Today, I have the pleasure of introducing a friend and Author Michelle Nicole- ThePeoplezWriter, to my blog. Welcome Michelle Nicole.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Newark, New Jersey. Outside of being an author, in 2010 – 2016, I was founder and CEO of a nonprofit organization which focused on healing and positive engagement for youth that are affected by domestic violence. Within this organizational umbrella, services provided span from community outreach, youth workshops that cover topics such as teen dating violence, bullying and suicide prevention, and camps that focus on music and literacy development. The company has been inactive due to relocation, but my service will forever be available for children in need.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I’m not writing you can find me somewhere with a fishing pole in my hand or at home designing clothes. I like to travel when I can and spend time with my family when everyone can get to the same place at the same time. 😊
Do you have a day job as well?
In December of 2016, I resigned from my full-time job of 8 years in a field I was in for over 20 years. Not sure what my next move was, I knew 100% it wasn’t being an employee anymore. I took a leap of faith and I am so happy I did. Right now, my time is filled with designing Tutu Skirts- which will transform into everyday skirts this year and I am also a Health and Wellness Consultant. I host Vision Board Events to help people DREAM BIG then takes daily steps to reach those goals.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I began writing poetry at the age of 15. It was a coping mechanism for me. My writing style developed into short stories as a young adult. I released my first book in 2008 and I currently have six books self-published and one short film that I wrote, produced, and directed.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
I didn’t really choose my genre, it chose me. I never really saw myself being an author. I just had a story I needed to release for my own sanity and it ended up helping other people so from that point, ThePeoplezWriter was born.
Where do you get your ideas?
My ideas come from personal experience. Topics are based on things that have happened in my life or within my surroundings and I add a little imagination in there from time to time to spice things up.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Of course. I use writers block as an opportunity to step back and refocus. Maybe work on something else for a while and then return to the book project later. Because my topics are so heavy, it can oftentimes be difficult to get my thoughts out while remaining sensitive to my readers. I never want to come off offensive, but I do believe in helping people see the light, and whenever possible, make better choices for their quality of life.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I use both now. In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing. I was just writing because it felt like a natural way to relieve stress.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
The most influential book for me is the Bible. I always pray and seek guidance before and during a writing project. I want to make sure my books align with my life’s purpose. As far as authors, there have been several authors that have had an impact on my life over the years. It’s always hard to narrow them down for a list 😊.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
I feel like I didn’t really have too many challenges. Of course, I went the traditional route and was told “no” several times. Mainly because my topics was not one of pure entertainment. I guess if I would have known how to better research companies that would have been a good fit thing could have turned out differently. But, once I found my comfort zone and realized that I didn’t fit in a category, self-publishing was my best option. I receive emails from publishing companies, but I am just not interested in being boxed in at this point.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
Of course, I always want to get better with each project but honestly, I’d have to say not really. I stand behind my work and words 100%. I write from my heart and that’s why I feel good about what I produce at the end of the day. I know that my work is not for everyone. But I also know that it is for a special someone!
How do you market your work?
I use online platforms a lot. I attend meet and greets and other business events. I’m not a social butterfly so it’s hard for me to just walk up to people and start a conversation. When I first started out, I used to attend night clubs and give out free copies to the DJ’s. Lol, that was cool. They would shout the book out and it was a creative way to get my name out there.
What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I find setting up at community events works best for me. My topics are geared toward family, relationships and real-world issues, so what better way to get the word out than to be around everyday people.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
No ma’am. I have six books and one short film currently out. I usually try to release each project I work on although some take longer than others.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
Yes! I can only write about what I know. I like to consider myself creative, but I’m not that creative – lol I love how people can write a murder scene and it feel so real. I’ve never killed anyone, so I can’t imagine that far. However, I have loved, been loved, hurt, been hurt, forgave, been forgiven, cheated, been cheated on and so on. So, I can paint an ugly picture and turn it into a beautiful masterpiece by the end of the night.
What has been your favorite chapter in one of your books to write about and why?
With my first book, my favorite chapter was when I reconnected Sheila and Jamal. Their love affair, to me, was an urban fairy-tale.
How did you come up with the titles?
The last few books I have written already had a title and I may have changed a word or few to match the cover. Once I see a cover, I can pretty much gather thoughts on a story-line.
What project are you working on now?
I am currently working on 2 book projects and working up some new designs for my Skirt Line.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
I’d like to have one of the two books completed by the summer of 2019.
My upcoming projects reflect the good ole saying of damaged goods. When people love the wrong people so hard and for so long it can sometimes be dangerous for that love affair to end. What’s more devastating is the new person that unknowingly walks into the life of that person who has not gotten an opportunity to deal with their mess before moving on to someone new.
My upcoming projects are listed on my website: www.michellenicole.biz