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Michael Griffo Interview & Giveaway

Monday, April 1, 2013

From the author of the acclaimed Archangel Academy vampire trilogy comes a stunning new series about a girl determined to defy her fate—and reclaim her future…

Something strange is going on with Dominy Robineau. All her friends in Weeping Water, Nebraska, have noticed—and it’s way beyond teenage blues. As weeks pass, Dom grows consumed by anger, aggression, and violence, and she seems powerless to stop it. Then she turns sixteen, and things get really dangerous.

When her best friend is murdered, Dominy’s father is compelled to reveal the truth behind the darkness that threatens to both overtake and empower her. Her boyfriend, Caleb, swears they’ll find a way to change her destiny. But others are hiding secrets too, and gifts that are far more terrifying than hers. And even as she struggles to control her new abilities, Dom must contend with an enemy who wants her to use the beast within to destroy all those she loves, before she destroys herself…

Goodreads summary

About Michael Griffo...

1) Was it difficult to write from a female's perspective (it would be for me!)?  What was your favorite trait to include in Dominy's character?

It really wasn't that difficult for me to tap into the female mindset because I've written several plays with many female characters.  When I started writing seriously I wrote plays and all of my earlier plays have all-female casts.  I think the reason is that I grew up around women who were articulate and expressive; the men in my family were more traditional men and were quieter, didn’t speak as much, or never really said what was on their minds.  So when I started to write – and in the beginning we all write what we know – I wrote strong female characters. 

I did have a bit of a problem early on finding the truth between Dominy and her best friend Jess.  The underlying theme of the trilogy is the friendship between the two girls so I needed to show this early on in the story, but let’s face it, I’ve never been a 16-year-old girl so I struggled to get inside that type of relationship.  Sometimes the best writing comes when you stop writing and do some research.  In this instance I talked to some women and girls I knew and asked them for anecdotes about their relationships with close girlfriends.  From those conversations I was able to more fully understand how two best girlfriends interact, which is much different than two teen boys, and craft a small scene early in MOONGLOW that I personally think sets up their bond.  That was all the foundation I needed to move forward and tell their story.  And I don’t think I’m giving anything away to say the scene has to do with Jess’s bra!

My favorite trait of Dominy’s is her ability to make up new words.  I obviously love words and since Dominy shares this trait it connected me to her, it made the character that much more accessible to me even though we don’t share age or gender.  It was also a challenge because together we have to keep coming up with new words!  And my favorite word thus far is ‘twinemy’!

2) Who was your favorite character to write about?  

My favorite character really was Dominy for a variety of reasons.  She is the most complex in the series because she’s the narrator and readers also need to find her relatable and likeable because she’ll be on every page of all three books!  If you don’t like, understand, and relate to her on some level you won’t continue to read her story or if you do it won’t be a pleasurable read and you won’t get anything positive out of the experience.  So as a writer it was a challenge to write for Dom.  But as a person it was a joy.  Dominy undergoes an incredible physical transformation that leads her to an even deeper emotional transformation.  The things that she witnesses and the choices she has to make take her from being a superficial teenager to a profound human being.  She isn’t perfect, she will continue to make mistakes like we all do, but she looks at the world with more insight than most people do and I really do think readers can learn from her experiences. 

Dominy is also possesses that great combination of courage and vulnerability – you never know which one is going to respond so it’s exciting as both a reader and a writer.  At the beginning of this writing journey I had very little in common with her, but she has fast become one of my favorite characters.

3) On the topic of destiny, what is your belief regarding it?

This is an interesting question.  Without getting too grandiose and heady, I think we all have a certain destiny, but because we have free will our destinies sometimes go unfulfilled.  Each person must go deep within him or herself to discover what their destiny is – what type of journey are they supposed to have – and make life choices and decisions to see that their destiny is achieved.  It’s not an easy task and it’s one that I (and I’m sure millions of people) are still learning and struggling with, but, I believe, it’s an important lesson to learn.  Again, I don’t want to push my beliefs onto others, but I believe each individual is here for a purpose – and I’ve given each of my characters a purpose as well – it’s up to the individual as well as the character to want to uncover that purpose and then live their life as a means of fulfilling it. 

4) If you could be any of the characters in Moonglow, who would you choose and why?

That’s so hard!  It’s almost like asking a parent which child they love most.  But you’re not asking me which one I like the best, just who I’d want to be.  If I could be a character for just a day it would be Dominy because as strange as it sounds I would love to know what it’s like to undergo the physical transformation and become another living creature.  Yes there would be physical agony, but that’s only temporary, beyond that is the memory that you have lived within the body of another creature and shared a spirit.  When you break it down it really is a fascinating concept and I’m sure that’s why shapeshifters are so popular.  I would be curious to know how much I would change when the transformation reversed and I was myself again – what qualities of this other creature would I bring back with me?  And which of my own qualities would be altered?  If anything happens to me during the next full moon I’ll let you know!

