Failure can be an incredibly motivating force. Jacqueline Novogratz

Michelle Windsor Interview Published on: 25, May 2018

Tell us about your childhood. Where did you grow up? Did you always dream of being an author?

I grew up in a small town in Vermont. I had five other siblings, and we had no cable, so we only had one channel on tv. I escaped through books and all the adventures they could offer. When I was in high school, I dreamed of being a journalist for Rolling Stone magazine… Big dreams I suppose. Life had other plans for me though and I didn’t end up writing until years later.

What were some of the first books you read as a child?

I devoured the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Judy Blume books, The Hardy Boys books. When I was in my young teens, I discovered Stephen King; this led me down a whole new genre and started reading tons of paranormal.

What inspired you to write and publish your own book in 2017?

Discovering the Indie world. I had no idea such a world existed until I stumbled into it accidentally one day. I had read a series by Erica Stevens (The Captive Series), and loved it so much that I looked her up on Facebook to tell her. I had never done anything like this before and could not believe when she responded back to me. She asked me to be part of her street team, (this is a team of people that work to support the author’s work on line through social media), and I agreed. When I learned how many authors were writing and publishing stories on their own, I realized it was something I could actually do.

What do you do when more than your heart is stolen?

Haaa, good question. To find out you should read Love Notes.

If you could change anything about The Auction Series, what would you change and why?

I’m not sure I would change anything. It’s my first writing experience, and I learned so much from it. And I’ve had so many readers tell me they love the story and the characters.

How did you get the idea for Love Notes?

This book is actually inspired by true events. The main character is based loosely on myself when I was in my twenties. I worked as a part-time bartender in my best friend’s mother’s bar on the weekends, and wanted to be a writer. I however, did not work at the library. I worked at the Fire/Police Department as a full time 911 operator and EMT. While I was working at the bar, I met a musician who came in to play one night. I had a not-so-secret crush on him for a long time. That’s a far as the real story goes; the rest is all fiction.

Who is Justin Jeffries and why does Sydney fall in love with him?

Justin Jeffries has all the characteristics of the boy next door; handsome, polite, smart, served his country, making a living now by starting his own business using skills he learned while enlisted. For Sydney, although raised in a very different world, she wants someone who embodies all that Justin is. Their chemistry is instant and nothing is forced between either of them. The foundation of their relationship is built away from the limitations their ‘real world’ complications may have inhibited otherwise.

Is there any character that you have written that you wish was a real-life character and was a part of your life?

Hmmm… I wouldn’t mind having Drew Sapphire as a friend. He owns a chain of hotels, and I travel a lot. Imagine the money I could possibly save in hotel stays! :)

Have you ever considered being a full-time writer?

I am a full time writer as of April 1st. I’m giving it a go for the next six months to see if I can make my living this way. I’m lucky enough to have a husband support me and my dreams.

What are some of the challenges you have faced as a self-publishing author?

Marketing is probably the toughest thing. It’s all up to you to get your book out there and noticed. It’s a ton of work. Probably more than writing. I’m about to publish my fifth book and I feel like I’m finally starting to build an audience that is now waiting anxiously for each release I publish.

What is your personal ‘utopia’?

I’m in a pretty happy place in my life currently, but being able to support my family full-time as a writer would be simply amazing. Imagine getting to do what you LOVE to do, every day, and be able to support those you love doing it. Yes, that would be a wonderful place to be in.

If your life was written into a book, what would its title be?

The Choices We Make

What advice would you give to new authors and writers?

Follow your dreams! If you want to write, then write, write, and write some more. But when you’re done writing, make sure you hire a really good editor. Not only will they make sure you don’t release a book that’s crap, a good editor will help you to become a better writer. I can’t stress this enough. And as tempting as it may be, don’t take the cheap way out. Hire a professional cover designer for your book cover, and help with marketing. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by it’s cover.

What book ideas are you currently working on?

I’m just started a new book called Dirty Little Secret that’s about a man who works as a male escort to try and put himself through medical school. Along the way he ends up meeting someone who could be special to him, but it’s as his escort identity and not his real identity. Things get complicated. I’m actually considering doing a whole series of books off of the different men and women that work at the agency. I just have to figure out what to name it…

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