She is also a contributing writer for Voices behind the Tears, A Domestic Violence Anthology, Suspect: A Confessional Anthology and Deadly Sins: A Political Anthology. In her spare time, she has written over 15 book reviews for The Daring Show and has been featured in Writer’s Vibe magazine. With numerous commentaries she writes for her website www.thedaringshow.webs.com she hopes to have her debut novella coming in 2013 in honor of her parents who believe she is a great storyteller.
She is a strong supporter of the American Disabled Veterans and the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation. She has successfully sponsored a fundraiser for the TNBC Foundation for 2 years.
About “Deadly Sins”
Election Day is one week away and the polls are not looking favorable for Presidential candidate Mitchell William Rush. With his eye on the White House, he's desperate for what becoming President would mean for him, so desperate that there's nothing he wouldn't do to insure his win. Nothing... So when a stranger approaches him with an offer he can't refuse, will he go for it to guarantee his term in office or will he end up getting much more than he bargained for?
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Michele: Becoming an author has always been a dream of mine. I never thought that I could become one or for that matter do it full-time since my passion is short stories. But after the publishing of Suspect: A Confessional Anthology I realized that with a GREAT editor, I can definitely make writing more than just a hobby. So to answer the question, last year is when I decided to become an author.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Michele: The anthologies I have worked on have been the brain children of Saving Lives through Lit and PheInk Writing Solutions Firm. I didn't come up with the concepts, they did. I just provided what I believed were entertaining stories. For my debut novel however, my ideas are coming from my pain. The stories I've told thus far will be woven into a novel of my own. Of course with a lot more twist and turns.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Michele: The process is excruciating for me because I've never written a full novel before. There is so much for me to learn about how to make a book that at times, I get lost in all the other stuff and forget that I need to just write the story first. One thing that I've figured out about myself from my short stories is that I have to get the story out first. Because if I get to editing while I'm writing, I'm screwed. So my first objective is to just tell it. Get the story all out.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Michele: What is rewarding to me is that I can say "I Did That!" I usually don't finish anything, hence why my office desk looks like a tornado breezed through but when I write...it's complete.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Michele: Do I ever feel like giving up? Oh hell yea! Every time I get my piece back from the editor...LOL
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Michele: Well as I stated before, I try not to handle the business side of publishing. But I do try to understand it, only to know that I'm not being bamboozled. From marketing to book covers, and vice versa, that is way too much for me to comprehend. I'm not well versed in all areas of the publishing industry that's why I work with people that I trust based on the little knowledge that I know.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Michele: I have an editor and I do a twice over before I send it to her. My process is that I read it once and do some touch ups and then I have my mother (avid reader) read it and she does her touch ups and then I send it to the editor for her opinion. I have no concept of correct punctuation usage.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Michele: The publisher I use creates the cover art. I can't draw stick people right.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Michele: I have had writer's block a few times. I tend to just walk away from the story for a while. When I have too many tasks on my plate, I tend to not think straight. My mind works best after I have finished something and I'm not as stressed.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Michele: I don't write as often as I should. But I do find myself writing at least once a month, either on book reviews or some form of promotion material and of course on a short story or article.
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Michele: I have never had a book signing.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Michele: I use my website and word of mouth. I find small organizations that are looking for ad placement and I take out an ad. I also have shirts and other promo material made that I wear. I sponsor my bowling team in Chicago.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Michele: My son inspires me. He makes me want to do better for myself and to give him a positive example of what type of woman he should look for in his life. Someone he can be proud of. Strong, hardworking and loving. A woman who has dreams and pursues them. A woman who is sensitive and fearless in the same body. A woman who commands respect because she is WORTH every ounce of it. I want him to see that women including his mother are important to the advancement of civilization and shouldn't be discarded as trash. I'm a woman, a black woman.
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Michele: My parents have influenced me to continue writing even if it's a hobby. Even as old as I am, I still want them to be proud of me.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Michele: Of course, I've done a lot of things I regretted and will continue to do some. I'm an idiot by choice. But knowing that there is a reaction to every action has always put things in perspective for me. So time has been my friend when it comes to getting over something.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Michele: When life throws me lemons I cut those suckers up and squirt them at the thrower and then I kill them and the lemons off in my stories. LOL, how's that for revenge? And if that doesn't work, I keep a bottle of Ciroc nearby.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Michele: The goal I want to accomplish is peace of mind and getting my novel finished.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Michele: After my novel debuts, nothing but promotions. I may do a few more anthologies; I really like those.
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
Michele: I can be reached at my website. www.thedaringshow.webs.com or my email firstname.lastname@example.org