Tule Author Q&A: Michele Arris on how she relates to her characters!

Michele Arris stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in her Tycoon’s Temptation series, Return to Me!


Where did you get the inspiration for this story?

There were a host of small situations that gave me the idea for Return to Me, one in particular was a dear friend’s circumstance. Undoubtedly, she’ll easily recognize elements in the story that mirror her life. With that, from the start of book one in the Tycoon’s Temptation series, on the surface, Evie has been the easygoing mediator and logical thinker in her friend group. She seems to have everything under control and has a solution for every situation. I wanted to show her flaws, but also demonstrate her strengths in how she overcomes them. What better way than to forge up an old love who broke her heart. 


This is a steamy second chance romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?

I enjoy Second Chance romances—the one that got away or a breakup over an unresolved issue. Second Chance tropes are fun to write because I can jump right into the center of the story without a lot of “first meet” “meet cute” build up. Toss in sexual tension and it makes for a great love story. The challenge comes in convincing the reader that the hero and heroine should get back together, despite past offenses. But that’s part of the fun. Enemies to Lovers trope is my all-time favorite trope—I love creating the heightened animosity that finds a way to morph into affection—but the Second Chance romance trope runs a close second. Most important is developing strong, likable, memorable characters, so the reader roots for their happily ever after.


How do you relate to Evie, your heroine, and how do you hope readers will relate to her?

I feel readers want to read about realistic people, while at the same time, they want to escape a little. There is always a bit of truth weaved into creating my characters. Evie’s character was loosely fashioned from real events. When trying to shape and relate to my characters, I tend to draw on my own experiences or those of others around me. I’ve seen firsthand how a misunderstanding can ruin a relationship. I wanted to show that in this story while also showing how it can be reconciled.


How do you relate to Vincent?

Instead of trying to relate to Vincent, my goal was focused on molding him into the “ideal” heterosexual man—do my male characters sound like men? For Vincent, it was important to determine what parts of the ideal man am I trying to capture, and what are the perceived shortfalls I’m trying to counterbalance? That doesn’t mean Vincent has to lift a truck or that he doesn’t have a soft side. It was important to show Vincent masculinity and strengths but also his compassion. 

This is the third book in your Tycoon’s Temptation series. Do you find it harder to write the first book in a series or the subsequent novels? 

Every book has its challenges, but I feel the first book is the hardest because it’s where most of the series’ world building happens. Though I outline my series and include character traits for the hero, heroine, and supporting players in the story, the characters tend to birth themselves as I write. 


What are you currently reading?

I’ve stepped away from reading romance for a bit to read Ken’s Follett’s, The Evening and the Morning, a historical fiction in Follett’s Kingsbridge series. I’m also reading the sci-fi thriller, Deep Matter by Blake Crouch.


About the Author

Award winning author, Michele Arris, has always had a fondness for romance and happy endings.

“I love to write stories where my characters are guaranteed their happily ever after.”

When Michele isn’t seated in front of her computer, shaping bad-ass alpha heroes who meet their match in strong, hardworking heroines, she enjoys reading, watching period classics, actually looks forward to working out, and loves spending time with family and friends–simply enjoying life.

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