Michelle Lindo-Rice is in Our Author Spotlight!!!

Author Michelle Lindo-Rice
Author Michelle Lindo-Rice

What’s your name or pen name?

Michelle Lindo-Rice

What are your genres?

I am a Christian Fiction Author with the publishing company Urban Christian Books.

What have you written?

My published works so far:

My first work, Sing A New Song, was published February 2013.

My second work, Walk A Straight Line, releases January 2014.

My third work, My Steps Are Ordered, will be released in August 2014.

When did you begin your writing career?

I started writing about 13 years ago when I wrote and self-published by first novel, Keep the Knot Tight, under a pen name. Since then, I’ve penned more novels, but have now been given the chance to share my work via a traditional publisher. My break into publishing came when I attended a Faith and Fiction retreat, at the inspiration of host and author, Tiffany L. Warren. What I learned there, helped me pitch my work and I landed a two-book deal with Urban Christian books.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?

I am a part-time writer as I have a full-time job as an educator.  As a mother of two high schoolers, I have to schedule my time to write. Writing requires discipline. I usually write late at night when all is quiet in my house.

What’s your writing process? (Number of days you write per week, a.m. or p.m., specific music you play while writing, or anything else that you feel is a vital part of your creative process.)

My writing process is that I write at every open opportunity. I mostly write at night, after work and on the weekends. I generally start out with a plot that I work on fine-tuning and then I work on character develop. I then outline main events and key ideas for the novel. I then write, write and write. I worry about editing after I have it written.

Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?

I do have a journal, but I’m not faithful. I use my journal to reflect on important events in my personal life. I do not use it for my professional writing but have recorded important events and milestones. I’ve had the same journal for years.

What’s your inspiration?

My inspiration for Walk A Straight Line stems from the fact that I have a lifelong friend and our relationship has had its ups and downs, but our sisterhood is never questioned. I wanted to write a book about friends that explores the intriguing possibilities of truly getting to know yourself based on experiences. Sometimes when we hear another person’s experience we form opinions on what we would or would not do. I wanted to put my main characters, Colleen and Gina, in situations that they never imagined they would face to see if they could walk a straight line. I also wanted to write a romance so intriguing that people would get sucked into the character’s lives.

What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?

I want readers to have a pleasurable read with memorable characters that stay with them after they’re done with my book. I want them to relate to the characters and take some of the lessons learned to deal with issues in their own lives. What a wonderful legacy it would be if, after reading my work, a reader drew closer to God or accepted Him into their lives.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

My advice for anyone seeking to publish a book is to begin by reading. Read. Read. Read. Read books in the genre you would like to write. My second advice is to attend workshops or take writing lessons. Develop the craft of writing and rewrite. Rewrite. Third, hire an editor. Don’t take the advice of family and friends alone. You need an unbiased professional opinion. Don’t be afraid of the truth.

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What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?

The book that has the biggest impact on me this year is I Ain’t Me No More by E.N. Joy. A must read. I also have Victoria Christopher Murray’s Never Say Never, ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s, A Family Affair, Rhonda McKnight’s Breaking All the Rules, Norma Jarrett’s Love on a Budget, Michele Stimpson’s Stepping Down, Shana Burton’s Flawfully Wedded Wives to name just a few. Also the Guilty series by Pat Simmons, and Tiffany L. Warren’s The Replacement Wife looks very good.

What are you currently working on?

God has been good to me. I urge aspiring writers to keep writing. My third novel, My Steps Are Ordered, comes out August 2014. This is the second installment of the “On the Right Path” series. Trust me when I say that after reading Walk A Straight Line, you’ll demand a sequel. I am in the process of writing the third installment, III, as I keep changing the title.

Latest release and book blurb?

My latest release is Walk A Straight Line, Dec. 31,2013

Book Blurb:

Two friends. Two brothers. Two weddings. Too many secrets.            
Colleen MacGregor rededicated her life to God when she met and married Terence Hayworth. However, her happily-ever-after will have to wait, because she has some serious dragons to slay to sustain her marriage and keep her friendship with Gina Price intact. After fifteen years of friendship, Colleen must now draw the line and stop telling Gina everything.
What did God do to her friend? Gina finds it hard to deal with Colleen’s newfound faith. She thinks Colleen has become self-righteous, subjecting Gina to her holy tirades whenever the mood strikes. When Gina begins dating one brother, while simultaneously falling in love with another, boy, does she get an earful! Gina, however, is way too busy trying to sort her way through her own murky feelings to worry about her soul. Her heart wants what it wants.
Michelle Lindo-Rice explores the complicated world of female friendships. Can a friendship survive when one friend becomes saved?

Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?WALK-A-STRAIGHT-LINE-COVER

A main character in Walk A Straight Line is Colleen Hayworth. She is a carefree, spirited woman who loses her identity when she marries Terence. She changes as she tries to please him. I think Paula Patton would make a good Colleen, or even Jordin Sparks. There are so many new faces out there. Someone who’s bubbly and of course, who can rock her signature long, curly hair.

How can we purchase your work?

Walk A Straight Line is available on Kindle, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books A Million, Google Books and at independent book sellers. There are also links from my webpage where you can read a sample chapter.

How can we stay in touch with you?

Readers can find me online very easily. I have an Amazon Author’s Page, I’m on Facebook, Twitter @mlindorice, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. I have a blog http://www.michellelindorice.blogspot.com and a website www.michellelindorice.com I love hearing and connecting with readers. I have a Facebook Michelle Lindo-Rice Supporters Page and a Michelle Lindo-Rice Readers group.

Wow, what a different spin on traditional Christian novels! The intricate dynamics of feminine friendship are a force to be reckoned with. ‘Walk A Straight Line’ and the sequels that follow sound VERY interesting. What do you think? Chime in below!

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“Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!”-5 Ways to Beat Holiday Stress

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Right? Depends on who you talk to. For some people the holiday season is two long months of stressful occasions with people dressed up in ugly Christmas sweaters, houses full of tacky blinking lights and an overabundance of food. Have no fear, I’m going to share five ways to beat holiday stress and make it to January 2nd smelling like a rose.

1. ‘No’ is not a four letter word-use it!—–Why over obligate yourself and be stressed, when you can simply say no? It’s okay. People do it all the time. Don’t have time to go to the staff Christmas party because your inbox is overflowing? Skip it. Don’t have time to make two dozen homemade sugar cookies for the church bake sale? Decline participation and give a monetary donation instead. Plenty of holiday stress can be avoided simply by giving yourself permission to say no!

2.Take care of yourself.—–For some of us the first thing to go whenever we are over taxed is us. Keep stress at bay by making yourself a priority. After all, this is a season of appreciation. Who better to appreciate than yourself? Stay hydrated, go for walks, eat well and get plenty of rest. You’ll enjoy this time of year much better if you’re not run down.

3. Have a budge and stick to it.—–This is a tough one. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the great sales and spend more than you anticipated. Take time to really think about how much you want to allot for gifts and don’t go over it. No matter what. I love gift cards because they come in various amounts. You can get them to a particular store or as a Visa/MasterCard to be used just about anywhere.

4. Express your appreciation for others year round.—–It’s normal to want to get gifts for everyone you know to express how valuable they are to you. But don’t fall into the trap of only expressing your appreciation during the holidays. That’s putting yourself under way too much pressure. Instead, let the people you care about know how you feel all year-long. You’ll feel a lot less guilty getting Grandma a gift card at Christmas, if you already got her something special for her birthday.

5. Take time to remember the reason for the season.—–Slow down. Go to church. Volunteer at a shelter. Read books to sick children at a hospital. Go caroling. Stare at a yuletide log. Watch corny Christmas movies. Do something special to commemorate the passing of another year. Because, I promise you, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

Photo credit: Foter.com / CC BY-SA

How do you stay stress free for the holidays? Comment below!

Advice for New Writers

This is officially my first guest blogger! Chelsea dishes on great advice for new writers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

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Via Wordgasm

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even when I was a kid. I never thought I would try to make it my career though until I was in college. My Journalism professor pointed me in the direction of becoming a writer, and I’m glad he did. One thing I compare the writing business to is the music business. It’s not always easy to get your foot in the door and you have to be unique in a way that shows you’re different from others in the business. The good thing is, no matter what you write someone out there is sure to relate and enjoy it. A second good thing, there will always be something to write about! Writing is perfect for those with a creative mind who want to share their stories in a way that will really move people. Things can sometimes start out slow for a new writer, but don’t let it discourage you. Things take time, especially the things you want the most and that are truly worth it. So continue writing and doing what you do best until you find the perfect opportunity and BE PATIENT! Don’t let a slow start off be the reason why you give up.

