Bio: Michelle De Bruin lives in
with her husband and two teenage sons.
She has a bachelor’s degree in Religion with a Iowa
emphasis, and in Music. Michelle is the spiritual services provider for an
organization that offers services for people with mental and physical
disabilities. She has been a member of American Christian Fiction Writers
(ACFW) since 2015. Michelle writes inspirational historical romance about
people who live in rural communities. Characters that bring to life the
delights of farm and small-town living, whispers of Dutch heritage, and
Christian faith make Michelle’s stories distinct. A romantic at heart, Michelle
is always on the lookout for glimpses of God’s love through the window of a
good story. Christian Ministry
Her first book, Hope for Tomorrow, released in 2018. The sequel, Promise for Tomorrow, released November 2019. The third book in the series, Dreaming of Tomorrow, releases November 2020.
Welcome, Michelle. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I don’t intend to write myself into my characters. Instead, I try to create characters that I can identify with. If they were real people in my neighborhood or church family, they would be people that I would have much in common with. If readers who know me happen to detect my personal characteristics shining through a character in my books, then it is coincidence instead of intentional.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Nothing came to mind when I first read this question, so I asked my family. They couldn’t think of anything either. I guess that means I’m not very quirky unless you count the one time I let someone talk me in to going on the
Tower of Terror
ride at Disneyland. This is the building with
the elevator that free-falls down through many stories, and it goes fast,
picking up speed the closer it gets to the ground level. After this ride, I was
so dazed that I had to take a break from exploring the amusement park with the
rest of the group and lay down on the sidewalk in order to restore my
equilibrium. This was the first time, and most likely the last that I will
venture into the realm of quirkiness.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I first discovered I was a writer in grade school when I would be one of the students chosen to attend writer’s workshops and other local events that helped to develop writing skills in children.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m very selective in what I read. Books must help grow my faith or teach me new insights about the Lord and His ways or working in a human life. Books must also have a thread of humor or light-heartedness running through them. This narrows the range, I’m afraid, to Christian fiction and also to non-fiction consistent with credible interpretations of Scripture.
At least there a lot of Christian novels available now. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
The first thing that I don’t do is run. I gave up long ago trying to keep up with the pace at which the world thinks we need to be living. The best I can, I let the Holy Spirit set my pace. For me, this starts with observing a Sabbath day of rest in my schedule. Beyond the physical ordering of my schedule, I rely on the writings of teachers like Ruth Haley Barton, James Bryan Smith, and Adele Ahlberg Calhoun to maintain the disciplines of soul care.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Characters’ names are chosen based on what the common names were of the time period, as well as what is authentic according to the cultural context in which the story is set.
For example, the hero in this story is of Dutch descent, so he, his family, and his best friend required surnames that reflect this heritage. That is why the farm family featured in this story has the name De Witt, and the hero’s best friend has the name Betten.
For first names, I tried to choose names that were consistent with how immigrants would name their children born in
and also was easy to spell and understand for a reader. Children were given a
family name, a popular first name, or a Bible name. America
For example, the best friend and his wife have the names Peter and Anna, both Bible names. Peter” also has the Dutch spelling Pieter, but I Americanized the spelling for simplicity in reading.
is popular today,
and was also used in Dutch communities as a name for boys. The mother,
Cassandra, and the sister, Matilda, have names that were common for women in
that era. Logan
The heroine, Karen, has a name that wasn’t so familiar in the early 20th century, but I wanted to use it anyway because of its meaning, which is: pure.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The accomplishment I am most proud of would have to be completing my bachelor’s degree in religion at our local liberal arts college while my children were grade-school age. I was able to schedule my classes during the day while they were in school and ended up getting my degree completed in two years.
Good for you. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would probably be a rabbit. They are curious, fast, and go into hiding whenever danger is near. They also stay as cute fully grown as they do when they are young. I would like to think this is true of me, but you’ll have to confer with my husband and the people who have to live with me to get the real story on that.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is pie. Strawberry pie and lemon meringue pie in the summer. Pumpkin or apple in the winter.
