Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

Heavens, no! I never liked writing in high school or college. I just loved reading books. Always have.

How did you start your writing career?

I just started. Got in front of the computer, put my fingers on the keyboard, and started typing away! Honestly.

Can you tell me of TWO Wow! Moments you’ve had since you’ve been published?

The first would be when my box of author copies showed up for my first book. My heart started racing and a big smile took over my face when I realize I really did have a book people could read now! I always knew I was an author from the moment I started writing fiction but seeing it in my hands was a definite WOW moment.(Here's Michelle with second book)

The other would be when I did a book signing in New York and a teenaged boy (about 16 or 17) who plays guitar in a local rock band came to the book signing at Borders to get a copy of my book. Never met him before. He just read about it in the paper and showed up. He was pretty excited about me signing his book. That was a big wow moment because it really struck me that my story was going to influence my readers. Since non-CBA stores sell my book in the non-Christian teen section the people buying it don't know it's a Christian book. I hope they hear the heart of the message.

How do they come up with your book covers? Do you have a say in the process? Do Tell!!

Just like with the story and how my creative mind works, I wanted these stories to tell a story by the looks on the characters faces. It must be working because people that have read both It's Not About... novels say they love how the peoples' faces on the cover reflect each story's theme. It was my idea to have them pose on the front and without words tell the heart of the story, and then on the back have a happy picture of the heroine so people can see how beautiful she really is both inside and out. As far as the design goes, the publisher makes a bunch of mock up styles and I would have readers vote on them and whichever cover got the most votes (in my target age range) was the one we'd go with. It's a good thing I did surveys, too, because people over 50 tend to have a totally different preference than youth.

You say on your blog that you discuss things in your books that people don’t normally want to talk about—are there just some topics that you won’t write about? Talk about?

If the Lord tells me to write it I will. I've got to listen to His prompting because He is the One who gave me the ability to do any of this. If he wants me to write about someone young struggling with homosexual thoughts who is a Christian, I'll do it (that has been in the back of my mind to try writing that kind of story, but NO, I haven't written it yet.) If He wants me to write about a fake, self-righteous Christian who gets knocked down a few pegs, I will do it. Haven't done that yet, but wouldn't it be fun to try and show people how they tend to be without offending them? Wait, that's impossible. Better let the Lord lead here. But that theme has crossed my mind, too. Unfortunately when people do see themselves in the story they will probably return the book and sink my career, but I have to listen to God and not men.

What books do your read to relax?

Anything that isn't boring. I'm really not picky, but I do love emotional and deep landscapes. I prefer character-driven stories rather than shoot-em-up action books. To me those may be fast paced, but not much of an escape. I like to be somewhere and someone else in my mind when I read, whether contemporary or historical.

Did you have any obstacles to overcome in writing the books that you wanted to write?If so, what were the obstacles and how did you overcome them?

How about the fact that publishers considered them too edgy. You see from my reviews posted by people that I earned my right to be called both edgy and inspirational.

How did I overcome?

By writing books that cover those issues and doing it in a way that sounds real-life to the reader. I want kids to identify with the struggles Christians face. Maybe some kid who doesn't know Jesus will see that perfection is NOT required to be saved despite what they see in churches and in people who don't show their real side, but cover it up. Maybe that young person will open their heart when they see that Jesus doesn't want us to clean up our acts or be perfect to love us, He just wants us to love Him and the rest will come as a result. That's my hope.

You are one busy lady and you’ve worn many different hats in your life, which hat has been the most rewarding? Why?

Hmmm...When it comes to writing? Knowing that I've touched people through my stories and that people genuinely enjoy them. Overall the feedback has been rewarding. I think it's because people see the heart of the story. I get random people I don't know commenting on my blog and website telling me how much they loved the story and how it spoke to them. That is the most rewarding thing. Now if I could just make a living as an author I could really crank out some books. My full time job with the government puts a big damper in my overall writing schedule.


What movie most impacted you as a kid?

We didn't really go to the movies unless you count JAWS, and yeah, still freak out at the idea of swimming in the ocean. I stay in the shallow end. When it comes to television series two shows really impacted me. They were The Holocaust and Roots. Both gave me an appreciation for two subjects that I have read many many books about since. Those are WWII themes in fiction and books about slavery and abolition.

You’ve been given a chance to us a time machine, you can travel to TWO events in the history of the world; what two events would you witness and why?

I'd say I would love to have been in Berlin when the wall came down. I read many, many books about divided Germany and Berlin. That would've been a sight to see in persn.

The other would be the day back in the mid- 1600s when the first Suttons stepped foot on Massachusettes soil. How cool would that be to see my ancestors in the flesh. I'd probably be amazed at how they survived crossing the Atlantic, let alone how they all managed to live once they settled in the area.

You find yourself in a life threatening situation and you need someone to save you, who would you pick? Why? You can choose anyone from books, movies, TV the sky is the limit.

My husband. He's my hero. Don't choke, I'm serious. Nobody except Jesus loves me like my husband does. I am very blessed. :)

What movie did you last see in the theatre? Did you like it? What snacks did you have?

Ice Age 3 - saw it on vacation and snacked on peanut butter M&Ms while I watched the show.

What is your favorite kind of Pizza? What toppings to you like best?

Spinach pizza. My husband makes the best whole wheat spinach pizza in the world. He's better at making that tasty dish than any restaurant. Nothing compares, seriously.

What TV shows were you most passionate about growing up? You know the ones you couldn’t miss each week.

LOL! I hate to say that I was addicted to General Hospital. You remember Anna Devane and Scorpio and that horrible Lucy Coe? Once I actually met Finola Huges who played Anna Devane. I saw her in person at the mall once. Got her autograph, too.

