Posted On August 21, 2012 by Print This Post

Pushing the Passionate Pen with Michele DeWinton

Michele DeWinton is one of my fellow Indulgence authors at Entangled Publishing. She is fabulous author, a wonderful support for fellow authors and she gets to live in New Zealand . . . sigh.  I am thrilled to have her here today.

Pushing a passionate pen – Michele de Winton

 I am a writer. The statement only has four words when you lay it out flat like that. But those four words are a world and an ocean. A torment and a release. And sometimes they’re a right pain in the ass because the day off I thought I was having is ambushed by a new idea. I am not a famous writer and I’m a real newbie when it comes to romance, but I do push my pen passionately and I write over a broad range of genres.

I hadn’t dreamed of being an author growing up (unless you count that brief moment when I copied out Where the Wild Things are and tried to pass it off as my own). I was the want-to-be-a-ballerina-when-I-grow-up type. I followed that dancing dream, all the way through law school, until I left and went to teach dance in India. Yep. India. The classically trained Indian dance teacher at the school I was sent to wasn’t impressed. So I ended up strumming a guitar and teaching orphans the words to Beatles songs before I wrote a play and we performed it, with Bengali subtitles, to one hundred and one people. Approximately. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.

Turns out that while this white girl can dance, I can write a whole lot better and my ‘break’ came when I was looking for a location for a new dance work. I was flicking through a historical places pamphlet and found a tiny paragraph about the first lighthouse keeper in New Zealand. The first and female lighthouse keeper. How cool. Her story got hold of me, was joined by two other characters and turned itself into a novel. Coupled with the modest success of that book, the support of my husband and a writing fellowship, I kept at it. Writing is the one thing that just seems to ‘fit’ with me. And that suits me fine. I love it.

Living in New Zealand however I’m pretty realistic about what it takes to make a living as a writer. Now I write nonfiction for a variety of clients, still keep up my literary work as well as writing for kids, and of course am diving into the awesome world of romance. Writing full time is a dream really.

Getting into romance was a case of right time, right place. Entangled Publishing had just started seeking submissions for their new Indulgence line. An e-book category series that has turned out some stunning best sellers already —most notably The Marriage Bargain. If it hadn’t been for my background as a writer in other genres, I’m not sure they would have taken me on, as my book The Boss and Her Billionaire, was undoubtedly full of holes. But they did and my happy dancing hasn’t stopped as the book continues to do relatively well.

I guess then the moral of my story is that you don’t know where inspiration will spring from, or from what meagre beginnings your writing star will start shining. But you can keep pushing a passionate pen. You can float your dreams out on paper and let your characters dance with them. You can let the colour of some dark forest haunt your words or the light of morning warm them. And even if you don’t want anyone else to see them, those words will be all yours. Full of poise and personality and passion, you will have created something that no one else has. And you will have made the world just a tiny bit better because of it. Isn’t that fantastic.

If I had any advice for my as yet unpublished self it would be boiled down to four things:

  1. Write. The discipline to get up every day and make yourself get onto the page even for a short time is the thing that will likely be the difference between you getting published and not. And of course if you only talk about writing your book rather than actually doing it the words won’t ever get on the page.
  2. Edit. Don’t send off the first draft of anything, short story, play, novel. Even if it is a piece of genius. Let it sit, just for a couple of days if that’s all you’ve got and then re-read. You’ll likely pick up something that could do with tweaking.
  3. Create a team. I’ve been part of a writing group for the last few years and they are the only people who see my first drafts. Having an objective eye look over your work is invaluable.
  4. Read. Everything.

But what do you think? I’d love to hear the other sideways routes people have taken into writing. Or the paths they are still walking. Do you still find pushing the pen a driving source of passion?

Thanks so much for having me,

xMichele

***

Michele asks some great questions – share your answers or ask any questions you might have.

Tomorrow – we welcome author Gerri Brouseau

***

The Boss and Her Billionaire
Cruise director Michaela Western has everything she wants—everything except a sex life. But there are no secrets on cruise ships. She risked her job once for a dalliance with the Captain, and won’t do it again for a few minutes of toe-curling pleasure. Until a devilishly handsome new staffer with a body made for sin tempts her to walk on the wild side…

Investment billionaire Dylan Johns always gets what he wants. He is used to giving orders—not taking them—until he’s forced to go on hiatus from his investment company. To bide his time and carry out an old dream, he takes a job on a cruise ship—and ends up taking orders from his gorgeous, but uptight, new boss. He is determined to loosen her up with a fun onboard romance, but their no-strings fling turns serious and Dylan is forced to confess his lies.

When the affair threatens to shatter Michaela’s own career dreams, she finds herself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The Boss and Her Billionaire is available now from
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Boss-Her-Billionaire-ebook/dp/B008LQ78UK
and Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-boss-and-her-billionaire-michele-de-winton/1112120207

Bio:

Michele de Winton loves sunshine, chardonnay, (preferably together), beaches, trees, great vegetarian food, steamy writing and happy endings. She’s been known to be an all round arty type and it’s no wonder that her first romance has a little sparkle of the stage tucked into its pages. Being a writer was not was she was supposed to be when she ‘grew up’ but then neither was being a dancer. Sometimes her performing past jumps out of the dress up box and requires attention. But most of the time she’s content to stay in her PJs. All day. And she also thinks that chocolate can solve pretty much everything. Her debut romance The Boss and Her Billionaire hit the top 100 Bestsellers on Barnes and Noble in its first week and continues to do well. You can get in touch with her at
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/michele.dewinton
Twitter https://twitter.com/MicheledeWinton
Drop her a line or post a comment on her blog through http://www.micheledewinton.com

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Discussion

17 Responses to “Pushing the Passionate Pen with Michele DeWinton”

  1. Thanks so much for having me! I’d love to hear what others think.
    X Michele

    Posted by Michele de Wintob | August 21, 2012, 1:17 am
  2. Morning Michele….

