Author Interview & Book Giveaway: The Muse of Edouard Manet by M. Clifford

Welcome to Author M. Clifford

Author, M. Clifford, has been creating stories for as long as he can remember, beginning with The Bullet That Never Stopped, written on his mother’s rickety green typewriter at the prudent age of eight and three quarters. He has since written numerous stories, including novel-length addendums to his wife’s favorite books, giving her beloved characters new adventures. He now resides in Los Angeles with his wife, cat and hundreds of dusty books.



If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
This novel is about time travel. I love time travel and I would always choose to visit the past.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose?
1. My father, who passed in ’08. 2. Jack Black, actor. 3. Frank Gehry, architect. 4. Eric Whitacre, choral composer. 5. Roger Federer, tennis legend.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Like most mainstream fiction, THE MUSE OF EDOUARD MANET has everything you want to find in a novel, from love that overcomes the boundaries of time to exciting, action-packed, code-breaking, duel-ensuing, heart-stopping scenes.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I won a men’s “beauty pageant” back in high school called Mr. Wildcat. I sang a few songs, did a question and answer competition wearing a tuxedo and even forced the dean of the school to walk out on stage holding my jacket. He placed it over my shoulders like a butler. At the end, they brought out a burger king crown and handed me flowers and everything. It was actually pretty fun.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Planning ahead!! I like surprises, but there is something deeply comforting about knowing what to expect.

Shoes or Sandals?
Always sandals, now that I live near the beach. I hardly wear shoes anymore.

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
For most of my life, I’ve been a writer. I suppose what inspired me to never stop writing was the moment I realized, after taking a three month hiatus, that my ideas could just die. I felt like all my characters were frozen in time, cars not moving, snow not reaching the ground, etc. Time stopped and they were unable to move on because I wouldn’t write them. Being an author is less of a career choice and more of a duty for me. I need to tell stories. In a way, it makes me complete.

Favorite quote from a movie?
Nacho Libre:
“Where are the spices? Where are the chips?”
“Somebody stole them…”
“Did you not tell them that they were the Lord’s chips?”
“I tried to…”

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Garrett Keller, from THE MUSE OF EDOUARD MANET. He’s basically me – analytical, imaginative, snarky, disheveled and funny. And a little pudgy. Though, I must say, Edouard is the man I would like to be. He’s sort of the perfect man, I think.

Harry Potter or Twilight?
My novel FELINIAN is like Twilight in a lot of ways, but I enjoy both. My wife would tell you that I’m a Potter freak. I wrote a seven-book “fan fiction” series for her, just so she could stay in that world. Yeah, I know… I’ll probably give those away for fun someday on my website.

If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?
A satellite phone, a case of Coronas, and a beach chair.

How do you react to a bad review?
This is tough. Writing is an art form, which means it’s inherently subjective. Everyone is a critic these days and there will always be someone who despises your book because it didn’t fulfill their expectations in some way. You didn’t provide them with the experience they desired when turning the first page, and sometimes that’s uncontrollable. As an author, I think that if you can’t take anything away from the review (as in, it’s just a preferential complaint) then you need to ignore it. If there is something that’s hard to hear, but helpful, then it isn’t a negative thing. It’s a positive thing. You need to see it that way. The only problem I have is when someone is stating something incorrectly about the book, or making a claim about me, based on a false assumption. Like anyone, I want to defend my story and my reputation, but 9 times out of 10 it will be a waste of your precious writing time to react.

If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
Cheap mexican food.

Night owl, or early bird?
Owl. No question. If my wife would let me stay awake all night, I would.

Favorite smell?
Burning leaves. Reminds me of my childhood.

Any other books in the works?
Finishing out the TIME CHRONICLES series and the FELINIAN series soon. Then I’m moving on to an eleven book series called VAMPIRE EPOCH. It’s way different ground for me and I’m excited to try it out. Most of the books are outlined already.

The Muse of Edouard Manet (The Time Chronicles of Emily Porterfield #1)

Edouard Manet is an infamous painter in 19th century Paris. Emily Porterfield is a conservator of paintings in 21st century Chicago. He made her fall in love with art when she was nine years old and yet Emily was the muse of Edouard’s greatest artwork 150 years before she was born. Their story begins with a letter.
While x-raying a painting for an upcoming Edouard Manet exhibition at the Art Institute, Emily stumbles upon a hidden letter painted in lead white beneath the layers of oil and varnish. Through the mysterious properties of the letter, Emily is raptured to the past where she becomes the muse who influences Manet’s greatest works. As their relationship grows between each new letter and she discovers that his confusing iconography can finally be explained through their story, an underlying plot of murder and art forgery is uncovered in the present. With the exhibition gala approaching, a connection between the murderer and the forgeries reveals itself and Emily is forced to ask how their love can withstand the test of time when only a few letters remain.

Giveaway Details
2 Paperback copies & 5 Ebooks
Open Internationally
Ends 3/11/12

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