Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Apocalypse Gene by Suki Michelle & Carlyle Clark

Welcome to Authors Suki Michelle & Carlyle Clark


Suki Michelle is a life-long Chicagoan, happily divorced and still good friends with her Ex. She lives and writes with her soul-mate, Carlyle Clark. She has one beautiful daughter, Bree, who is the first reader and critic of The Apocalypse Gene, and without her input, it wouldn’t be nearly as cool! Suki’s other children are of the four-legged type, Dahlia, the German shepherd; Kilala the lazy calico chub-cat; and Koney, the tortoise-shell demon cat from the Seventh Ring.
Carlyle is a burly dude from San Diego. He can look menacing at a glance, but as soon as he opens his mouth – pure GEEK! Brilliant and always kind, Suki is eternally grateful for the day they met at an on-line writer’s workshop. They’ve been together for three years.
On the outside…Suki and Carlyle are totally disparate. On the inside…they are the REAL Neo-Twins. You’ll have to read The Apocalypse Gene to find out who the Neo-Twins are, but here’s a hint: They are twisted devils with mirror-melded auras.
As writers, Suki and Carlyle have complementary skill sets. He’s plot master and edgy dialoguer. Lyle is a huge fan of Japanese anime, and he draws upon this to choreograph fight scenes like no other. Suki can paint a character’s emo landscape and write fancy (hopefully not boring) descriptions. They both have vivid imaginations.


Night owl, or early bird?
Early bird, and I hate it! I envy anyone who has the ability to sleep in. Go to bed later, you say? Doesn’t work. When that very first bird-of-morning chirps, UP go my spring-loaded eyelids . . . so annoying because I LOVE to sleep.

One food you would never eat?
BRAINS. Is it even a food? Yes! My ex-husband used to cook calf brains with onions (hence the designation “ex”). I could never eat something that once contained thoughts of Mommy-Cow, Grass, and Sunshine.

What is your favorite quote?
“To knock a thing down when it is cocked at an arrogant angle is a deep delight of the blood” ~George Santayana

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
There is a lot of me in Olivya. She is a psychic girl who can see auras. While I have no such talent, I feel people’s vibes, sense their emotions, and every time I’ve doubted my intuition, I’ve been sorry. Olivya is much more perceptive than I because she actually “sees” emotions as colors. One major difference is that Olivya is tough. She tells it like is. I envy that about her and wrote her that way because I’m such as WUSSY.

What inspired you to become a writer?
The birth of my daughter filled me with such joy and unbearable love, I had to express those feelings or burst. That was when I wrote my first poem. I tweaked that thing for hours, deleted everything but the most essential and evocative words. What remained was a concentrated expression of love for that adorable little creature. I’ve been writing poetry ever since. In the last few years, at Carlyle’s insistence, I branched out into prose using the same principles of word economy – each must earn its right to live on the page. That’s one of the reasons it took three years for The Apocalypse Gene to be completed. I’m a compulsive tweaker.

What is your hidden talent?
If I ask a question about a television show I’m watching, the answer will magically appear IN THE SHOW precisely one second after I ask it. This is an uncanny yet utterly useless talent, though it never fails to amaze Carlyle.

How do you react to a bad review?
I run to my room, fling myself on my bed, and curl up in a fetal position for 30 seconds then I get up and run from room to room, screaming. I call Carlyle at work and tell him I no longer want to be a writer then I hang up, lurch to the bathroom and throw up. HOWEVER – once my heart rate settles, I come to realize that less-than-stellar reviews are inevitable because one simply cannot please everyone. I take solace in looking up all the brilliant, wonderful books I’ve loved and reading THEIR bad reviews. Also, a wide range of reviews represents a true sampling and can be trusted whereas a book with ONLY 5-star praises makes me suspect that the author’s family and friends were VERY busy. At this point, I’m happy to say that reviews of The Apocalypse Gene have largely been extremely positive.

What is one book everyone should read?
THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It’s a shockingly brilliant tiny little book that conveys so much wisdom and emotion in to such a simple little story. It’s the one book I don’t think anyone could read without being moved. If I weren’t so manly, my eyes might have teared up a bit. Might of . . .

Please tell us in one sentence only why we should read your book.
Because the three words that appear the most in both professional and amateur reviews are “thrilling”, “vivid” & “unique.”

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen?
THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING by T.H. White. It was the first novel I read that didn’t have pure “good” guys or “bad” guys. White put you in the position of each character and showed how they came to be who they are and why they believed what they believed and did what they did. It was probably my first taste of the complexity of the real world and I clearly remember trying to understand why people did and said what they did form that point on.

What is one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
It would be the same advice Wyatt Earp gave about gun-fighting: “Hurry up but take your time.” Which means get to the point of the story, chapter, novel, etc. quickly, don’t meander around describing all sorts of irrelevant details, stick to the things that matter, but DON’T rush through those. That’s where you take your time and give the reader a full experience.

How did you know you should become an author?
I took a creative writing class a junior college, thoroughly enjoyed writing the assigned stories and the class and others received my stories very well. Writing it was the first thing I was utterly engrossed by other than girls in high school and reading, and couldn’t wait to get to get back. It dawned on me then that it was theoretically possible to make a living doing something I loved so much I would do it for free . . and sadly have for years . . . until now.

What is your favorite quote?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.” ~Charles Darwin

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Suki and I are working on the sequel to The Apocalypse Gene which we will complete next year. I am working on a literary-meets-noir crime thriller called The Black Song Inside which I should be able to finish by very early next year.

1st Prize: A Kindle.
2nd Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
3rd Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card
Other Prizes: Many Free Books from wonderful authors, enough for EVERYONE to win at least one book:
Entry Form:

The Apocalypse Gene:

With Pandemic ravaging the globe, Olivya’s psychic Sight compels her to see auras riddled with the colors of despair, and now her mother is infected.

Olivya’s only hope is the mysterious Mikah, a powerful Empath who claims the Pandemic is linked to his clan, the Kindred, and their brooding, monstrous, Immortal Lord. But can she trust this boy who can manipulate her very emotions?

With Mikah’s aid, Olivya races to unearth Kindred secrets, desperate to find a cure, only to discover the Pandemic is far, far more than a mere disease . . .

2 paperbacks (US only) and 2 E-books (PDF, Kindle, Smashwords, Nook).
Ends 11/11/11

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