Michele’s fourth grade teacher wrote on her report card, “Michele has a tendency to daydream and would probably do well at creative writing.” How true those words were. After 10 years of writing and getting rejected Michele finally had her first book published in 1998. She is the author of 22 books and several Christmas booklets. She is married to her college sweetheart, has four children and two grandchildren. Aside from staying busy with her family, church work and writing, Michele is also a Zumba instructor and teaches about 10 classes a week.
“Christmas In Bliss is a sweet story full of humor and touching moments. It can be a very tense situation when several people are stranded at a rest stop on Christmas Eve, but the author adds bits of humor to lighten the mood.” –Linda Weaver Clarke, Author
Welcome back to my blog, Michele. This Christmas story is a short one, about 24 pages. I love Christmas stories. Please tell us about Christmas In Bliss.
You usually write sweet romances. Is this a romance, also?
You know me too well, Linda. It doesn’t matter what genre I write, I tend to always have an element of romance woven into the story. While the romance element isn’t always the focus of the story, it somehow seems to always be a part of the story and characters I create. This little booklet is no exception. The romance is definitely secondary to the main theme of the story, but it’s there, and I have to say, I find myself wanting to write… the rest of the story to see where the romance in Christmas in Bliss ends up.
Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
I happened to be looking at a map of Idaho one day, I seriously cannot remember why, when I came across the name of the town Bliss. I was thoroughly tickled with the name of this town and knew that it had some fun possibilities. Immediately I began thinking of a way to play on the name of the town set against anything but “blissful” circumstances. Since snow and driving in snow are my least favorite things in the world, I decided to infuse a lot of my feelings onto my character and the way she feels about getting caught in a horrible snowstorm in Bliss, Idaho.
As the story began to take shape I knew it had all the makings of a Christmas story and realized, again from personal feelings, that it is so easy during the hustle and bustle of the holidays, to forget about the true meaning. I wanted that to be the theme of the book and remind readers that we need to force ourselves to stop and focus on what is really important during this great Christmas season.
This book sounds wonderful. By the way, I’m an Idahoan at heart. I was raised in Whitney, Idaho near Preston. So yes, I do know what snow is up in the Rocky Mountains. Haha. I love it when authors add real life situations to their stories. Do you ever put real experiences in your books?
Real life is what inspires me. I always say to people, be careful what you tell me, it may end up in a story. Truth is stranger than fiction, so I always have my radar on. I find inspiration every day for a story, I just don’t have enough time to write all my story ideas!
Real life! That’s what inspires most authors. We just take an idea from the news, or watch our children and neighbors, and before we know it we’ve got a story. Some authors even have dreams and that eventually develops into an awesome story. Thanks, Michele, for this wonderful interview. I really appreciate it. To enter another contest for another Christmas book, visit my other blog at Thoughts About Writing.
Enter another Christmas book giveaway at http://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com.