The fantabulous Lynne Gentry invited me join a Writer’s Blog Tour. So, I thought it would be fun to showcase another historical suspense author, a writer friend and critique partner whose work I can only aspire to, Michelle Griep! Michelle is one sweet, talented lady. I can’t wait for you to meet her and find out about her most recent release, A Heart Deceived.
So here’s how the blog roll works. Both Michelle and I will take turns answering the blog questions and then we thought it would be fun to do a book give-away (see entry details at the end).
Here we go …
1. What am I working on?
MICHELLE: Currently I'm off the fiction leash and roaming the neighborhood of non-fiction. I'm compiling a writing book based off of the posts on my blog, Writer Off the Leash.
Once that's pulled together, though, I'll be back in Regency England with an officer of the Bow Street Runners, hot on the trail of suspected traitor to the crown. . . and the pretty innkeeper's daughter.
ELIZABETH: Michelle, your courage to try new things never fails to amaze me! I just know your non-fiction is going to be a huge success (mostly because I got a sneak peek and I know you’re going to inject it with your sharp as a razor wit!). :-)
I’m one of those people who always say they need to cut back on the number of projects they have going and never does! I mean, I do cut back, but then immediately fill the slot with something else. LOL!
Right now, I’m marketing my newest historical suspense from Bethany House Publishers called Tide and Tempest. I’m also polishing up the revisions for a Christmas story coming out in September from Barbour Publishing called, Christmas Comes to Bethlehem, Maine and plotting a series of mysteries for Guideposts called Sugarcreek Secrets. It’s a lot of work juggling so many different projects, but the simple truth is, if I’m not busy, I don’t feel productive. It’s a vicious cycle… :-)
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
MICHELLE: My writing is a shade darker and snarkier than most. Think Dickens crossed with Sherlock Holmes and Charlotte Bronte. Yeah, I've got balls and dinners and gorgeous dresses, but I also deal with some of the tougher issues of the day such as extreme poverty, addiction issues, and mental health.
ELIZABETH: Dark and snarky…why yes, that about sums it up! LOL!
My stories always have a splash of mystery or a splattering of suspense. Seriously. I tried to write a straight historical romance once, and a third of the way through, I killed off one of the main characters. It’s like I have to put action on every page or it feels like there’s just not enough happening. Which, when I think about it, makes sense given that I live my life at 100mph and only slow down when I’m forced to go to sleep (see answer above). LOL!
3. Why do I write what I do?
MICHELLE: I adore history. Yes, even when I was in junior high. I'm also an Anglophile at heart, so British history it is, folks. And I write for adults because I'd scare the bejeebers out of little kids, so children's books are a definite no-no.
ELIZABETH: LOL! Please, stick to writing for adults. As a proud new grandmother, I surely do not want to explain to my granddaughter why Jack and Jill ran up a hill. . .to escape an ax murderer.
My reasons for writing have changed over the years. At first, it was simply to satisfy a dream. That quickly morphed into something I never expected—a desire to give people hope. Writing inspirational fiction allows me to spread the gospel in a way that speaks to Christians and non-Christians alike, because people who might not sit through a sermon have no problem sitting through a good book. Plus, it enables me to prove what I’ve claimed all along—that fiction doesn’t have to be foul to find an audience. I was tired of the books I’d been reading before I came to Christ. I wanted something uplifting, romantic, exciting, but wholesome, too! That’s what I hope I offer to readers.
4. How does my writing process work?
MICHELLE: When I sit down to write a scene, I first fill out this little formula...
POV: Whose perspective will we see this scene from?
SCENE: Where is this taking place? What will happen?
PURPOSE: What is important to reveal to the reader in this scene to move the plot forward and deepen character development?
CLIFFHANGER: What will make the reader turn the page instead of putting down the book?
ELIZABETH: See…now that may be why your writing is always so much tighter than mine on the first draft. You actually have a plan! My writing usually starts out like this:
Hello. My name is Elizabeth Ludwig, and I am a daydreamer.
I will usually daydream about the characters in my books for weeks before I ever write the first chapter. That’s because I need to be able to see them in my head, hear how they talk and learn how they act before I can begin to write their story. Then, once I have a clear picture of the characters, I start plotting out the story. That means charting out a detailed timeline from start to finish. I also search for photos, locate maps, make drawings of certain settings, and collect samples of historical details that I can incorporate. Only when all of that is finished do feel equipped enough to begin writing. It makes for a lengthier process, but I’m always satisfied when I finish that I did my best to make the story accurate and exciting.
Thank you for visiting The Borrowed Book, Michelle! I love your quirky sense of humor, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to our readers.
You can learn more about Michelle and check out all her books at her website.
To follow the blog tour and learn the gritty details of more behind-the-scenes writer-lives, visit Kellie Coates Gilbert’s post on Southern Belle View. Michelle Griep will also host an author of her choice next week Writer off the Leash. And if you’d like to check out my blog tour stop last week, visit Lynne Gentry’s blog!
David C. Cook, 2013
Writer Girls Blog Tour Giveaway!
In celebration of the blog tour, we’re giving away one copy of TIDE AND TEMPEST and one copy of A HEART DECEIVED, two stories that will capture your heart. To enter, leave a comment answering the question of the day. I’ll announce a winner back here in the comments on Tuesday morning at eight o’clock am!
Question of the day: Michelle and I both write historical suspense. Tell us – what do you like about suspense, and do you prefer it to other genres?