Interview with Michelle St. Claire

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I wrote a wonderful little story on a teenage romance. I was 15 years old at the time. I remember writing everyday after school. Unfortunately, I lost the notebooks and never recovered those words. However, the experience revealed to me that deep down, I am a writer.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read was Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears? by Verna Aardema, Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon. A beautiful, delightful and very popular children's book! I loved this book. I was fascinated not just with the creativity, but the imagination behind the story. I found that writing is much more than just story-telling. There has to be some element of a truth, whether real or fabricated. Regardless, the reader needs a truth to compel them to keep reading, to keep them engaged.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
THE BIBLE--This is my go-to. It is the guide for my life.
THE BLUEST EYE by Toni Morrison. Poignant and Perfect.
THE INVISIBLE MAN by Ralph Ellison-- I read this book at least 3x a year. I am fascinated with his skillful blending of abstract and concrete story-telling leading the reader to wonder and ponder about his truth. It's a great book.
YOU SHALL KNOW OUR VELOCITY by Dave Eggers-- Mr. Eggers writes with humour and bluntness. His writing style is clean and crystal clear. I loved this memoir. I had never read a memoir quite like his. Brilliant.
STANDING AT THE SCRATCH LINE by Guy Johnson-- Mr. Johnson gives a new name to epic historical story-telling. He creates characters that are so real, you feel like calling them on the phone!
What do you read for pleasure?
Undersong by Audre Lord
War Trash by Ha Jin
Free Burning by Bayo Ojikutu
Rome Sweet Rome by Scott Hahn
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Kindle
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Facebook ads
Amazon Author Central
Weebly Blog site
Describe your desk
White. Not cluttered, but not clear. My desk is plastic. There are some crumbs laying around from last night's late snack. My desk has a fake plant on one corner and an old iMac computer on the other. It does not face a window - just an apartment divider wall. There is a picture of an artist's rendition of the Virgin Mary facing me. That is my view.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a Caribbean immigrant family in South Florida. I am a first-generation American. If that alone doesn't influence me, nothing will! I prayed, I laughed, I cried, I struggled. I was the product of a two-parent home, then a broken home. I chronicled the sometimes hypocritical views of my relatives who often harbored hostility toward everything "American," yet embracing and loving American culture all the same. Years of stifling tropical heat, hungry mosquitos, sweet fried plantains, bowls and bowls of red beans and rice, stubborn foreign accents and over-the-top family gatherings all influenced who I am and what I write.
When did you first start writing?
When I was fifteen years old.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
This is the best and quickest way to get to readers. It also has a cool mystique to it.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is awesome, awesome, awesome.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Revealing the truth. Opening up. Exploring thoughts and imagination. Sharing with others.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. My fans are my friends. I talk to them and they to me. I feel that without them, I would have no reason to write.
What are you working on next?
Human Trash
Who are your favorite authors?
Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Ralph Ellison, Dave Eggers
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
God.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work and live life.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I turn to Smashwords, Amazon and Bookbub.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The Flyers incorporates many personal experiences into one story. It is essentially a story of a woman learning to love herself.
What is your writing process?
I write daily. When developing a story, I try to write it one scene at a time in order to stay in the moment. I have strong critique support which I use throughout the writing process. Editing is the best part.
How do you approach cover design?
I let the protagonist tell me how the cover should look.
Published 2016-07-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

My Father's Soup
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM). Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 28,310. Language: English. Published: November 18, 2017. Categories: Fiction » African American fiction » General, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Told through the voice of a precocious Haitian-American urban tween, My Father's Soup is a story of hope and perseverance in the face of family strife. The Bassy family suffers division, financial pitfalls and extreme heartache as they grapple with the sudden changes of Mr. Bassy. Eventually, the family manages to dispel the darkness of family turmoil with the light of genuine family love.
Fast Punk
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 11. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,490. Language: English. Published: November 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Fiction » African American fiction » Urban life
Brooklyn, New York is where it all begins. We are all teenagers. My cousin Pete is the youngest. He plays guitar while my brother, Benny, keeps time on percussion. Mickey rips it out on the horns while I take the lead on vocals. I will take you on the crazy journey of how four Caribbean-American teens make it out of the hard-knock Brooklyn tenements to become Fast Punk.
Breathe: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,470. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
A brave pre-teen faces the certainty of death after years of battling cancer. Sadly, she embarks on the painful task of saying goodbye to family and friends. Yet her father's stubborn faith proves too strong to let her go. He passionately pleads with God for his daughter's recovery. God suddenly responds to the father's faith in the most powerful of ways.
Live: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,950. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
A sister's stalwart faith in the power of Jesus Christ sustains her through family trials while her brother sleeps in a dangerous death-like coma. After witnessing her sister-in-law's doubt and plunging faith, the loving sister decides to entreat God for help. From her passionate intercessory prayer, God delivers a total miracle that shocks the entire family.