Like Chelsea’s style? Check out more great posts from her here.

Wordgasm- Let your mind out of its cage.

7 Tips to Avoid Writing Distractions

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Distractions are the bane of my existence. There always seems to be something or someone vying for my attention, when I should be writing. Add to that the fact that my over active imagination can be a distraction, in and of itself, and you have a recipe for disaster. To help pound these rules of the trade into my own head, I decided to share a few ways that I keep distractions from hindering my writing.

1. Turn off the television—–I LOVE reality TV: Keeping up with the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Little Couple…The list could go on. Turning off the television is a surefire way to minimize distractions. Thank God for modern technology. I can either watch my favorite shows online, or DVR them to view at my convenience. Plus, there’s a reason TV is sometimes referred to as the idiot box. Turn it off, and start creating.

2.Take your writing seriously—–I don’t care if you don’t have so much as a single sentence published, you still need to take your writing seriously. This means that it must be a priority. Treat it as kind of like managing your own business, which in today’s publishing world is truer than ever before. Authors are responsible for a lot of the publishing process. Might as well get used to it now.

3. Make a schedule and stick to it——This also falls under taking your writing seriously, but I felt that it needed its own category to stress the importance of having a plan. Treat your writing like it’s a job. You have a certain time you are generally expected, and certain duties to perform. Pick a time to write and don’t deter from it. Put it on your calendar and honor that time. If someone asks you to attend an event during that time frame, the answer needs to be, “Sorry, I’m busy.” Don’t feel guilty. Some writers also find it helpful to write early in the morning or late at night. That’s usually guaranteed uninterrupted time.

4.Have rules for your computer time—–For some of us the real distraction comes when we actually sit down to write. Know your weakness and find a solution for it. My weakness is Candy Crush. I’m addicted. I’ll sell myself for a life. Just kidding. No I’m not. But anyway, one trick I have is to mostly play the game on my phone, not my laptop. That way when I turn on my computer my first instinct is to write, not play. Think about what your biggest distraction is once you finally sit down to write, and brainstorm ways to avoid it.

5.Limit social networking—–We live in the age of constant social networking. As authors, we are strongly encouraged to build an author platform, but that should not come at the sacrifice of actually WRITING. Believe me, this is a tough one for me to balance. What works for me is having a set amount of time to devote to social media. I generally spend about 30 minutes each evening responding to email, blog comments, Twitter and Facebook messages, etc. Sometimes I check in on my lunch break at work as well. Another option is actually hiring someone to manage your social media accounts for you. Yeah, you can actually pay someone to surf the web for you. It’s at the sacrifice of ‘hands on’ contact with readers, but hey sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Plus, a good social media expert will make sure you are aware of all that is truly pertinent concerning your fans.

6. Limit outside writing activities—–I enjoy writing groups. I like participating in critique sessions and seminars and other writing events. But I have to limit the amount of time I devote to them.  Choose a group or activity you really want to be a part of, then commit to it. It’s easy to spend so much time talking about writing, that you never have time to actually WRITE.

7. Talk it out—–Writing has a reputation for being a lonely profession for a reason. Solitude is a necessity. The reality is that most writers have people who care about them in their lives. Thank God for that! But it means that finding time alone may not be easy. So, it might be a good idea to sit down with your family, friends, roommates or whomever and let them know that you’re really buckling down with your writing. Explain to them that this may mean you’ll be available less often, but that it’s not personal. My family knows that when I’m in the zone all they’ll get from me is ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’. And they’re ok with that. At least I think so.

Photo credit: Louish Pixel / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

What are your tips/tricks for avoiding distractions? Comment below!

A Must Read for Bloggers: A Gazillion Post Ideas!!!!

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I’ll keep it short and sweet. If you’ve been blogging any length of time, then you know that sometimes coming up with a post topic can be a challenge. Problem solved! Check out the following links for great blogging ideas.

105 Author Blog Prompts: Banish Your Blank Blog!

101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers-Part 1

101 Blog Post Ideas for Writers-Part 2

101 Blog Post Ideas That Will Make Your Blog ‘Hot’

101 Fabulous Blog Topic Ideas

101+ Blog Post Ideas

Where do you turn when you’re fresh out of blogging ideas?

Photo credit: Anonymous Account / Foter.com / CC BY