Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Author Q & A...IN TOO DEEP

Well, I asked for it and I got it...QUESTIONS!

I wanted to do a Q & A for fun so I asked for questions on my AUTHOR PAGE. So, here are your answers...


What inspired you to write a story?
I have been a story teller my entire life. I love to tell stories both truth and fiction. But to answer your question, I had a story to tell floating around in my head and it finally convinced me to let it out.

Will the book be available on Kindle?
Yes! I am so excited about that, too! I know, at least for me, I buy books most often when bookstores aren't open. Just the other night I finished a book and started another one while laying in bed after midnight! Having my book THAT available for people is so freaking cool!

Will you be doing a book signing tour?
I will definitely be doing some local signings. I have a speaking engagement set for a sorority event at Penn State and the Campus Bookstore wants me to do a signing there as well. I don't know if I am a big enough deal to have a "tour" yet but one day that would be really cool!

How long did it take to write the book?
This is a great question but I am not sure how to answer it. Most authors will probably tell you they've had a story in their minds for years before sitting down to write it. This story has been growing in my heart for two decades. The actual writing process obviously took significantly less time - exact amount of time, I'm not sure, as it was done in pieces and parts and then finally all fit together.

How do you kick writer's block in the butt?
Ugh. The dreaded writer's block. Everyone deals with this differently and some things will work for some people but not everyone. It really depends on your personality. But for me, personally, I do one of three things or bits and pieces of each...I listen to a huge amount of music and translate the stories and hurdles in the lyrics. Of course, I am not listening to dance beats, though, I am more into soulful alternative styles. The other thing I do is run through the story lines of movies I loved. What characteristics did the movie have? How did the couple interact? What did their issues or anxieties stem from? What drew me to that storyline? The whole time I'm jotting down these details and soon, hopefully, see a pattern in what drama I am drawn to and what friction between lovers do I find fascinating and I go from there. Or I take a long shower! Showers fix everything!

Did you pick names in the book based on names you liked or names that have meaning to the character's personality? Or did you know the character and then the name developed after?
What a great question! I did a bit of both for the characters of IN TOO DEEP. Gracie's name was definitely based on her personality and her values. When explaining the storyline and dilemma over names to my two closest friends, one of them said "I like the name Grace, and she gives so much grace in this relationship." She does gives GRACE...although, TOO MUCH grace when it comes to Noah...but I just thought her name spoke to her sweet spirit. Jake and Noah were just pulled out of nowhere. LOL. I had a ton of chapters written before I chose the guys' names. And it's amazing to me how well they suit them now that the story is finished. It's a very cool but arbitrary process for me.

Do you have an agent or do you just have a publisher? If you just have a publisher, did you query agents and then just decide to go directly with a publisher and not find an agent? How come?
No, I actually don't have an agent. I was approached by one that I had queried but she was about 3 days late as I had already signed with Sapphire Star Publishing. I actually only queried a handful of agents and editors but the owners of Sapphire Star found ME. Which is really kind of cool! Right before Christmas I participated in a Twitter event called #PitchMAS. There were strict guidelines and windows of time but basically in a specific number of words you had to PITCH your book and it would be posted on FEAKY SNUCKER'S blog. Agents and editors participated by browsing through the pitches and requesting queries, first 10 pages, etc. They requested, I sent, they offered my a contract on Christmas Eve!

If the story is based on your life experiences, how do you think the people in your life will react if they find themselves to be easily associated with any or all of the characters in your story?
I suppose many authors have that question floating around in their minds as they write. However, I think I can safely say that every character in every fictional book is based on someone the author knows, has known or knows about. I guess I think of it this way...
I write fiction. The end.
LOL! But I will say, IN TOO DEEP has the same pattern of abuse I endured but details, names and specific places have been changed. Much of what I wrote was literally pulled from my imagination in a new storyline but in order to make the story and its characters authentic, I did need to dig down into my own scars and reenact some situations in order to stay true to the recognizable pattern of abuse so the story remains believable.
We authors have an old saying, "Write what you KNOW!" So, in following that guideline, who would be writing about characters they DIDN'T know?

Thanks so much to everyone who contributed questions! This was fun! I hope to do this regularly, especially after the book comes out!

If you have a question, feel free to leave it in the comments and I will update this post with your question and my answer! :)



  1. Hey, Michelle ~ it's really nice to find out how you came to sing... SIGN with SSP! Love your cure for writer's block too. Huge congrats and can't wait to see this come out. Rock on! X

  2. I love the last question. My family and friends are always trying to compare my characters to real people in my life. I always hear "this scene was based on ... wasn't it?". It's funny to a point, but it's a little annoying too. Why can't people believe the story came from my imagination. No, my hero doesn't have blue eyes because my husband has blue eyes! Jeeze!
    Only one character in my book was slightly drawn from someone I know in real life, but that person is so self-centered, they'd never figure it out. :)
    I don't have any questions yet, but I'm sure I will soon.