Thursday, October 8, 2015

Guest Post: Michelle Areaux @MommaAreaux

I'm pleased to welcome Michelle Areaux to the blog today to share about her new book and her publishing journey. 

A little about the book:

For 16-year-old Sadie Sanders, dealing with the dead is growing tiresome, especially when they expect her to play messenger to the afterlife. Up until now, Sadie has been able to handle it, but after a deadly car crash, Sadie’s job has become personal. Now, Sadie finds herself haunted by Elizabeth, a girl who has a secret to share. Sadie is being transported into the life of Elizabeth, dreaming about the events uncovered in her diary. Sadie can't tell anyone about her secret, not even her own family. They wouldn't believe her, or worse they would try to stop her from continuing her journey to truth. Sadie has a choice to make. And it's not going to be an easy one.

Guest post by Michelle Areaux

My Publishing Journey

Hello all, my name is Michelle Areaux and I am excited to talk with you all today about my crazy journey in the publishing world and what inspired me to write my debut novel, Wicked Cries. When I first got the idea for Wicked Cries, it came while I was a college student at the University of Kentucky. I was studying English as part of my degree to become a middle school language arts teacher. My true dream was to be a writer, but let’s face it; I needed a “real” job in case my dream job never came true. Thankfully, I accomplished both dreams. 

My inspiration for this novel came from my interest in the Salem Witch Trials. But when assigned to study literature about a historical event in our country, I began researching the history behind the Salem Witch Trials. Once I began delving into the unanswered mysteries swirling around the people, the town, and the events that transpired, I knew I was in trouble. I was hooked. I had to know more about their stories. I needed to capture that moment, but put my own twist and find my own destiny for those people. I wanted to create characters and put them in fantastic dilemmas while having a control over their fate.  So… I began writing a story about a young girl who found a journal hidden in a restored home her parents had purchased in Salem, Massachusetts.  I wanted this character, who I named Sadie, to become a martyr for the victims and to stand up against the hate and unfair treatment of those involved. While researching the history of the events of this tragic moment in our history, I became obsessed with telling this story. As silly as it sounds, I felt like I was becoming an advocate for the people who were shamelessly condemned. Of course I had to add in a cute boy and a mean girl to add some more spice to the story line.  Even though this story is fiction and contains fighting ghosts and paranormal activity, the concept behind the plot is real.  

Fast forward ten years.  I am a middle school language arts teacher, mother of two crazy little boys, and a wife of a very patient and motivating husband. After finally allowing someone else to read my story, my husband encouraged me to send it to agents and publishers. Now, I wish that I could say this journey was easy and that the first publisher I sent my query letter to jumped at the chance to represent me. But, sadly, that is not the case. It took another year before Black Rose Writing took a risk on me and my novel and offered me a publishing contract. Black Rose Writing has been amazing, and the authors I have met along the way have been helpful and great mentors.  My novel is sold on Amazon, Barnes and, Black Rose Writing’s website, and at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky.  The publishing journey has been crazy and exciting at times. Holding my novel in my hands was a true accomplishment and a dream come true. But having my family, friends, and students read the story and share their thoughts about the characters with me was exhilarating.  My goal in becoming a published author was not to get popular or become a rock star like Stephenie Myer or J.K. Rowling. No, I wanted to become a writer so I could share my stories with others and live my dream. Wicked Cries is more than just a story about a girl who fights ghosts and learns about the Salem Witch Trials. This story contains real life scenarios that teens and adults face.  I wanted the story to be fun, educational, and something anyone could connect with.  I guess the momma and teacher in me took over when writing this book.

For anyone reading this who aspires to be an author, my advice to you is simple; never give up. I know it sounds so clich√©, but it is true. Once you have the idea and the itch to write a story, do it. Keep writing. Get something written down, you can clean it up later. I give this same advice to my students whenever we write pieces in my class.  My novel was published ten years after its making. Forget the timeline, don’t stress about how long it takes to get noticed. Keep focusing on your dream and you will get there.  

Even though I don’t have the same amount of time to write as I did ten years ago, that does not stop me from writing. My second novel is in the editing process now, and has been sent to the publisher for review. Stay updated on my writing journey and upcoming book releases by visiting my Twitter page @MommaAreaux or look for me on Facebook- Michelle Edrington-Areaux

About the Author

Michelle Areaux is a wife, mother, and educator. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky and teaches Language Arts in Lexington, Kentucky. Please follow me on Twitter @MommaAreaux for information on local readings and events.

Twitter- @MommaAreaux
Also sold at The Morris Book Shop in Lexington, Kentucky

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