My favorite pie is Pecan. When I was growing up, it was called Karo Nut Pie, because of the corn syrup used in the filling. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
The problem is the marketing and getting my name out as someone who has quality books that I know many people will enjoy. I’m not sure that I have overcome it yet. That is why I am so grateful for opportunities to appear on blogs like this one. Thank you for hosting me,
ell us about the featured book.
The featured book, Hope for Tomorrow, is my debut novel. It is inspirational, historical fiction set in an
farming community in the year 1910. Iowa
Here is the description from the back cover:
A young man leaves his career to care for his family and agrees to board the school teacher who offers him a priceless gift.
When Logan De Witt learns of his father’s sudden death, he returns home to the family’s dairy farm. During his stay, he discovers his mother’s struggle with finances and his younger sister’s struggle with grief. Concern for his family presses
to make the
difficult decision to leave his career as a pastor and stay on the farm. As a
way to make some extra money, he agrees to board the teacher for their local
Karen Millerson arrives from
ready to teach high school but her position is eliminated so she accepts the
role of country school teacher. Eager to put her family’s ugly past behind her,
Karen begins a new career to replace the trust she lost in her own father who
had been in ministry when she was a child. Chicago
Logan and Karen both sense a call from the Lord to serve him, but neither of them expected that one day they would do it together.
Can Karen learn to trust again? Will
lay aside his grief in exchange for God’s purpose for his life? Logan
Please give us the first page of the book.
“The Lord bless you and keep you.” A tremor shook Reverend Logan De Witt’s outstretched hand as Walter Brinks entered the church.
The teenage son of the family who managed the hotel carried a white slip of paper and paced the back of the sanctuary. The Oswell City Hotel was the only place in town with a telephone. Someone in
care was about to receive bad news. Logan
He swallowed and attempted to finish the blessing. “The Lord make his face to shine upon you—” A drop of water from above splattered his sermon notes. He wrestled with the longing to move them out of harm’s way, but a full sanctuary waited on him to finish the benediction. “—and be gracious to you.”
A second fat drop fell, headed not for all those well-chosen words from hours of study, but for his nose. It rolled off the tip and spilled onto his Bible.
His chest tightened at the audacity of these shameless drips. A little water damage to his sermon he could deal with, but spoiling his Bible was another matter entirely. He lifted his gaze to the vaulted ceiling above just in time to watch a third drop plummet from the heights. More followed. Splat. Splat. Splat. All over the eighth chapter of Romans.
Pews creaked. Someone in the front row coughed. The time had come to wrap up the service, but Walt chose that moment to stride down the aisle and join him at the pulpit. Two more drops splashed his nose. He snatched up his Bible.
Walt nudged him. “Pastor Logan, I’ve got a message for ya.”
Bad news had no place in the benediction.
“This is for you.” Walt laid his slip of paper on the pulpit and ran out as quickly as he’d appeared.
A sour taste filled
mouth, making speech even more difficult. “The Lord lift his countenance upon
you . . . and . . . and give you p . . . peace.” He’d come so close to getting
through the service without a stutter. He fled the pulpit to read the note
while everyone sang the Doxology. Logan
Reverend De Witt,
A man named Vern Patterson called here. He says your mother wants you to come home as soon as possible. Your sister found your father on the floor of the barn at milking time this morning. The doctor said he suffered a heart attack. I’m sorry you have to find out about your father’s death like this. Let me know if there’s anything I can do.
A heavy weight sank in his stomach. His tall, strong father was dead. Tears gathered in the corners of his eyes while the truth pierced his heart.
How can readers find you in the Internet?
They are welcome to visit my website where I post devotional writings and book reviews to my blog. On my website is more information about all of my books, a place to subscribe to my newsletter, and a place to join Michelle’s Boek Vrienden, which is my street team. In English, it translates to Michelle’s Book Friends.
Readers are also welcome to follow me on social media. These links are below:
Lena, for hosting me today. It has been
such a good time!
It was my great pleasure to introduce you to my blog readers. I know they will be as eager to read your book as I am.
Readers, here are links to the book.
https://amzn.to/32TIeF7 - Paperback
https://amzn.to/3gQjGBW - Kindle
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