BIO: Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.
She resides in the frozen tundra of
Minnesota, where she teaches history and
writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs
away to England
every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s
eating excessive amounts of scones.
Welcome back, Michelle. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
That’s the great thing about a great God—life is such an adventure I don’t know what to expect next. But I do have a few ideas . . .
First off, I’ll be dipping my toes into the realm of non-fiction with a writing craft book to encourage writers of all shapes and sizes. Writer Off the Leash: Growing in the Writing Craft will be available in February.
Secondly, I recently spent an entire month in
filled me with a bajillion more story ideas. All historical. All romantic. All
incredible. I’d better get writing!
Tell us a little about your family.
My crowded nest is currently gaining a bit more elbow room. Three of my four birds have flown the coop, leaving behind my twenty-year-old baby. But I’m not crying about it. My husband and I have adopted a replacement—a bouncing, baby boxer. Ada Clare is our newest addition, a seven-month-old fuzzy muzzle of love.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
I’ve become a jaded reader. After studying the writing craft, I have a lower tolerance for those who haven’t and put out lazy writing. Now more than ever, I’m a lot more picky about what I read.
I know. I used to read everything, no matter whether it was well-written or not. But now, if there are too many glaring errors in the first few chapters, I stop. What are you working on right now?
A sequel to Brentwood’s Ward, though honestly, either could be a stand-alone. Here’s a blurb for Moore’s Maiden:
Officer ALEXANDER MOORE goes undercover as a rogue gambler to expose a traitorous plot against the crown—and a master he is with his disguise, for JOHANNA LANGLEY believes him to be quite the cad. But when Johanna is swept up in the intrigue, Alex must choose between his mission and reputation as a crack lawman or the woman he’s come to love.
What outside interests do you have?
I love to cook. Well, I suppose eating ranks right up there as well, but cooking and baking are a fun means to an end.
I’m also a closet season binge-watcher. I know, kind of sounds like a felony, right? Not at all. My husband and I have a few favorite shows to watch, but we wait until the entire season is out and watch it all in one weekend. Next on the docket is Downton Abby’s season four.
James and I are waiting for season five to be finished, so we can watch it that way. How do you choose your settings for each book?
It’s usually a place I’ve either been or would love to visit ... and always in
whether the entire story takes place there or just part of it. I’m an
Anglophile at heart.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
Jesus, but I’m guessing that’s what everyone would say. I’d pick Ruth—as in the book of the Bible. I think she was pretty spunky so conversation might be interesting. Plus I’d like to hear first-hand her love story with Boaz.
I’m that way about Esther. What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That writing is a humbling road to travel. Actually, sometimes it’s downright humiliating. Thick skin is mandatory and mine used to be wafer thin.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
That no matter what He asks of me, as hard or devastating as it may seem, it’s always for my good and His glory.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Take the time to learn the craft, always striving to polish your writing. Listen to what those who have been in the business longer have to say. There’s no room for pride in your baggage on this trip.
It takes a long time to write a book. Don’t expect to crank out three or four a year and have them be literarily fresh.
Don’t take things—especially yourself—so seriously.
Tell us about the featured book.
BRENTWWOOD’S WARD is a blend of Sherlock Holmes and Dickens. Here’s a blurb:
It takes a criminal to catch one, and Nicholas Brentwood is just the man for the job. Reformed in more ways than one, the rough-around-the-edges Brentwood is a member of the Bow Street Runners,
nineteenth-century fledgling police force. There’s none better than Brentwood at catching the felons who ravage the city’s
streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice served.
Beautiful and beguiling, Miss Emily Payne is not the sort of miscreant
Brentwood usually hunts down. When
he is assigned as her bodyguard, he vows to protect her from her father’s
enemies, who will stop at nothing to carry out their mission fueled by greed
All her life, Emily has longed for love, but it remains beyond her grasp. This season she’s determined to find a husband, which is quite the undertaking with a hound-dog guardian like
watching her every step. If he would just give her some measure of freedom, she
is sure she could win the heart of society’s most eligible bachelor.
Emily’s headstrong persistence challenges Nicholas in ways he doesn’t expect but of one thing he’s certain—of all the cunning criminals he’s dealt with in the past, this time he’s met his match.
Please give us the first page of the book.
“You, sir, are a rogue!” Emily Payne scowled into the black marble gaze fixed on hers, determined to win the deadlock of stares. Horrid beast. Must he always triumph?
Without so much as a blink, the pug angled his head. Sunlight from the front door’s transom window streamed over her shoulder, highlighting each of his fuzzy wrinkles. The pup’s face squinched into a doggy smile, coaxing a sigh from Emily. Who could remain cross with that scrunched up muzzle?
“I should’ve named you Scamp instead of Alf, eh boy?” She smiled, then laughed outright when he snuck in a quick kiss on her neck.
Beside her, Mary, her maid, joined in—until Mrs. Hunt, equal parts housekeeper and sergeant-major, huffed into the entry hall. Emily glanced at the matron over the pup’s head. If the Admiralty were smart, they’d press her into service, and the royal navy would learn a new meaning for shipshape in no time.
“Sorry, miss. The little beastie got clean away from me.” Mrs. Hunt reached for the fugitive, the smell of linseed oil and hard work wafting with the billow of her sleeve. “Hand him over, if you please. It won’t happen again.”
“Hmm. Don’t be so sure.” Emily nuzzled his furry head with the top of her chin, well aware he ought not be encouraged, yet completely unable to stop herself.
Mary tsked. “He just can’t bear to be parted from you, miss, that’s all.”
“Which is more than I can say for the males of my own species,” she mumbled into the pup’s fur. Alf nestled against her shoulder. If only Charles Henley might become so attached, the empty void in her heart would be filled at last. After a last snuggle, she held the pug out to Mrs. Hunt.
But Alf wriggled during the transfer. His back paw caught the lace on her glove, tearing the sheer fabric. Frowning, she inspected the damage. “Oh, bother. Mary, would you—”
“I shall.” Her maid turned, but a rap on the front door spun her back around. “Right after I answer the—”
Emily shook her head. “I’ll do it. You see to the gloves.”
She opened the door to the height of fashion. By faith, the only thing Reginald Sedgewick prized more than his garments was his looking glass. “Uncle Reggie!” She smiled. “A bit early in the day for you, is it not?”
He nodded. Nothing more. Perhaps it was indeed too early for his usual cheerful banter. “Is your father home?” His voice crackled at the edges.
“I’ve not seen him, though that’s not unusual. Come in.” She stepped aside, and the scent of bay rum entered with him—or was it? One more sniff and her nose wrinkled. There was nothing bay about it. The man reeked of rum.
How can readers find you on the Internet?Follow my adventures at my blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit michellegriep.com, and don’t forget the usual haunts of Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.
Thank you, Michelle, for sharing this new book with us. My copy just came, so I haven't had time to read it. It went to the top of my to-be-read pile.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
Brentwood's Ward - Christianbook.com
Brentwood's Ward: - Amazon
Brentwood's Ward - Kindle
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