Jun 21, 2011

Michelle Brooks - Guest Post

Today we have a guest post by Michelle Brooks, author of Bone Dressing. I asked her to answer a few questions on her writing style, practice, and her newly released book, which she turned into a fabulous article. Enjoy!

Rachel has asked me to answer some questions and to tell a little about myself…

Hmm, a little about myself, let’s see …

Well, let’s start with writing. It’s something I’ve never really thought much about, I’ve just always done it. So, I can’t really say when I wanted to be an author, I don’t know that I really am. I’m just me, who writes … only now, perhaps others will read those words from time to time …

I can say that I genuinely love to write. I laugh and I cry and I fuss and stew … whatever my characters are going through, that’s what I’m feeling as I write. The happy pages are great, the others, the hostile, frightening or sad ones, can get to be a bit overwhelming. Those I sometimes have to stop and start, write them in pieces small enough for me to swallow. I have to say though, my husband and kids are great at helping me get my feet back on the ground during those times.

I also love being able to write anywhere … snuggled up in bed on a Sunday morning like today, at the park on a beautiful sunny day, on my balcony at sunset. I write most often by sunlight or candlelight, there’s just something soothing about it. Feeding my senses with a hot cup of coffee, the smell of incense curling softly in the air, the cool breeze playing along my skin, soft music dancing around my head, brings the feelings, releases any inhibitions, and has the words spilling out of me and onto the pages.

So, writing tends to be a release for me, not a chore. It’s never a have-to, it’s simply a want-to, a part of me. Literally. I write as much as I can write, as often as I can do it. Life has others ideas sometimes though, like earning money with a standard 8-to-5 job, feeding a hungry family of five, and enjoying those wonderful people who share this life with me …

I would love to be able to write full-time, and perhaps one day Bone Dressing will accommodate that. But that day is not this day. So, for now it’s a great balancing act and that’s okay. At least I’m able to find some time to put pen to paper, some time to love, some time to laugh …

I guess in part, that’s what Bone Dressing is about to me. It’s about living one’s life. A chosen life, not an accidental life. It’s not a book about being perfect, it’s more about understanding that we are all capable of wonderful things, amazing things – both good and bad … and that’s perfect. This life is meant to be lived, to be felt. It’s okay if our knees get a little skinned up from time to time. That just reminds us we’re real, that we actually exist.

I’ve read a lot of comments on Syd, the lead character in the book. Some people really connect with her, others not so much. But all of them come to understand that while Syd may be confused, a somewhat rough around the edges, and prone to tough decisions, she’s not simply the sum of those decisions. She’s a girl on the edge of becoming a woman, and she’s trying, she’s trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be.

When the idea of Bone Dressing came to me, so did the idea that it should be written in a way wherein the reader would have the opportunity to go through their own learning curve, rather than just read about the growth of the characters in the book. That being the case, I wanted Syd’s actions, and she herself perhaps, to be judged by the reader. Those who connect with her simply understand her and grow with her. Those who don’t understand Syd, instantly judge her. And it’s not until the end of the book that they see that perhaps their initial interpretation was misplaced or mistaken.

So, the reviews and feedback I receive from people who adore Syd and slip right into her skin as if it were their own are absolutely phenomenal. They fill my cup right up to the brim with joy and appreciation. But the reviews and comments from those who don’t quite get Syd, who have to struggle pulling her on and still don’t quite fit, they’re good too, just in a different way. They show me that the experience I wanted those readers to have worked just the way I wanted it to. Bone Dressing isn’t for everyone, no single book is. But hopefully Bone Dressing is for some, and those people will, I hope, find something they like within the pages.

Pages … I guess with e-books, that may become archaic, or at the very least inaccurate. What an experience to self-publish! Such freedom, and frustration, and satisfaction … all dependent upon you, resting on your shoulders. For myself, I love it, but then, I have my husband, William, right here helping with that end of things. And what a big end it is … Create Space, Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger and web sites … my goodness. Then there’s designing the paperback (thank God for Emlyn and Lee with Novel Publicity!) and the book trailer (thank God for me … and that I still have hair!). So much goes into self-publishing. But it is so incredibly fulfilling, rewarding. Can’t wait to do it again!
So, for now, I’d better get back to it … writing, loving, living, breathing, cooking, dancing, kissing … I’ve got six more books to pull Syd through, although at times, I think she pulls me through! I’m also in the middle of a non-fiction book. So, life is a little busy.

But that’s okay. This isn’t an accidental life I’m living, it’s a chosen one. And I can’t wait to see where it takes me …

To read more about Michelle and her book Bone Dressing, check out the blog tour hosted by Novel Publicity. Click here to access.


  1. Awesome post! It's good to know Michelle, and her book. Sounds interesting. Thanks for posting! :)