LET'S WELCOME THE AUTHOR OF: Sweet Southern Trouble – Michele Summers

LET’S WELCOME

MICHELE SUMMERS 
AUTHOR OF:


Rad-Reader:  Was there anyone who was the inspiration behind the Marabelle character?

Michele:  Not particularly. I wish I could say there was, but she’s basically a figment of my imagination. Probably a combination of all the vertically challenged gals in the world with curly brown hair that had to always compete with the long-legged, straight-hair blondes who made it look so easy. ;-)

Rad-Reader:  When I was reading some reviews I noticed some people didn’t like Nick calling Marabelle “Tinkerbelle,” but I thought you had a perfect nickname for her personally as Tinkerbelle’s personality was also a spitfire and would get upset.  Was that the plan?

Michele:  It actually started out because he kept thinking she looked like a fairy or a cartoon character. Some of that mental dialogue probably got cut. But I like your assessment much better! Nick did recognize her zeal early on and deep down always appreciated it. Marabelle was tough and a little nickname or name-calling wasn’t going to derail her or knock her off her game. 

Rad-Reader:  When you started writing this book was it your intention to add the football players to the story?  Like going to her house for home cooked meals?

Michele: Yeah, sure! I mean what gal doesn’t want hunky football players showing up to her house and making her feel special? Right out of college, I remember hanging with a really outstanding group of guys and even though we never dated, they’d come over for meals and we’d hit the bars and parties together. I made more girlfriends with those gorgeous guys. Everyone wanted to be my friend just to meet my cute escorts. It’s heady stuff!

Rad-Reader:  Was it difficult to write the Marabelle character in that she was strong on the tennis court but not so much about her looks and family?

Michele:  Not really because I believe we all live with certain insecurities. It doesn’t mean we’re insecure in every aspect of our lives and neither was Marabelle. She knew her strengths and used them to her advantage. And she tried to show she didn’t care about her looks because she didn’t think she could win that competition. Sometimes we do that to ourselves. And sometimes it takes a great person like Nick to make us feel special.

Rad-Reader:  You also made her like to cook and cook very well, is that something you enjoy as well?

Michele:  Yup. I used to love to cook and I even made meals for people on the run as a side job, but I don’t cook as much anymore. My work and kids consume a lot of my attention and energy and I’ve had to learn to prioritize. My kids wish I’d cook the way I did, but I’m trying to teach them to take over the kitchen! 

Rad-Reader:  Coming from a guy’s perspective, I really did not like Ginger though, I understood the need for her character, how did you come up with her?

Michele:  Ginger is like every girl’s inner demon. Particularly if you’re insecure about how you look. I think we’ve all encountered a “Ginger” in our lives. Someone who seems to have it all and can make you feel insignificant or invisible. And I love a villain in a story to add conflict and doubt. Makes the HEA that much sweeter. 

Rad-Reader:  Do you ever come up with another story as you are writing the current story?  If so how do you stay on point?

Michele:  Hoo-boy. Yeah, that’s a tough one. Especially if you’re experiencing writer’s block and you want to move on. I try making notes with Ulysses or Evernote so I won’t forget ideas popping in my head. But I never stop writing my current story to start another one. I’m one of those people who must finish what I start no matter how painful the process. I’m weird that way. 

Rad-Reader:  How did you get into writing?

Michele:  Literally, I was bored to death after a hurricane in Miami had knocked out our power for two weeks. And since I’m not one for sitting around and doing nothing, I picked up a legal pad and started writing. I kept at it because again, that I-can’t-start-something-and-not-finish-it thing…it became a challenge to me. I wanted to see if I could really write an entire book.

Rad-Reader:  Was there anything special you did for yourself or the family when you got your first check as an author?

Michele:  Sh-h-h…not many people know this, but I had my eye on a beautiful ring I’d been lusting after for years and I finally bought it. It was my reward for all the long hours and hard work I’d put in on a crazy venture that had started on a whim.

