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Q&A with Michelle Stimpson

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Dianne’s been done with her hometown of Dentonville, Texas, since she left it twenty years before. But when her beloved aunt Gloria asks her to come home to attend her wedding, how can Dianne refuse? Still, all these years haven’t made a dent in the pain of growing up with a mentally ill, drug-addicted mother…plus the anguish of being blamed for the death of her baby sister. But Dianne’s not the only one coming home to face her demons. Her cousins, Yolanda and Regina, whom she’s always thought of as sisters, also have emotional wounds that need healing. But bad as they think things have been for them, these three women have nothing on Gloria, who’s about to reveal the most life-altering secret of them all….

Meet Michelle Stimpson, Author of "Boaz Brown and Divas of Damascus Road"
 
 
 

Q:  When did you decide you wanted to write?

 

A: I can’t really say that I decided to write – writing called me!  My mother was in a bad car accident after my 6th grade year, and writing became my companion while my mother recovered.  I am so thankful that I started writing because it could have been so many other things – drugs, hanging with the wrong crowd. Anything.  But God!

 

Q: How many novels in all have you written?

 

A:  I have written 3 so far – two (Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus) are available now and I’m in the editing process with the 3rd now.

 

Q:  How long did it take you to write your first novel?

 

A: The initial draft took me about 3 months, but we worked on it for more than a year.

 

Q:  Where do you get your inspiration for your stories? Are the characters based on real people?

 

A:  The Lord gives the inspiration for the stories. I get inspiration for my characters from people that I meet and get to know.  And, like most authors, there’s a little bit of me in each one!

 

 

Q:  I loved your book Boaz Brown! What made you decide to write a story like Boaz Brown??

 

A:  Boaz Brown was a product of 9-11, having seen people covered in gray ash and not knowing what color they were but praying for them nonetheless.  It was the first time that I saw people without the filter of race and it was eye-opening.

 

Divas of Damascus Road was inspired by my interest in the relationships between women.  They are often quirky, to say the least, and I wanted to explore that in God’s love.

 

 

Q:  After writing your first novel, did you self-publish?? If so, how was that experience?

 

A:  No, I did not self-publish my novels.  Thankfully, my first novel was picked up by a major publisher.

 

Q:  Tell us about your newest release, "Divas of Damascus Road"

 

A: Were it not for the wedding of her beloved aunt Gloria, Dianne would never have returned to Dentonville.  She has been gone for twenty years and even that can't erase the terrible pain of her early life as the child of a drug-addicted and mentally ill mother.  Being blamed as a child for the death of her baby sister, Shannon, she has grown up with a broken spirit and shattered heart that has led her all too often into the beds of "bought" men she barely knows.  But Dianne isn't the only woman running from her past.  Her younger cousins, Yolanda and Regina, whom Dianne thinks of as sisters, fight with their own demons: one has struggled with weight all of her life and the other is paralyzed with fear at the thought of an intimate relationship with a man.  It is easy to blame Dianne's schizophrenic mother, Joyce Ann, for all of their problems.  However, it is Gloria, the most trusted and seemingly stable member of the family, who has the most devastating and life-altering secrets of all.  Like Saul’s encounter with God on the road to Damascus, the Rucker women will never be the same!

 

Q:  What feedback have you received from fans?

 

A:  Divas has been interesting because I’ve heard from people more privately.  Some have told me that they saw themselves or someone that they love in the characters.  One lady told me that she had to read a little and then stop to think every so often before she could pick it up again and others have said that they read it in a few days.  I think that it just depends on where the reader is at the point of reading it.  I have asked God to put this book into the hands of every woman who needs to read it, and I believe that He is doing so.

 

Q:  What authors do you admire? Did one of them inspire you?

 

A:  There are so many!  Of course, Victoria Christopher Murray is one of my favorites.  Kendra Norman-Bellamy, Sharon Ewell Foster, J. California Cooper.  They inspire me to keep on writing!

 

Q:  Is writing your only passion?

 

A:  I also enjoy teaching and public speaking.  It’s kind of funny because, as an author, part of me enjoys solitude.  When I’m writing, I’m kind of a hermit.  But then there’s another part of me that enjoys being around people.  I’m pretty versatile!

 

Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 

A:  I see myself doing a great deal of public speaking.  I’m working on a nonfiction book and I see that really launching me into an area that I didn’t see coming until now.  I always want to write fiction because that gives me great release and something to “do” with all the things that happen in and around me.  I am grateful that what I want to do and what I have to do are usually the same thing.

 

Q:  What advice would you give aspiring authors?

 

A:  Keep writing.  There is always someone ready to receive on the other side of your obedience.

 

Q:  What would you like readers to learn from your stories?

 

A:  I’d like for them to learn that God is available for the small, everyday things in life.  We often think of God as a Mighty Delivered, Miracle Worker, etc.  And He is all that.  It makes sense, then that He is also the God of little things like helping us make better choices about food, daily expenses, little conversations that we have within ourselves.  He is available for everything – not just crisis – if we give Him that liberty in our lives.

 

Q:  Are you working on another novel? If so, what is it about?

 

A:  This third novel, entitled The Good Stuff, is about two women who are in two miserable marriages.  They get help, however, from some women who have been there, done that, and have T-shirts (and scriptures) to show for their fruitful marriages.

 

Q:  Where can people purchase your books? Do you have a website?

 

A:  My books area available wherever books are sold.  My website is www.michellestimpson.com

 

Thanks so much for this opportunity!  God Bless!

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