The author shares how God is working in all our lives, whether we see it or not.
Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She’s the Christy Award-winning author of several historical romances. Her latest novel is House at the End of the Moor (Shiloh Run Press), which combines historical romance and suspense. When a politician threatens to ruin her reputation, an opera star flees the spotlight for the wilds of the moors to live in anonymity—and crosses paths with an escaped convict who is desperate to prove his innocence. In this exclusive interview, Michelle explains the real inspiration behind the story, reveals the most challenging part of writing the novel and explains how her faith impacts her as a storyteller.
Reclusive opera star saves escaped convict! Do you listen to opera? What inspired this story?
True confession time, eh? No, I don’t listen to opera. Way too much singing. I’m more of an instrumental kind of gal. So clearly it was not my adoration of opera which was my inspiration. Truthfully, the idea came from the convict.
On a recent trip to England, I visited the Dartmoor Prison Museum. The prison itself is set in the middle of the moor, so even if a convict busted out of the building, escaping would still be difficult at best. As I hiked that rugged land, I wondered what it might be like to come across one of those convicts—so lo and behold, a story was born.
How significant are the moors to the setting of the book? What made you want to set the book there?
The first half of the book takes place in Dartmoor, making that barren outland an essential element to the story. I purposely set this novel on a moor because ever since I read Jane Eyre I’ve been intrigued by such a forbidding landscape. And then when I tromped around on a moor myself, that sealed the deal. Hiking in that lonely place brings all sorts of stories to life.
Maggie Lee is an opera star, currently at the top of her game—but she needs to escape threats made by a powerful politician. What made you want to build a story about her?
In the Victorian era, job options for women were extremely limited. Not many women were able to support themselves without a man. And sometimes women today feel that powerlessness as well. So I created Maggie, an independent woman who has her own distinct vulnerabilities—just like any other contemporary woman. She gave up her career not only for her sake but for her father’s, the age-old dilemma of self-sacrifice for someone you love.
Click thru to discover the most challenging part of writing the novel!