Thursday, July 3, 2008

Meet Michelle Sutton!

Hi, Michelle,
Welcome to Writers' Rest.

You're a busy lady - how many hats are you currently wearing at the moment?

Let's see...Christian, wife, mother, sister, daughter, employee, pet owner, friend, author, magazine editor, mentor, blogger, book reviewer, giveaway coordinator, book promoter. I think I covered them all.

Congratulations on your upcoming release, It's Not About Me. Tell us about the book and the inspiration behind it.

Actually, the story came to me because of a friendship I had with a woman from my church in Phoenix. I can't tell you the details or it takes some of the "surprise" out of the story, but I'll just say the same thing happened to her, but she was a middle aged married woman and not a young lady like Annie in my story. But that was where the premise for my story came from . . . I asked myself, "What would happen if a girl with a perfect life had a tsunami of pain hit her when she least expected it? How would that shake out and where will she end up in regards to love, faith, independence, self-worth?"

How did you get started on your writing journey and what lessons can you share with us?

In August 2003 I was inspired to write a novel after e-mailing Love Inspired author Cynthia Ruchti and hearing her story about how she began her writing journey.

Do you have any spare time? If you do, how do you spend it?

In my spare time I do stuff with friends, my family, and church family. I go to rodeos, take walks, have picnics, go to lunch, go to parties . . . all kinds of things.

I have to ask, because you know I love Chocolate - when and how did the Chocolate Parties start at the ACFW conference? They're a great ice breaker and I always tell people to make sure they go!

I was trying to figure out a way to connect with people at my first conference and so many people I knew loved chocolate so we met in my room (about 40 of us) for the first party. I brought The Ungame (Christian version) with me and we broke the ice that way. It has been such an event that I've had one every year since. This year will be the fifth annual chocolate party in my room. :)

Writing isn't your full-time job yet, is it? What can we find you doing when you're not working away on a manuscript?

See the above hats! And I work full time for the Arizona State Government as a social worker.

As a newly published author, how do you feel about the current waves in the publishing business? Do you think it's going to grow increasingly more difficult for the unpublished authors to get their manuscripts into the hands of agents and editors?

Of course it'll get harder. That's why I went with Sheaf House. I didn't want to change who I was as an author just to sell a book. I love edgy fiction, I write it, and I'm gonna sell it. I'm just glad Sheaf House gave me a chance to do that.

You label yourself as a writer of Edgy Inspirational Fiction - what does that mean?

That means I'm too Christian for the ABA and too edgy for the CBA. :) Seriously, I write realistic situations that people find themselves in...even Christians. I show how people really feel and think inside when they are in those situations, and it's not always righteous. My character make bad choices sometimes and they have to live with the consequences. That's how real life is. I think people can learn from reading about other people's mistakes just like younger siblings learn from older siblings' mistakes. I hope to prepare people for those sticky situations so if they find themselves in the same place they'll make a better choice than some of my characters did.

Do you have a mentor, someone in particular whom you credit for helping you grow as a writer?

Too many people to count. Seriously, I have three full pages of gratitude and thanks dedicated to the first pages in my book. You'll have to read it to get that info. It's too much info to write here.

What future projects do you have lined up for your writing career?

I have nine novels already written. I'm focusing on the magazine and revising existing material. I have a ton of projects circulating right now so I don't need to add more just yet.

Parting advice for those still striving toward publication?

Hang in there. It's worth it in the end.

Thanks for stopping by Writers' Rest. May God continue to bless you and your writing!

Thanks for having me!

Visit Michelle at her website

1 comment:

carlaspathways said...

I'm so glad you stopped by Michelle!
You have so many wonderful things going on! Congrats!!