The other character I would like to be would be Caleb for the simple reason that I believe in the adage “it’s not what you do, but what you do next”.  Caleb isn’t cursed, he doesn’t undergo any life-changing transformation, but his girlfriend does.  If someone I loved changed so drastically and made me question everything I thought I understood about life, I would like to respond the way Caleb does – with unconditional love and support.

5) What can readers expect from Moonglow?

They can expect the same thing they found if they read three books in The Archangel Academy Series – UNNATURAL, UNWELCOME, and UNAFRAID – a familiar story with incredibly complex twists and turns.  The Archangel Academy Series can be boiled down to just another vampire series, but it truly is a love story between two boys – Michael and Ronan – that is set against a backdrop of vampires and the supernatural.  I take vampire mythology and twist, giving it a unique spin and, hopefully, a fresh voice. 

That’s what I’ve tried to do with MOONGLOW and the next two books in The Darkborn Legacy – SUNBLIND and STARFALL.  I’ve taken a familiar concept, that of a teen werewolf, and twisted it so it becomes something deeper, richer, and most important, something more emotionally complex.  The choices Dominy has to make and the situations she is thrust into are not common nor are they easily resolved, just like real-life decisions they have long-lasting ramifications. 

In addition, at its core, the series is about the friendship between Dominy and Jess and how it changes and evolves and empowers both girls so they can survive and thrive under dire, tragic circumstances.  I know it probably sounds trite and clich├ęd to say that readers can expect the unexpected in MOONGLOW, but I really do think that’s the truth.  The reader may think he or she is venturing into familiar territory, but by the end they will know they’ve stumbled upon quite a different world.

6) Are you currently working on any other projects?

I’m always working on a project!!  I've already completed SUNBLIND which is book two in The Darkborn Legacy and I'm about to start STARFALL, the as-of-now final book in the trilogy.  I’m really excited about STARFALL for two reasons.  First, I came up with a really cool new character named Vera with a wildly original background who will play an incredibly important role in the final chapter of the book.  And second, because I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to end the series and then I came up with an idea that was a bit, well let’s just say it was kind of obvious, so I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of starting the book.  One morning, however, I came up with a new ending, one that serves the series’ theme much better and one that straddles the world of reality and the supernatural – meaning that within the mythology of the story, the reader will find it utterly believable.  And I think gain Dominy even more fans in the process.

In addition, I just finished the first draft of a vampire play titled The Exchange Student that I wrote specifically for high school audiences.  I hope to finish that while I’m writing STARFALL and submit it to some licensing companies so your readers can not only read my work, but put on my play at their high school!

Win his book...

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Unknown said...:

    Because the blurb left me salivating for more! Seriously. The cover is gorgeous, which is an automatic add-to-my-tbr-list. Annnnnddd the author is Michael of the Archangel Academy series. 'Nuff said.
    Thats why I want Moonglow.
    Thank you for the giveaway =)

  1. fifi said...:

    as a booknerd, I just love reading lol

  1. Tiffany said...:

    I love the cover and the Blurb. I can't wait to read it!

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!!!

  1. That cover is beautiful! The descrp. of the book sounds good as well. Had never heard of this one before, thanks!
    Ninja Girl

  1. Brooke said...:

    Because the cover has a curly-red haired girl and I am a curly-red haired girl, too! :)

  1. erin said...:

    sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

  1. a person with new abilities--heck yeah!

  1. Sayomay said...:

    This has been on my TBR list for a while! :D TY for the giveaway!
    Samantha Deen

  1. Unknown said...:

    Because it sound good,can't wait to read it.Loved the blurb.Thanks for the chance to win.


  1. Meghan said...:

    I YA and I love paranormal books! This looks like something right up my alley.

    mestith at gmail dot com

  1. Katiria said...:

    Because the book looks and sounds Awesome! Thanks for the givaway!

  1. OMG!! Why wouldn't I want to read this awesome story!!?? There are so many secrets and other things happening in this book that I HAVE to find out wants going on. I've seen this book a few times on some blogs and I want to, no I HAVE TO read this!!! My fingers are double crossed for this giveaway!!! Thank you so much for a chance at winning in your amazing giveaway!!

  1. Besides loving that beautiful cover, he make the story sound very interesting.

  1. Twisty J said...:

    It sounds like a great story. Plus, being a ginger, well the cover is more than appealing!

  1. Unknown said...:

    I literally want to read this book because of the cover. I'm not ashamed. LOL

  1. I'd like to read it because it sounds like a suspenseful and interesting book.

  1. I would like to read this book because it sounds like a wonderful story. I would love to find out what secrets the others are keeping. Thanks for having the giveaway.


  1. ive heard good things about it!

  1. Kamla L. said...:

    I haven't read any thing by Michael Griffo as yet but I have read some rave reviews for the Archangel Academy Vampire trilogy and the blurb for Moonglow has me totally intrigued.

  1. bn100 said...:

    Interesting information about the characters