Author Interview – HOLLY MICHAEL
Writing Straight (Holly’s blog) is from the maxim: God writes straight with crooked lines. Crooked Lines is the title of my first novel. Through life’s crooked lines and learning curves, people are the dots that connect. This website is about connecting with each other to inspire and share about life and writing.
“I’m a kaleidoscope, twisted and turned by the hand of God through a beautiful life of writing, traveling, and other incredible opportunities.”
rem: Welcome to my blog, Holly. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised?
HOLLY: I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on a peninsula, a couple of short miles from Lake Michigan.
rem: I’ve never been there, but I’m finding more people I know who are from there! Where do you live now?
HOLLY: Kansas City, Missouri, though my husband and I do have a little cottage in the woods in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on the bay waters of Green Bay.
rem: I love little cottages! Tell us three things about yourself.
HOLLY: 1. I grew up the seventh child of ten children.
- I have three children: My oldest son, Jake (a type one diabetic) played for two years in the NFL. I’m just as proud of my other two children: Daughter Betsy just joined her doctorate program at the University of Tennessee, and my youngest son Nick is playing college football and earning his degree at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette 3. My husband, also is the seventh child, is an Anglican Bishop
rem: Sounds like for fun family reunions! What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?
HOLLY: Cookie dough!
rem: On my list of favorites! What’s your favorite cookie?
rem: Also on my list of favorites! (and might make some tonight…) If you could have any super power what would it be?
HOLLY: God’s Word says we should ask for more of Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Is there any greater super power than power from the Holy Spirit?
rem: No, no there is not! And He gives fully and generously to all who ask. Kids or pets? Names and ages?
HOLLY: Jake – 26 (and daughter-in-love, Emma-24), Betsy – 24, Nick – 21 Jake and Emma have two dogs, Betsy has one dog, and Nick has a cat. Grand-pets suit me just fine at this stage in my life.
rem: Vacation: beach or mountains?
HOLLY: Beach, unless visiting the mountains when it’s warm.
rem: What do you most value in a friend? What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?
rem: Loyalty is so important! How can a friendship, or any relationship really, survive without it? Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?
HOLLY: The Bible. It’s a Book that you can keep reading again and again and always learning from.
rem: You are so right! Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
HOLLY: Scarlett O’Hara. Sure, she had her faults but I really admire her rebel nature. She didn’t conform to societal expectations and relentlessly pursued her goals. When life didn’t go as planned Scarlett just says, “fiddle-dee-dee.” I think I’m going to use that phrase more. And one last thing I admire about her is her ability to look toward tomorrow with hope.
rem: Well, fiddle-dee-dee, you surely do make a good point. What would you do if you weren’t writing?
HOLLY: Traveling and taking pictures, which is what I am doing when I’m not writing.
rem: I think I’ve seen some of your travels. Tell us a little about your writing journey.
HOLLY: My writing journey began the day I quit writing. Tired of rejection letters, I went out for a walk and declared to God that I was quitting. I had three little children and didn’t want to waste any more time UNLESS He gave me a real clear sign. I let go and returned home to a blinking answering machine. At the beep, an editor for Guideposts magazine said she wanted to publish my essay. The next day, I got a check in the mail from a parenting magazine and a copy of my first published work. Doors to being published opened after that leading to freelance work and a career as a journalist and newspaper features writer. After that, I began writing fiction and non-fiction books.
rem: Amazing what happens when we let got and turn it over to Father! What is your Writing Routine? Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?
HOLLY: I attempt to write full time, but I also travel and work in ministry with my husband so I don’t always keep up full time-40 hours-a-week writing. Good thing is that I have a small MacBook Air that goes everywhere I go. My office is wherever my butt lands, or sometimes the place where I can stop, stand, and open up my MacBook.
rem: Isn’t that the great thing about being a writer? We can do that, open up the laptop or MacBook wherever our butts land! What makes you struggle as an author? How do you handle it?
HOLLY: Facebook, social media, and Words With Friends. Best way of handling it is to set my alarm for one hour and do nothing but write.
rem: There ya go! There is much to be said for setting limits… Do you prefer the creating or editing aspect of writing? Why?
HOLLY: Editing. My husband says I smile more when I’m editing. I write fiction and nonfiction, but was a nonfiction writer before I became a fiction writer. Sometimes I think I’m not creative enough to write fiction, but I really do enjoy fiction writing and am learning. Editing—whether fiction or nonfiction—is just more fun.
rem: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
HOLLY: Writing, THE END
rem: Yes, that is an amazing feeling! What was the hardest thing about publishing?
