Monday Morning Author Interview – Michelle Lim

Michelle LimMy guest today is local author Michelle Lim.

Where did you grow up, Michelle?   As a Pastor’s daughter, I moved a few times in my childhood, but most of the time I spent in rural Minnesota.

What are some memories you have of that area?    One of my favorite parts of Minnesota is the Arrow Head Trail, just a few miles south of the Canadian border. We spent many vacations canoeing, fishing, hiking, and as siblings daring each other to be the first into the lake in June. If you’re not from Minnesota, let me just say that the water temperature is just short of blue skin.

One of the most amazing things I saw was when I was about nine years old. I was in the fishing boat with my dad. It was a beautiful evening, the sun was close to setMoose_superiorting and the water was glass top still. Across the bay we heard this whooshing sound and could see an animal flapping on the surface. I was thinking that was the most overactive beaver I had ever seen. But that was no beaver. It was a MOOSE! Did you know moose can swim? I didn’t until that day when the moose passed not too far from our boat and ambled onto the shore. Unbelievable.

Wow. Why would something that size not just sink to the bottom of the lake?! What a fun memory. So what did you want to be when you grew up?   First, I wanted to be a singer and dazzle the crowds with music. Later, I wanted to be a deaf interpreter and took several college interpreting courses. That merged into my desire to be a teacher, which I did for eleven years before staying home with my kids.

What do you love about living in Minnesota? What are you not particularly fond of living here?    Minnesota is full of beauty. I love to sit by the shore and watch a sunset, or wait on a glass top lake to see my bobber go under. It takes me all of one second at this time of year to know what I don’t love about Minnesota. THE COLD!

I hear you on that! Tell us a little about your writing journey.  As a young girl I wrote songs that I sold to my grandmother for a dime. Then it was poetry for the school contests and articles for the community college newspaper. Never did I dream in a million years that I would be a writer. Some people are born just knowing from their first breath that they want to be a writer. Not me.

Gotta love grandmothers who happily pay for a song by their grandchild! When did you realize you wanted to write?   My desire to write came one day when I realized how many books I had read. I thought, it can’t be that hard, right? Now, I just laugh when I think of that moment. But sometimes, God uses a spark of an idea to send us on the path He intended without even cluing us in.

That’s when I began to write. That first story was so awful, I tabled it for eight years before I wrote anything else. Then story ideas began to flow and I just had to write them down, or I couldn’t sleep at night. I guess that’s when you know you’re a writer. You just can’t walk away from the stories.

Keeping those old stories around helps us see how far we’ve come. Share a lesson you’ve learned during your writing journey.   Talent doesn’t equal success without hard work. It seems like such a simple thing to learn, but we often expect things to move more quickly. Publishing a book takes talent + time + hard work + hard work.

Wonderful words of wisdom. Tell us about your current work.   After severalIdea Sparking cover (1) years of hard work, I had the amazing opportunity to work with other writers on brainstorming with My Book Therapy. I never realized how difficult brainstorming could be for some authors, just as editing can be for me.

As I developed teaching material for the chats, I began to realize that there was a method to my brainstorming approach. Various strategies followed this method in a concrete way that others could use.

Writing and editing my book took about six months, but some of the ideas came from my teaching in the previous two years. My first book, Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel released with My Book Therapy Press in 2012.

What are your future plans and goals around writing?   In writing nonfiction, I continue to work on developing materials that will help writers come up with those initial story sparks through brainstorming. My Romantic Suspense novels are agented with Mary Keeley of Books & Such Literary. Hopefully, you’ll hear more about that part of my career in future months.

Looking forward to it! What is something you’d like to experience in Minnesota that you haven’t yet?   Itasca State Park is someplace I’d like to go. I want to jump over the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca at its very beginning. I am always amazed at the number of people who gave their lives looking for its source.

You and Michelle Griep (last week’s author) need to plan a road trip since that’s something she wants to do too! What’s something most people don’t know about you?   Most people don’t know that I am a ventriloquist. As a young girl my Dad spent some years traveling as a Kids Evangelist. He’s a ventriloquist and he taught me how to do that also. My first vent figure was Hop-To-It, a blue bunny. I performed for my first time at the talent show in sixth grade.

That’s a riot! I can’t wait to see your ventriloquist act in person. Thanks for being here in the Land of 10,000 Words, Michelle. (I’m so glad I can move my mouth while typing this blog!!)

Michelle will be popping in and out on the blog today, so post a question for her to be entered in a drawing to win her new brainstorming book, Idea Sparking: How to Brainstorm Conflict in Your Novel. (It’s fabulous – guaranteed to give your writing a boost.)

Here are some comments about her book:
Michelle recently helped me brainstorm Silent Night, my new Rock Harbor digital novella coming at the end of next month. Her brainstorming prowess amazed me! I loved her new book, especially the chapter on secrets. ~Colleen Coble, award-winning author

Michelle Lim has captured and applied all the powerful My Book Therapy techniques– and more–into this must-have book that guarantees an author the tools to create a riveting and unique story. This resource will be dog-eared, highlighted, and always within reach as I create my stories.  ~Susan May Warren, best-selling, award-winning author and cofounder of My Book Therapy   (hard copy)   (e-book)

Michelle would love to hear from you. Here are a few ways to contact her:

See you back here on Thursday for Minnesota Fun Facts. If you know of an upcoming event or a fun fact that should be shared here, drop me a note. I’d love to include it.

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