Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Michelle Major & Still the One


Get Lost in a Story Readers, today I'm pleased to present one of my chaptermates and an author to watch.  Please welcome debut author Michelle Major.
 

Still the One: 

Only a distress call could summon Lainey Morgan back to the small hometown she had run from, leaving her family—and the man she adored—standing at the altar. Yet even fame as a globe-trotting photojournalist couldn't erase the pain of losing the baby Ethan Daniels had been marrying her for. Still, he always had been the best veterinarian around—and the stray dog that had attached himself to her needed attention. Almost as badly as she did…
As for Ethan, Lainey was driving him crazy all over again, and ten years away had only made him want her more. She had done the unforgivable, true, but he was beginning to discover that she had suffered more losses than even he knew about. Both of them had done some growing in the past ten years. Maybe this time, forever could be within their grasp….

 And now let's learn about Michelle Major . . .
DONNELL:  Welcome to Get Lost in a Story, Michelle.  I love reunion stories and “Still the One” sounds perfect to get lost in.  So, how often do you get lost in a story and what genres will we find you reading?

MICHELLE: Thanks so much for having me, Donnell! Yes, I love to get lost in a story every chance I get and have even been known to hide out from my family (don’t tell them!) to carve out a few extra reading minutes. I read across genres from contemporary to historical to YA (dystopian stories are my fave YA). I have a little problem in that once I start a good book I often can’t stop even if that means staying up most of the night. For that reason I usually read non-fiction before bed since I need my beauty rest!

DONNELL:  I see that your debut novel includes pets.  Why am I not surprised?  You love dogs, right?  What about cats and other critters?  Do you have a preference?

MICHELLE:  Funny you should mention that as I have our newest addition, a 3 month old Weimaraner puppy, snoozing on my lap at the moment. I’m definitely a dog person but pretty much love any type of animal. Our cat rules the house, and at any given time we have a variety of creatures underfoot. Probably the most ‘out there’ pets we have are my son’s two snakes. If you can get past feeding time (live mice), they are fairly low maintenance although not exactly snuggly. It was fun to include the dogs in the book!

DONNELL:  What is something you’ve learned as a published author that you didn’t see coming?

MICHELLE: That there’s so much more that goes into being an author besides writing even though that’s the number one priority. Being a bit of an introvert I’m amazed and still a little overwhelmed at the amount of promotions, social media and the whole marketing aspect of being an author. It’s been a big learning curve and a lot of fun to connect with readers and learn to balance the time I spent writing and editing with the business side.

DONNELL:  Lainey, your protagonist is a photojournalist.  So I assume she’s been to some exotic places?  How much is she like Michelle Major and how are the two of you different?

MICHELLE:  Yes, Lainey travels all over for her work but a lot of that stems from the way she’s been running from the pain of her past which she finally has to face in Still The One. I think we’re alike in that home and feeling like we have a place to belong is very important to both of us. I was very lucky to find my ‘adopted’ home in Colorado and love living here and the friends I’ve made. When I was in college I was a double major in Journalism and French. I loved to travel and studied abroad for a quarter. Unfortunately, I got sick and lost my hearing in one ear. It was fairly serious and took a while to figure out what was going on (complicated by the language barrier). After that, I sort of lost any desire to travel - a little gun shy. Slowly I’m branching out but I could never stay on the road the way Lainey does.

DONNELL:  What’s in your refrigerator right now?

MICHELLE:  The good news is if a blizzard hits my neighborhood, I can feed everyone within a 5 mile radius for days. I like a well-stocked fridge for sure! Right now, you’ll find milk, chocolate milk, juice, diet cherry dr. pepper, Greek yogurt, hummus, ketchup (my 7 year old loves it on everything!), cheese, sundried tomato turkey, pickles, watermelon, grapefruit, carrots---gosh, that all sounds so healthy! I keep the stash of Oreos and Girl Scout cookies in the pantry. J

DONNELL:  What is something about Ethan Daniels that surprised you while writing him?  What makes him the perfect hero?

MICHELLE:  Because Still The One is my first book, the story went through a lot of edits and revisions on the path to publication. Whether it was from my critique partners, contents, feedback from my agent and then editor, so much evolved in the story. I guess what I love about Ethan as a character is that no matter what I changed or put him through, at his core he stayed an honorable, good guy who wanted to do the right thing. Since it’s a reunion story, Ethan and Lainey have some major past mistakes to overcome but despite his pain, he always wanted to do the right thing by her (even if it takes him a large chunk of pages to figure out what that is. To me, that makes him a perfect hero.

DONNELL:  What’s your favorite board game?

MICHELLE: I’m just grateful my kids are past the point of playing hundreds of rounds of Candy Land! I think my favorite would be ‘Sorry’. It’s a game I played a lot with my family as a kid so now when my family plays I enjoy the game but also the memories.

DONNELL:  If you could meet anyone past or present, who would it be and why?

MICHELLE: I’m not sure how to pick someone to meet for the first time--there are so many fascinating possibilities. If there’s one person I could see it would be my grandfather. I was really close to him growing up, he taught me the meaning of unconditional love. It would be an amazing gift to have him hold my book. I’m pretty sure he’d say ‘I’m so proud of my little stinker’ and hug me so hard it would almost hurt. I could cry (good tears!) just thinking about it.

MICHELLE, NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. TIME TO ASK READERS A QUESTION.  AND HERE YOU CAN SPECIFY IF YOU’D LIKE TO DO A BOOK GIVEAWAY.

