Intimate Conversation with Michelle Lindo-Rice
Originally from Jamaica West Indies, Michelle Lindo-Rice calls herself a lifelong learner. She has earned degrees from New York University, SUNY at Stony Brook, and Teachers College, Columbia University. When she moved to Florida, she enrolled in Argosy University where she completed her Education Specialist degree in Education Leadership. A pastor’s kid, Michelle upholds the faith, preaching, teaching and ministering through praise and worship. Michelle currently works as a Reading Specialist for exceptional student learners, and is the proud mother of two teenaged sons.
BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? How do you feel about self-publishing?
I broke into the publishing industry when I attended a Faith & Fiction retreat, the inspiration of Tiffany L. Warren hosted in Florida. I learned a lot through the workshop sessions and after prayer and fasting gathered my courage to pitch my work to the featured publishers. I honed my first chapter and worked on a hook so that I could introduce myself and stimulate interest in my work. My manuscript was complete and my characters had specific plots so I was able to answer detailed questions about my manuscript. Imagine my shout of praise when I heard the words from Joylynn Jossel-Ross, “Send me the first four chapters.” Then, came the real work of getting my manuscript ready for her perusal. I hired an editor who critiqued my work and I rewrote before submitting it. Joylynn then put on her editing hat and helped me whip my manuscript into shape for publication.
As someone who previously self-published, I feel that it is lucrative for the motivated individual. By motivated I mean someone who is skilled with marketing, product development and with distribution. The work needs to be one of quality, properly editing and the person has to be business-minded. I know it’s something I wouldn’t mind doing again, but I have a lot to learn.
BPM: What is your definition of success? Does money play a part in how you gauge success?
While money is important, it cannot be the sole part in gauging success. I view success as the ability to move my readers and leading them to developing a deeper walk with Christ. If through my work I’m able to inspire someone or touch someone to change their life for the better, than that is a success.
BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life?
Because I’m an avid reader, my books and author list is expanding. I’ve read all of Victoria Christopher Murray’s work. I love Rhonda McKnight, ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Shana Burton, Tiffany Warren, Pat Simmons, Michele Stimpson, Norma Jarrett, Vanessa Miller, E.N. Joy… the list could go on. I know there are some I didn’t mention. (sorry). The book that has the biggest impact on me this year is I Ain’t Me No More by E.N. Joy. I cannot rave enough about it. I hope to be able to develop the writing chops to delve into a character like that. It was real, gripping, truth.
BPM: How many books have you written? How has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated your growth the most?
I have penned six full-length novels and I have a smattering of to-be-completed work. My writing style has evolved because I’m moving from being a storyteller into being a writer, one who’s devoted on developing a craft. What has stimulated my growth the most is hiring an editor and working with Joylynn Ross. A great editor will make you a better writer. I’m also actively studying recommended books about writing. I’ve learned it is a skill that continuously needs to be developed. Being able to learn from experienced authors is also a huge blessing from God. My writing is becoming sharper and I’m working on creating memorable scenes that make the book a page-turner.
BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters. Do you have any favorites?
Walk A Straight Line is Christian Fiction and is available on Kindle, Nook, and Paperback, and in many independent stores. In Walk A Straight Line, you’ll meet Colleen Hayworth and Gina Price, best friends for fifteen years. Colleen gets married and rededicates her life to God, which changes the dynamic of their relationship. Gina thinks Colleen is now too holy for her especially since she starts dating a fine man while falling in love with his brother. My favorite character was Gina because she’s feisty and a lot like me. But, then I love Keith because who doesn’t love a strong man who just grabs you and take charge?
BPM: What compelled or inspired you to write this book? Why now? Ever experience writers block?
My inspiration behind this book stems from the fact that I have a lifelong friend and our relationship has had its ups and downs, but our sisterhood is never questioned. I wanted to write a book about friends but explore the intriguing possibilities of truly getting to know yourself based on experiences. Sometimes when we hear another person’s experience we form opinions on what we would or would not do. I wanted to put my main characters, Colleen and Gina in situations that they never imagined they would face to see if they would walk a straight line.
I also wanted to write a romance so intriguing that people will get sucked into the characters lives. There are times when I get stuck. What I do to combat it is re-read, rewrite, work on something else, or plot out more points for my novel. Sometimes, I take a mental break to give my brain time to think. But if it is even 5 words, I make sure my fingers are on the keyboard. To write it requires discipline.
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