Michelle Major: The Meat of the Story - Writer's Digest

Michelle Major: The Meat of the Story

Bestselling author Michelle Major shares what's different about writing a series, how to handle a book release during a pandemic, and what she hopes her writing can do for readers.
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Michelle Major grew up in Ohio but dreamed of living in the mountains. Soon after graduating with a degree in journalism, she pointed her car west and settled in Colorado. Her life and house are filled with one great husband, two beautiful kids, a few furry pets, and several well-behaved reptiles. She’s grateful to have found her passion writing stories with happy endings. Michelle loves to hear from her readers at www.michellemajor.com.

Michelle Major author photo HJ

In this post, Major shares what's different about writing a series, how to handle a book release during a pandemic, what she hopes her writing can do for readers, and more!

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Name: Michelle Major
Literary agent: Nalini Akolekar of Spencerhill Associates
Title: The Merriest Magnolia
Publisher: Harlequin
Release date: October 13, 2020
Genre: Contemporary romance
Previous titles: A Magnolia Reunion, The Magnolia Sisters, and The Road to Magnolia

Elevator pitch for the book: Carrie Reed has always been known as her hometown good girl, yet she still loves Magnolia, North Carolina. But Christmas is on its way and with it, her first love. Dylan Scott is back in town and planning on changing everything she’s ever loved about Magnolia with his real estate development project…but not without a fight.

THE MERRIEST MAGNOLIA cover

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What prompted you to write this book?

The Merriest Magnolia is book two of the series.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? 

One thing I love about the second book in a series is that the world is already established for me so I can dive right into the meat of the story. I’ve spent some time with the hero and heroine as secondary characters of the first book, so I know them really well.

(Not Your Grandmother’s Harlequin: Writing Romance in the 21st Century)

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title? 

I think “surprises” might be one of the kinder words to describe life in 2020. My first book in the series released in March of this year when COVID-19 was new to most of us and so were Zoom calls and virtual events. Now I’m more accustomed to getting creative in connecting with readers. As Ross from Friends would say, “Pivot, pivot.”

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

For me, there are always surprises in the details of what brings a specific hero and heroine together. Carrie and Dylan have grown up a lot since they dated in high school, and although they start out as enemies, it was fun to explore the holiday traditions and little bits of emotional vulnerability that bring them together.

Major

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

Not to sound too simple, but at this point in the year, I hope they get a few hours to escape into a story of hope and healing. Those moments are too few and far between for many of us right now.

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Don’t discount baby steps. Even slow progress is progress, so keep moving forward with your craft every day.