Author Interview (Writers): Michelle Muto

And we’re back! Today’s author interview is again with the amazing Michelle Muto, author of The Book of Lost Souls and Don’t Fear the Reaper. To read the review of Book of Lost Souls, please read here. And pretty soon I’ll have a review up for Don’t Fear the Reaper, too! In the meantime, let’s ask Michelle her advice for indie publishing and other fun information!

What was your process for your book from creation to publication? How long did this take?

I loosely outlined the story, then built character profiles for the main group before sitting down to write the first draft. Several revisions followed since The Book of Lost Souls was under consideration from a NY agency for a well over a year. But, in the end, another writer decided to write a story about a teen witch and that ended that. The Book of Lost Souls was trunked for months before I decided to go indie, so from the first draft to publication was well over two years.

Would you recommend self-publishing to aspiring indie authors?

I think it’s a personal choice. I’m not pro one and against the other. I do think that all authors should carefully weigh their options. And never sign away their rights, should they decide to go the traditional route. Get a intellectual property lawyer to look over any contracts.

How the hell do you balance everything? Family, friends, everyday activities, work, AND writing?

Not well, if you ask my husband. Sleepless nights? Tumbleweeds the size of rabbits in the house from time to time? Lots of dinners just thrown together, that’s for sure.

I have three series rambling around in my head (Ivy, Reaper, a new/old one one), plus one stand-alone novel. It’s pretty crazy right now.

Tell us how the book cover came into existence—was it a hands on process, did you know the initial look you wanted, etc?

I was new to indie land and had no idea what I really wanted. A book, something mysterious – but everything else? No clue. I spent days looking through photos and artwork before stumbling across the current cover picture. Lucky for me, I also discovered my cover designer, Sam Torode, who helped with the final product.

What do you think every writer should know?

That you are never the writer that you will be tomorrow. Practice, practice, practice. Always look to improve your craft.

What are the next big plans for you in regards to your writing?

Finish the book at hand, revise an older manuscript, and stay busy with Ivy’s next novel – oh, and Reaper’s new book, too.

Michelle, thanks again for being a part of this and helping out with such great answers! You can buy her books “The Book of Lost Souls” and “Don’t Fear the Reaper” on Amazon and be sure to give her a review and let everyone know what you think!


Author Interview (Readers): Michelle Muto

Today we’re interviewing Michelle Muto, the author of The Book of Souls and Don’t Fear the Reaper. If you’d like to read my review on the fantastic Book of Souls book, please check that out here. And now without further ado!

What was your inspiration behind The Book of Souls?

I wanted something fun to read. I recall that the great Toni Morrison once said, “If you want to read something that hasn’t yet been written, you must write it.”

Who would play Ivy? Nick? Raven and Shayde? And especially Spike the lizard turned human?
Maybe Scarlett Johansen for Ivy.

I’m not too sure who’d play everyone else. I’d LOVE to hear who readers think would play Spike. I need some gorgeous guy who’s a bit off the wall funny in a naïve sort of way.

(Blogger’s Note: Because Spike is cute and blonde and because I watched a cute, blonde kid in a movie last night, my vote’s on “X-Men: First Class” actor, Lucas Till, who played Havok. He’s adorable and by my research (and by that I mean Google), he seems like a fun kid who can show off a silly side. Let’s show a photo:)

What do you think makes Ivy different from other teen witches?

I’d say that the whole story has a lighter, more fun feel to it. So much YA is dark these days. I wanted Ivy’s story to be unusual, a little crazy.

Please, oh please, explain Devlin (the cutest supernatural pet ever)—your inspiration, your favorite passage he’s in, if you can include him in all your other books…

He’s going to be in ALL of Ivy’s stories. The inspiration is actually my own dog, Ronan. Well, except for the fire breathing part, he’s darn close to Devlin himself. I had already dubbed Ronan a Beezlepup years ago. He’s always into mischief. Favorite passage? I think my favorite is when Devlin is hiding under the bed when Spike first disappeared from the guest bedroom. Or, maybe the scene where he’s trying to get Midnight down from the tree.

Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite passage from the book?

The scene at the end when Ivy and Nick’s walk out of the building together.

Do you have more plans for Ivy and her friends?

I do! Things have gotten a little more serious in Northwick, but don’t worry. There is still a lot of craziness from the crew.

Where can readers find their own copy?

Currently, they can find it on Amazon (who has it on exclusive until the end of April. Then, Ivy and company will be available on B&N and even iTunes!

