Interview with Michelle Ihrig

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love taking the lessons I learned in my life and transforming them to stories for others to learn from. In my first published book, I write of Buckie the Buccaneer. She is a stray dog, aka potcake, in The Bahamas. Her qualities are loosely based on two dogs I got to know while I lived and worked there for two years. All the places mentioned in the story are real and able to be visited... not that I recommend visiting the lumberyard or brush. Nonetheless I take young readers on a journey through the beautiful island as Buckie and her friends learn about communication, trust, and courage. I am already outlining my next story!
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans mean the world to me. I love knowing how my work impacted others. I created Buckie predominantly to help families who are visiting The Bahamas. In many ways it is a tour book for kids. It is so great to hear back from travelers who read the story, hiked up the hill at Fort Charlotte, watched the woodcarvers in downtown Nassau, or took a swim at Western Esplanade, just like Buckie. (I don't recommend eating out of the garbage cans though.)
What are you working on next?
LOL - I have lots of projects. I believe my next work will be a short work introducing the animals Buckie meets in The Adventures of Buckie in The Bahamas: New Beginnings. I always envisioned it as a series and spending time working with illustrators from around the world to make Buckie accessible for all would be great. Buckie, right now, is a chapter book. I am also considering turning her into a children's book with less text and more pictures. Outside of Buckie, I have a few vignettes from teaching which I am crafting into a book as well as some faith-based writing... I also have a walking tour ebook for The Bahamas that I am finalizing and hoping to get out by Spring 2017. One project at a time though :D
Who are your favorite authors?
Despite what I write, I am actually a sci-fi and mystery lover. My go-to books are: 14 by Peter Clines, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and most of Orson Scott Card's works.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I am fortunate enough to be a teacher first and foremost, and it is definitely my students who get me out of bed each day. I am so inspired by them, and I love watching them develop into young adults. On the weekends... frankly some days Netflix motivates me to stay in bed, though lately my writing to-do list across my large wall is my inspiration.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Teaching and learning. I am a high school Algebra teacher in Connecticut. I am also finishing my doctorate in Educational Leadership and Educational Technology and beginning a second master's degree in Teaching English as an Additional Language. My ultimate goal is to teach during the school year and write and consult during breaks and over the summer.
Published 2016-12-19.
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