Dear friends, it is my pleasure to introduce to you today, this wonderful author that I discovered a while back—Michelle Griep! I found her book on Net Galley and decided to give it a go, and I wasn’t disappointed. The most thrilling part of her book was her choice of a hero, Ethan. You can read my review of that wonderful piece here.
Join us below for a lovely chat. Have fun with us!
Me – Hello Michelle! Thank you for stopping by today. Could you please, tell us a little about yourself? And for your favorite pet, is it cats, dogs, horses, birds?
Michelle – I am the nerd girl in junior high who sat in the back of the bus with her nose buried in a science fiction book. While I am no longer dependent upon public transportation, now I’m the geek in the mini-van blasting an audiobook through the speakers. I live in the frozen tundra of Minnesota with two of my kids still at home, one husband, and half a dog (mini-dachshund). . . which is the answer to the second half of this question: dogs.
Me – Haha! Oh Michelle! I can already tell you’ll be such a fun person to hang out with. And I adore dogs. I think they’re the sweetest creatures on the face of the planet!
I’m curious about your bio. When I first read it, I laughed and said, “That’s bold!” What inspired you to write it?
Michelle – Unless I’m writing a novel, I don’t usually mull over what I’m pounding out on the keyboard. Translation: what I think is what you get. You never have to wonder if I’m being up-front because I’m the real deal 24/7.
Me – ABSOLUTELY … cool! And bold. I guess I was right after all. Lol!
I enjoyed ‘A Heart Deceived’ very much! The hero, Ethan, is not a typical one at all (and certainly one of the best in my list); why did you create his character that way, and what message did you hope to pass across to your readers?
Michelle – Most heroes are too good to be true. Not that Ethan isn’t good, because he is. . . it’s just that he’s not always safe to be around. He’s unpredictable. But he’s always got his loved ones’ best interests at heart and will put his head on the chopping block to save them if need be. This reminding you of anyone? The same could be said for Jesus.
I hope readers make that connection, subconsciously at least. Heroes are not always what we expect them to look like on the outside.
Me – So true! Your words cause me to pause and think—that we have the best of intentions doesn’t mean we’re perfect. Only Jesus is. That’s why we need Him. It’s only smart that we create characters like that as well. And I pray with you that readers get the message.
I’m also curious about Miri’s brother. What message did you hope his role would pass across to readers?
Michelle – Roland represents that inner voice that many of us have playing in our heads. You’re not good enough. You’ll never measure up. What an idiot. Ethan counteracts Roland’s lies with God’s truth. . . and hopefully readers will pick up on that and do the same.
Me – So true! I kept saying to myself, Roland ought to be the one to stand up for Miri. Ethan ended up being the one to do so. How sad some things turned out. And isn’t it amazing to see that when Roland wouldn’t stand for his sister, God provided Ethan to do so, even as God provided Miri for Ethan as well? Michelle, your story’s a lot deeper than it appears at first glance. I’m glad I discovered your book.
Tell us, what do you struggle with most, as a Christian Fiction writer? How do you overcome it?
Michelle – One of the biggest traps to snap it’s sharp jaws into a writer’s neck is measuring yourself up against sales numbers. It’s a constant battle to remind myself that my immeasurable worth is found in what Jesus did on the cross, not on having my name in the #1 slot of the New York Times Bestsellers.
Me – Very honest answer. And to be honest, I’ve never come across any author that has admitted that as a struggle. I’ve heard it mentioned as something an author worries about, but never as a struggle. Thank you for your honesty!
Would you call your work a ministry, or simply a work of entertainment for Christian readership? What led you into it?
Michelle – Ministry sounds so official and…well…holy. I’m your average sinner, so I don’t have that badge on my Girl Scout sash quite yet. That being said, my goal is to impart Biblical truth via the medium of story. So yes, I do provide entertainment, but with the intent of directing attention to God. I choose answer C. Both.
Me – Haha! Thank you for creating option C. My bad for not doing so. And if I must say, you succeeded in communicating Biblical truth via ‘A Heart Deceived’. I remember mulling over Ethan’s character. Such fall from grace, but such depth of redemption too. Loved it!
Could you please give us a snippet of what we can expect from you next? I’m sure that like myself, there are many others who can’t wait for your next release!
Michelle – I’ve got LOTS of irons in the fire, so we’ll see which one hits the public fan next. Currently, though, I’m working on writing this: CAPTIVE OF THE HEART. Here’s a blurb. . .
Is independence worth the price of slavery?
It is if your life depends upon it.
On the run from a cruel employer, British governess ELEANOR MORGAN escapes to America, the land of the free. But liberty is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and impossible if she agrees to an even harsher contract—marriage.
SAMUEL HEATH wants a wife, not a governess. The lifestyle of a trapper in the wild is no life for an infant, but neither is abandonment into the arms of strangers. For the sake of his daughter, he decides to marry again, an impossible task because there’s a stigma attached to his name—murderer.
Both Eleanor and Samuel are survivors, accustomed to overcoming trials and hardships, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . .
Me – Oh, oh, Ah! I’m hooked, I’m hooked! You got me at “marriage!” My eyes popped, and I hurried along to finish reading. And when my eyes hit “murderer”, I yelped, “Oh my goodness!” I will certainly look out for this one!
What is your word of advice to upcoming writers, especially to those that see their work as a ministry (or entertainment, depending on what you choose)?
Michelle – Keep your focus on your relationship with God. Write what’s in your heart. Hang on and enjoy the ride.
One word—sweet! And true. I’ve learned that it takes strength from God to keep keeping on in this business as writing ain’t for the faint of heart!
Me – Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today! I enjoyed our chat very much. I hope we can do this again! 🙂
Folks, I hope you had fun with us. Michelle is quite an interesting person, isn’t she? I know! You can also find this chat on facebook.
In case you haven’t read A Heart Deceived, check out its information below:
MIRI BRAYDEN teeters on a razor’s edge between placating and enraging her brother, whom she depends upon for support. Yet if his anger is unleashed, so is his madness. Miri must keep his descent into lunacy a secret, or he’ll be committed to an asylum—and she’ll be sent to the poor house.
ETHAN GOODWIN’s been on the run all of his life—from family, from the law…from God. After a heart-changing encounter with the gritty Reverend John Newton, Ethan would like nothing more than to become a man of integrity—an impossible feat for an opium addict charged with murder. When Ethan Goodwin shows up on Miri’s doorstep, her balancing act falls to pieces.
Both Ethan and Miri are caught in a web of lies and deceit—fallacies that land Ethan in prison and Miri in the asylum with her brother. Only the truth will set them free.
Michelle Griep. I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the latter. Way cheaper. I’ve been writing since I discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write…except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?
You can find Michelle on her website here.