Author Interview with Michèle Olson
Why did you become a writer…was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve been in marketing and advertising as a writer for over 40 years, and always wanted to write fiction. In the last few years I began to really study it and took a great online course with best-selling author Jerry Jenkins. The authors in that group even met up with him in Nashville in 2017. That was the catalyst for me to finally finish one of the many books I started through the years.
What was the inspiration for your latest work of fiction?
I love Mackinac Island in Michigan and know it very well. I love Lucy, and I love the Lord. I took all of those elements and wove them into a story, including old Hollywood…I wrote a book that I wanted to read. It’s the story of a faith journey that relates to the struggles we find in life.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
They are from my imagination, but I have to draw from my life in bits and pieces. The characters can’t point to one person I know, but here are compilations of people I have known in life.
What was the most interesting research you had to do for any of your books?
Since I write about things I love, it’s all interesting to me! Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy) takes place on Mackinac Island, which I know well, but I set it in 1979 when they were filming the movie Somewhere in Time.I did a lot of research to understand the timing for that event on the island.
Are you currently working on any new book projects?
Yes! Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy) is the first of a series of three set on Mackinac Island, MI. The second book will be Being Dorothy (In a world longing for home) I’m also going to do some blank journals with my artwork on the cover and some non-fiction, fun books.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers on how to write a book? Do you have any advice for them regarding promoting that book once published?
Become a student of good fiction writing in general, and then become a student of the publishing industry options. It’s a business, just as any business is. There are rules you must follow, and rules you can bend to make yourself unique. I think most new authors will be amazed regarding the amount of work you have to put into promoting your book if you want to sell to more than family and friends. That too is something you must study, including social media.
Just be careful, because there are so many people out there who want to take your money to give you some kind of insider secret, when really, there are plenty of books, blogs, and websites where you can learn what you need to know for FREE.
If someone wants a lot of money, and they don’t have a very big name, beware. Once your book is the best it can be, then it pays to hire a great editor and proofreader as well as a book cover designer. That’s where you should put your dollars. You can learn a lot in a paid course, just understand from whom you are taking the course, what their track record is for success.
How have your friends and family received your career as an author? Are they supportive?
My husband has been amazing, and we decided to start a publishing company. I don’t think I would be this far without him because the technical details beyond writing are almost too much for one person. He is helping with all of that.
My friends have been very excited, and now I’m at a point where people I don’t know are interacting with the book. That has been very rewarding. I love the fact that they are learning about how great our God is and what He did to save us through story. After all, the best story ever is the Bible. I also speak, and that has been very rewarding as well.
About the Author
Michèle Olson has an over-forty-year career in advertising and marketing as a writer in all mediums, with an emphasis in health writing. She has also enjoyed a professional voice career including time as a DJ (yes, even when they still played records!) and has voiced local to national commercials and voice projects.
It has always been her dream to segue into fiction and Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy) is the first in a series based on Mackinac Island—a tiny island in the Straits of Mackinac that connect the Upper and Lower Peninsula of Michigan. A visitor there along with her husband for over thirty years, she loves to tell people about this unique place with no cars and plenty of fudge!
A mom, a mother-in-love, and a “Gee Gee” (G as in good), Michèle resides with her husband in the shadow of Lambeau Field, where life around football abounds. She cherishes her faith and family above all and is delighted to take you on this trip to Mackinac Island, a place that has brought her so much respite and joy.
About the Book
Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy)
1979 is getting on Piper Penn’s nerves. Struggling to survive past tragedies, she finds comfort in Old Hollywood movies in her native San Francisco. Seeing no reason to adhere to man-made rules after her first-hand look at the ultimate in hypocrisy, Piper does what she wants, and trouble follows.
An unexpected inheritance on a tiny Midwest island in the Straits of Mackinac provides an escape. The mandated stay at the island’s glorious Grand Hotel gives her spirits a much-needed boost, especially when she catches the eye of a handsome groundskeeper. Taking part as an extra during the filming of the island movie Somewhere in Time adds to her excitement about this turn in her life.
When mysterious accusations and headstrong residents send her into a tailspin, she finds friendship from a quirky, I Love Lucy loving nun who challenges her embittered look at life and faith. Can Piper survive the baffling attempts to derail her inheritance before it’s too late or has she fallen for a well-planned ruse while falling in love?
“What happens when you combine a love of Lucy, Nora Ephron, Old Hollywood, and the desire for true faith? You embark on an unforgettable 1979 journey to magical, Mackinac Island.”
– Author, Michele Olson, Being Ethel (In a world that loves Lucy)
Available on Amazon in paperback or ebook and most usual online outlets, and available wherever good books are sold.