While I appreciate all the authors I’ve interviewed here, every once in a while I interact with an author who just tickles. They’re smart, great to work with, funny… and Michelle Griep is one such author. Is it too weird to say that I want to hang out with her and have coffee?
I know you’ll feel the same way after reading her interview. I loved this most of all: “A successful writer writes.” She said I could quote her on that, and I have. And I agree! You’ll love her eclectic taste in literature and sense of humor but I hope you’ll pick up her books, too.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. Professionally, however, for the past ten years. I try to glorify God in all that I write—except for that graffiti phase I went through as a teenager.
I’m from Jotenheim, the tundra, I mean Minnesota, which is a great place to be in the summer. Not so much in the winter. I teach creative writing and history classes for a local high school co-op.
Think Dickens meets Sherlock Holmes with a dash of Jane Austen, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of the content of Brentwood’s Ward. Here’s a blurb:
There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order . . . she’s stolen his heart.
Besides enjoying a rollicking adventure through ballrooms and dockyards, I hope that readers learn from Emily that human love will never satisfy us in the way God’s love does.
Surprisingly, it’s a piece of non-fiction. Writer Off the Leash: Growing in the Writing Craft releases in February. This is my attempt to mentor writers and authors who want to take their writing to the next level, all while providing encouragement along the way.
What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?
Wow. Can anyone honestly answer that? There are so many to choose from! Off the top of my head, I’d say the Hourglass Door trilogy by Lisa Mangum. She combines mystery and romance with the concepts of eternity and time travel.
Buckle up, because my favorite authors scan a wide range of genres. Here we go:
Speculative: Travis Thrasher
Historical: Jessica Dotta
Contemporary: Tim Downs
Classic: Charlotte Bronte
Sci Fi: Ray Bradbury
YA: Jill Williamson
Book you’re currently reading?
I’m never reading only one book, so here’s what my nose is currently stuck in:
Rebels by Jill Williamson
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Lady of Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd
Any type of writing ritual you have?
Though I have been known to burn incense, contrary to popular belief, I do NOT sacrifice small mammals. Does eating lots of dark chocolate count? In a word, no. I write any time and anywhere.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Run away to England. Read about England. Daydream about . . . wait for it . . . England. I am an Anglophile at heart. But other than that, I love to read and cook and play with my puppy, Ada Clare, who is a boxer.
What is one of the things you’re most thankful for as a writer?
God’s sovereign grace. Honestly, if He weren’t the one in charge of this crazy writing journey, I’d be a hot mess.
In your opinion, what’s the measure of a successful writer?
A successful writer writes. Yes, you can quote me on that. Note that I did not say a successful writer publishes. While money and fame are incentives, they are not my definition of a “legit” writer. Who’s to say that someone penning blog posts for free or simply capturing their thoughts/emotions in a journal is not successfully writing? Whatever writing plow God puts in your hands, that’s the one to pursue for ultimate success.
Where can we learn more about you?
Follow my adventures on www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com
or at www.michellegriep.com. You can also find me at the usual haunts of Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Just be real. Be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. Then always be a unicorn.