BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

NORA INTERVIEWS MICHELLE SUTTON


ABOUT MICHELLE SUTTON: (Taken from her website)I'm so excited that she as agreed to do an interview with me and I can share it with all of you!

My pen name is Michelle Sutton. I've lived in sunny Arizona and since 1991 and I have two sons and a husband of almost 18 years.

When I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)it made a huge difference in my life for many reasons. ACFW members elected me to serve on the operating board as Volunteer Officer for a two year term. I began my duties on January 1, 2007. I blog and post book reviews all over the internet (with some recently appearing on USA Today) as well as giving away two books per week on my blog. Many publishing houses have referenced my blog and reviews. Just Google Edgy Inspirational Author.

But the most exciting news of all is that I sold my manuscript Then Sings My Soul (now retitled It's Not About Me) to Sheaf House and it will be released in Sept. 2008. It looks like the second book in the series will be coming out the following fall (Sept. 2009) since they are putting chapter 1 at the end of the first book. We just need to make it official via another contract.

Lastly, I have been given a position as Editor in Chief of a new online magazine. The debut issue will release in July 2008. The magazine is called Christian Fiction Online Magazine and is sponsored by the CFBA, which is the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance. The URL is http://www.christianfictiononlinemagazine.com and presently shows "coming soon" on the site. I am also working as Marketing Director for Sheaf House Publishers, LLC. Did I mention I also design websites? I have about 7 clients at the moment, so if you need a site send me an e-mail and we'll chat about it.

Thanks Michelle for letting us get to know you a little better and thanks also for answering my questions. You are a GREAT sport!!!


1. How did you get the idea for this book?

It's actually based on something that happened to a friend of mine.

What made you want to write in this genre?

I didn't plan to. It's actually the fifth book I've written, but the characters in this story were younger than my 25-40 year old characters in previous books, and my voice came out YA. So maybe my brain shifted gears mid-stream and got tired of Women's fiction.

2. What inspires you to write?
I just get the muse every so often. It's hard to explain, but I guess the best was to describe it is the overwhelming urge to tell a story.

What inspires you while you are writing?
Peace and quiet. Seriously. Distractions are tough. And I always feel like the Lord is the one telling me the story. I'm just putting it on paper. Being His fingers to the keyboard so to speak, only when it comes to the message inherent in the story. I come up with the imperfect parts. :)

3. Is being an author everything you thought it would be?

Not really. I enjoy it immensely, but with so many writers in this world, to make your word stand out and be noticed is not an easy task. I do love writing though, so it doesn't matter if I make a lot of money or not. I just need sales to keep the publisher in business so they can keep buying my books.

What did you think the life an author would look like?
I figured it would look similar to my own even before I started writing, except that you can work in your jammies!

If not, what has been surprising about this for you?

The incredible amount of marketing that is needed to stay afloat in this biz. People like to share books with friends, but that means they don't buy them. And buying used books on Amazon doesn't count toward sales either.

4. I know that you have a large part in getting an on-line magazine off the ground, how did you come to be involved in that and what exactly do you do there?

I am the Editor in Chief, which essentially means I do all of the acquisitions. I work with the authors, approve the content, etc. I came up with the column topics, authors, titles, and pretty much everything in the magazine, with the Lord inspiring me, of course. I was asked by my friend Bonnie (who I didn't know all that well) if I wanted to be the Editor in Chief of an online magazine. I thought she was joking. She wasn't. I prayed about it and felt the Lord telling me to do it. When I asked Bonnie why she approached me she said the Lord told her to ask me, so that just confirmed that I was doing what the Lord wanted. Besides, I love Christian fiction and promoting authors. This magazine is the perfect way to do that.

5. I also know that you have the “Edgy Christian Fiction” site. How did it start and why?

I started the Edgy Christian Fiction Lovers site after I saw that Gina Conroy had created a Writer...Interrupted site in ning. I thought it looked cool, so I started one for people like me who enjoy edgy Christian fiction. I wanted a place where people with like interests could talk about edgy fiction and share their work. I had almost 100 people join in the first few days!

What makes your site unique?

It's for readers and writers and people can talk about anything they want as long as it's not evil or disruptive. People can also share edgy scenes and discuss topics not allowed in other venues.

6. How did you decide where this story would take place?

I placed the story in Idaho because the prior three books were set in Idaho, too. Two of the previous stories I'd written had a plot involving Child Protective Services. Because I work for the Arizona governement I didn't want people thinking I was talking about them or their cases. That's another reason why I use a pen name. Anyway, Tony and Dan's father was in the previous book, so I decided to write about his family (sons). Hence, they stayed in Idaho even though I could've made the setting Arizona once I pulled the three YA books from the prior three in the series.

Is it hard to develop an imaginary town, and places people work OR is it easier to write about places that already exist?

The story setting is Boise and Nampa. I lived in Nampa for a year (my freshman year of college) but I changed the names of places and made up the name of the church and the street it was located on so I would not have anyone thinking I was writing about their actual church.

Are there any complications that you run into talking about real places? Please explain .
I would never write about a place I'd never actually been to. I would have to have lived there or at least went on vacation in the area. I think that is needed to get things straight such as the culture, weather, landscape, etc.