See: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,370. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
Romantic love stirs a blind man's heart for the first time in his life. His affection for his true love deepens as their relationship continues. Even when she brings him the sad news of her impending move far away, he remains confident that God will render a miracle to keep them together. After his thoughtful and loving prayer, God suddenly performs a fantastic miracle.
Think: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,130. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
A troubled young man lives a lonely, surreal life. His mental instability robs him of reason and rational thinking. Yet, even in his distress, he prays to God in his own way. God hears his feeble call and heals him in the most loving and beautiful of ways.
Touch: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,340. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Short stories, Fiction » Religious
A woman is relentlessly tortured by her own body and struggles with excruciating pain. Realizing that her battle is more spiritual than physical, she decides to turn to God for help. Through a loving plea to Jesus Christ, she finally receives the spiritual and physical healing she desperately craves.
Walk: Jesus Miracles Collection
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,640. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Religious, Fiction » Christian » Short stories
After becoming paralyzed from a tragic car accident, a regretful sinner desperately turns to Jesus Christ in prayer, seeking forgiveness for his sins. Upon receiving a miraculous healing from God, he obeys the prompting of the Holy Spirit to finally atone for the crimes he committed.
Carlos Solo
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 9. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,180. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
Carlos Alza braves the Mexican wilderness, corrupt coyotes and violent gangs in order to cross into America, a journey he reluctantly agreed to for the benefit of his ailing mother. Although the teen suffers through dangerous and tragic circumstances, with prayer and friendly help, Carlos eventually finds real and legal refuge in America.
Song of Sonya
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 10. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,850. Language: English. Published: August 6, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Sonya Love grapples with crushing grief and just anger at the death of her big brother, an innocent young Black man gunned down by a White police officer. Struggling to understand what happened, Sonya loses her joy of singing and decides to give up on her future. But an unlikely friend and a delightful message from heaven helps Sonya to forgive through God's love, to heal and move forward.
Fighting Felicia
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 8. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 33,900. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion, Fiction » African American fiction » Christian
Now a young woman, Felicia Robinson ponders her violent past in the dark confines of prison. She experiences a glorious encounter with the Divine that leads her on a journey of self-reflection, forgiveness and inner peace. Eventually, Felicia is changed for the better and despite her angry childhood and dismal circumstances, she clings to hope and the chance of living a new life for God.
A Tale of Two Brothers
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 7. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 22,140. Language: English. Published: May 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
The fraternal bond of twin brothers is tested by the announcement of their parents' impending divorce. Mr. and Mrs. Dareem talk tearfully of separating their teenage sons - taking one to America while leaving the other at home in Barbados. Yet despite the burdens of school exams, a threatening bully and burgeoning teenage love, Charles and Willard finally discover a way to stay together.
My Name is Marisol
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 6. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,510. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
My name is Marisol Vega. I am Latina. Beautiful. Mesmerizing. A young mermaid filled with intrigue and power. A thinker of profound truths. A speaker of words like stone and fire. I relish the thought of using my prose to bravely reveal secrets. Dangerous secrets of the Colombian government, of fanatic warlords and of my father's untimely demise.
Cheap Justice
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 5. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,690. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
Tyler is caught with 84 grams of cocaine hidden in his cargo pants. He is mercilessly charged with drug dealing. He is thrown into a juvie jail cell like unwanted Black trash. After Tyler and his attorney struggle with lying police officers, crooked judges, bloodthirsty prosecutors and a vengeful mother with everything to lose, Tyler miraculously wins his freedom.
A Garden for Raina
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 4. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 30,240. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Family
Raina Calyx, a recent high school graduate, is excited about her once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. She was just accepted to a prestigious university with a full scholarship! Her dreams of becoming a chemist are finally coming true. But her mother, a stern, formidable woman, has refused to let Raina go. Both mother and daughter struggle to overcome their differences and finally see eye to eye.
The Evolution of Max Fresh
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 34,890. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Drama
Max Fresh, a teen amateur soccer star, experiences the worst natural disaster to devastate his island in centuries. He suffers familial loss, physical disability, and tremendous heartache. Miracuously, his heart begins to heal as he embraces a new famliy, a new body and a new concept of 'home.'
Being Davanté
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,850. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion
Davanté's heart sinks to the lowest of depths. He cannot lose his mother now. He is only seventeen years old. He has not learned enough about life to be on his own. He does not know how to live. To add to his grief, his long lost father re-emerges in his life with an agenda to make amends. Through a journey of pain, Davanté learns to forgive. He learns to love again. He learns to live anew
The Last Princess of Saint-Domingue
Series: Beautifully Unbroken (TM), Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,360. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Historical, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion
The Queen prays to the gods for her first and only girl child. The gods readily grant her wish conditioned upon her payment of a great sacrificial price. Sadly, the Queen pays this price after her infant daughter is captured by French slave merchants. The Queen's girl child continues on a journey of struggle and pain in the strange new land of Saint-Domingue.