Thursday, September 11, 2014

 I think I always wanted to be a writer, but officially declared it at the age of six, after listing rhyming words on paper, then stringing them together with a few other pretty words. Thus began my early career writing poems to my parents and later, letters of love my mom called “testimonies” and kept in her dresser drawer.

I’ve been at it since. But as life has its ups and downs and crooked lines, there were seasons for writing and a long road between that first poem and getting published. My early work appeared in parenting magazines, Guideposts for Teens magazine, and other magazines. God led me in so many different directions with writing and I’m very grateful for the opportunities.

When my kids were little, I freelanced more for newspapers and magazines, and did ghostwriting, then later went to work full-time as a features writer for a Northwest Arkansas newspaper.  After a move and setting writing aside for a couple of years, a client for whom I’d done editing and script writing asked me if I’d write a novel for him. He later changed his mind on the project, but I was hooked and began a novel of my own: Crooked Lines.

Crooked Lines, my debut novel (released in July) threads the lives of two determined souls from different continents and cultures. The novel got its beginnings after listening to my husband and his clergy friends tell incredible stories about their lives in India as young seminarians—working in the slums, ministering to the untouchables in India’s caste system, serving lepers, meeting Mother Teresa. Amazing stories. Growing up in the America in the 1970-80s, I experienced a completely different world. And yet, we are all people created in God’s image who share similar hearts and emotions. In Crooked Lines, (fiction) Rebecca and Sagai seek peace and truth while struggling through life along parallel paths.

What’s Next:
I planned to release my novel, I’ll Be Seeing You, in November, (a contemporary Christian family drama about end of life decisions.) but I’m getting so many requests for a sequel to Crooked Lines, so I’m working on that now. I’ll Be Seeing You will follow the sequel, maybe in January.

Also, a fun story about another upcoming release:  A few weeks ago, my husband and I realized this December is the ten year anniversary of the tsunami that hit south India in 2004. We were there, 10 days after that catastrophe. We did a fast fund-raising event and had raised a good amount of money to donate to the victims, especially the orphans. My husband had lived and worked in the region of South India that was devastated, teaching in orphanages, for many years. So, discussing the anniversary of the tsunami, he suggested we write a “then” and “now” book chronicling the lives of the orphan children we helped during that time. That sounded like a fun project, but only one catch. I reminded him that we’d actually have to go to India, seek out all of the orphans, and write the book rather quickly to get it published by the ten-year anniversary. A few hours later, he’d booked tickets. I love that he’s so proactive and willing to travel and work with me on project. I love to travel, too and am always up for an adventure. So, we’ll be heading to India and working on that project in the upcoming months.

Another project: My son (Jake) and I have written a devotional contracted with Harvest House: First and Goal to Go: What Football Taught Me about Never Giving Up. Jake is an NFL player and type one diabetic. Release date will be the fall of 2015.

So, looks like a very busy fall and winter!

About Holly Michael: I’m a kaleidoscope, twisted and turned by the hand of God through a beautiful life of writing, traveling, and other incredible opportunities. Was a regular freelance ghostwriter and online editor for Guideposts for Teens/Sweet 16 Magazine, creator/editor of a magazine for Wal-Mart Corp., journalist, newspaper features writer, published in a variety of national magazines and local newspapers, script writing/editing for a financial corporation, book reviewer, and now writing 

fiction, blogging, and editor of Koinonia Magazine. I’m the wife of Rt. Rev. Leo Michael, an Anglican Bishop in the Holy Catholic Church-Anglican Rite. Mom to three great kids: Sweet Betsy and my two #81’s: Jake Byrne (San Diego Chargers) and Nick Byrne (Ragin Cajuns). I’ve been blessed to be able to travel extensively across the United States and internationally to India, England, Scotland, and Canada.

Make sure to stop by tomorrow, when you can win a free copy of Holly's novel Crooked Lines!


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