I’ve decided to add a new feature to my Mondays. Why? One, because I can. Two, because I know so many incredible people and have met tons of amazing writers on-line and I want you to meet them too.
Mondays have now become Must Read or Meet Monday. Today, I’m excited to introduce Michelle Massaro.
I was bouncing around some ideas for a book title and wondered if what I was looking for had been used. When I googled it, it led me to a youtube. I watched the book trailer and then found Michelle’s blog. I saw she was a member of the CWG (Christian Writers Guild) and facebooked her. By the way my current WIP is not Beauty for Ashes. It’s Eye of the Beholder.
We started chatting online and became friends. We had the chance to meet in person at the CWG Writing for the Soul Conference in Denver. How cool is that? I know!
Everyone, meet my friend Michelle.
Tell everyone a little about yourself!
I like slow walks along the beach… ahem… I met Mike in eighth grade and we’ve been married almost 16 years. I’m mom to four kids ages 2 to 15. I’m the Assistant Editor for Clash of the Titles
, where one of my duties is overseeing the Blog Alliance, sort of my baby. Currently, I’m working on a new draft of my first novel, Beauty for Ashes
. I also sing on my church’s worship team.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer?
For a long time, I denied it. It sounded too lofty for me. (I’m very pragmatic). But being so introspective makes me imagine wild situations and think “what if”, and storylines birth themselves. I’m also a tough critic, and would often think “hey, I could do better” when reading (lol, if only it were so easy). So I finally opened up a Word doc and began my journey.
She is a tough critic. I should know!
Why do you write the particular genre/material that you do?
I’m a deep thinker and feeler. I want stories that resonate to the core. My passion is evangelizing through fiction. As for genre (Contemporary) there are two reasons: 1. There’s less research (ha!) and 2. It’s a world I can relate to. The bills, the traffic, the speech, even the state of the church.
What do you love most about writing? What do you love least?
I love watching a story come to life. Watching characters go from faceless shapes to complex human beings. Writing a scene that makes me cry. I least love coming up with a new plot line. It’s scary for me, when those characters are fuzzy and the premise isn’t fleshed out. There’s nothing unique yet to give me validation as a writer. Is that bad, to need validation as a writer?
How do you come up with story ideas?
Prayer! I want to give God my pen, and to do that I know I must seek Him for what message He wants me to convey through my stories. I wrote an article about this very thing: 3 Steps To Writing a Christ-Centered Novel here
What do you love in a good book?
A spiritually and emotionally rich experience. Sweep me up in your story world and leave my soul changed. I love depth in a book. Give me something real.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Francine Rivers, hands down. Nobody can touch her as far as putting you in her characters’ world. Her Mark of the Lion series had a huge impact on me. From the opening line of A Voice in the Wind—The city was silently bloating in the hot sun, rotting like the thousands of bodies that lay where they had fallen in street battles.—you are smack-dab in her story. I dreamt of her characters, I longed to spend time with Hadassah and glean from her faith. Francine inspires me to write stories that will elicit the same response in my readers. I’d love to meet her one day.
What’s your favorite writing snack?
lol, I can’t help but giggle at this. I’m all over the place. Usually some form of candy like Reese’s pieces (love!) but I have to be careful or I mindlessly eat the whole bag (and not the snack-sized ones!) Other times I have no snack and might forget to eat my meals altogether.
If you could be one hero/heroine from a book who would you choose and why?
Hmm. Good question. I’d have to go with Lucy from the chronicles of Narnia. I’d love to dig my fingers and bury my face in Aslan’s mane. And who wouldn’t want to live in a world with unicorns and mermaids, in a castle, with a magic flask to heal all wounds?
If you could be one villain from a book who would you choose and why? Goodness me! A villain? Well… I guess I’ll say Cinderella’s wicked stepmother because I wouldn’t be doing my own housework.
What is your current book titled? Share what it’s about!
My WIP is a Contemporary Women’s Fiction called Beauty for Ashes:
John Douglas’ faith in God dies with his wife and daughter. His despair drives him to the bottle and then into the bed of a paid stranger. Broken by shame, John finds restoration in Christ and rebuilds his life.
But when his past comes knocking on his door, his future is shredded. He must decide whether to bury his secret, or risk his new life—and love—by revealing the truth. Can God make the tattered pieces of his life into something beautiful?
What advice do you have to give others who want to write fiction.
My advice if you want to write, first of all, is start! But also, take time to learn the basic skills before you begin a full-length novel. Read blogs like this one, find articles on the writing craft, meet other writers. Get familiar with terms like POV, pacing, voice, and hooks. It’s much harder to apply skills to a manuscript after the fact. Trust me on this.
Here’s how you can connect with Michelle!
Watch the trailer: here
Find me on facebook twitter (@mochashello), and my blog Adventures in Writing Drop by any time and say “hello”.
Oh! One last thing– what question would you like to ask the readers? (and thanks so much for coming by)
My question for readers is what was your favorite read in the last year or two. Also, what do you look for in a novel?
Feel free to answer the question or leave a comment! Have a great Monday, friends!