Tuesday, July 17, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR, MICHELLE THOMPSON

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR OF "FLAMES OF REDEMPTION," MICHELLE THOMPSON



Hello Michelle, thank you so much for agreeing to do this interview. It is a pleasure to have the chance to get to know more about you and your writing. First tell us about your newest novel and why you decided to write it. 

Hi Kitty. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to Great Minds Think Aloud as an author. My newest book, “Flames of Redemption”, is a realistic young adult fiction novel. This story is about a teenage girl who grew up in the foster care system and the difficult experiences and memories that she has acquired along the way. Ultimately she has to make a decision to either hold on to her fears and bitterness as a result of these memories and experiences or like the mythical phoenix, let herself become engulfed in the ashes of her past so that she can be reborn with a new perspective and lease on life. 

The emotion in this novel comes from a compilation of situations in my own life, however what the main character experiences is completely fictional. The reason I decided to write such a compelling story is because I know that readers, especially young adult readers today, can relate to a “not so fairytale” plot and the gritty details of honest day to day struggles that we all deal with. Also, I’ve learned that sometimes reading about the struggles of reality can help me to put my own challenges into perspective and give me something to relate to. Hopefully others will also find this beneficial when reading my novels.

Tell us about some of your hobbies, things you like to do in your spare time.

I love being outdoors and camping, especially with my family. Indoors I like to design and make my own cards and I have recently been intrigued with wheat-free cooking and baking. I also enjoy dabbling in photography and songwriting on the piano. You can see bits and pieces of these hobbies on my website (listed below). 

What is the one most rewarding thing in your life right now?

One of the most rewarding things in my life right now is definitely my family. With the addition of our youngest son recently-after some personal struggles, I have come to appreciate life more and all of the little things that we often take for granted. My family is essential to every part of who I am and what I do.

When reading for pleasure do you tend to stick to the same genre you write or do you like to read other genres as well?

I hate to admit it, but I haven’t always been a big reader. My husband introduced me to a plethora of books when we were married and I have loved reading ever since. I do tend to prefer young adult fiction and realistic fiction, but I also enjoy some science fiction, fantasy, mystery/suspense and historical fiction. I can usually tell by the first chapter if I will be hooked or not.

When was it that you realized writing was what you wanted to do with your life?

Unlike reading, I’ve always loved to write. I was always better at expressing myself on paper than in person, and it didn’t take long for me to figure out that I have a knack for connecting with my readers emotionally. I started out writing poetry and short stories for fun, and then came to realize that I even enjoyed writing research papers for school. In high school and college I had the opportunity to write for the school newspaper and I also enjoyed being an opinion columnist for my hometown newspaper. Writing seems to come naturally for me, unlike many other things I’ve tried to do in my life. It is also a creative outlet that I feel that I not only want sometimes, but maybe even need.

When can we expect your next book out and can you give us a sneak peek?

I’m working on two novels right now, and have started formulating a third in my head. The first one is a sequel to my first novel, “Taming the Wind”, which most of my fans have requested, and the second is my first non-realistic fiction novel. It is sort of fantasy-like, and has been a lot harder for me to write than I expected – but I am excited at where it is going. I write on one or the other at a time, depending on the mood I’m in, and I’m hoping to have one or both finished by the end of the year. The third novel is still in the idea phase, but involves a fictional female character with a bleeding disorder. This story hits close to home since I am a symptomatic hemophiliac carrier, and there is not much out there that connects to women with bleeding disorders. My hope is to have it entertain while also being educational and relevant to the typical reader.

Back in your high school career, who was the one teacher you would say made a profound difference in your life, if any?

I was fortunate to have many amazing teachers and coaches in High School. I’d have to say that my soccer coach, Mr. B. probably made the most difference in my life. He believed in me and helped me to find and utilize talent that I didn’t necessarily know that I had and he also helped me to learn to believe in myself. Because of this I also learned how to work hard for something that I wanted and to not give up until I achieved it. My parents also facilitated me in this and I am forever grateful for their encouraging influence in my life. 

What dreams do you have for future generations that you'd like to share with others?

I’d like for future generations to be able to enjoy and appreciate a great formal and non-formal education. Every bit of knowledge and experience we gain shapes us into who we are, and hopefully will give us the wisdom that we need to succeed in this life. I think this in turn gives us opportunities and desires to give back to others around us and in our own way influence their lives for good. This is one of the reasons I love to talk to school classrooms about writing and being an author. 

One off the board question I like to ask, is what are your views as far as 2012, and do you believe in the Mayan Calendar?

As far as 2012 goes, I’m just grateful for another year with my family and friends. I guess the key is to live each day to its fullest and not have any regrets. This way, no matter what we believe, we can all be satisfied with our efforts.

Finally, do you have any advice you'd like to give to other aspiring authors, also please leave us your links where we can find out more about you

For those who have started writing a book and have never finished, I guess I would say that if it is important to you, then you have to make time for it. Another thing that I’ve learned is that family and friends can be valuable sources of inspiration, ideas, and constructive criticism. The goal after all, is to succeed in telling a story that others want or need to hear and in the process find your voice and connect with thousands of people over and over again.

You can learn more about me and my books on my website, www.michellebooks.com and you can see what I’m up to on my blog, www.chellebellebooks.blogspot.com . You can also find me on Facebook:www.facebook.com/pages/Michelle-Tho...on/179100347994 

Thank you again Michelle for the ability to do this interview with you. Perhaps we can do more together in the near future.

Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my story! 
Take care, and I look forward to working with you again. 

Michelle Thompson

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