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.


About Stacy Monson

Stacy is an award-winning author and freelance writer. Shattered Image and Dance of Grace, Books 1 and 2 of the Chain of Lakes Series, are available on Amazon in print and ebook formats. Book 3 will release Spring of 2017. Past president and founder of MN-NICE, the Minnesota ACFW chapter, she is now the Area Director for Minnesota.
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39 Responses to Monday Morning Author Interview – Michelle Lim

  1. writerbev says:

    I fully agree with Stacy. I’d also like to hear your ventriloquist act in person, Michelle! Perhaps this summer a trip can be planned for Itasca — and include lots of authors/writers. I love the headwaters. Great interview, ladies.


  2. Ditto seeing the ventriloquist act, Michelle.

    I like the idea of taking an author field trip to Itasca. What a great setting for books from any genre!

    Fun interview, Stacy & Michelle. 🙂


  3. Melissa Tagg says:

    Awesome interview, Michelle. Your idea sparking skills rock! 🙂


  4. Leanne Hardy says:

    I write for young people and I’m thinking a story with a ventriloquist has lots of possibilities. Next MN NICE meeting we need to see you in action.


  5. Yeah, girl, we need to take a field trip to Itasca! You can help me brainstorm on the trip, and I’ll do some editing for you. We’re a match made in heaven, I tell ya!


  6. ediemelson says:

    Great interview! I can’t believe we’ve spent so much time together and I didn’t know your were a ventriloquist. Also, my dad was an amateur magician. I can hardly wait to see you in April! Blessings!


  7. Amanda Dykes says:

    What fun to get to know you more! Thanks for the fun and insight!


  8. Great interview, Michelle! (And thank you, Stacy!)

    Hey, I’d definitely pay money to hear you sing again! 😉 Seriously, you have an amazing voice, Michelle. I forgot you were a “PK,” too.

    I’d love to read Idea Sparking! Sounds awesome! (And can’t wait to read your tales of suspense. As long as I have my nightlight. LOL)


  9. Liz Johnson says:

    Loved this interview! i love mooses (meese?)! 🙂 How fun to see one up close. When I was a kid, our family took a road trip to Yellowstone, and we saw a baby moose standing in the middle of the road. We stopped, but my mom wouldn’t let us get out of the car. She said where there’s a baby moose, there’s a momma moose. And we didn’t want to mess with the momma. Sure enough, the momma moose wandered past us and ushered her little one off the road. It was so cute! I’ve loved them ever since!

    And I could absolutely use some help brainstorming! Your book sounds great, Michelle. I find myself falling into familiar ruts, and I want to break out, but I guess I need to be brainstorming more. 🙂

    Thanks again for the interview!


    • Michelle Lim says:

      Thanks, Liz for stopping by. Moose are amazing animals. There was a set of twin moose that we saw trotting next to each other on the road every year for a few years on the Arrowhead. We used to call them Bonnie and Clyde.

      I would love to help you brainstorm, by book or in person, Liz!


  10. Erica Vetsch says:

    A ventriloquist! I’m so impressed. 🙂
    I heartily endorse Michelle’s Idea Sparking book. I have a copy, and I love it!


  11. erin says:

    Wow… I learned so many interesting things about you. Idea Sparking sounds great.


  12. Sue Harrison says:

    I’m a day late, but I loved reading the interview! Thank you for letting us get better acquainted with Michelle!


  13. I could probably use the help with brainstorming for the conflict in the novel (my first ever) I’m attempting to write. How much conflict is enough? I think I have it right, now thinking through the resolution of the critical events and have to bring it all to a satisfactory conclusion.
    Thanks for an interesting interview.


    • Michelle Lim says:

      Lynn, how exciting to be working on your first novel! There certainly is a need for conflict, but even more importantly using conflict to create tension and stakes. Best wishes on your new endeavor!


  14. Gail Helgeson says:

    Hello Michelle and Stacy…
    Loved the interview.
    Brought me back to our Boundary Waters adventures! I am so excited to meet all of you at the next MN NICE meeting. I definitely need help with brainstorming ideas! Blessings to you. P.S. once saw a moose and her babe in the BWCA. That was amazing.


  15. Elizabeth Bohan says:

    Hi Michelle and Stacy, I’m a litte late to the party, but I too enjoyed getting to know Michelle more, and we now know her prowness in several areas. Care to entertain us at the Duluth Writer’s Getaway? On the serious side, I was in a brainstormin group with Michelle at the 2012 Duluth Writer’s Getaway, and wow that mind of hers can brainstorm. She was full of ideas. We had such a blast in out group! Who knew brainstorming could lead to places you never dreamed of? Thanks Stacy and Michelle for the great interview.


  16. StacyMonson says:

    Thanks for being here, Michelle!
    I’ll post the winner of Michelle’s book on next Monday’s blog. Stop by to learn a few things about St. Paul native author/pastor John Otte.


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