The Story Behind My Blog's Title

The Story Behind My Blog's Title
Why is my blog named "My Father's Oldsmobile"? Click on the car and find out.

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:


  1. Great interview, Michelle and Shawna!
    Good luck on all your releases, Michelle.

    I have a Kindle and I absolutely love it!

  2. Hey, can the interviewee enter to win the soap? I've got an e-reader on my phone and the kinds and nook apps on my laptop and desktop, too.

  3. Did you have good grades in English in high school? Since you didn't start writing til 2003, it would seem that you had some background in writing somewhere. I could never write a book. Very interesting how you got started.

  4. Forgot to answer the question: I don't have any of the applications. I prefer a paper copy.

  5. Carmen, I know your question is directed at Michelle, but since I also didn't start writing until 2002 I thought I'd share my experience. I finished my first book in 2004, and being unsure what to do with it, and too scared to let anyone read it, I shelved it for awhile. It wasn't until about three years ago that I started taking writing seriously with the goal of publication in mind. I now have three books scheduled for release in 2010 with DBP, one of Michelle's publishers.

    I've always had a knack for writing. Even way back in elementary school, when the teachers would have us make up stories using our spelling word list, mine would often get read aloud to the class. This was an area I excelled in throughout my highschool and college yrs too. Unfortunately I wasn't always a serious student and took this talent for granted -- which is why it went wasted for many years.

    Having a talent for, however, is only a part of the equation. I know that both Michelle and I spent numerous hours and effort learning the craft through courses and critique groups -- one of the most painful learning experiences for me, but well worth it.

    I also honed my skill through short stories. My first publication of a short story was in September 2008. I had three more published in 2009, and sold my first novel (after about a gazillion rewrites) in late August 2009.

  6. I don't have a e-reader except on my computer, I can read them from Adobe. I would love to win the bar of soap, I have tried about ever craft there is, but never tried to make soap,


  7. That counts, Edna! My soap making capabilities are in the form of ordering a premade base, melting it and adding scents, exfoliant, and moisturizing ingredients. Then I just pour it into molds. So, I can't really claim any great genius with this. My sister makes goats milk soap from complete scratch, including milking the goat!

  8. Hey, Oldsmobiles are not to be thought of as less than the other cars mentioned. When I was growing up in the 40's and 50's we always drove Chevorlet's and our cousins parents who lived 2 houses away from us drove Oldsmobiles...and we were always jealous. I'm glad you reconziled yourself to such a super car.
    No i don't have an e-reader. I work in a Library and have lots of printed books to choose from..
    Maybe when I retire...although I like printed books on paper really well.

  9. Thank you for the comment, Penny. I love my Oldsmobile story. I grew up in the 70's and 80's when they launched the big campaign, 'Not your father's Oldsmobile'. Funny how things evolve over time, and that Oldsmobile's had been considered a luxury car, and then became associated with being dependable, but not too exciting. Eh...I'm good with that. Of course, now they aren't made anymore, so I guess that makes me a classic. I'm good with that too!

    And, on the subject of how things evolve: ebooks won't replace print, but they are helping to make the entire industry more efficient, and I think the two will co-exist very nicely. I think ereaders still need to be a little cheaper before they catch on mainstream. There's enough on the market now that it will happen. But many people already have iPhones and Blackberries, so it will be interesting to watch the multi-purpose devices too -- especially the iPad. It will also be really interesting to see how libraries evolve to include ebooks. I've seen some of them opening internet branches to include this venue, but it's still very new.

  10. I don't have any of the handheld reading devices, but I do have quite a variety of ebooks on my computer.

  11. Carmen,

    I got A's in English in High School and B's in college (stuff got harder the older I got) but I never like writing. I didn't think I was very creative. I just started writing in 2003 and I knew nothing so honestly, it stunk. I have reread stuff I wrote back then and I groan and thank God no one bought it. :) Not that they would. It was pretty bad!

  12. I don't own an ereader or any type of electronic device to upload a free one! Many congratulations on your books and your new one that is going to be released! How wonderful to be able to write
    like you do. Many thanks, Cindi


1970 Olds 442


If you're curious about the story behind the name of my blog, click on the car. :)