Saturday, June 12, 2010

Special Guest Saturday: Michelle Sutton and "Edgy" Fiction!

Why I Write Edgy Fiction
by Michelle Sutton

If you look up the three separate words that make up the name of my blog you will find definitions that go something like this…

Edgy - daringly innovative; on the cutting edge

Inspirational - imparting a divine influence on the mind and soul

Author - a person who writes a novel; composer of a literary work

The reason I refer to myself as the Edgy Inspirational Author and set up a blog dedicated to book reviews and giveaways with that title has to do with how well the combined definitions describe my heart for fiction.

I want to be daringly innovative and on the cutting edge when it comes to plotting and characterization. I believe the stories I write are inspired by the Lord imparting a divine influence on my mind. In other words, God always gives me a burden to write about a particular subject and I also believe He has called me to be very realistic with what I present to my readers. Last, I am an author, which is obviously a person who writes a novel.

What does this mean in a practical sense? First, I like to surprise my readers by having them think the story is going in one direction, then throw them off course and send them in a different direction. This tends to keep people guessing and reading to find out what's going to happen next. I also like to dangle a little carrot at the end of the majority of the chapters to make the reader want to continue on. I don't want people to set my books down because then they might miss out on the redemption themes in the story.

When I wrote my YA novels they were actually written as contemporary fiction for adults. My publisher and I have decided that since the majority of my readers are adults, we will re-release the two YA books in an adult series next spring. So the two characters who adopt the baby in It's Not About Him will get their own book, which actually preceded It's Not About Me when it was originally written.

To give you an idea of what this story (Letting Go, Healing Hearts, book 1) is about, I'll give you a snapshot of each main character. Diane is a lawyer who advocates for children in court. Her problem is that she is too beautiful and her upbringing as a child beauty pageant contestant taught her how to get the attention of men. Unfortunately, the men she tends to attract are already taken and just cheating with her. She doesn't want to be the other woman; she wants to be loved for who she is. So she gives up on romance and trying to please men.

Along comes Dave, a gorgeous, but sterile man who plans to adopt a foster child (toddler), and when the birth mother shows up and wants her son back, Dave goes into a full blown panic. To make matters worse, the child's case worker doesn't seem to like him and wants to rip his foster son from the only home he knows. So Dave hires Diane to help him keep his foster son and that's where the romance begins. I won't say any more because I want everyone to read the book. : )

My latest release, Never Without Hope, is my edgiest book of all. It's about a Christian woman whose husband is ignoring her in the bedroom, which begins eroding her self-esteem. Lonely and hurting, she is vulnerable to temptation and does the unthinkable when a younger man who shows interest in her comes along. But her heart is still longing for her husband.

The more she sees this new man, the more confused she gets. She becomes trapped in the sticky web of adultery and knows she must come clean, but when she does, her life blows up in her face and she risks losing everyone she cares about. This book contains quite a few sexual situations because the story revolves around sex in marriage and the damage that can be caused when one spouse neglects the other in bed. The Bible cautions against that "lest the one person cause the other to stray." My novel shows how with God involved in the healing process, married couples are never without hope.

The subject matter (marital unfaithfulness) is all too common in the church, yet no one wants to talk about it. God placed a burden on my heart to write this novel to help hurting couples, so I know He will accomplish this. However, if I had ignored the nudge from God to write this book, I can't help but wonder what the results would be. So far several marriages have been healed as a result of people reading this novel, and I'm sure there will be many more to come. With God, nothing is ever wasted. Because of this, I don't ever want to be too afraid to do what I know He wants, regardless of what other people might think.

That is, in a nutshell, why I write edgy Christian fiction. : )

The Romantic Times review for Never Without Hope~ 4 stars!!

Sutton's move into fiction for adults is packed with drama. This timely, relevant message about sex and sexual sin involving married people is quite edgy and not for those looking for a sweet romance. The realism is gritty, but ultimately uplifting and incredibly significant for the world we live in today.

Summary: Hope loves her husband and is content with her life. Yet when things begin to go wrong in the bedroom, she becomes more and more frustrated. Her husband shuts her out emotionally and physically. Though Hope never thought she would stray from her marriage, she give into temptation. Is there any possibility for redemption in her marriage?

