Saturday, February 21, 2015

Silly and Serious with Michelle Griep

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes—except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager.

She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones.

I'm currently reading her new writing book, Writer Off the Leash, a terrific mix of writing/publishing truths served on a bed of snark with a dollop of "suck-it-up, Buttercup." I laugh so hard at some of the things she says that I just had to get to know her better. I hope you love her as much as I do.

Linda: About that snark, were you born with it, or is it something that developed over time?–or is it a self-defense mechanism against four kids? Who do you most sharpen your wit on?

Michelle: It’s in my DNA. Remove it and I deflate into a disgusting mess of primordial soup, all steamy and green. Kind of like raw sewage. My dog bears the brunt of my verbal sparring, mostly because she can’t answer back.

Linda: Okay, let’s get serious:

I just finished A Heart Deceived, set in 1795 England. This book reminded me of my long-lost love for historical novels, a genre I haven't touched in years. Now I'm hungry for more.

Your settings are vivid, and the details you casually drop into a scene add richness to the reading experience. You have knowledge of both the gracious living and the sour side of life in England, as if you’ve totally immersed yourself into the era. How long have you been researching this country’s history?

Michelle: Long answer: I’ve been an Anglophile since I first drew breath. Bronte and Dickens were my playmates as a child. Every BBC historical mini-series is filed away in my grey matter. See what I did there? I even spelled grey like a Brit.

Short answer: since junior high

Linda: How much time do you spend researching before you write?

Michelle: Not a ton. I go ahead and write when a story bubbles up. Sorry for the visual. BUT (and I’ve always got a big but) researching is just a way of life for me. I read non-fiction English history for fun. Yep. I’m that kind of twisted.

Linda: Do you ever have trouble slipping back a few centuries after spending time in this one?

Michelle: Sometimes a dated word pops out my mouth and I get a few strange looks, but that’s pretty much a normal part of life for me anyway.

Linda: Do you have any hints for our readers pertaining to research–how do you organize it? What are your favorite resources?

Michelle: I’m a hands-on kind of gal. I collect British Regency and Viking era non-fiction books. I’ve got shelves full. It’s a sickness, really.

It doesn’t hurt to go outside the box, though, and shoot of an email to some experts if you’ve got a particular question. College professors are usually game to answer. Like say, if I’ve got a linguistics question, I’ll Google instructors at Oxford or Cambridge and just go ahead and give it a whirl. More often than not, they do respond.

Linda: Let's get silly again. I’m taking away your writing privileges, so of the other things you love to do, which would be your fall-to occupation?
Personal Chef to Amazon’s top 10 Christian authors
Captain of the Star Ship Brittania
The roller-blading delivery girl for publishers

Michelle: I LOVE to rollerblade! No, really. And while I love to cook and sci-fi is also a fave, I’m going to go with the calorie burning activity of a delivery girl. Besides which, I might be able to suck up to some acquisitions editors.

Linda:  I've enjoyed your responses to my questions. Thanks tons for putting up with me!

Michelle: Au contraire, m’dear. Thanks for putting up with me. I did shower first, however, so you can be thankful for that.
You can follow Michelle's adventures at her blog WRITER OFF THE LEASH or visit, and don’t forget the usual haunts of PinterestFacebook or Twitter.

About the Book: Writer Off the Leash . . .

Are you a writer at heart? How can you tell? And if you are, how do you go about composing and selling the next Great American Novel?

WRITER OFF THE LEASH answers these questions and more--all in an easy to understand, tongue-in-cheek style. This is more than a how-to book. It's a kick in the pants for anyone who wants to write but is stymied by fear, doubt, or simply doesn't know how to take their writing to the next level. Award-winning author MICHELLE GRIEP blows the lid off stodgy old-school rulebooks and makes it clear that writing can--and should--be fun.

And don't miss her newest Regency romance, BRENTWOOD'S WARD.  Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.


Remember to leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for Land of My Dreams by "Stitches" Author Norma Gail! Be sure to check the Weekly Windup  on Feb 23rd to see if you've won!


  1. Thank you for the interesting post.

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  2. You have such a fabulous sense of humour.

    I love the fact that when you address questions to professors at Oxford or Cambridge that they respond.

    I understand the pull of a non-fiction historical piece of work myself.

  3. I can tell you love what you do, It was fun getting to know you better.. I'd love to read your book :)
    dkstevensneAToutlookD oTCoM

  4. I enjoyed A Heart Deceived and look forward to reading Brentwoods Ward!


  5. So glad to get to know you better, too, Michelle. I love to be around funny people - - - who doesn't? Thank for inviting Michelle to Stitches Thru Time, Linda!. Great interview :)