DOES THIS INSECURITY MAKE ME LOOK FAT? by Michelle Wilson. I loved this book. Take a look at my review here, and Michelle's awesome interview below.
What made you decide to become a writer?
I don't think I ever decided to become a writer. It just seemed I always was. I composed my first song when I was seven. It was a lovely (by that I mean awful) little piece called "I'm Yours," written for my parents to tell them how lucky they were to have me. :) In 4th grade, when I won the school poetry contest (though I still struggle with poems that don't rhyme. Lol.) I've kept a journal since I was thirteen. Just a few years ago, my parents handed me a large box of letters I had written them over the years. There is something cathartic about writing, something I've always loved.
If I could pinpoint the moment that set me on the path to where I am now, though, that would be about eight years ago, when I had had a pretty amazing experience. As I was telling my husband about it and how I wished I could share it, and he said, "Why don't you start a blog?" I had no idea what a blog was, other than it sounded really funny. But, I took the plunge and created my first blog. It was there that my love of writing inspirational non-fiction for women was solidified.
A few years ago I was asked by an editor to write a fiction novel. As I took on that challenge, I discovered the joy of creating a characters that I loved, seeing them grow, and learning from them.
To me, there is something supernal about creating something tangible from thought. One moment it's in my mind, and the next it's on paper or a screen. It becomes real, it begins to make sense--and I am hopelessly addicted.
Who inspires you?
That's a loaded question. Of course chocolate is my fallback. Lol! But, I'm assuming you mean literary-wise. I grew up reading all of L. Frank Baum's books. My imagination soared, and I wished I was Dorothy. I wanted to go an adventures, to be special - to have my own scarecrow. I also loved the Nancy Drew books--you know, the ones with the yellow spines. I was drawn to characters that met their challenges head-on, and I wanted to be that way, too.
As far as non-fiction goes, I love Jeffrey R. Holland's style of writing and speaking. He infuses doctrine with story and emotion, and I am moved every time. I do love me some Mary Ellen Edmonds, too. I love and believe in the power of laughter. She taught me that it was okay to be funny and teach/write things of an eternal nature.
What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?
My theme across fiction and non-fiction is one of empowerment. I would hope that readers will come away from my book feeling great about themselves. I think a lot of women live apologetically, shy and short of their potential and right to be happy. I want them to see who they really are, and the power they truly have. In the end, I hope they can see themselves more clearly as God does, for He thinks we are all pretty amazing.
I write what my daughter calls 'funspirational.' I like to laugh a lot, so in turn, I tend to mix humor into my writing. I also love to find deeper meaning and lessons in the everyday things around me. My readers, I hope, will laugh a lot, cry a little, and be motivated and empowered beyond their expectations.
You know, I was talking to a speaker/author once after I had attended a speaking engagement of hers. She said, "Most writers are writers that speak. I am a speaker that writes." That phrase describes me. As much as I love to write, my first love is speaking, in particularly, teaching about things of an eternal nature. I love to stand in front of people--especially a group of women--and teach the things I know are true.
Where did this idea come from?
The title came before the book did. I had terrible self-esteem as a teenager. I allowed people around me to define my worth, and I was miserable. It was only when I looked to God for my worth that my confidence and joy grew. As I continued to write on my blog about the power of perspective and other things, the response I got was tremendous. Women would comment or email me and shared the struggles they had with fear, doubt, and insecurity, but how they also gained confidence, perspective, and love for themselves as they turned to God for direction and definition. I want as many women as I can reach to know that there can be relief from the weight of unrealistic expectations and comparisons, and that we really to have a great work to do here.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes! Write what you love. Study technique and protocol. Join a critique group and a writer's group. Embrace constructive criticism and the editing process. Believe in yourself and your book. When you done all these things, then be bold! Do what you can to get your book, fiction or non, into the hands of those that can help you reach people. Surround yourself with good writers and better friends. Attend writer's conferences and pitch, pitch, pitch your book! I landed this contract from a pitch session. They can work!
Also, try to hone your brand- who you are. Not just what you write, but how and why. This will be the consistent adhesive that will glue all your projects together. This is what your fans will come to love and expect in each book.
And, of course, have fun and love what you're doing!
What can we expect next from you?
I am currently working on my next book, a digital single, through Deseret Book. I'll be able to tell you a bit more about it in the coming months, but for now, I can tell you that it will be funspirational and empowering, too.
Where can we purchase your book?
It's available through DeseretBook.com, and in all Deseret Book and most LDS book stores, as well as on Amazon.com.
THANK YOU, MICHELLE!