Rad-Reader:  Do you have a certain place you like to write or just anywhere, anytime you can?

Michele:  Because I stay busy with a day job and raising two kids like so many working moms, I tend to write whenever and wherever. I do have a designated place in my home that is nicely set up, but I get restless and tend to move around. I enjoy writing on my deck when weather permits and sometimes in bed when I feel lazy.

Rad-Reader:  Is you writing style one where you plan out everything or do you just start writing after you come up with an idea?

Michele:  I seriously hate this question. No, not the question, but my answer. I want to plan what I write; I truly do. I read about other more prolific authors who plot and outline and write like the wind, because they’ve plotted and outlined, and I yearn to be like them sooooooo much. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t plot or outline my book to save my life! I suck at it. I’ll spend hours, days, weeks trying to outline my story and it frustrates me to the point where I start to hate my story. So, I usually just dive in head first, stopping once in awhile to scribble something down so I’ll remember where I was going. 

Rad-Reader:  This book along with one of the Harmony Springs Books I read, I noticed that the lead female characters are working at overcoming the control or influence of parents is that something you are trying to help women with or am I just reading too much into the storylines?

Michele:  LOL! I guess you could say it has become my theme. I live(d) with not one, but two very controlling parents. And eight very controlling, Type-A siblings. And yeah, it’s something I struggle with on a daily basis…still. After marriage and two kids! It’s not as easy as we make it look in books to stand up to your parents or turn over that new leaf. Actually, some readers felt Katie, from Sweet Southern Bad Boy, took orders from her parents for too long and should’ve stood up to them much sooner. But Katie’s lack of courage was all mine. I know just how she felt.

Rad-Reader:  When you are getting ready to write a story do you have all of the characters in mind or just the lead characters?  If just the lead characters do the other characters just create themselves?  If so, do you ever say, “Nope you gotta go.”?

Michele:  I usually start a story with the lead characters definitely formed and even some of the secondary characters. Once I’ve written someone significant in, I don’t write them out. Because I write much slower (due to my lack of plotting; see answer above ;-) I tend to write and edit at the same time. Which simply means I’ve put a lot of time and effort into my characters. They’ve become part of the family and they’re staying put!

Rad-Reader:  Do you find it easier to write the lead female or the one female that doesn’t get the guy?

Michele:  Hmm, not sure about that one. I enjoy writing the best friend because she gets to say and do whatever she wants, without having to rethink her actions. Whereas the lead needs to always show growth and that can be difficult when all she wants to do is throw a baby fit and tell the guy to handle everything. ;-)

Rad-Reader:  How different is it to write the lead male character to be strong, but not to be an arrogant jerk?

Michele:  Very, very difficult. Let's put it this way, you’re never going to please everyone. My intention is not to write arrogant jerks, but according to some of my readers…I’ve done it more than once. Some readers felt Keith from Find My Way Home was too arrogant and yeah, he kinda was in the beginning, but he had a lot on his mind (like raising his daughter, quitting his tennis career and getting married). So with Brogan in Not So New In Town, I wanted to write a really super nice guy (cocky, but nice) but let me tell you, some readers did not like his stance on healthy eating and lifestyle. They thought he pushed his ways too much on Lucy.  Bottom line: if you write alpha males, they’re gonna be arrogant and that’s why we love them!



Rad-Reader:  With all of the cooking you had Marabelle doing have you ever thought about adding recipes to your books?

Michele:  YES!!! I love this idea and believe me I wish I’d thought of it sooner. In my next series, I hope to be adding recipes of some sort.

Rad-Reader:  I read somewhere that you said that technically this was the first book you wrote, but yet it is a book #4 in the series.  How did that happen?

