YA Feature: Michelle Pickett author of PODS

This weeks YA Feature author of Michelle Pickett. Michelle releases her debut novel, PODS though Spencer Hill Press in June. Enjoy the interview and leave a comment below for Michelle on your thoughts on PODS!

The Author: Michelle Pickett

I've been an avid reader since a young child. I began writing for personal enjoyment in college, where I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in accounting. Deciding sitting in a cubical all day was my form of cruel and unusual punishment, I finally decided to do what I really wanted to—share my passion for reading and writing with others.
My debut young adult novel, PODs, is a post-apocalyptic, science-fiction romance and is available for Pre-order now in paperback and e-book formats. It is published through Spencer Hill Press and will be released June 4th, 2013—my son's 12th birthday (my good luck charm). You can learn more about it HERE.

My second title through Spencer Hill Press, Milayna, is a paranormal romance and is scheduled for release in paperback and e-book formats in March 2014. You can learn more about it HERE.

I'm addicted to Reese's peanut butter cups and eat way too many while I write. I'm trying to kick the habit. So far I've tried replacing them with Twizzlers, but developed an addiction to Twizzlers and I'm still addicted to peanut butter cups. I have a weird obsession with hoodies and can't write without wearing one. I hate to cook, but love watching cooking shows on television.

I love happy endings. There are too many sad endings in life. I'm an unabashed romantic. I love a swoon-worthy happy ending that will give me butterflies for days.

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan. I now reside in a small community outside Houston, Texas with my incredibly supportive, not to mention gorgeous, husband, four amazing children, a 125-pound lap dog, and a cat that thinks she's queen.

I write adult and young adult Sci/Fi, urban fantasy and paranormal romances. My current work in process is a young adult contemporary romance. It's my first time writing in this genre. So far I'm enjoying it and I'm nervously optimistic about the outcome.

My grandmother used to take me to the library nearly every weekend when I was a child. We'd check out books and I spend the night with her and we'd read together. In the morning she'd make me blueberry waffles and we'd read some more. I loved the time we spent reading about new worlds and interesting people and the adventures they went on. I knew then I wanted to tell stories like the ones I read.
The Book- PODS releases June 2013

PODs is a post-apocalyptic, science fiction romance. It's about a lethal virus killing the population of Earth at an alarming rate. There is no cure or treatment for the virus. In an attempt to keep the human race from extinction, the government opens the PODs, an underground habitat that was put in place in case of a natural disaster or act of war to protect a portion of the population. Certain individuals are selected by "raffle" to live in the PODs while the virus dies out, killing those above. The book follows Eva, one of the chosen POD survivors and her struggles during her stay in the PODs and the surprises the survivors find when the PODs are opened.
I'd love to say there was a defining moment, like a dream, that inspired me to write PODs, but there really wasn't. I'm not sure where the idea first came from. My daughter helped me with some of the minor points; she acted as my sounding board. But the majority of the story started as all of my books have—a "what if" game. I start with a small idea and ask myself: What if this happened, then this, then this, and then this, and so on until I have a sketch of a story in my head.

Seventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it’s in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it’s a balm for the broken soul.

After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That’s the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters.

Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.


How does it feel to be releasing your debut novel in summer 2013?

Oh, I don't even know how to answer this question. Just thinking about it makes my hands shake. It's a surreal feeling. I don't think I'll believe that it's truly happening until I'm actually holding the book in my hands and even then I think I'll be afraid someone will pinch me and I'll wake up and find that it's all been a dream.

Can you describe your protagonist Eva in less than 140 characters?
Eva is an intelligent, strong, loving, loyal, survivor.


If you could encourage readers to pick up your book in June when it is released, what would you say?

PODs is a different story than what is currently on the market right now. It touches on a little bit of everything, from personal loss to regrowth. The characters are strong, but not so strong that the reader won't feel their grief and loss. They lose everything they've ever known or loved when they enter the PODs. They're promised a new life when the PODs are opened only to have that ripped from them, too.

But in the midst of that Eva and David somehow find calm in the turmoil and develop a strong bond. I think when readers meet Eva and David they'll find their relationship is more than the standard boy meets girl and falls in love type relationship. They have a deep connection, due in part to what they've suffered. That's not to say they don't have some hot chemistry going on, too.

Some fun book questions:


Favourite genre and why?

Oh, wow, I like almost anything. My family teases me that I'll read anything with words. They're probably right. Lately, though, I've read only young adult. I can't tell you the last adult book I've read. In the last few months I've been reading contemporary romance, but I always gravitate back to urban fantasy and science/fiction, things like PODs

Favourite YA author and why?

Well, me (kidding). This is a very unfair question! I'm published through Spencer Hill Press and if you've ever read any of their authors you know that it is impossible to pick just one favorite. Every single author in my publishing family is awesome. Beyond awesome, they're extraordinary. So I'd have to say my favorite author is Spencer Hill Press as a whole.
And before anyone thinks I'm sucking up to my publisher, I do have a reason for my answer. Not only are the authors at Spencer Hill great, but they are diverse. The books are varied. You'll find there are a wide range of storylines. You won't be bored reading Spencer Hill's books, because you won't read the same type of story twice. They really have an incredible line-up. Check them out here: Spencer Hill's Books
Favourite 2012 read and why?
Okay, so I'll pick a book that isn't a Spencer Hill Press book since I think I've told you how much I absolutely love them all and think you should read every single one. One of my favorite reads during 2012 was Easy by Tammara Webber. It was such a terrific story that touched on an important topic that every woman needs to be aware of. It had beautifully created characters that were flawed, making them believable, while still being likeable. The love story was poignant, but had enough heat that it was brimming with swoon-worthy moments. The male lead was hot, hot, hot (he's my book boyfriend, no you can't have him). It was all around a good story. I highly recommend it, along with all the 2012 releases from Spencer Hill Press (you didn't think I'd let that pass did you?)

A book series you love and why?
I love the Ganzfield series. It really opened my writing boundaries. We all place boundaries on ourselves whether we realize it or not. Reading Kate Kaynak's series showed me that using paranormal elements was a boundary I hadn't allowed myself to cross, things like telekinesis, among other areas, was something I was unsure of using. I wasn't sure how it would fit in a story. After reading her series I dabbled a little and wrote my next novel, Milayna. With her help, along with another very talented editor, Kathryn, I'm fine tuning some of the paranormal elements of the story. Milayna is scheduled for release in March 2014.

I LOVE to hear from readers and other authors!

Links and Contact Information:
Pre order Pods on Amazon & Barnes & Noble





  1. Thank you so much for featuring me and PODs on your blog today, Megan! Bloggers like you Rock! You do so much for authors--You're invaluable to us. I appreciate you hosting me.

    Thank you!
    Michelle :)
    Author, PODs available June 4th
    Milayna available March 2014
    The Infected, a PODs novel available November 2014
    Visit Me!