthorMichelleH . Also Amazon!! Just enter Michelle Hardin and my whole line up will pop up. All my stories are currently available on Kindle Unlimited!

3) What projects are you currently working on?

I have so many up and coming goodies that I’m dying to drop for readers! My long awaited second book in my Love Stories Series. A new Mafia related gem entitled The Boss’s Daughter. And of course, the next super-novel in my popular bestselling series Dangerous Beauty. This book will be Part Six in the series and will not be the final as many think; there will still be more to come!

4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?

I would say my most significant achievement thus far in my writing career is my back to back best seller status. Currently every book that I have released has been a best seller, one even making it to the Amazon top 100. Its truly exhilarating watching your books climb the charts! One of the most exciting and scary parts of release day.

In the next five years? Well, I will still be on the charts, but under some dream publishers I have. The dream is to first be published by Harlequin Romance (for my grandmother. She’s a big fan). Also, I want to be signed by my dream agent and be published by one of the “Big 5” publishers. I will still self-publish but I have always wanted to be a hybrid author. This is what I see happening for me over the course of the next five years.

5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?

I’d like to say that I have dealt with it with grace and class for the most part, but we all fall short. I do my best not to allow rejection and harsh criticism to hold me back or cloud my dreams with negativity. It didn’t come naturally, I had to learn that skill. Thick skin, and optimism. I believe in myself. My time to truly shine the way I’m destined to will come soon. I just have to be ready for it. This is what I always challenge myself to remember.

6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?

I do not. My lack of organization is something that needs to be rectified as soon as possible (lol). Outlining is not something that I do currently by I have been told that it is a major help so I’m considering picking up the habit.

Because I write super-novels for the most part, a novel can take me anywhere from 3-6 months to write when I am absolutely focused on it. Longer if I’m being particularly picky.

7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?

Absolutely not! I got started pretty young at the age of 23, but I have plenty of friends who started later in life and are totally killin’ it! This industry is all about chance from what I see. Its about how good your product is and how much the readers wanna talk about it. How excited they are to spread the word! Age is not a factor in whether you succeed in this industry or not, I believe that wholeheartedly.

8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?

UGH!! This is so hard! Because the first book that ever got me in my feels was the first book that introduced me to romance. That was 50 shades! But my favorite author who constantly pulls at my heart strings with her story telling and unique writing style is Ancelli. Her story Not Always is one that I can never get enough of. Actually I can re-read every book she has ever published over and over and never get tired of them!

As for the book I’m currently reading though … (lol) I’m reading my own book. Loving Kyla. Book 1 in my Love Stories series. Love it!!

9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?

It’s funny you ask this …. ALL THE TIME!!! (LOL) Sometimes I’m just sitting back reading my stories like, dang!! Who wrote this! Couldn’t have been me, it’s so good! Now I know that sounds like I’m feelin’ myself, but I promise that’s not the case. Its humbling reading and enjoying my own work. I love that I love what I write. This is why I started writing in the first place, to put out stories that I want to read, and I accomplished that. I can’t get enough of that feeling of accomplishment. So, I read my own work often.

10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?

I love it! I especially love the call for diversity in mainstream romance! Because this is what I do! (lol) I have such diverse casts in my novels and all I want is for these characters to be loved and accepted for the amazing characters they are! I love to see the acceptance of my diverse characters in the publishing industry, and though I have faced a few challenges, the heavy positive feedback has encouraged me to continue my path to introduce more of what I want to see in mainstream romance.

11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?

My unique quality is my ability to be original and embrace that originality. I let my imagination run wild, and a run with it. I write stories in themes that have been explored, but still manage to create tales that have never been told before. I love that about my writing. I can read other authors work and still have my own voice.

Writing and connecting with my readers is what empowers me. I graduated with a degree is psychology and have a passion for helping people. So, whenever I’m able to use my writing to encourage and inspire the readers I truly feel like I’m operating in my purpose.

Thank you so so much for this. Truly one of the best conversations/interviews I’ve had in the longest time. I’m so grateful for the opportunity. This is has been so fun.