Q&A: Michelle Sutton
With the third book in her Tombstone Treasures series, Michelle Sutton explores the possibility of a romance between an EMT who secretly writes romance novels and a massage therapist who dresses in her Native American costume to compete in rodeos.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE FIRST RESPONSE?
I had to think of a third title for the series, and since Chet (the hero) was in the first book and he was an EMT, it made sense to call it First Response. Plus I wanted to create an uncomfortable first meeting between the hero and heroine. I modeled my heroine after my massage therapist, Trinity, who had been in a terrible motorcycle accident and survived, but the boyfriend she was riding with did not. This was a fun book for me to write (in a romantic sense) because both characters are new Christians and both have major insecurities regarding the opposite sex. Plus, the hero is an unpublished author who is afraid to tell anyone he writes romance novels ... and his secret inspiration is the heroine.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Cynthia Rutledge really inspired me. She was a Love Inspired author who wrote fairly steamy romances in that genre (for Love Inspired anyway.) I loved how the characters had realistic attraction to each other and wanted to write stories like that. Who inspires me now is just about any author who is gutsy enough to tell it like it is, rather than writing stories about how we all (as Christians) wish life was really like.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
I can't write a story without a faith element. To me that's the most important part of life. I write stories to show how God is the only one who can change us. I also love to show how He redeems us, heals us, loves us, and forgives us. I write to show God's heart for the lost, and to show that no one is beyond redemption. All of my novels are about healing hearts and each individual's relationship with God.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
I discovered that desire in my heart in 2004. I have always been an avid reader. It never occurred to me that I would write stories until after I talked with Cynthia Rutledge about her books and became inspired to give it a shot myself.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
I hope that people who have fallen out of contact with Jesus or who feel like they can never be forgiven will see that there is hope and will want to spend time with Him again. I hope that people will see a part of themselves in every story I write, and that they will see some area in their lives that needs to be changed, then to ask God to change their hearts in those areas.