Joining us today is author Michelle Sutton. Her debut novel, It’s Not about Me is scheduled for release in September 2008 from Sheaf House.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Michelle. It’s wonderful to have you with us. Let’s get started by finding out a bit about you. How long have you been writing and what genres do you write?
I started writing in August 2003 hoping to sell a novel to Steeple Hill. The first story I wrote was a romance.
It’s Not about Me is your debut novel. How does that feel?
It feels incredible and so far it has been well-received, so the reviews have been encouraging.
Can you tell us a little about your book?
It’s about a young woman with a safe and fairly perfect life who is trying to please her boyfriend who has become increasingly pushy in regards to physical intimacy. When she is alone and attacked by a vicious person (she is NOT raped) her life is totally blown apart. Her boyfriend can’t handle the guilt and goes on a drinking rampage and his older brother who had been in love with her for years (from a distance) steps in and befriends her. Then the war between the brothers begins…with her stuck in the middle.
Where did you find the inspiration for this story?
In regards to what happened to her that blew apart her life…the same thing happened to a friend of mine, only the details were changed, of course.
Tell us about your main characters. Why will readers relate to them? What will they like about them? Is there anything they will dislike about them?
So far the feedback has been that they were anxious for Annie and cared about her from the beginning because they understood her dilemma. The older brother is the one the readers swoon over because he’s a great guy even with some character flaws. Most people want to slap her boyfriend around numerous times throughout the book, but in the end most people feel for him, too. He is pretty much a jerk through the first 2/3 of the story.
How long did it take you to bring this book from the first draft to the final published product?
I wrote the story fast and completed it in about four months. However, I have reread it to death and tweaked things here and there, but it’s essentially the exact same story as my rough draft. It’s just more polished now.
Were there any obstacles or challenges you faced during the publishing process?
Editors said the story was too intense for YA and too YA for women’s fiction or romance. I do have a “caution” on the top left hand corner of the back cover that says “Due to mature content, recommended for mature teens and young adults.” However, I’ve had people as young as 12 and as old as 70 read it and they enjoyed the story.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com – these are online. However, you can walk into a Barnes and Noble store and order it as well. As far as other stores goes, readers will just need to ask them to order it. There shouldn’t be a problem. Some stores will stock the book. I don’t know where they are all located but I know some are in Arizona, New York, Minnesota, and Tennessee.
Do you have a website where readers can find out more?