Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Michelle Griep {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Michelle...

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, but historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART releases in October.

Connect with Michelle...

Website: or

Purchase: Out of the Frying Pan

Get to know Michelle...

You and Writing

-->I started writing when I first discovered Crayolas and a blank wall. Yeah. My mom wasn’t too happy about that. But I did eventually grow up and now a MacBook Air is my utensil of choice.
I write to figure out the world. As an author, I’m the god of my storyworld and can work out all the what if’s and how come’s in a safe environment . . . for me, that is. It’s never save for my poor characters.

Your Writing

Out of the Frying Pan is a zany romantic mystery.

Here’s a blurb:
Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.
Why are you/did you write it?
My writerly buddy, Kelly Klepfer, snagged me by the collar one day and asked me if I’d like to co-author this crazy story idea that she had. I said, “Why the heck not?” And the rest is history.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?

Detective Flynn. The man is positively dreamy. Kelly wrote his perspective and let me tell ya, this girl can write the male point of view like none other. He’s strong and handsome but he’s also considerate, compassionate and ultra caring.

What was a challenge you faced while writing it?
Kelly stopped writing when we were only halfway through the story. Yep. Just like that. She was poke-a-fork-in-her done, done, done. I think it was a combination of things going on in her life, but I was persistent, kind of like a toenail fungus gone bad. I nudged her until she was black and blue, but she finally got her second wind—and wrote better than ever.
What's the most random thing you had to Google for the story?

I don’t know how random it is, but this is certainly gruesome. Because there’s a drug cartel involved in the story, I checked into the Mexican drug scene. Here’s a warning for you . . . do NOT Google image that. Eew.


How long did you write before you got published?
8 eternal years. It seemed like forever.

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”?
Rejection is going to happen. You will fail. But (and I’ve always got a big but) that does not mean that you are a failure. What you did failed. Not you. So change the way you’re doing things until you hit upon a writing style that’s successful. That takes time and a whole lot of perseverance.

How many rejection letters did you get before being accepted by a publisher?
Oh sweet mercy, at least a bajillion. Okay, realistically, probably at least 25-30 rejections before one took a chance on me.

What does your writing process look like?
I usually have a vague idea of setting and characters in mind, but before I start writing the synopsis, I figure out what the goals, motivations, and conflicts are for each of the main characters. Then I pen a synopsis, and finally plot out each scene just by writing a general idea on a sticky note. The sticky notes go on a huge canvas and I can move them around or change them as needed.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, have a favorite artist or playlist to share?
Absolutely. I make a play list for each of my books. Whenever I come across a song that I think might work as inspiration, then I put that on my inspirational playlist. When I’ve got a new book to write, I go to that playlist and pull off songs that will fit. Spotify is awesome.


When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do? 
I write down a sentence or two and save it in my “New Story Idea” file on Word.

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
Jane Eyre, the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s classic.

What is your favorite fall snack food?
Maple Walnut Scones with Apple Butter and a steaming hot Chai on the side.

What are you currently reading?
The King’s Folly by Jill Williamson

Emilie here: Thank you so much for being my guest Michelle! You're hilarious and I always enjoy having you on the blog :) 

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