Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interview: Michele Kallio, author of Betrayal

Author Bio: Michele Kallio is a former teacher/librarian and retired medical office manager. She lives with her physician husband, David, and their ten year old golden retriever, Sara, on the shores of New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, in Canada.

What inspires your story?

The search for knowledge. Researching a book, especially one of historical fiction, opens new horizons and inspires new ways of thinking about what we think we know of history. I believe that learning is an everyday experience; that life is the greatest teacher. To share knowledge is my inspiration. I believe that learning should be painless, not a recitation of dates but an understanding of people and their everyday lives.

What genre do you gravitate toward and why?

Definitely factual history and historical fiction. I enjoy reading about almost every time period and place. I believe that the old saying that ‘we must learn from history or we are doomed to repeat it’ is very true. I read history to learn about people and places, to better understand where we came from and where we might be going. Although Tudor history is my favourite, I enjoy almost all aspects of English history. I also enjoy a good mystery where the author keeps me guessing until the very last page.

What are your work habits like?

I would like to write everyday, but sometimes that is not possible. On the other hand it is not unusual for me to write several chapters in one sitting.

What do you consider your best work?

BETRAYAL is the result of 15 years of research, writing and rewriting. Since it is my first published work, other than poetry, I must say it is my best so far.

Do you plot out your novel in advance or write on the fly?

BEYTRAYAL was definitely written on the fly, while the MUSE was whispering incessantly in my ear. I do, however, try to do full biographies of my characters, although they do not always stay in character or behave the way I want them to.

What experience do you want for your readers?

I want them to learn new things, new ways of thinking, painlessly, while engrossed in the story. I want them to say, ‘I didn’t know that’ and dive right back into the story.

Are any of the character traits or settings based on real life?

Yes, I worked as a medical office manager for twenty-five years and I used that setting for my modern day characters. My husband, a physician, also practiced medical hypnosis for years and I have drawn on his experience and practices for my novel. Since my novel is historical fiction I have visited all of the places in the novel to be sure it was geographically correct. Even the fictional settings are based on local geography.

What are your most significant challenges when you write?

Like many beginning authors, I suffered from a lack of belief in my ability to write a good story. Access to research materials was another challenge, although I now own the largest private library of Tudor books in Eastern Canada.

What are you currently working on?

As requested by many readers of BETRAYAL, I am now working on the prequel, or back story, of my modern protagonist’s family and the mystery that surrounds them.

Do you have any advice you would like to give aspiring authors?

Yes, I would like to quote an unknown author whose writings I once found in a magazine for writers:

“Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.”

I would also like to say Never let anyone steal your dream, not friends, not family. It is your vision, your dream to write. Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

BETRAYAL is published by iuniverse and available online at:


Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Barnes and Noble


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