7. How much of you is in this story? Please explain if yes.

Not much. Maybe a little bit here and there. The characters are really nothing like me. I'd say the closest would be Dan in regards to my personality, but he's a guy. However, Annie's spiritual awakening did have similar characteristics as my own as did some of the tempations she faced. And I've known several girls like Susie when I was a teenager.

Does this make it harder or easier to write about if it’s like you?

Nah, it's easier because you can make it feel even more real if you have first hand experience in an area, like your own personality.

8. What are you working on now?

Trying to stay afloat with my many jobs and projects. I've had two houses request more of my work and I haven't had a chance to pull out those old stories and dust them off yet. But I'm working on it.

What can you tell us about your new project?

It's not exactly new, but my next project is going over the second book (already written) in this series with a fine tooth comb before I submit it for edits, because I haven't read the story in two years!

How was the writing experience different than when you worked on your last book?
No difference. I wrote It's Not about Me over three years ago and had to do the same with it.

When will this new project be out?

It's Not About Him is scheduled for release in Sept 2009, one year after the release of It's Not About Me.


9. What was your favorite scene to write and why in “It’s not about Me”?

Ah, it's a kissing scene involving a botched milkshake. Yummy!

What was the hardest to write?

The attack scene.

Why?
Because I scared myself. One of my kids came up to ask me a question when I was revising it and I jumped clean out of my chair and said, "Don't you ever do that again!" He was like, "What did I do?" He just wanted to ask me a simple question.


10. I’ve heard it say that some writers plot out everything thing they are going to write about first. Then there are other writers that write by the seat-of-their pants. How do you best explain how you go about the writing process? Please explain.


I'm a seat-of-the-pants writer. I sit down and out comes the first chapter and the next and the next. Easy as pie. I love that. Like a movie, the story plays out in my head and I type while I'm seeing it in my mind. My rough first drafts are very similar to my final edits. The thing is, I mull the story over and over in my mind (for the plot) first, before I ever write a word. So when it's ready to come out, it comes.


Things you wanted to know about Michelle but were Afraid to ask, so I did!


1.Out of all the high tech gadgets out there which has been the hardest to learn but has had the greatest reward to you personally?


My cell phone. It has tons of bells and whistles and I'm still discovering new things I can do with it.


Please explain. It was the hardest to learn because I get bored easily and I hate reading instruction booklets.

2.Given our current gas situation and the fact that we are getting less mileage for our dollar – what alternative resource would you rather use in the future? Lets Dream here!


Oh, I'd love to have muscular thighs rather than soft ones. I'd ride my bike everywhere if I had the time and the weather cooperated with me. But since that's not a choice I'd choose a.

a. You would rather use the Transporter (which I like to call the “Beam” Machine) from Star Trek? (Beam me up Scottie Ha!)

WHICH ONE OF THESE WOULD YOU PICK AN WHY?

I'd do the "Beam me up, Scottie." Why? Cause that was my generation and it's cool to leave and show up places with your clothes still on and no crashing potential. The tree thing scares me and I'd stink with a hovercraft, too.

3. If you had the opportunity to travel to outer space, where would you go? And why? If not, where would you really like to travel – given you have the time and the money to do whatever you wanted?

I get overwhelmed just looking at the skies and the Milky Way on a clear night. To see the earth from God's point of view would trip me out so much I'd probably hyperventilate. So, I'd stay on earth and just visit some exotic Islands in the middle of nowhere and read novels while tanning on a sandy beach. And I'd stay there until I felt like coming home. I'd also love to hop on a cruise ship and tour the sites/ports.


4.If you could be a superhero for a day, who would you pick and why? (You could even mix and match super powers – you're a writer be creative!)


I'd be Wonder Woman cause in this life I'll never have a bod like Linda Carter. My super power would be to eat high calorie foods and fudge brownies and they'd make me more shapely rather than tubby.


5. Have you ever or would you ever have the desire to jump out of a plane? (with a parachute on of course ).
Are you crazy? See above answer about the earth and space.


If so, why? If you already have what did it feel like? If not, what other crazy thing would you like to do? Why?

The other crazy thing I'd like to do is quit my government job and read books every day all day. See? Told you that's crazy!


6.If you had to pick one “Reality” TV Show to be on what would you pick and why?


I never watch TV so I'm not familiar with most of them, but maybe if I were single I'd be the hot chick on The Average Joe. I thought that was a fun reality series. She had so many guys to choose from. :) My boys even enjoyed watching that with me. It was about three years ago, the last time I watched TV. LOL!

7. What is your favorite restaurant you like to go to(or would like to go) and have breakfast? Why?

I love the IHOP because they have (or used to have) buckwheat pancakes. We don't have any IHOPs where I live so they may not have them on the menu anymore. But I love buckwheat pancakes and real maple syrup!

Is there something you usually order? If so, what?
See above.



