Thursday, March 15, 2018

Interview with Romance Author Michele Ashman Bell

Michele Ashman Bell grew up in St. George, Utah. In fourth grade her
teacher wrote on her report card that she had a tendency to daydream
and would probably do well with creative writing. Her love for books
and learning about people and places has helped her make her teacher's
prediction come true. Michele is the author of many books and Christmas stories. She is married and is the mother of four children, and a grandma of four with one on the way. Aside from supporting her children and grandchildren in all of their many activities, she loves to travel, do research for her books and eat chocolate. Michele is a Zumba instructor and loves shopping for shoes and purses and going to amusement parks. She would live in Disneyland if she could.

From one “St. Georgean” to another, welcome to my blog, Michele. Please tell us about your novel: Wish Me Love.

Charlotte Wells does not date. After surviving a broken engagement, she’s taken a leave of absence from the social scene. So when her best friend and coworker, Jack, challenges her to get back in the game, she’s not so sure she’s ready to play. But ultimately, curiosity gets the best of her, and Charlotte accepts the daunting challenge: she will attempt to have fifty first dates in her effort to find “the one.” Unfortunately, she quickly realizes that the dating pool mostly holds clown fish as she goes on one lousy outing after another. Without a good man in sight as summer ends, Charlotte cuts her losses and sets her sights on a fun-filled trip to her cousin’s destination, a wedding in Brazil.

Brazil is a land of beautiful sights and delicious offerings—including Max, the charming brother of her cousin’s new husband. Max has all the makings of a Prince Charming in soccer cleats, and Charlotte’s happily ever after seems to be within reach. But love is a funny thing, and soon Charlotte finds herself wondering: could it be that her true love has been right in front of her all along?

This sounds like a fun story, Michele. Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

There were three main sources of inspiration for this book:
1) Having three daughters I have heard my share of dating horror stories. I’ve always wanted to write a book about dating so I could use some of their stories. Once I decided to write this book I thought it would be fun to invite readers to send me their stories. I used some of them in the book. Truth be told, some of things people have experienced are worse than anything I could make up!

2) As a Zumba instructor I attended a workshop where we learned how to Samba, which is a dance style from Brazil. The instructor of the class is from Brazil and she brought “wish bracelets” for each of the class members. The bracelets are thin fabric ribbons that come from Salvador, Bahia, in Northeast Brazil. What happens with a wish bracelet is that you have someone tie the bracelet on your wrist with three knots. You make a wish with each knot and when the bracelet falls off your wishes come true. I did this and two of my wishes came true within a year and the third one has also come true. It took four years for the bracelet to fall off! I loved weaving these bracelets into the story.

3) I love Brazil! My son served an LDS mission to Southern Brazil and my husband and I picked him up and traveled through the country with him for two weeks. It was unforgettable! Also…my brother-in-law married a girl from Brazil on the beach in Natal, where my story is set. I wasn’t able to attend the wedding so I lived the experience through writing my book.

What kind of research did you do?

My favorite part of writing is research. I LOVE learning about places and people and occupations. Also, I tell people to be careful what they tell me because it will probably end up in one of my books!

For the dating stories I was able to use personal stories from my kids and other family members and stories from readers. I got such a kick out of reading about some of the crazy dating experiences people have had and had fun using them in the story.

Because part of the book takes place in Brazil I had to research the city of Natal and find out how one would arrange doing a wedding on the beach. Luckily I was able to ask my brother-in-law and sister-in-law since they actually had a wedding on the beach there.

Also, two of my characters play soccer (futbol) in Brazil, so I did research about that.

I love research, too. I understand how you feel. Tell me about one of the main characters and what you love about him or her?

I can’t say that my favorite character in all my books is the main character, I tend to like really quirky, unique characters so that usually ends up being a secondary character but in this book I loved the main character. She’s down-to-earth, her struggles are real, her situation is relatable and she’s someone the reader can cheer for and hope that good things will happen for her. She was burned by her fiancĂ© and swore off dating. To open herself up and start dating again took a lot of faith and letting her guard down. She’s not perfect, but in her imperfections, she unforgettable.

Where is your website so my readers can check out your recent and past books that you have written?

Thank you, Michele, for this informative interview. I hope my readers will check out your book.


julie said...

Great interview! Thanks for the giveaway! jparkerwood at gmail dot com

Arletta Boulton said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway.

Linda Moffitt said...

Thank You for sharing with us
Your book looks really good
Thanks for the Giveaway
iamabho AT gmail DOT com

Linda Moffitt said...

Shared on Twitter

Library Lady said...

Thank you for introducing me to a new author.
Janet E.

Emma said...

I love reading Michele's books! This one looks really good. emmadnelson(at)gmail(dot)com

Nancy Luebke said...

I think it is interesting and sounds hopeful.Do you ever feel like you are having way too much fun doing research or is it like more of a chore to you? Thanks for this opportunity.

Rita Wray said...

The book sounds great.


Linda Kish said...

This certainly sounds like a story I would enjoy reading. It sounds like a lot of un. I hope she woke up and found Jack.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Deb PelletierC said...

The book sounds interesting. irish song>

LauraJJ said...

Oh this sounds like such a great funny romance! I cannot wait to read all about her dates. Michele Ashman Bell is a new author for me. I have to see what else she has written!

Michele Ashman Bell said...

Linda, thank you for the fun interview. I have loved reading the comments and am thrilled with the fun responses. Thank you everyone who left a post!

LAWonder said...

I loved the Interview! Michelle Ashman Bell has always been a favorite of my family.
Up until a few years ago, I had every book she published...Since my blog five years ago, I haven't read ALL of them.
She is from a family with great writers!

Christina G said...

Love the author. Thanks for the giveaway!

Daniel M said...

thanks for the chance! regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

Susan Smoaks said...

thanks for the chance to win.

Michelle Hooper said...

Sounds good

Trisha McKee said...

Thanks for the chance and for the interview. I'm always looking for new authors.

Eileen Boyce said...

Thanks for the chance. Sounds good!

Julie Waldron said...

This sounds like a great book, thanks for the chance!

Eileen Boyce said...

Thanks for the chance....this sounds great!

Buddy Garrett said...

It sounds like a great read. Thanks.

Leela said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to Linda Moffitt and LAWonder. You were the winners of this awesome book. I know you'll enjoy it.