Michelle Sutton’s interview

» Posted on Aug 27, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Michelle Sutton’s interview

If you want to enter the drawing for Michelle’s book, leave a comment with your email address or email me at margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawing ends Sunday evening.

Michelle Sutton’s interview:
1. What made you start writing?

Back in 2001 I had subscribed to Love Inspired and received three books in the mail every month. My favorite author (because she was edgy) was Cynthia Rutledge. After reading her novels through 2003 I e-mailed her and told her how much I loved her books. She mailed me some of her earlier titles that were out of print and autographed them to me. Needless to say, I was impressed with her generosity. I asked her how she started writing. She told me she wanted something to do when her kids went to college, so she took a writing course at the local college and started writing fiction. That’s the first time I even considered writing a novel as something I could actually do. I’d always been an avid reader, but an author? Me? But as I prayed and thought about it I felt like God was nudging me to start writing stories that would glorify Him. The novels I felt called to write were edgy and realistic in regards to human nature and sin, but they each had a strong redemptive theme.

2. How long have you been writing?

I started writing in August 2003.

When did you sell your first book?

I signed a contract for my agent in February 2005 but didn’t sell until August 2007; exactly four years and nine novels later.

3. How do you handle rejections?

The first few were a bit tough because everyone thinks their story is the best when they are a novice in this biz. But the more rejections I received the less they bothered me. My agent would always say “we” were rejected because we were in this venture together. That certainly helped.

4. Why do you write?

I have always been fascinated by people’s actions and motives and why people do the things they do, so it makes sense that I’d want to create my own drama on paper. The cool thing is when I write I feel led by the Lord to shape a story from a premise containing a message He wants me to convey. But I do it within the context of my imagination and experience, of course.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Reading my huge stack of books.

6. What are you working on right now?

Besides this interview? I’m working on keeping my eyes open. It’s late and I need to go to bed, but I want to finish this first. In regards to fiction, I have several projects going at the same time and more requests from publishers, so I need to polish some of my older projects for consideration.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Sometimes I do. Depends on the story and what I feel led to reveal about my heart in that particular novel.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

It’s Not About Me is about a young woman who is enjoying the summer after graduation while she waits to begin college. Her boyfriend of four years has recently become very pushy in regards to physical contact, and she has no idea why. Then when she is alone working at church office as a volunteer, a visitor appears and what happens alters the course of her life forever. No, she doesn’t get raped (in case you wondered.) The same boyfriend who couldn’t seem to keep his hands off her essentially abandons her because he blames himself for what happened. His older brother steps in to comfort and befriend Annie in his brother’s place and they become very close. This causes a lot of conflict within their families. I can’t tell you the rest, but let me just say the conflict is incredible and there are many twists and turns along the way to keep you guessing. The mini-description I came up with for the bookmarks I’m having made is…
Two brothers… One choice.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep working at it. Nothing in this business happens overnight, but when it does happen, you better be ready.

10. How important is faith in your books?

My faith is who I am and so I can’t write any story without that part of my heart embedded in the story to some degree. Each book is different with some having stronger spiritual components than others. But they all contain some faith.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

I love to take characters and mess them up in some major way. Then I have them learn how to cope and grow from the experience to the point that what once seemed like it would destroy their happiness forever is now something that if they had a chance to do over, they’d say they wouldn’t change a thing.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

I have several favorites. They are all very different. My favorite is probably The Anatomy of Temptation because it’s the edgiest, boldest, and bravest of all the books I’ve written. It also has the most potential to change lives and heal hearts. The story has a very compelling premise and has gotten endorsements already for when it sells (these are listed on my website.)

13. What is your writing schedule like?

Hit and miss. When I can do it. I just go when the muse hits. Fortunately I write very fast. Temptation only took me three months to write and it’s like 100,000 words (at least.)

14. You like to read and review books. How do you find the time to do it all?

Believe it or not I’ve been able to keep my reviewing pace to just about the same level despite my many projects. The biggest damper in my schedule comes from the online magazine I’m running. That job sucks up major hours and a lot of my energy. So when I’m not doing that, I read to relax. I post reviews on books I enjoy, and when I get time, I edit previously written novels.