Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview With Sweet Romance Author Michele Ashman Bell


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.

This book is the story of Nikki Michaels, a young woman who is driving home for Christmas from Oregon to Salt Lake City. A horrible blizzard forces her off the freeway near the town of Bliss, Idaho. There, in a rest stop with a group of strangers, she unexpectedly experiences the miracles and magic of Christmas.

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.


22 comments:

Cheryl said...

I was recently introduced to Michelle's writing. I loved it! How fun to try a Christmas story of hers. A snowy town called Bliss sounds like a great backdrop. Thanks Linda for introducing me to new books through your blog! I hope to read more by Michelle.

debbie curto said...

I love Christmas
likesmusic2@consolidated.net

Janet Keeler Wilcox said...

AS an Idaho girl, I know I'd love to read this story.

tickmenot said...

I love Christmas books! Would love to receive it.

apple blossom said...

Thanks for the chance to win

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Meghan said...

This looks great! I have yet to read any Christmas fiction this year and would LOVE to!

mestith@gmail.com

Meghan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carmee said...

I would love to read Ms. Bell's Christmas story...sounds like just what I need to escape the Christmas madness. Thank you for this giveaway! miaross1961@yahoo.com

Gayle said...

This sounds like a wonderful Christmas story. I agree that snowy roads are definitely a stressful situation! Great interview!
bgh(at)byu(dot)net

ramydul said...

I'd love to read this book!
ramydul@gmail.com

michelle130 said...

This book sounds great.

Lisa And Randy said...

I love Michele's books and look forward to reading this one. I'm also glad to include Michele as a friend. Thanks, Linda, for such a good interview. I would love to receive this book.

Lisa And Randy said...

Forgot to leave my email:
leeben@bdawg.net

Jewel's Gems said...

How fun!
jewela40@gmail.com

Charlene Raddon said...

Sounds like another great book, Michele. Good luck with it.
charraddon@pobox.com

Lexie@BookBug said...

Oooo I love Michele's books! Thanks for the interview!
lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

dk said...

I love Christmas stories because they help me understand more clearly each time I rad one of what the true meaning of Christmas is about. I am working on bring Christ back into Christmas by finding the Spirit of Christ and Christmas in Bliss just helped do that. Thanks Debra

Cindi said...

Thanks for doing the interview, it is always nice to get a little background about the story.
cindiandlittlebits@yahoo.com

Kat said...

I don't like driving in snowstorms either! Great interview!
katsaddress AT gmail. dot com

Taffy said...

I've enjoyed Michelle's books AND her personality.


taffy(dot)lovell@gmail.com

Christine said...

Hi Michele & Linda!
Merry Christmas! This little bgook sounds like a wonderful story especially when you include the true meaning of Christmas. I just love that.
I really enjoyed the interview and your life sounds wonderful Michele. Very full too. A Zumba instructor too. Wow. I'm going to look up your other books right after I'm done here.

Thanks for the giveaway. Good Luck to all! Christine
(chirth7@yahoo.com)

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to Carmee. You are the winner of this short book. I know you'll enjoy it. I know I did.