Michelle Dykman grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved to Canada almost two years ago when her husband was called to minister in a church in Ontario. She has since then adjusted somewhat to the cold and snow. She married her best friend many years ago and they have two boisterous boys who love everything about being busy. She has a passion for Jesus, ministering to youth, and Twizzlers. When she isn’t writing, you can find her reading a good book.
In this interview, she shares some of her thoughts about her new novel, Someone Like You.
FF: Where do you get the inspiration for your books?
The inspiration for many of my books come from the interactions I have had with young people and some situations that I have faced in my own life.
FF: Where do you get the time?
Time is always a challenge for me between my family, my full- day job and writing it is always a juggling match. I try to put aside at least two nights a week for writing and use most of Saturday too. When there is a snow day or school break, I maximize the extra time as best I can.
FF: How emotional are you when you write?
The pain my characters feel, I feel and the same goes for their joys and sorrows. Because a lot of the scenes I write take place in reality I always try to place myself in the person shoes and think how did they feel when experiencing this or if it is a situation I have faced I do my best to remember how I felt.
FF: Are the names of your characters based on real life?
No, except perhaps pets. In my books Her Sanctuary, His Heart, the character of Ghost, the Swiss shepherd crossed with a husky dog is a based on the dog that I had in South Africa. A family from our church adopted him when we left for Canada.
FF: Who influences you?
Wow, its hard to say but I would say that authors like Becky Wade, Denise Hunter and Lynn. H. Blackburn have had an influence on my writing. I have learned a lot from Jerry Jenkin’s Author’s guild programme.
FF: Does regular life influence your writing?
Yes, in a lot of ways. The reason a began writing in the first place was out of heart to reach young people through fiction. I saw the troubles, and struggles some of my students faced and thought that perhaps through fiction they could find guidance and help.
FF: Does writing energize or exhaust you?
A bit of both. Its is energizing when I complete a scene or chapter although a long writing session is exhausting especially if the scenes I write contain high emotions.
FF: What advice do you have for other authors?
If I had to give advice to other authors on writing it would be keep on, keeping on. Just write. The best advice I ever received was from Neil Gaiman, Just write. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down. I would say the same, practice makes progress in writing the rule is not different.
FF: What is your writing kryptonite?
Negative emotions and anxiety. I am a person who battles sometimes crippling anxiety. When I face a situation that makes me very anxious my creativity goes out the window. It takes a bit of time for my creativity to come back generally however, sometimes all it takes is a situation that makes me laugh for me to find my motivation again.
FF: What does literary success look like?
I once received an email from a person who had read an early addition of Someone Like You, she said that it had given her the opportunity to approach the topic of sex and purity with her teenage niece. This is why I write; to reach young people for Jesus.
FF: What is the most difficult type of scene to write?
I find action scenes particularly challenging to write as the pictures in my head unfold faster than my fingers move over my keyboard. Often, I have to go back and rethink the scene so that what is in my head reflects what I have written down.
Someone Like You
Bethel Private School Series #2
Release Date: April 5, 2022
Candice Hillman is on the precipice of completing her senior year at Bethel Private School. Although her parents are mostly absent from her life after their divorce, Candice finds support in her housekeeper, Mrs. Potter, and her boyfriend Brad. When a night of too much partying leads to a pregnancy, her carefully-constructed world comes crashing down forcing Candice to relook at her life and the choices she makes regarding her baby.
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