I’d love to know what makes a book a ‘keeper’ for your readers when they get lost in a story. Is it characters or plot or some perfect combination of the two? What makes a story worth staying up half the night or makes you keep revisiting it days after you’re finished?

 Comment for a chance to win a copy of Still The One.

LINKS AND CONTACT INFORMATION





 Note: Offer void where prohibited. Prizes will be mailed to North America addresses only unless specifically mentioned in the post. Don’t feel comfortable leaving your email on the blog? Send it directly to Angi at GetLostInAStory@gmail.com. Odds of winning vary due to the number of entrants. Winners of drawings are responsible for checking this site in a timely manner. If prizes are not claimed in a timely manner, the author may not have a prize available. Get Lost In A Story cannot be responsible for an author's failure to mail the listed prize. GLIAS does not automatically pass email addresses to guest authors unless the commenter publicly posts their email address.

 

34 comments:

  1. Good morning, Michelle, is that about the loveliest photo? I love your answers, and wish you the absolute best with your first novel. Hope you're enjoying the excitement!

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  2. My keeper books... hmmm usually historical based with a fairly involved plot.. A series usually is a keeper set, also.

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    1. I first fell in love with romance reading historicals and have so many on my keeper shelf too.

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  3. Hi, Michelle. Saw you book at B&N and then saw your tweet about GLIAS this morning, so I had to swing by.

    My "keepers" usually are by certain authors (or friends), but sometimes also great series and anything that really grabs me emotionally. Needless to say, I have way too many of them for my bookshelf space.

    Best of luck with Still the One -- it definitely sounds like a potential keeper!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! In my dream house, I'd have a whole library devoted to my 'keepers' so I wouldn't ever have to choose.

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  4. It's the characters for me. :) If I love the characters, I can read them doing nothing but talk. :)

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    1. Hi May-

      I'm a sucker for good characters too - and witty banter or a deeply emotional conversation - I love it! Thanks for your comment.

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  5. For a book to be a keeper I have to love the characters. I have books in my bookcase that I have had for many many years and I will not get rid of them. When I read them again it's like I'm visiting an old friend. I keep all my Judith McNaught books.

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    1. I love Judith McNaught. Whitney, My Love was one of my first keepers when I got hooked on romance. I may have to dust it off for a re-read. :-)

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  6. My keeper books are when I fall in love with the characters. And when I care about the characters that much, it also makes it an unputtdownable novel :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Cindi. I actually have to pace myself if I think a book is going to be unputtdownable. Too many in one month and no one in my house has clean undies!

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  7. I give away a lot of books, mainly because I don't like a lot of clutter, but I have THOSE certain books that will always be on my shelves, the ones I return to over and over again.

    They span all genres, but what they have in common is THAT character that you can't stop thinking about and worrying over.

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    1. Clover - I so admire you for the lack of clutter. It's something I'm working on. I bet the books you choose to keep are extra special!

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  8. Love all that healthy stuff in your frig, Michelle! My favorite books are a combination of character and plot, but it's the characters who really pull me into the story. Those are the books when it's always a little sad when you read 'the end', just like how I felt when I read Still The One! Can't wait to revisit Brevia, NC, for the next story in this series!

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    1. Thanks so much, Lana! That is the best thing I could hear.

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  9. Hi MIchelle! Welcome to GLIAS. I enjoyed your interview...well, all except for the live mice feeding time for the snakes :) Nature can be so cruel.

    I agree with Lana, for me it is a combination of both character and plot, but character trumps in the end. The ones that really make my keeper shelf though are the ones that use the character well to drive the plot, where the plot happenings come out of careful manipulation of the characters, where an interesting character drives the plot in a fun or emotional way!

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    1. Thank you, Heather! I agree - I like to read across genres but all the books that make my keeper shelf are stories where the characters drive the plot.

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  10. Thanks for the great responses to the blog questions, Michelle. ;) A book is a keeper for me if it makes me care about the characters right away, creates an emotional investment for me as a reader, and shows growth so I know they deserve their happily-ever-after.

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    1. Hi Jodi- Thanks for the comment. That's such a good point about the characters 'deserving' their HEA - it's very important to me as a reader.

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  11. Michelle:

    Just wanted to say a huge congratulations on getting your book published!

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    1. Thanks, Robin! I know you understand what a journey it is! :-)

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  12. A keeper for me is when I love the story, the characters. Also, if I laugh and cry, it's almost always a keeper.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Tammy! That range of emotion really does it for me too!

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  13. Welcome to GLIAS, Michelle and much success with your debut !
    ~Angi

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  14. So proud of you, Michelle! As for your question, definitely the characters. But I'll stay up all night reading it if the writer can keep me on the edge of my seat, wondering how it's going to end, or keep surprising me on the page.

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    1. Thanks, Pam. I think you have a real talent for keeping readers on the edge of their seat!

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    2. Well, thank you!

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  15. Nice interview. It's a keeper if I want to read the book again.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. Hi Michelle- your book cost me some beauty sleep as I stayed up late reading it! :)
    I have to agree-it's all about the characters! My favorite author is Janet Evanovich and I just can't wait to see what goofy things she comes up with to do to her characters!
    I really enjoyed your book and look forward to the next one!

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    1. Hi Jennie-

      I love Janet too. A couple of the Stephanie Plum books are on my keeper shelf!

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  17. MAY, CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE WON MICHELLE MAJOR'S STILL THE ONE!

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