Michele:  Funny you should ask…my publisher purchased the series from me, but at the time I hadn’t written Sweet Southern Trouble as part of series (because I was a newbie and didn’t know what that meant!) The second book I wrote was Find My Way Home and they made the decision to start with that one and end with Sweet Southern Trouble. And I think it was a smart move because I’ve certainly grown as a writer and made SST an even stronger book.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you have play…

Marabelle:  Miranda Lambert

Nick:  Jesse Palmer


Michele:  This is always fun. But I’d have to say:

Marabelle:  Emma Stone 
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/330944272601897742/

Nick:  Scott Eastwood or 
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/345018021440966445/

a young Brett Favre. 
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/394839092301528130/



Rad-Reader:  What song best describes your two main characters or your book as a whole?
 In Case You Didn't You - Brett Young

Michele:  Kind of hard to pick just one song, but I like the one you chose by Brett Young.

Also... Everything  -  Michael Buble 


And... The Boys of Fall  -  Kenny Chesney. 
Both great for different reasons.


Rad-Reader:  Did you grow up in a small town where everyone knew your business?

Michele:  I grew up in NC, but not in a town as small as Harmony. Regardless, everyone knew my business because I came from a freakishly large family and we definitely stood out!


CALLING ALL PLAYERS

Rad-Reader:  What is your favorite sport?

Michele:  To play? I love tennis and enjoy watching it as well, especially when my kids are competing. To watch? Hands down: college basketball, specifically UNC Tar Heel basketball. I’m Tar Heel born and bred and when I die, I’m Tar Heel dead! #goHeels #UNC1
FASHION & GLAM
Rad-Reader:  Do you even like fashion or have your children/daughters dress a certain way when going out?
Rad-Reader:  I know with our first three my wife seemed to sweat it.  With our late in life daughter who is now 16, neither of us sweats it anymore.  We pick our fights. :) 

Michele:  I LOVE fashion! Jewelry, cosmetics, shoes, handbags…you get the picture. In my next life, I’m going to be a fashion designer, right after professional dancer.
;-)) And yes, I make my 15-year-old daughter adhere to certain standards. She has embraced the schlumpy, large T-shirt over jeans or gym shorts, which I’m not thrilled about, but it beats the alternative of revealing too much skin and dressing beyond her years. She knows what’s allowed and what isn’t, and she knows when to be dressed appropriately for church and family functions. Luckily, I didn’t have to battle three girls before her…thank goodness!


Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Michele:  Presently, I’m writing a fun new series set in Miami about a family of brothers, all professional athletes in different sports, all strong-willed, stubborn and damaged in some way by the sins of their father. And all coming up against their biggest challenge: protecting their hearts from the women who butt heads and lock lips with them and who keep tempting them to fall hopelessly in love. Look for the Silver Starrs series in late 2017.


Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Michele:  All the retail outlets: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. 



Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?


Michele:  They can stop by my website: www.michelesummers.com and sign up for my newsletter in order to keep up with all the upcoming new releases, etc.  

They can also follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MicheleSummersAuthor/notifications/


Instagram: michele_summers_author 


Michele,
Thank you so much for being with us it has been a great pleasure working with you and Jessica.  This has been an effortless project. Thanks for everything.  Come back anytime and use our Shout Out page for authors. You are now a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit.
Pat & Char

4 comments:

  1. What a great interview! Thank you for reaching out and featuring Michele!

    Best regards, Jess

    From Jess to You Services
    - Michele Summers' VA -

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    Replies

    1. Thanks for your kind words. Believe me it's been our pleasure. You & Michele were so easy to work with & fast in return what was needed that in itself makes my life so much easier 😊 My hubby enjoyed getting his questions answered by Michael personally about characters he really enjoyed & laughed out loud about. So thank you both ❤️

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  2. Michele- what a fantastic review. I've read everyone of theses books and I am a fan for life and you have an amazing talent. I am so glad they put the books in the order they did. I think Nick and Marabelle and all your characters will stay with me forever.

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    Replies
    1. Tonya,
      So happy you stopped by I sure Michele & Jessica will be happy to know you are such a huge fan who enjoys her hard & beloved work. Thanks for stopping by please come back again.
      Char

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