What about your favorite dining experience? Where would you go for that? Whom do you enjoy dinning with?
There is this exotic restaurant named Cafe Roka in Bisbee, Arizona that has fabulous gourmet food. Everything is made from scratch and it's in an old historic building. They have live music. It's a great place to go for a romantic dinner with your hubby.

8. If you had all the time in the world (and just as much money); to do anything you wanted, what would you do? Why?

Read, read, read! And travel. I love reading.

9. What is the neatest place you have ever visited so far and why?

A bunch of places. Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, etc.

What made it so neat, special, memorable to you?
They are take-your-breath-away gorgeous settings and shaped by God's own hand.

10. If had 24 hours to hang out with anyone dead or alive in the history of the world/ what 2 people would you pick and why?

One would be my mom. She's been gone ten years and I miss her. My grandma would be the other. I'll see the rest of the people in heaven. Well, I'll see my mom and grandma in heaven too.

What would you do? What would you talk about?

We'd hug and talk about old times and fun times.Sheesh, I'm getting all weepy just thinking about it.

Thanks so much Michelle or taking the time to do this interview. I appreciate you stopping by and letting us get to know you better.

Are there any last comments you would like to make to the ladies in my book club?

Please tell people in your church about my book (and youth group leaders) because it's got a great message that I believe the Lord wants people to hear.

Thanks again Michelle, I'll definately let everyone know.
Blessings to you dear one!!

Nora :)

26 comments:

  1. Great interview! Thanks for sharing. And Michelle, congrats on the many doors opening for you these days. I'm proud of you!!!

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  2. Wow Nora, this was a great interview! After reading all that Michelle is up to, I have even more admiration for her. She really is Wonder Woman. I recently had the privilege of reading Michelle’s book and loved it. I think we are going to see many wonderful new titles from her in the future.

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  3. Nice interview, Michelle and Nora! Hope the book goes great guns :)

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  4. Very good interview! Lots of info about Michelle.

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  5. I have to agree with David Meigs: Michelle must really be Wondre WOman to keep up with all the stuff she does. I'd love those goodies, too, that take the pounds off.

    I hope some of your other books are picked up soon as well. Looking forward to reading It's Not About Me as soon as it comes out.

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  6. Loved the interview! LOL on the Wonder Woman foods. Thank you Michelle and Nora.

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  7. I am in awe of both of you. Delightful interview… terrific subject! I will share this with others!
    Thank you, Nora
    Thank you, Michelle…

    Blessings, Valerie

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  8. An interesting interview. Thanks.

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  9. Ejoyed the interview. It was nice to learn more about Michelle's writing process. Loved the 10 questions and answers.

    Blessings,
    Mimi B

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  10. sweet.. informative..and sooo michelle! Percy, just a gal who grew up with michelle in ny

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  11. Great interview, Michelle. I've often consulted your book reviews when I've been looking for good books to read. And congratulations on your sale!

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  12. Loved the interview. always fun to hear what the author has to say about the book and the characters!
    Thanks, Nora & Michelle!

    ann

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  13. Great interview and loved learning about Michelle. Haven't read the book yet, but really want to now after reading this. However, with all that she does, she made me tired. I'm glad that she can use the gifts that God has given her and we get to benefit from them. God bless you Michelle.

    Gail Mundy

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  14. Michelle,

    I love your interview and your humorous and down to earth comments; look forward to reading It's Not About Me.
    Claudine Nickens

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  15. It is great to see books geared for teens & young adults.

    Thanks for your love of reading & writing.

    Ginger
    Suwanee, GA

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  16. What a great, fun interview! I will read the book and pass it on to my niece!

    Regina Orr

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  17. My name is Rachel Walker and we discussed your interview at our book club in Buford, GA. You seem like a very genuine and sincere person. Your interview was very funny. I hope to read your book soon. God bless!

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  18. funn interview!!
    thanks for sharing :)

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  19. Hey y'all! Thanks for your encouraging comments. And if you see this post before Sunday, August 3rd, you still have time to win a free copy of my book.

    Feel free to put your name in the "hat" to win an autographed copy. Just follow the directions. It's easy. Here is a link.

    http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com/2008/07/win-copy-of-its-not-about-me-by.html

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  20. Michelle,

    I'm so happy that the Lord has laid it upon your heart to write a book that reaches out to our youth. May the Lord continue to bless and inspire you!

    Barbara Bostwick

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  21. keep up the good work Michelle. The youth section is in desperate need of good youth fiction.

    Great Interview Michelle and Nora.

    Margaret

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  22. interesting interview. wish michelle sutton much success. look forward to reading the book.
    angela

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  23. Cool interview!! Can't wait to read the book...

    Chris Gant

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  24. Way cool interview, Nora and Michelle -- it's so much fun learning more about this dynamo woman who's involved in more projects in a day than I am in a year!!

    And I am blessed to be one of the few lucky gals who has already read It's Not About Me, and it is, hands-down, one of the best YAs I have ever read -- with a vital message that NEEDS to get out there! Whether you are a teen or adult, this is a great read.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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  25. Really enjoyed the interview and look forward to reading the book. I need some of your energy Michelle. I am amazed at all you do. It was very interesting to read your writing and editing process. May God continue to bless you and your work. Tisha

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