I have to thank author Jenny B. Jones for recommending me to Michelle. We found out we live in different parts of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Now Michelle attends the critique group that meets in my home. I think you'll find her as interesting as I do.
Welcome, Michelle. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I used to think that I was creating all of these thoroughly original, totally other-inspired characters, but the more I write, the more I realize that I put a great deal of myself and my experiences into the characters.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Well, that would have to be as a result of the quirkiest job I ever had. I used to be Chuck E. Cheese. It was so hot in that costume, and kids always pulled my tail!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I first knew that I was a writer when I was 12 years old. My mom had a car accident and, suddenly, I became the keeper of our household. I started keeping a journal as an outlet, and writing became my best friend.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read mostly spiritual non-fiction – Beth Moore, Chuck Swindoll, Andrew Murray. I read quite a bit of young adult fiction because I can usually knock those out in one sitting – plus I do lots of work in public schools, so I have to stay up with the times. For adult fiction, I usually read books that different people just keep telling me I must read, and those can be anything from Christian fiction to one of the classics.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have written a total of 4 published novels – Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road, The Good Stuff, and Trouble In My Way (YA). My unpublished books are my very first attempts at writing, done in the 90’s. I still think they’re good, but I’m at a different place, spiritually, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable publishing them without a serious overhaul. As for non-fiction, I wrote a book called Breaking Bondage to Biscuits about overcoming food addiction. That one is self-published. I have another untitled book about marriage - excerpts appear in the back of The Good Stuff.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
You know, I enjoy people, I enjoy being busy, I enjoy public speaking, and I enjoy working with teachers, but deep down on the inside, I really am a “loner” and I must have at least an hour alone every day. When I start to feel that I’m losing touch with myself or (more importantly) with God, I just take a night away from everything. I tell the kids they’re on their own, I tell my husband I want to be alone, and that’s that.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I think, first, of the character and how old he/she is because many names indicate the person’s generation. I also think about the character’s background. I try not to be stereotypical, but I think that there are some realities that help decide a character’s name. I mean, for the most part, Beverly’s are older than Kaitlin’s.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I’m most proud of my marriage – though I can take no credit for it. My husband and I (married 15 years) are a testament to God’s faithfulness.
I'm with you there. I don't know how people stay together and build a successful marriage without the Lord in the middle of it. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would like to be a tiger. I think they’re really cute, and they’re not so busy trying to be lions.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food changes. Now, I’m into this awesome blackened chicken salad at Razoo’s (I have no affiliation with the restaurant – though I should probably ask for a coupon now). I’m not big on rabbit food but, seriously, I’ve been eating those salads like crazy. I suppose I could do worse.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock was finding time to write while working full-time. Thankfully, God released me from full-time work and opened doors for me to do short-term projects and consulting. I am in a position, now, to do two things that I love: writing and teaching. Again, I can’t take credit for that because I could not have even planned the flexible opportunities God has given me.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
I meet so many people who have 50 Chapter One’s sitting in their desk drawers. They have lots of good starts but haven’t finished books because they stop “liking” them. Newsflash: you don’t have to like it, just finish it. You may like it later, you may not. You may end up polishing it, you may end up taking just one character from that book and using him/her as the basis for another book. Whatever – just finish. And if you get 2/3 of the way through and absolutely hate it, that’s okay. I have fallen out of love with every single book I’m written at some point or another. It’s part of the process.
What would you like to tell us about the featured books?
The Good Stuff – this book is one for every woman who’s ever wondered why on earth she got married, and what God can do with a marriage that is beyond repair. The two main characters, Sonia and Adrian, are in two miserable marriages. They basically take them to the Lord and say, “Lord, fix it!” In their complete hopelessness, they find God’s will. This book is a testimony, of sorts, so the final pages are a non-fiction “Note From the Author.” I am so excited to see what God will do for marriages with this book!
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My main website is: http://www.michellestimpson.com/.
I post articles at http://www.womengrowinginchrist.com/,
and I tour with 6 other Christian fiction authors – our tour information is at http://www.anointedauthorsontour.com/.
Thanks so much, Lena! One of these days, I’ll get a blog together. I surely won’t forget you!
Thank you, Michelle, for spending this time with us.
Readers, you can order The Good Stuff using this link:
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