You can find Michele on Twitter, Facebook or her website. Check out The Curvy Girls Club page on Facebook for inspiring quotes and pictures.
How did you decide to write chick lit to begin with?
Actually I was motivated by spite. I started out writing “upmarket commercial fiction” and landed a New York agent with my second manuscript. She’d just rejected my third manuscript, which took two years to write, and I was fuming. On my way to Italy for holiday I picked up my first chick lit book at the airport. I hated it and yet it was an international best-seller. As I spluttered and fumed over a few bottles of Chianti with my boyfriend about the world’s injustice, he dared me to put my money where my (foul) mouth was. “Stop trying to win the Booker Prize,” he said, “You say you’re writing for commercial reasons, so if this is what sells, then that’s what you should write.” Single in the City was born that night, in a cloud of wine-fuelled anger. In it I found my voice and I’ve never looked back. I love writing chick lit!
My favourite compliments are always those in which readers say that reading one of my books made them feel better. Hearing that never gets old.
As for constructive feedback, I’ve had a lot! I always want to know how I can improve my writing and negative reviews sometimes give me good pointers. An example was with my debut, Single in the City. Several readers found the writing style a bit jumpy, so when I decided to update the covers for the series (there are three books) I took the opportunity to rewrite them too, and they’re stronger for it.
I guess I most identify with Rob - he’s relaxed and pretty happy in his own skin. I’m really lucky that my parents raised my sister and me to have great self-esteem. It was when writing this book that I realised just how lucky we are in that regard.
In your "Curvy Girls Club" group on Facebook, you post a lot of inspirational messages. Share three of your favorites that you've posted.
Oh it’s hard to choose just three!
- “If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you’d have no friends left.”
- “Loving your body only when it’s perfect is like loving your kids only when they’re well-behaved.”
- “Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”
With Valentine's Day coming up, share your favorite memory involving this holiday.
I guess I haven’t got a favourite memory, per se, but I have a most memorable one, if that makes sense…
When I was in university I started to date a pre-med student. For the first time in years I was excited about Valentine’s Day. I felt sure he’d take me somewhere romantic and it would be the perfect evening. But he didn’t call until the next day. I told him he’d missed Valentine’s Day and he asked if he could come over. An hour later he arrived at my door with a hand drawn card. It was a heart… not a romantic red heart. An actual heart, complete with ventricles. He didn’t last beyond the week but I still have that card.
Which TV show(s) do you love to binge watch?
Oh I’m a sucker for any house restoration or DIY programme. I can watch the same one over and over and still be moved at the end when the owners move in.
Thanks to Michele for chatting with us and sharing her book with our readers.
~Interview by Melissa Amster
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