With such a saturated marketplace, new and established authors must be creative and assertive to stand out amongst their peers. Being able to tell a good story helps but it takes much more than that. Michelle Janine Robinson is one of those authors who is blazing her own trail. While preparing in New York for a book signing for her new book, More Than Meets the Eye, Michelle took some time to talk to Parlé Magazine about her path to success.
Parlé Magazine: Your second book, More Than Meets the Eye, was just recently released, what has the response been like?
Michelle Janine Robinson: The response has been favorable and it is growing. The response to this book has been easier to gauge because of the reputation I began to build with my first book, Color Me Grey.
Parlé: The path to becoming published is often varied. What path did you take?
Michelle: When I decided I wanted to become a published author, I actually wrote a children’s book and submitted it multiple times to publishers to no avail. But I remained persistent and continued to look for the right opportunity. I continued writing and developing my craft. Ultimately, I submitted a short story when I learned about Zane’s call for submissions for her anthology. She liked what I submitted and that provided me with the right opportunity to pursue publication.
Parlé: What do you think sets you apart from other authors?
Michelle: There are a lot of authors out there who have written several books. I think what sets me apart is my commitment to making personal connections with my readers and showing them a different side of me. This allows me to be more than a person who wrote a book, I’m now a real live person they correspond with and get to know. I’m not only an author, I am a mother of two identical twin boys who are the center of my universe. I share things about my life and talk about my children.
Parlé: Now you have children and are helping them to shape their future. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Michelle: Originally, I wanted to be an actress based on the movies and television shows that I watched. I saw the glamour and what the stars at that time portrayed and that fueled my interest. When I became a teenager, I wanted to be a teacher. Back then, I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but I guess I knew I wanted to do something related to storytelling.
Parlé: From where do you draw your inspiration?
Michelle: I draw inspiration from everywhere, from just everyday life. I do some of my best writing on the bus. I like to people watch and imagine stories about those people and what their lives are like.
Parlé: It is often important to learn and grow in your career, regardless of what your profession is. What lessons have you learned as an author?
Michelle: One of the clear lessons for me in becoming a published author was the importance of marketing. Initially, I thought “the writer writes the book and the publisher gets the book out,” but that’s only true to an extent. You need to know how to market yourself and your book to work in conjunction with your publisher in promoting your book.
Parlé: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Michelle: I’m a firm believer in writing daily to hone your craft. It keeps you in the creative realm and helps you to learn and grow. If you are looking to publish your work, do your research to learn the business. Learn about publishing and learn about marketing. Stay on top of what opportunities are out there.
Parlé: What’s next for Michelle Robinson?
Michelle: I’m currently working on my next book, Serial Typical, and I’m studying film making. I want to expand my storytelling and learn how to bring these stories to the big screen.
Parlé: One of the key elements to marketing is branding. What is the Michelle Robinson brand?
Michelle: When you see Michelle Robinson or if you read one of my books or short stories, you can always expect unusual storytelling – it’s hard to believe but it might be true.
If you want to connect with Michelle Robinson, visit her personal website www.michellejaninerobinson.com, friend her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/michelle.j.robinson ), or follow her on Twitter @MJanineRobinson.
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