Michelle began writing in 2003 and discovered how difficult writing was so joined ACFW. She sold her manuscript to Sheaf House. It's Not About Me was released in September 2008. The second book in the series, It's Not About Him, will be coming out in September 2009.
Michelle blogs and posts book reviews all over the Internet as well as giving away one book per week on her blog.
Michelle holds the position as Editor in Chief of a new online magazine that us Seekers will love. The debut issue released in July 2008 and is sponsored by the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance (CFBA). She is also the blog mistress for CWOW (Christian Writers of the West), the local Arizona chapter of ACFW.
Good Morning Michelle, You mention in your bio that you started writing in 2003. You called it an experiment. Can you elaborate on how the call to write came about?
I had a favorite Love Inspired author and I read all of her books. I wrote to her one day and told her I loved her stories and asked how she started writing. Her story inspired me to try. The story just came out of me. I didn't know what I was doing, but I never give up once I get the itch to do something, so I hung in there, attended writing conferences read books on craft and continued writing every chance I got until I finally sold something. Over the past few years I'd had a lot of "almost"sales but those don't count, though they are encouraging.
2. Tell us about the genre you write and why you picked that genre.
I didn't pick YA. It chose me. Ha. Seriously, the story came out of me in a YA style. My other books (outside of this series) are all women's fiction and romance
3. You call yourself an "edgy inspirational author". Can you tell us what that means to you?
Sure. I'll tellyou what I found on dictionary.com first. I also posted these on my website home page.
Edgy - daringly innovative; on the cutting edge
Inspirational - imparting a divine influence on the mind and soul
Author - a person who writes a novel; composer of a literary work
If you add the three terms together that describes me. I write fiction that will inspire your soul while being daringly innovative and on the cutting edge. That's the fancy way of saying I push the boundaries of what is allowed, but I do it with a clear reason, to encourage people to seek God's grace and forgiveness and to commit their lives fully to Him.
4. What inspired you to write your latest release, "Its Not About Me"?
True story. A friend of mine was attacked while alone in the church office by someone who came in off the street and wanted some money. She was there alone and hadn't thought to lock the door. That's where I got the idea for the attack. Real life.
5. You are the editor in chief for the online magazine Christian Fiction Online Magazine. This looks like a great resource for us Seekers. Can you tell us how it got started?
It's actually an interesting tale. I received an e-mail from Bonnie Calhoun, owner of the Christian fiction Blog Alliance, in March of 2008. She asked me if I wanted to be editor in chief of an online magazine that was to debut July 1st. I laughed. I totally thought she was kidding. We didn't even know each other very well and had only conversed online about my dogs eating packages that UPS would deliver. She said she wanted to start an online magazine and felt that I was the person who was supposed to do the job (after she prayed for direction). I then prayed about it and felt God telling me He wanted me to dive in. So I did. Now it's a lucrative business with a lot of advertising and promotional opportunities for authors and publishers. God is definitely behind this venture.
6. Have you entered writing contests? Do you find them helpful?
I finaled in the first contest I ever entered back in 2005 I still haven't sold that book and it looked like I was going to after this past year's conference in Minneapolis and then the editor left the publishing house. Aaaaargh.
7. What advice can you give our Seekers for advancing their writing career, pubbed and unpubbed alike?
Find mentors make connections, attend writer's conferences, learn your craft and never give up.
Thank you Michelle for sharing some of your experiences and insights. Please welcome Michelle and ask her any questions we may not have covered in this interview. We will draw names from all who respond and leave us their email address for a copy of her exciting novel, "Its Not About Me". We'll post the winner at 8:00 p.m. Pacific Time.
And in honor of Michelle's home state, we will serve up some steaming hot burritos loaded with chorizo, eggs, papas, queso and chiles. There are fresh limes to squeeze on the tender slices of papaya and steaming hot coffee grown in the mountains south of the Arizona border.
Later this afternoon, we'll have some refreshing deep fried ice cream from Serranos Restaurant and sparkling pomegranate cider.