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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Writng from the Heart: Author Interview with Michelle J. Bever

You write about a variety of topics. When did you decide to put your writing out there for others to read? What was the first book you published? What drew you to write on that topic?
The answer to all three of these questions is the same. My son had multiple learning and behavioral disorders that prescription drugs could not address. His symptoms kept getting worse, and I did not give birth to watch my child suffer, so I started researching.

Long story short is I got funded to do my research, and I balanced my son with megavitamin therapy, antispasmodic herbs, herbal drops, diet change, and good parenting. I wrote ADD, ADHD, Autism, OCD, and More! as my first book and put in all the information for those dealing with these issues in a format that they could easily understand. I did not want others to feel like they had no options. 

How long did it take you to write your first book? How many rewrites did you do on it?
It took years to write and rewrite my book. I paid others in the business to help with the editing. 

You've written numerous books on funny stories about animals. What animals do you have at home? 
I have a hundred-pound Doberman Pincher and a five-pound long-haired golden apple head Chihuahua at home.

Where do all those funny stories come from?
My family and friends love animals, so there is never a shortage of stories! What's funny right now is Alexander my Doberman is having a bromance with the dog next door, and they have playdates. 

How do you write? Do you start with an outline and plot it out? Or are you more of a "pantser"?
For my non-fiction books, I write with an outline. For the faith-based fictional series, I pray for direction. After I pray, it practically writes itself, and I am happy with that. 

I've reviewed statistics on word counts on Kindle pages, and it averages under 190 words per page. Several of your Kindle reads show as having 20-50 pages, which by writing standards would be considered a short story. How well do those shorter reads sell compared to the one you have at 100 or more pages?
My short stories sell very well as all of them are meant to make your day brighter, and the audiobooks sell the best as I have lovely people narrating them.

My best sellers are the ADD book and Vitamins, Minerals, and More! as they contain incredible information.

As an indie writer, how much of the book design do you do yourself?
I do my own formatting and try to design most of my books, but I have branched out and paid for a few covers to bring the story to the cover for the reader. I always have readers who will search for errors. It can be very expensive to hire editors. Fortunately, there is a multitude of editing programs available. I recently upgraded to one that checks spelling, sentence structure, and more for my latest book. It's pricey, but it brings more to my attention. I continue to educate myself in the process.

What has surprised you the most in writing/publishing?
What surprised me is the fact it’s always evolving.

What frustrates you the most?
My first faith-based novel has so much warmth, love, and inspiration. It has received mostly excellent reviews, while others don’t say a word about the story but berate me as an author. I am continually updating and uploading newer edited versions for errors and fixes to make them read better.

I wish reviewers would be helpful when they find a few corrections. I would highly recommend focusing on the merits of the story, then adding your editing suggestions. Instead, some critics berate you and appear to think they are going to win the critics award for being mean. They are so busy looking for errors, they aren’t reading the story.

It's not easy to put your work in front of everyone. Each book is valued. Please give an author the chance to make corrections. I am in the process of doing that with my latest book. It’s very dear to my heart and others have thanked me for writing.

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner? 
I wish I had known about the programs for editing that help writers improve and are not expensive.

What is the best writing advice you've received or could give?
I would tell new authors that you cannot please everyone and to be thankful for those you can.

What is the next book coming out? Can you give me a short synopsis?
My next book is The Coffee Shop 2: Love Beyond Sight. I have been praying about it. The book will have heartwarming stories about the misconception of thinking a person is one thing then finding out they are something so much more. 

In today's society, that goes on a lot, and I feel this is important to change. It will be a blessing. :-)

That’s all for today’s interview. If you’d like to learn more about Michelle’s writing, here are some ways to get started.

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