Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ever Switch Up Genres? Worked for Michelle Ziegler! #WritersLife #Contemporary #Romance

Welcome to my week-long author spotlight focusing on my fellow 4 authors of the Winter's Sweet Kiss anthology!

Each is going to share a bit about their own scribbling sojourn.

Today, it's the lovely Michelle Ziegler!

Take it away, darlin'!


Thank you Terri for hosting me on Christmas Eve!  It’s seems like I have so many great milestones around Christmas.  Being born, meeting my husband, and now a book release.  

You asked about my path to publication.  In one word: trying.  Has there ever been an author who said it was easy?  If so, reach out and smack them.  Their life is entirely too blessed.  Honestly though, my experience has been a long learning curve.

I started seriously trying for publication seven years ago.  I had the best ideas and knew everyone would want them.  This was going to be the best job ever!  My plan was to get published and then start having kids.  Hello to reality.

Instead I wrote a hideously long book.  I won’t even say how long, learning curve one. Immediately, I sought out an agent.  Editing anyone? Who edits? Low and behold, I received one form rejection after another. 

Okay … now what?

After realizing I didn’t have a clue about novel writing, I went to a cheap one day writer’s conference.  The conference itself wasn’t full of crazy inspiration or life changing information, but the networking was invaluable.  I met a woman there who would change my whole outlook on writing.  She not only became an awesome friend, but a great person to bounce ideas off of.  Together we started a critique group, where someone would completely stomp on my dreams.

The good thing about someone raining on your parade is taking the information and learning from it.  Show them you can succeed. The best critiques I ever got were the ones that hurt the most. Learning from where not to start my story, to what massive grammatical mistakes I make, to learning people do steal sometimes.

I know.  I know. I am not perfect.  That's just crazy talk!

I switched genres from paranormal to contemporary - about 4 years in.  Suddenly I had people laughing.  The knowledge that, despite my short comings, someone was enjoying my book gave me confidence.

Next I joined a few online writing communities.  This is where my life changed.  I followed authors on their journeys, blogging. I listened to advice and asked questions.  Finally it dawned on me. Finding an agent is still a great goal.  Getting into one of the BIG publishing houses is still a dream, but there were other missed opportunities. 

<Palm to forehead moment.>

Now I was armed and dangerous.  I found a publisher that had open calls for anthologies. I wrote fast and furious to make the deadlines and submitted.  Despite my short comings – and there were a lot, they accepted me.  I think I cried.  Too bad that was short lived.  Don’t worry though.  Although those two contracts fell through, I eventually ( 1 year and one baby boy later) found a new publisher for a new short story.  Ta da! 

Eye opening experience in my path to publication. Most writers don't make millions.  Close your mouth.  It'll be okay.  I'm very happy. The reason I write is to be happy and share happy.

So if you smile even once during my story, I think the years of stress, doubt, tears, PAINFUL editing, and eventually dreams realized were all worth it. Keep on trucking and sometimes realize in order to get where you want, you might have to take a few unexpected detours. 



Angela is in love with someone she can’t have. Stranded in the bitter cold after another failed date, Angela is running out of time.  Her company Christmas party is around the corner, and the idea of going with her boss’ nephew is less then appealing. Escaping the cold , Angela jumps into her familiar getaway car to find Nick, her life-long crush, in the driver’s seat.  Strategic planning on his part has them finally giving into years of denied feelings.  Unfortunately, reality always surfaces.  Angela pushes Nick away in fear of losing his sister, her best friend. Breaking Nick’s heart was never part of her plan, and thankfully Nick isn’t going to let her.  His headstrong nature comes out and changes the game despite Angela’s attempts to stay away from him. Angela needs to decide if her best friend is more important than Nick, or if she should just give up and resign herself to a life with someone else.


Angela broke off as she heard a chuckle. A male chuckle. Had she gotten in the wrong car? She released the seatbelt she’d finally managed to grasp, which hit the car door with a loud thwack, and shot a glance at the driver’s seat.


Suddenly, she wasn’t cold anymore. 

“Oh my God! When did you get back?” She flung her arms around his neck. Rebecca’s older brother was a Marine who had been on deployment. “I can’t believe you’re here! Becks didn’t tell me. You didn’t even send an email.” Angela was a little hurt.

  “You’re choking me.”

“Oh. Sorry. I’m excited to see you.” Angela let go, happy but embarrassed. She’d spent years squelching her feelings for Nick. She was obviously out of practice.


About Michelle Ziegler

Michelle’s imagination started spilling out onto paper the second she could scribble.  Her drawing never improved, but her love affair with words continued and evolved as she became infatuated with one story after another.  If life could be written, Michelle would write everyone’s ending as a happily ever after.

Michelle grew up in Chicago and later moved to Colorado. Her husband still makes fun of her Midwest accent. By day she is an engineer, wife, and mother to two kids and two dogs. Her sanity survives on the pages she writes, even if her toddler is trying to drive her to the edge one temper tantrum at a time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. Terri thanks so much for your time! I hope your Christmas is amazing and blessed. (sorry for the late thanks. My husband had to have some outpatient surgery. Greatest day ever... hmm or not.)