If you are interested in this novel and wish to cash in on a great deal, Michelle is running a special until June 15th. Buy her latest book, Never Without Hope and get free shipping. Buy two copies of the book and get it for only $25. Email Michelle at:


Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

Wow, Michelle! You do take on some gritty stuff! But thank you! I know in the church divorce is on the rise and I think we are so hush-hush about certain topics, it makes it hard to be open and real about stuff that is going on in people's lives. Good for you!!!

Project Journal said...

Wow! I definitely didn't know that you guys had your own blog! How fun would it be to work on a blog with fellow bloggers.....*imagining doing just that*

You guys are like the Seekers 2 *wink*

Michelle, this was a fantastic interview! Sounds like you are doing some hard topics, but it's great that you are touching on this.

Can't wait to start following your blog!

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

Thanks for the comments. :) I hope people see this and find out for themselves just how "real life" Christian fiction can be, and how rewarding the message is compared to secular fiction.

Anonymous said...

Way to write Michelle!

Casey said...

Thanks for being here today, Michelle. Sorry I am getting here so late, but the weather is FINALLY (sorta) warming up, so I was out helping plant the garden.

I really need to pick up one of your books. What I find so wonderful about your fiction, is it is changing lives. And to know that kind of impact is taking place has got to be wonderful! Keep it up and thanks again for joining us here on the Alley. :)

Pepper said...

Congrats on all those stars, Michelle.
K. Dawn Byrd has great things to say about your writing. You really have stepped out into places few Christian authors will go :-)
Blessings on your writing (and so tickled you get to go to ACFW this year. Praise God for great friends, eh?)

John Robinson said...

Great interview, Michelle. You're a champion for all of us. God knows I needed one when you turned me on to Sheaf House. It was only then I found a publisher (and editor; hi, Joan!) willing to take a chance on my apocalypse-with-a-twist thriller Heading Home (which comes out with SH this August). Keep on rockin'!

Shawna K. Williams said...

Never Without Hope is something that I think churches should keep on hand. Yes it's edgy, and definitely meant for adult, but nothing about it is inappropriate. I'm really proud of you, Michelle.

Laura Frantz said...

So good to see Michelle here! I have a feeling Never Without Hope is going to catch on in a BIG way. The cover is absolutely beautiful! As is the soul of the one who penned it. You are a wonderful inspiration to so many, including me.

Donald James Parker said...

I've always tried to avoid alleys in the past. Glad I found this one. Who'd have thought of combining edgy Christian fiction with a Chocolate Shoppe?
Donald James Parker
Author of Against the Twilight

Pepper said...

LOL, Donald
Didn't you know?
Mass amounts of inspiration comes from eating chocolate. :-)

Pepper said...

Michelle's a 'hot chocolate' sort of gal ;-)

Tannia Ortiz-Lopes said...

Wow, Michelle. I love the way you described your title, Edgy Inspirational Author. You are indeed an inspiration to me. Edgy always brings variety and a good read. Author, well, we are here together.

Very nice opening to your interview. Keep it up.

Casey said...

LOL, Donald, nope, nothing sinister about THIS alley, unless you visit my villians post or Sherrinda's the anti-hero. ;)

Donna said...

You're absolutely right about divorce on the rise in Christian homes and churches. The divorce rate is actually slightly higher among "Christians" these days (although I wonder by whose measure they are Christians)

Praise God that you followed His calling. I hope the message in this story helps to heal many broken relationships.

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

Thanks everyone! I really enjoyed your comments. Spread the word about this book, please? It's now up on Amazon and is available in paperback, too, as of today!

SilverBill said...

Thanks Michelle, I now know you are not a lust in the dust writer. But one who tackles the really tough questions a lot of churches try best to ignore.

Anonymous said...

Hey Michelle,

Now that I've had a few minutes to really get into what this site is all about, from my understanding of your June 12 post, I know it is the place for me. Neither of my two books have been published yet, one agency (AEG Publishing group) is waiting on money from me to start with Red Rover, Red Rover which has been critiqued but not edited. My question is, if it hasn't been published, should I still put the pitch out here on this site? Red Rover is about the "edgy" topic of irresponsible pregnancy,abandoned children and society's dilemma. My second is called Brownout and concerns the topic of alcoholism, addictions, marital faithfulness and lack of integrity. But we know that through the Grace of God, answers are found in our faith and Christ's redemption. Neither of these are "normal" Christian agent fare and I don't know where to go to get them published without having to sell my home to invest the money to get them in print. Do you have an agency resource guide for this genre?