    My writing “career” began three years ago when one day I decided to be a writer. Plop. That was it. I wrote a few chapters, showed them to my sister who collapsed into hysterical laughter. That’s when I decided I’d best LEARN how to write first….=) I’ve recently broke through a 7 month patch of a total writing blackout/block and am looking forward to diving back in!

    Nice meeting you Michele! =)

    carrie

    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 21, 2012, 5:46 am
    • Friends & siblings can be harsh cant they! I now only show first drafts to a select few in my writing group & because weve built up a level of trust & slam each others work equally, the critique is somehow easier to take. :-)
      Thanks for stopping by and I hope your dive back in goes magnificently!

      Posted by michele de winton | August 21, 2012, 7:30 am
  3. Hi, Michele –

    Welcome to RU!

    You make a great point about having a passionate pen. I’ve found that the further I move beyond that first overwhelming excitement I felt while writing my first manuscript, the more I have to cultivate and protect my passion for writing. That first book comes out in a burst of Oh-my-God-I-can’t-believe-I’m-finally-writing-a-book and after that, you have to find the stride that will carry you on for books and books ahead.

    For a while, I thought that meant pushing harder and spending more time chained to my desk. What I’ve found (for myself only), however, is that if I write in shorter spurts interspersed with walks, a snack, even housework or a quickie nap, I’m way more productive overall and happier to boot.

    Congrats on your success with Entangled!
    Kelsey

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 21, 2012, 6:17 am
    • Hi Kelsey, I so totally agree. I had a wonderful year of writing with no deadlines, no family, nothing but the page and a view of the sea. I was very pleased with my output and coming back to reality was a difficult time management adjustment. I’d missed my man but still…;-) Now I have to fit writing around my one year old & feel like I have to relearn my writing habits. But the best thing about my year away is that I learnt to look at writing as a long term career. It means I can actuakky celebrate that this time out, as it has probably made my writing better.
      Thanks for the congrats and for your insightful comments.
      X Michele

      Posted by michele de winton | August 21, 2012, 7:40 am
  4. Hi Michele,

    I was too practical to be a writer. I pushed back and got a sensible job. Good thing I did. People I worked with became characters in my stories.

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 21, 2012, 6:22 am
  5. Michele,

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey. It’s always fascinating to me to discover the varied pathways that lead to publication. It’s also just really fun to get to know the story behind each author.

    Posted by Roxanne | August 21, 2012, 8:46 am
  6. Welcome to RU, Michelle!

    You nailed it. As writers, we don’t know what will inspire us. I’ve been inspired by strange situations and obscure things.

    I’d like to believe that my writing improves with practice. (Ha!)So writing every day, even if it’s a hundred words that aren’t a part of the WIP, really does help.

    Great to have you with us. Best of luck with your new book.

    Posted by Jennifer Tanner | August 21, 2012, 1:30 pm
  7. Awesome post! I needed to hear this to help me keep focused on the core truth. :)

    I hated writing, partly, I think, because my mother was a writer and partly because I wasn’t able to choose what I wrote. I still wound up in this career fairly early in life, compared to many, and count myself lucky that I recognized the passion beneath the reality. :)

    Posted by Natalie J. Damschroder | August 21, 2012, 1:33 pm
    • That made my day! So glad you enjoyed it and that there was something in it for you. I’m so awed by all of the established and respected romance authors around me and it’s totally fab that we all have little things to share that help each other out. I really appreciate the support I’ve already received.
      Pretty crazy cool that you fought it and then the words came and got you anyway ;-)
      x Michele

      Posted by Michele de Winton | August 21, 2012, 2:49 pm
  8. Hi Michele – I loved hearing about your adventures in India. That sounds like a book in itself! Any chance there’s a YouTube video of the kids singing those Beatle songs?

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 21, 2012, 3:59 pm
    • Hi Becke,
      Unfortunately we were well and truly out of technologyzone back then. Today everyone probably would have taken a copy of it on the phones but all I have to show for it is some photos – printed, not digital. Seems incredible that it was only about ten years ago and things have moved on so much!
      So glad you enjoyed my reminiscing. Thanks for stopping by.
      x Michele

      Posted by Michele de Winton | August 22, 2012, 2:56 am
  9. Hi Michelle! The EDJ kept me from commenting earlier but I love your post. My fave was your advice to create a team – I have a group of writers who support me, encourage me and keep me from making an ass of myself.

    Robin

    Posted by Robin Covington | August 21, 2012, 4:48 pm
    • Ha. I agree Robin. There have been times when the comments in my margins have been less than polite and the whole group has warned me off doing something I probably would have regretted later. And then again is the warm glow of shared success! Thanks again so much for having me!
      x Michele

      Posted by Michele de Winton | August 22, 2012, 2:58 am

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