Sunday, February 14, 2010
Author Interview: Michelle Sutton
Today I get to welcome back an author who has visited on several occasions. Michelle Sutton is the author of the "It's Not About" series, with Sheaf House, and also the author of two novels, plus a series through Desert Breeze Publishing. Her most recent release -- and my favorite of her books -- came out in January and is titled, First Impressions. But in April Michelle has another book coming out, In Plain Sight, which is a sequel to Danger at the Door. It will be a pleasure to view those characters through Jovana's, Bojan's sister, pov.
Shawna: Michelle, would you please tell us a little about yourself?
Michelle: I am the mother of two boys ages 16 and 18 and I’ve been married to my husband almost 20 years now. I’ve lived in Arizona since 1991 and I love it here. I started writing in 2003. I haven’t stopped because once I discovered a love for writing, I couldn’t quit if I wanted to. I must create fictional characters and mess them up. It’s my favorite thing to do now.
Shawna: When did you first become interested in writing?
Michelle: In 2003 after communicating with a favorite author who wrote me back when I told her that I loved reading her books.
Shawna: And what genre do you prefer writing/reading? Also, why does this genre appeal to you?
Michelle: I love anything that doesn’t bore me to tears. Romance with a lot of tension tends to work well for me, but anything gripping and emotional works, too.
Shawna: Can you tell us a little about the ups and downs on your journey to publication?
Michelle: Downs are the waiting times and the “we love your writing style but we can’t sell this” comments. My agent has been a real positive influence for me. She’d always say they rejected “us” when I would get… thanks, but no thanks as a response to a proposal. Ups are reading reviews from people I don’t know that talked about how much my story inspired them or how much they loved it. That is a huge upper for me.
Shawna: How do you approach a new project? Do you research and plot before you write? Or do you have a general idea and just go to it and see where it leads?
Michelle: I don’t need to research for the most part because I tend to write about subjects I know a lot about already. I usually have a general idea and just start writing and see where it leads.
Shawna: Tell us about the series you're writing, your latest release, plus your upcoming one?
Michelle: My latest release is the first book in my Tombstone Treasures series called First Impressions. Former titles were For the Love of James, The Shy Captain, and The Shady Lady. It’s a series about volunteer actors who work in Tombstone on holidays and weekends. I wrote it to show you their love lives outside of their favorite hobby. Everything is completely made up, of course, except for the setting and the events in the stories. My latest work is releasing in April and it’s the sequel to Danger at the Door. It’s called In Plain Sight. I wanted to title it Danger at the Diner but the editor said it made her think of food poisoning. It’s about Bojan’s sister from the first book. She comes to the United States and doesn’t speak English well. She left an abusive relationship in her country and ends up being attracted to another bad man within weeks of her arrival. Her hero is, of course, In Plain Sight. And that is all I’m sayin’.
Shawna: So what inspired you to write this?
Michelle: I was intrigued by the character Jovana and her story. I wanted to write it. Since the editor of Desert Breeze enjoyed my first story, Danger at the Door, she agreed to send me a contract for a sequel. In some ways I like the sequel better, but my readers can be the judge of that.
Shawna: Can you give us a little history on the characters, including how you developed them and what endears them to you?
Michelle: Well, the characters from In Plain Sight were developed based on the premise of the first book. I wanted characters who struggled with English slang and idioms and to show how difficult communication is when Americans say so many things that make no sense when you try to translate them into another language.
Shawna: What do you hope to be able to accomplish through your writing?
Michelle: I hope to touch readers’ hearts with the message in each story. My books are all very different in theme and regarding the message. You’ll see that as you read them.
Shawna: Any ideas for future projects?
Michelle: I am still scheduled to write First Love and First Response, which are the second and third books in the Tombstone Treasures series.
Shawna: Excellent, best of luck on those. Other than your current and future releases, do you have any recommendations or advice you'd like to pass along?
Michelle: To authors… keep writing until something sells. To readers… better get yourself an e-reader because e-books are here to stay and are growing in popularity by the day.
Shawna: Amen to that! And...this seems like an opportune time to tell everyone how much I love my Kindle. Btw, the Kindle app will soon be available for Blackberry and Mac.
Here's something to leave a comment about: Do you own an ereader, or have an ereader app installed on a device such as iPhone, iPod, a netbook, Blackberry, Palm etc...? If so, tell me in the comments section and be entered to win a bar of homemade honey and almond soap -- just one of the many things I do on the side. If you don't have an ebook app installed, go get one real quick, cuz it's free, and then enter. I'll announce the winner on Thursday.
Michelle, thank you so much for this interview. I enjoyed it, and appreciate your visit.
For more info on Michelle Sutton and her books: