Today it is my pleasure to introduce you to one of the writers in my writer’s group who has recently published her third novel, which has been receiving 5-Star Reviews! She has a very interesting story to tell, too!
Welcome, C. Michelle!
What inspired you to write?
I have been writing since the age of 12 for self-entertainment. It was a way to prevent boredom after all the books had been read and I was waiting on the next trip to the library. On a rainy day, or if none of my friends were available to play outside, I would grab a pencil and notebook and entertain myself for hours. As an adult my husband (he was my boyfriend at the time) found those writings, and encouraged me to share them. I would only share them with a very close friend of mine and a small circle of circle of people at work. They all enjoyed my stories and my close friend, along with my husband continued to push me to share those works. I refused obviously. It took me 17 years later before I listened, and I shared it with my book club members. They didn’t know that I had written the story and they were encouraged to give honest feedback. After receiving their passionate responses and excessive feedback, I revealed to them that I was the author. They were amazed and they all encouraged me to move forward with publishing my first book.
What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?
I write women’s fiction, contemporary fiction, and some of them have elements of contemporary romance. I must say that these genres chose me, because I write about situations that people experience in everyday life, (e.g. domestic violence, drug abuse, losing a child, single parenthood, marital strife, etc.). All of the stories allow my characters to grow into themselves, embracing who they are flaws and all, and overcome with victory at the end; not traditional happy ending stories, but they still grow from their encounters and life challenges.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Because I am a mother, wife, and work a FT job, I have to incorporate writing into my life as I can. I write on the weekends, I write in the evenings after everyone is settled in, and I write at 1 & 2 o’clock in the morning. There’s not a schedule per se, but when my characters yank my attention away from something else, I have to listen and follow their lead. They basically dictate my schedule. But I do try to write daily.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I keep sharing what I’ve written after so many pages with my husband to hear his thoughts. He tells me to just let it flow and not worry about him, but I can’t help it, I need him to read along as I’m writing. I believe one day we just might produce a work together. Other than that I will say I stop to edit instead of waiting until the work is completed.
Are you a pantser or plotter?
I am a pantser through and through (Go Pantsers!). I have learned to incorporate an outline, yet I always fall back into my old habits of flying by the seat of my pants. I love it! I often find myself floating away from working on one story and starting another one because I hear it calling me, and it won’t let go until I put it down on paper.
Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?
My stories are based on the reality that I see in everyday life, whether it’s mine, or a complete stranger. Oftentimes a thought will pop into my head and I will run with that story and turn it into something completely different than the original thought. I can see a scenario playing out on the street and I will add to it. Or sometimes I see complete strangers walking down the street and I will make up what their life may be like, and turn that into a story. For instance, REAL SECRETS deals with choices made by a stripper and the outcome of her life based on those choices. That is something that I made up in my head. Alternatively, IS THE GRASS REALLY GREENER, deals with a couple who has experienced the loss of a child. While the details of the story vary greatly, my husband and I have experienced this trauma.
Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The only thing that I will say is, stay true to you. Don’t attempt to write because you believe that’s what is popular at the time. Write from your heart and allow your passion to be revealed in your writing and you can’t go wrong. Always do it for the love of it, not for any other reason.
Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?
With my latest project, IS THE GRASS REALLY GREENER, I chose self-publication. It has been a new and wonderful experience for me. The first two books I went with a small, and relatively new publisher, but encountered several obstacles that prevented me from knowing what my sales figures were and other information.
What are your current projects?
My current projects are “BEJEWELED” a story about a hair salon owner taking steps to make the difference in the lives of her employees and clients. She believes it is her God given talent to be an inspiration to others and motivate them to pursue their dreams. But the drama that is unfolding in some of their lives poses a challenge for her and would even test the patience of a saint. That project will be a series.
The second project I’m still working with the title, but for the moment is “THE TWO FACES OF A WOMAN.” This project is about identical twins living two completely separate lives and the collision that sparks a major change in both of their lives. One of the twins is going insane and everything around her is questionable after a major accident. She begins to lose touch with reality and herself, and she has no one to trust but her identical twin sister. She relies on her sister to keep her sane, grounded, and for healing. But as the story progresses she begins to question even her twin. Which one is sane, and which one is insane is the question.
Five women, five lives, five secrets. Each woman is battling her own personal demons, and hiding a secret from her friends and family.
Each of them envies another’s life, wishing her life was different, wishing she had what the other woman had. But what happens when what appears to be real, is all a façade?
Battling breast cancer, single parenthood, infidelity, the loss of a child, and managing the single life, can become overwhelming for these ladies.
Not satisfied with their lives, looking for something better, they contemplate alternative choices to improve their lives; crossing over to the other side of the fence is a very real possibility. We can’t see beyond the choices we make, but we must be held accountable for them.
And after they have crossed the fence, they realize two things simultaneously. Yes, the grass was greener on the other side; and also their grass could have been just as green had they taken care of it.
Connect with C. Michelle Ramsey online!
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