Amazon US:
Amazon UK:
Print versions outside the US – CreateSpace:

Readers can always connect with me on:
My Blog:

(She’s also on Goodreads here)

Michelle, thanks for agreeing to be on my blog! I can’t wait to read the next installment for the Ivy MacTavish series, in addition to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and all your other great books. Don’t forget, we’ll have her author interview for writers up on Friday so check back for Michelle’s indie publishing tips as well as her advice to every aspiring author.

Book Review: The Book of Lost Souls, Michelle Muto

What a fun, enjoyable read! I sat down to read a chapter or two and wound up finishing the whole thing in a couple hours. Michelle Muto does a fantastic job of writing us into a world that’s both believable and fantastical. Ivy and her friends live in Northwick, a magical area that serves for both Kindreds (magical beings) and Regulars (humans) who coexist peacefully within the community (well, for the most part). I loved the relationship between the two groups–Regulars put up with Kindreds because it keeps their community smoothly-run while Kindreds don’t gnaw on them and are discreet with their magic. While we don’t meet many Regulars, I appreciated that Muto wrote it out that way–we know how their world works without meeting too many characters (because there are already a bunch of great ones to remember anyways!)

We open to page 1 to immediately find magic–I love where Muto introduces us. It’s clear Ivy MacTavish, our 16 year old–well, almost 17 in the spring–protagonist, is used to a little adventure with her magic. We get to meet Shayde and Raven, Ivy’s two best friends (and a werewolf and vampire, respectively), who I really come to love as the story continues. Shayde is the level-headed, logical one, while Raven is impetuous and adventurous, making it very balanced on each side of Ivy’s shoulders. (Shayde’s also the one you want to smack you back into reality when you’re being a ridiculous teenage girl.) Anywho. We first meet Ivy, who is desperate for a date to make the popular, cute boy at school notice her. Her plan? Change a lizard into her date for a Halloween dance, put him in tights, and make everyone jealous. Yeah, right! Naturally, it implodes in an epic way. The dance falls apart and Spike the lizard-turned-human, escapes dressed as Romeo.

No one is powerful enough to transform Spike the lizard back except Ivy, which sparks the rumor: Like father, like daughter. Ivy’s father, who left when she was seven, was involved in extremely dark magic. Ivy, who has spent her life avoiding comparisons to her father to no avail, is now faced with even bigger problems: someone is using an evil spell book to bring back history’s most dangerous killers–and Ivy’s got Book 1 of 2 from the set. A creepy, black magic tool, this book beckons to her, appealing to the dark magic within her. Ivy’s plan to set things right: find the real dark spell caster, steal the book, and reverse the spell. The cherry on top of her supernatural sundae? Nick, the school’s hottest bad boy and resident demon, offers both help and a date for Ivy. She must figure out whom to trust and how to save herself and her town before the week’s up. Oh, and turn that damn Romeo back into a lizard plus figure out her boy situation. There’s a bit on her plate, but the best laid plans turned hijinks make for excellent giggles for the readers.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that I think Muto really did a great job of saving the story from becoming too cute or where it felt too young for me. There were hilarious moments between the group chasing Spike the lizard-turned-man and the mischievous hijinks that ensue around Ivy, but Muto helped keep it grounded when Ivy is reminded of the pain over her father leaving her family. Having that bit of reality in Ivy’s life, I think, grounds her into a believable character. Ivy is also spunky and clever; she uses a few tricks on Tara, her nemesis, which I wish I could do in real life to some people I know 😉

Her group of friends is fantastic. She’s got vampires and werewolves for best friends (who truly look out for her and would never dream of betrayal) and her love interest (well, one of them anyways) is a demon. The scenes between Nick and Ivy were great–believable, frustrating, and to the point where I wanted to hop in the story and tell them both that they’re dummies and need to kiss and make up! I loved Nick’s cool demeanor, yet Muto does a great job of showing his vulnerabilities as well as his emotions toward Ivy.

I will note that Muto writes this book as “An Ivy MacTavish novel, Book 1” which means there is at least one (but hopefully several) more books to come for our young protaganist and her group of misfit friends. We have a pretty open ending that, if Muto chooses, should reveal more of Ivy’s father and his past, Ivy’s future, as well as any shenanigans that are bound to entertain. I can’t wait to get my copy!

You can buy your own copy of The Book of Lost Souls on Amazon here.

Michelle Muto fans, check back here on Wednesday and Friday of this week to check out Muto’s author interviews!