© 2013 Clive Eaton
Michelle is an author from a small town in Manitoba, Canada. She is a part-time stay-at-home-mom and a part-time English teacher for a group of rowdy 6th graders. She writes at night when the world (mostly her household, really) sleeps. She has traveled and taught in Thailand and Indonesia and currently lives in Vietnam. She loves to read, try new restaurants, and spend time with her family and friends.
Book title: The Accidental Prophetess
Brief Synopsis: Natalie Richards (27) knows how to make a video go viral. It's her
job, after all. But when she's fired over her latest video -- an ad for dish soap,
of all things -- she complains. Loudly. In public. It's not her fault that those
words were written down decades earlier. Within minutes she's abducted, whisked underground,
and proclaimed to be a long-lost prophet destined to save the world.
The threats against world peace are real. But then again, so is the need to breathe fresh air and have a decent haircut. Not to mention the two deliciously handsome men that seem to have secrets of their own. A cult is a cult, no matter how sexy the head of security might be ... right?
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Writing is my way to relax and escape! It’s the rest of my life that is busy and gets me tied up in knots. I have two toddlers and a teaching career, so writing after they’re in bed is my way to unwind.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer? I’ve always loved writing, and making up stories. I can’t think of a single person or experience that made me want to be an author. It’s something I’ve just always enjoyed.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
Without sounding like a total nutcase, I actually do believe that prophecies happen, and that prophets exist. They’re in the Bible, so there you have it. But I started thinking about how a person would feel at the beginning of a journey of discovery – would they know they have this “gift?” Would they doubt themselves? Add to that a healthy dose of fun and romance, and my book was born!
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) The terrorist might be related to Natalie.
2) There is a small group of people who resent Natalie’s leadership and are willing to kill over it.
3) Natalie can’t seem to sort out whether or not one of the hunky men is a good guy or a bad guy.
What research did you need to do for this book?
I had to find out more about computers and technology today. The secret society is using high-tech surveillance equipment, and has some sophisticated software. Luckily for me, my husband is a nerdy type who could answer all my questions as I went along.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
Yes! The bit where Natalie receives a slimming undergarment was my own unfortunate experience (with my Mother-in-Law, no less).
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
I’m working on a sequel. Natalie goes back to school, but in her research, she stumbles across a terrible plot and will need to use all of the resources at her disposal to get to the bottom of it. And by all of the resources, I mostly mean Carla, Marc and Ethan.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
I wrote the first draft of this book as part of a Nanowrimo challenge. After that, it was a matter of revising and editing.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
I need quiet. I have no idea how people can write with music or people around them. I tried writing in a coffee shop once and finished one measly paragraph over the course of several hours. I am too much of a people-watcher to get anything done if there are people around.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
Initially I thought I’d want to go the traditional route, but the more I researched, the more appealing self-publishing became. I like having control over what I do with the book. And I like that I get to keep a lot more of my earnings.
What were the two biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) Initially, I found it difficult to tell people what I was working on. Telling people that I had written a book was one thing (Wow! Good for you!). Telling them that I wrote Romantic Comedy / Chick Lit was another (Huh. That’s interesting. I never would have figured you for that fluffy type).
2) Editing was a challenge too. The first draft was fun, and editing was fun too, but the problem with editing your own work is that you are limited by your current level. I had to learn a lot about how to improve my own skills. Having a critique group and beta readers helped a lot too.
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
I didn’t seem to have any difficulties with writer’s block. Maybe the Nanowrimo progress bar solved that problem for me.
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Writing is like any other job. There will be times you love it and times you hate it, but just do it anyways and in the end you’ll have a novel.
What genre does your book fall into?
Romantic Comedy / Chick Lit
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I was introduced to Janet Evanovich by a friendly librarian at my local library. Since then I have read everything by her, and then in ever expanding circles within the genre. Since it’s what I love to read, I figured it only made sense to write it too.
You as a reader
Which authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Janet Evanovich – she writes in a way that can make me laugh out loud. I wish I could be as funny as her.
2) Clive Cussler – I seem to have a thing for books with unrealistic heroes. Dirk Pitt has been a favourite character of mine for a long time.
What was your favourite book as a child?
The Secret Garden. I grew up on a farm surrounded by nature, and loved the idea of creating something like my own private garden. I can still remember the childish plans I had of how to make this dream a reality.
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months? This may seem strange, but I’ve been reading the original Winnie-the-Pooh books to my daughter. I had no idea that it would be so enjoyable.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
I read 1,000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp. I would definitely recommend it to anyone as a reminder of those things we so often take for granted.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
I live in Vietnam, so anything portable works best for me. Plus, paperbacks here get mouldy. So definitely an e-reader girl.
Drink – Blended smoothies.
Meal – Pizza & Caesar salad (I can’t get this easily where I live, and don’t have the ingredients to make it myself. It’s currently #1 on my list for Things I Will Eat When I Return To Canada).
Holiday destination – I’d love to go to Russia.
Method of travel – Here in Vietnam I drive a little motorbike.
Sport – I like just about every water sport I’ve ever tried.
How can people connect with you?
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