If you’re looking for my Marvelous Middle Grade Monday review for today, scroll down and read about SEEING CINDERELLA.
If, however, you’re here as part of the GUTGAA Meet and Greet, welcome!
The rules call for a mini bio, so here goes. I spent 10 years as a PR manager promoting everything from forklift rodeos to Hotel Olympics, construction and real estate. After my second child, I decided to stay home and write full-time. (Not to be confused with being a stay-at-home mom, which I admire but couldn’t do. My kids go to daycare.) I also continue to do some freelance PR on the side. I’ve written three novels and am almost finished with a first draft of my fourth. The first one was, well, let’s just say you’ll never see it. I queried the second one for eight months before letting it go, and I’m currently querying the third one–DUET WITH THE DEVIL’S VIOLIN. This novel is the one I’ll be entering in GUTGAA. Now on to the questions…
In my office at home. Here’s a picture:
Quick. Go to your writing space, sit down and look to your left. What is the first thing you see?
My husband’s diplomas. You can just see them on the left-hand side of the photo. My diploma is on a different wall because it’s from Baylor, and everything is bigger in Texas.
Favorite time to write?
I’m most productive in the morning but have learned to write well in the afternoon, too.
Drink of choice while writing?
Morning: coffee with milk. Rest of the day: water or iced tea.
When writing , do you listen to music or do you need complete silence?
I used to listen to music, but now it distracts me, so I stick to silence.
What was your inspiration for your latest manuscript and where did you find it?
I wrote a whole post about what inspired the manuscript I’m currently querying. As for my current WIP, an offhand comment from a friend about being afraid of black holes inspired the idea. I call it “Black Hole Story,” even though it doesn’t have an actual black hole. It does, however, have kids being transported to another planet. I also was inspired by an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Thank you, kids.
What’s your most valuable writing tip?
I have to choose one? I’ve blogged about this before, but read! I’ve found it reinforces what I’m doing right and inspires me to do other things even better.
As a bonus tip, never give up. I treat writing like a job, even though I don’t get paid for it yet (well, not for the fiction, anyway). I’ll keep working at it until I get the next promotion. In my case, that’s landing an agent. Here’s to hoping GUTGAA helps me get there!
Awesome post. Was wonderful getting to know you better. LOL on your diploma, Michelle. Good luck with GUTGAA…reading all these posts makes me want to join you all.
I think getting to know other writers is one of the best things about participating in blog contests. And it gives us an opportunity to show some more personality :).
I enjoyed getting to know you better too, Michelle. Good luck with GUTGAA… I have a feeling that with your determination and drive you’re going to go to the next level soon!
Thanks so much, Michael! It’s great to receive that kind of encouragement.
I think my writing improved dramatically when I started reading more books at the age level I’m writing for. Such good advice!
Yes, it’s amazing. I’ve learned so much from reading other middle grade books. And it’s not all what I’m doing wrong. A lot of it is what I’m doing right.
I had to check out the blog of another Michelle. I’m a Cubs fan though, so we won’t be confused. LOL!
Your office is gorgeous. What a soothing place to write.
Oh no, a Cubs fan? Oh well.
And thanks! I love my office. Before we moved to this house earlier this year, my “office” was a desk in the middle of the kids’ toys in the basement, so it’s a huge step up!
Yeah, my first MS isn’t going to be seen by anyone either. Unless I totally revamp it 🙂
So nice to meet you!
Mine’s not worth revamping, unless I can somehow turn a time travel, Christian romance into an MG or YA book :).
Greetings! I write MG, too, and there don’t seem to be as many of us on this list as YA. I like the comment about treating writing like a job…now, if only we’d get paid while trying! 🙂 Best wishes.
Yes, unfortunately there aren’t a lot of agents in the group that list MG, but you never know–some of the YA agents might check out the MG entries, too. Good luck!
Nice to meet you, Michelle! Wow, your office rocks! I wish I could stay home and write and still afford daycare for my kids. I’ve tried being a stay-at-home mom; I’m not good at it and very little actual writing gets done. Very little of anything else gets done, either, come to think of it. But unless I win the lottery, the day job is here to stay for the time being.
I let many people see my first novel. Of course, I was fourteen and convinced I was the next big thing. Now I look at it and cringe (or laugh – it depends on my mood, really). I still have it because I occasionally need a reminder of just how far I’ve progressed over the last fifteen years…and because I think there’s some promise buried beneath all the layers of teenage angst and soap opera-style melodrama.
Nice to meet you, too! I’m very fortunate to have a husband who supports my writing so wholeheartedly–and that we can afford to make writing for no pay my job. However, it will be nice for the budget when our son goes to kindergarten next year :).
I’m sure there is promise underneath. When I read that first manuscript, I still see some good points. As much as anything, it’s that it’s in a genre I don’t write anymore. Good luck!
Swinging by from GUTGAA to say hello…A new subscriber to your blog here. Even though we don’t get paid financially for writing we haven’t sold yet, there are still numerous rewards to writing a story that we care about. I look forward to reading more from you!
That is so true! I stayed in a job I used to love for too long, and it’s so rewarding to do what I love every day. Plus, I still get to do a bit of the PR on the side, so it’s not completely gone. Thanks for subscribing!
Hi Michelle! Nice to meet you! Sounds like a great story.
And I agree: read read read. I like to read a bestseller before doing revisions. Always helps me see my work in a more professional eye. 😀
Yes, it can! However, there is one best seller I read who does everything the experts tell you not to. Of course, she built her audience 30 years ago, so no one cares. The rules are different for the newcomers, but I can live with that.
Great blog! That’s very cool that you are able to focus on writing — I imagine you have a wonderfully supportive spouse! I agree, reading is the best tip there is to being a writer. Well, and actually writing… 🙂
Here’s my GUTGAA Meet & Greet post: A Girl and her Diary
Thanks, Stephanie! And yes, my husband is the best. It was his idea to quit and focus on my writing if that’s what I wanted to do. He says he gets the benefits, too, because I’m much happier.
I remember seeing your query somewhere else on the interweb, and it blew me away. Your story premise is amazing and your writing is incredible. Best of luck and hope GUTGAA gets it for ya!
Thank you so much! Although I haven’t queried extensively, I have done a lot online–The Writers Voice, WriteOnCon–so I’m not surprised you’ve seen it. I’m doing a big push now, entering all the contests and sending more queries. Ready for an agent!
Hi Michelle! Here’s to hoping you get that promotion to agented author. Nice to meet you!
Nice to meet you, too. Thanks for stopping by!
Wonderful concept for a story. Nice to meet you and good luck with GUTGAA. Stop by and say hello if you get the chance. http://anjeasandro.blogspot.com/
Thanks for stopping by! I’ll come visit you, too.
I agree the best thing about GUTGAA is the meet and greet, glad to meet you, hope to chat with you soon.
Thanks for stopping by! Heading over to check out your blog as well…
Oh haha on Baylor and Everything is Bigger in Texas! Yes, it is, and your writing space is quite divine! Love meeting you through GUTGAA, and best wishes to you!
Dr Margaret Aranda
It IS divine, especially after working in the basement for years. Thanks for stopping by!
Wow, a book inspired by kids being scared of a black hole sounds cool. Also a book inspired by the Mickey Mouse Club. Do you mean the old old one from the sixties or the one from the nineties? I remember watching the one from the nineties as a kid.
I mean the cartoon that’s on now–Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It’s my kids’ favorite show (they’re 2 and 4 1/2). There was an episode where Goofy goes on a quest, and a quest is a big part of my current WIP. So fun!