Do you read magazines while waiting in the grocery line? If so, which ones do you sneak a peek at?

I rarely shop for groceries. My hubby does all that (see why he's the bomb, ladies?) But on the rare occasion that I do shop, I just look at the latest issue of People, I guess, if I look at all. I never take it off the rack, just read the cover, if that.

What are two places you love to shop?

Sears! I know, that's weird, but they have everything there.Generally I detest shopping for anything. My hubby buys me most of my clothes. Another reason why he's a great catch. He dresses me very well and has great taste! There is this little store in the mall that has funky clothes and on occasion I might get something inexpensive and flashy there just for fun. But it's rare.

If you had a chance to live anywhere on the planet where would you pick, why?

I've always thought it might be fun to live in the Czech Republic or Canada. I know, that's weird. So a runner up would be anywhere in Europe.


Nope. Thanks for the interview!(Michelle with her family)

Thanks Michelle for stopping by and letting my readers get to know you and your books better.

All the BEST to you in your writing adventures!!


Nora :D


***DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants

CONGRATULATIONS Jane Maritz - You are the WINNER of the SIGNED COPY of Michelle's FIRST book It's Not About Me. THANKS to everyone that stopped by and left encouraging comments for Michelle!!


  1. Oh, Michelle, your husband buys your clothes!?! Amazing man! And he does such a great job of picking them out for you, too!

    Apparently you have sneaked in a third book without my noticing it until last week. I don't know how that happened, but I intend to get a copy of that too, as soon as I am able.

    Great interview.

  2. What a interesting interview, Michelle and the chance to get to know a little more about you and your family.


  3. What a great interview! It's always fun to get to know the person who wrote the book! Please enter me in the drawing!

  4. I really enjoyed this interview! I loved reading about Michelle and her family. Now, when I read her books I feel like I know her a little bit better. Please enter me in the drawing.


  5. Of all the interviews I've read so far, you are the only one who didn't write when you were younger. Maybe there's hope for me yet???
    Please enter me for the book. Thank you.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  6. Your husband sounds like a serious catch! I hate shopping, so he sounds amaizing!


  7. Great interview! I love Peanut Butter M&Ms, too!!
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  8. I don't think I'd trust my hubby to buy my clothes. However, he did show some shorts to a clerk and told them I needed some similar--I had had back surgery and nothing else fit. He did pretty good.
    Please enter me in this contest. Thanks. desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  9. great interview! l do believe we saw Jaws together! l would sooo love to read this book!!!

  10. I love peanut butter M&M's too, which is suprising as I do not like M&M's usually!

    What an interesting interview. Roots was a movie that had a big impact on me as well. I think it really helped me to understand that time in history better and of course being a reader, I had to read the book as well.

  11. Of all the movies you'd get to watch, it's kind of funny that Jaws is the one... :) That would scare me, too! As it was, I got to see a very few really tame movies, like Sound of Music - but I READ Jaws, and reading is never as scary as the movie!

    Great interview, and I'd love to read the giveaway book!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  12. Ewwww spinach pizza, I prefer mine with anchovies ;-) Hahaha! Great interview! I'm very interested in reading both of these books! I love YA fiction...even though I'm 23!!! Please sign me up!

    XOXO~ Renee

  13. Liked hearing more about you, Michelle. You are definitely blessed. Have a great weekend!

  14. It was fantastic to know more about you, Michelle. I'd love to read your book. And Nora, thanks for interviewing Michelle. I loved it! Please, enter me.


    God's great blessings

  15. Loved the interview with Michelle! Found out things I didn't know. Which is always a treat. Great family she have! Seeing all the pictures was really a nice touch to the interview.
    Would love to be entered in the drawing.

    Sherry K

  16. You just sat down and started typing? That is so cool. ;) I've had to self-publish my poetry! By the way, you have a cool husband! And I'd love to win your book!

  17. Loved the interview Nora and Michelle. Would love to read and win the book!

    Gail Mundy

  18. I really like Michelle and like to read her books and her interviews. She always does a great blog also.


  19. Just a note that we've posted about this at Winning Readings:

  20. Great interview! Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life. I work with teens on a daily basis and I'm glad there's a Christian author out there that's not afraid to publish what kids deal with on a daily basis. Thank you!

    poobear752 [at] tampabay [dot] rr [dot] com

  21. Wonderful interview! It was nice to get to know Michelle better. I had to laugh over her comment about Jaws. I still swim in the shallow end as well due to that movie's influence. Glad I am not the only one.


  22. Super kewl interview.
    Please enter me into the contest.
    Thank you and God Bless

  23. Great interview. Blessings AprilR

  24. I have been married 48 years and my husband has never bought me any clothes and he want cook very often, that is so great that your husband does that for you. I would like it if mine would just cook I hate to cook, and he want even tell me what he wants to eat, never seen anyone except him that really don't care what food he eats. He says that he only eats to keep him alive and he will eat what ever I put on the table. You are one great lady and sounds as though you have the perfect husband. :-)


  25. This was an amazing interview!!I loved learning more about Michelle!

    What a great husband. He cooks AND buys clothes!!

    Please enter me into the contest.


  26. Thanks for the chance to win. Good interview. Loved the movies that impacted her.


  27. Thanks for a great interview! It's wonderful to see when authors are "real people" and I can relate...I love spinach pizza too...and watched General Hospital growing up!

  28. CONGRATULATIONS - Jane Maritz - You've WON the Signed copy of Michelle's First book.

    Thanks to everyone for making comments to encourage Michelle in her writing.

    BLESSINGS to everyone. Thanks Michelle for this interview.


    Nora :D