Get to know Michele...
Michele Israel Harper is an addict. To books, to writing—if it includes ink and paper, she’s all over it. When she found out she could write books instead of simply read them…well, let’s just say she’s rarely been seen outside of her office since. She adores her writer’s group, the Heartland Christian Writers, and has no idea what she would do without the American Christian Fiction Writers. Being voted treasurer for her local Indiana Chapter of ACFW just about sent her into a happy coma. Which, you know, she’s very much familiar with since that happens at the end of every good book she reads. Visit www.MicheleIsraelHarper.com if you want to know more about her!
Connect with Michele...
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Michele-Israel-Harper/e/B016YW4Q6Q
Purchase: Wisdom & Folly Sisters Part 1 & Part 2
Get to know Michele...
You and Writing
Why do you write? Oh my goodness, I was always on the search for what I wanted to do with my life. I loved history, so of course I thought that meant I should be an archaeologist. Exciting, right? Then I went on a dig. Let’s just say, without Indiana Jones…no. Just, no. I loved to read—I devoured books like no other—but every time my mind flitted across the idea of being a writer, this little voice in my head said, “You can’t do that.” Yeah, I believed it. So here I was, all grown up and doing mom things, and I ended up at this marriage conference with my hottie husband. This guy told me all about the books he wrote. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I could do that. I could write a book. In fact, I needed to write a book. ASAP. So I did. I created this 500 page monstrosity of awfulness (I’m much better now. Promise!) and was the happiest person on earth. You see, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Finally. And I haven’t stopped for six years. I love it!
Was there a passage of scripture you came across or used while writing it that you’d like to share?Proverbs 8 and 9 talk all about Wisdom, Folly, and their fight to get people to listen to them. Um, hello? Why has a book not been written about this before? ;) It set my author imagination on fire—I had to read every thing the Bible and legends had to say about the angels Wisdom and Folly. Then I couldn’t stop writing about them. Only problem is, there is so much literature about them! It was so hard to know when to stop! :)
What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”? We hear this a lot, but dig deeper. Is there something else that helped you?
Don’t chafe against the learning years. Every moment in school—middle school, high school, college, masters even—prepares you for that moment when you “get” it. When your writing becomes all it can be and rises above the rest. I’m still learning, I am, but if you would have told me when I first started that I would so vastly improve, I wouldn’t have believed you. I’m so much better now than I was. And I still have so much to learn! Don’t ever stop. Learning, writing, exploring, scribbling every story idea or thought that comes to your head. That day it all comes together is the most delicious thing to experience. Ever.
What does your writing process look like?
I write the beginning, I write the end, then a scene here or there, add a few more scenes, and fill the whole thing out like I’m creating a puzzle or painting a picture. And if I get bored, I move on to something else I’m writing then come back to it. As horrible as this sounds (outlines? I’ve tried so hard! They don’t work for me!) I can’t even tell you my relief when a New York Times #1 Bestselling author described her writing process—and it was the exact same as mine! Whew! I’ve written three books this way, but Wisdom & Folly? I wrote that a chapter at a time, one chapter a week, and posted on my blog until it was done. Now I have more than half new material for my book, and it has been vastly edited since what was posted on my blog was a first draft. Everyone’s process is different! Embrace how God made you! :)
Are there any books or resources you could recommend to younger writers looking to grow in their craft?
My favorite writing book in the entire world is Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. If you want to keep up with everything grammar-ish in the industry, this is the book you need. I am in love with this book. I would sleep with it under my pillow if there was no danger of wrinkled pages—I am that obsessed. In love.
How do you grow in your writing craft?
Oh, goodness! Writing conferences, writing classes, online classes (I gravitate toward the free ones…), writers’ groups, and—most importantly—I keep reading and writing. I read several writing craft books a year, as many fiction books as I can possibly get my hands on, and I write in every spare moment I have. Even if that’s only in the pick-up line at school. Oh! And NaNoWriMo. If you’ve never heard of this, Google it and try it. I wrote an entire book in one month! Holy freaking cow!
What is one thing you like to do to relax when you aren’t writing?
Uhhh…(crickets chirping)…not writing. I’m not entirely sure what that means. I still read, but I used to dance and scrapbook and hike and surf and travel…maybe I should rethink this whole “work non-stop” thing… ;)
What are you currently reading?
Oh, swoon! Anne Elisabeth Stengl is one of my favorite authors ever, and she just came out with a new book! A Branch of Silver, A Branch of Gold released yesterday (May 16th), and it is a loose retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I am in love. In love. It is so hard to put it down and life. It’s one of those books that stays with you every second you are away from it. Oh my word! Love, love, love!
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