HOLLY: I am an indie and a traditionally published author. The hardest was the process of getting my indie works formatted and published.
rem: What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer? What 3 things would recommend not doing?
HOLLY: DO: 1. Read writing craft books. 2. Write, write, write. 3. Join a critique group.
NOT DO: Indie publish anything before: 1. Reading at least one writing craft books. 2. Having your work read by a critique partner. 2. Having your work edited by a good editor.
rem: Well, I sure did it backward…. LOL Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?
HOLLY: Life. I have been blessed with many amazing life experiences, and even some not so amazing that have given me story ideas. Life is an adventure with my husband. He’s a pastor and is from India. We have some amazing travel experiences in India and in other countries. We’ve also had some incredible ministry experiences.
rem: I’d love to visit India someday; might have to hit you up for places to visit! (also good reference if I ever have a character from India!) Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
HOLLY: They are all my favorites! That’s like asking if I have a favorite child.
rem: So true. Which character in the story is most like/least like you?
HOLLY: Rebecca in Crooked Lines is a lot like me…she takes a lot of wrong turns, but God guides her through the Crooked Lines of her life. But Crooked Lines is fiction…thankfully. I put that character through the ringer.
rem: I didn’t think to ask if you’re a planner or a pantser; I’m a pantser straight up and am shocked at some of what my characters go through. You have two books out, one fiction and one non-fiction. Tell us about them.
HOLLY: Actually, I have three books out: 1 fiction title and 2 nonfiction titles. I also have one fiction title due out next month.
Crooked Lines blurb: On the shores of Lake Michigan, Rebecca Meyer seeks escape. Guilt-ridden over her little sister’s death, she sets her heart on India, a symbol of peace. Across the ocean in South India, Sagai Raj leaves his tranquil hill station home and impoverished family to answer a higher calling. Pushing through diverse cultural and religious milieus, he labors toward his goals, while wrong turns and bad choices block Rebecca from hers. Traveling similar paths and bridged across oceans through a priest, the two desire peace and their divine destiny. But vows and blind obedience at all costs must be weighed…and buried memories, unearthed.
What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up (Holly Michael joins her NFL player son, Jake Byrne, in this football-themed devotional published by Harvest House). Jake Byrne dreamed of playing professional football. He had the size, the talent, the drive…but at age 14, he found out he also had type 1 diabetes.
Still, Jake was determined to reach his goal. And God was determined to guide and empower him all along the way.
Jake’s journey to the NFL is the backdrop for this collection of inspiring devotions based on nearly a hundred football terms. Jake takes you to the weight room, practice field, and even across the goal line. You’ll feel as if you’re lined up next to him, facing a very large defender you’re about to take down. He also includes Scripture and then ties up each story in a way that feels real and encouraging. You’ll discover…
- what to do when God calls an audible in your life
- how to respond when God puts you on special teams
- why prayer is never an incomplete pass
These quick daily readings will help you press through your own difficulties and experience God’s dream for you.
Tsunami 2004: Still Wading Through Waves of Hope: December 26th, 2014 marked the anniversary of the monster waves seen around the world. Is life restored back to normal on the shores of Nagapattinam, South India? Will it ever be?
“We’ll go to the most devastated, remote villages where no one else has gone,” Bishop Leo Michael promised a Northwest Arkansas newspaper reporter.
Like a sweeping wave, news of the tsunami fundraiser spread to a national level. Bishop Leo Michael became the ideal vehicle to collect, then ferry aid across the sea. He had lived and worked in the now tsunami devastated region for many years, spoke the native language, and had a counseling degree.
Ten days later, trekking into impassable villages and decimated shorelines, the Michaels helped the widows and the orphans and those most affected by the tsunami.
Ten years later, the Michaels returned to the same villages and encountered surprising changes and a life-threatening situation.
True Paths is my sequel to Crooked Lines, due out in April
rem: I hadn’t realized your wrote What Football Taught Me with your son, my apologies. And I can’t wait for your new book to come out! What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?
HOLLY: In my books, hope is the main take-away. Whatever befalls the character, faith and hope guides them.
rem: Hope is the anchor of the Christian faith, is it not? Thanks for joining us today, Holly. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!
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