Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Changing Fate & Michelle Merrill

I am actually posting TWICE in one week! Maybe this is a good sign! And I am really excited to have Michelle Merrill visiting with a fun little interview. I was lucky enough to meet Michelle at the Storymakers Conference this year and I can't tell you what an amazing person she is. Even in the short amount of time I was able to visit with her, her fun and friendly personality shone through. She was so sweet to invite me to sit with her and her friends, and was very easy to talk to. I give her an A+ on first impressions! And she has kept that A+ with all our follow up contact, so ROCK ON MICHELLE!
And now on to our interview!
Michelle... if you could be a super hero, which one would you be and why?
Oh man! This is a hard question. As a Marvel Movie Fanatic, I would have to say Thor is pretty awesome. And he has the best hair! Who wouldn't want that? Let's face it, even though swords are awesome, that hammer is wicked!

I can't argue with any of your logic. Good choice! Now for a flash interview. I'll say a word - you say the first thing that comes to mind. Ready? Go!
Book: Nerd.
Date: Hubby.
Clean: Tub?
Mountain: Biking.
Yuck: Snot. (LOL)
Hate: Fears.
Love: People. (Awww!)
Read: A lot.

I love it! Those are so fun! Now tell us 3 things about yourself that we wouldn't already know.
I'm going to cheat and take 3 things from my book release blog party. The only people who would know these things would be the ones who actually went and read them. :-)
  1. I've been to 48 states... in a 15 passenger van. Including right into downtown Manhattan with a full-size trailer pulled behind with a homemade wing on top for better gas mileage. Yeah, it was all sorts of awesome.
  2. I'm kind of anal about the way I load a dishwasher. Yes, I sort my silverware. And I rinse everything so that it looks clean before I put it in. And I don't load it until I have enough to start it. Which means... I have a really deep sink and am excellent at doing my dishes quickly.
  3. My favorite show growing up was Scarecrow and Mrs. King. If you've never seen it, go right now and look it up. I mean we're talking 80's TV show with Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson. It was awe-some. My favorite TV shows right now are Once Upon a Time, Agents of Shield, and The Voice.
Oh my gosh! I think I would consider that van a bus, and that would be awesome! I would never survive without my dishwasher because I hate doing dishes, and I will google Scarecrow and Mrs. King right now! But lets move on to your book, Changing Fate. What inspired you to write such a wonderful story?
A six year old little girl who lives with the disease. When I found out she had it, I wanted to help. The story came to my mind, and I worked with some amazing people to make it real.

How long did the book take you to write? Tell us a little about the research you did through your writing process.
First draft: 6 weeks. Then 7 months of revising off and on. I talked with the mother of the little girl and they introduced me to my friend, Sara, who lived with CF for 30 years and has gone through a double lung transplant. Sara helped me see the disease through the eyes of a teenage girl struggling to live. I did a lot of research in books and online in addition to our long email chats.

What message or thought would you like to leave our readers with today?
Be aware of those around you. Don't judge someone's footsteps until you've walked in their shoes. Even then... remember that no one wears shoes the same way, or even walks in them the same way. Do your best and be your best! Find the good and eliminate the bad. You'll be happier for it every day. I promise :-)

That is a very powerful message, Michelle, and I appreciate your willingness to share with us today. You are truly amazing, as are these fabulous people you were able to work with. 

Where to find Michelle:

Blurb for Changing Fate:
All Kate wants is to live. Battling cystic fibrosis is hard enough, dying from it is even harder. When her mom moves them closer to the hospital in the middle of her senior year, Kate’s determined to isolate herself—saving everyone the trouble of befriending a dying girl. It’s a difficult task when cheerful optimist Giana insists on being Kate’s friend.

Kate’s resolve falters even more when curly-haired Kyler captivates her with his sweet melodies. As her emotional walls collapse, Kate realizes the people she’s been pushing away may be the ones giving her a reason to live. But it might be too late.

Half of all proceeds will be given to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Do you know anyone with Cystic Fibrosis? 


Donna K. Weaver said...

I love your flash interview. It makes me laugh.

And what a great cause for this book. Congrats and good luck!

Michelle Merrill said...

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Leigh! I'm so glad we finally met each other. Speaking of awesome people, you are definitely one of the awesomest (yes, that's a word). I'm lucky to call you my friend :)

Kimberly said...

Fabulous interview - I always love the flash/quick rounds. I have a very specific way to load the dishwasher too (and must clean the dishes before I put them in) I cringe when I see my husband put them in (and secretly rearrange later).

Your book sounds wonderful and it's awesome that you're giving half your proceeds to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

ilima said...

Great interview! And I love the messages of your book. Nice!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh my goodness. Could be a tear jerker. Or extremely uplifting! What a powerful, rarely used topic.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Fun interview. Learned lots of fun things about Michelle. Awesome you two met at the conference.

Tammy Theriault said...

Loved the interview! I'm an anal dishwasher loader too. Trust me...there IS only one correct way to load it ;)-

Charlie N. Holmberg said...

6 weeks? Nice!

Love the "Reason to live" line in the blurb. :)

David P. King said...

Yay Michelle!

Wow you write fast. For me it's like 7 months to draft and 6 weeks to edit. Congrats again on your book! :)

Crystal Collier said...

First of all, watch out, Leigh! This dual-weekly posting thing is addictive.

Oh my goodness, I LOVED the flash interview portion, and the rest of it too. High give, Michelle!

Michelle Merrill said...

Donna, thanks! I think I remember seeing you at Storymakers. You were there, right?

Kimberly, totally with the rearranging. I do it with my kids too.

Ilima, thanks! I'm pretty sure we met and talked a bit at Storymakers. It's so fun to get to know so many people :)

Elizabeth, I've heard people have shed tears. I hope they're good tears!

Natalie, aren't conferences the best? I think yes!

Tammy, glad to know I'm not the only one who's a dishwasher stickler! Thank goodness we can all unite :)

Charlie, thanks.

David, yeah...I love writing first drafts and pretty much hate editing. I guess if I took more time to write the first draft, the revisions wouldn't take me so much time!

Michelle Merrill said...

Thanks Crystal. Hey, did you know that I'm good friends with a relative of yours? Kelley Hicken :)She's awesome!

Stephanie Faris said...

That sounds like me...six weeks of writing, seven months of revising!

Adeeva Afsheen said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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