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Friday, January 16, 2009

Spotlight on Michelle Stimpson and Trouble in My Way


MICHELLE STIMPSON, a bestselling author, has penned several works, including Boaz Brown, Divas of Damascus Road (Essence® Bestseller), Breaking Bondage to Biscuits, and her young adult novel, Trouble In My Way. She also publishes short stories through her educational publishing company, Right Track Academic Support Services, LLC. Michelle serves in the Creative Tyme Ministry at her home church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, and is currently pursing her ministerial license. She ministers to women through her online newsletter: Michelle lives near Dallas with her husband and their two teenage children.

by Michelle Stimpson
Published by Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)

by Michelle Stimpson
Published by Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)


Trouble in My Way - It's all Karis's mom's fault.

If she hadn't snooped into Karis's diary, she never would have known about Karis's unauthorized activies. Now, Karis is grounded indefinitely with no modem, no iPOD...and no cell phone. There's just no way Karis can survive being cut off from the world. Add a "shiesty" potential stepmother, a dangerous relationship with a self-proclaimed bad boy, and the constant pressure to cover her sneaky tracks – the combination makes a perfect recipe for high drama. Will faith in God help Karis get through, or has she pushed grace, and her mother, too far?

The Good Stuff - Sonia and Kennard have the "perfect" life: they both have successful careers, beautiful twins, and a charming house. But despite the fact that Kennard is a faithful breadwinner, his emotional distance from the family makes Sonia believe that a good marriage must be more than in name only.

Adrian couldn't love her husband, Darryl, more if she tried. He's the one person who's shown her what real love means. But when it seems that Darryl's more interested in making money than making babies, Adrian wonders what marriage is for? And when a devastating secret from Darryl's past emerges, it seems that their vows may truly break.

The two women are heartbroken and on the verge of divorce when a common friend, Miss Erma, invites them to a prayer group. Between the prayers come stories of marriage - the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. Sonia and Adrian discover that marriage is more than wedding dresses and happily ever after. It is compromise, sacrifice, and patience - the good stuff.

Buy Your Copy of Trouble in My Way and The Good Stuff today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Trouble in My Way was inspired by my experiences as a teen. I've been keeping a diary since I was twelve, and the stuff recorded on those hundreds of pages is hilarious - to say the least. I remember feeling like my mother totally against me, my friendships were the most important thing in my life, and every cute boy held promise. I just wanted to share some of the lessons I learned the hard way with readers.

For The Good Stuff, I wanted to encourage husbands and wives to work through their issues rather than run at the first - or even the second - sign of trouble. This is somewhat of a testimony of what God did in my own 15-year marriage.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that are theirs and theirs alone?

I'm a little ashamed to admit that there's a "whole lotta" teenage-me in the main character of Trouble In My Way - Karis Reed. She's fun, she's naive, and she has a way of twisting everything to make herself look good. What separates her from me, however, is that Karis has the added issue of being the daughter of a single mother who doesn't want her Karis to make the same mistake of getting pregnant at 16.

The wives in The Good Stuff (Sonia and Adrian) are different from me because of their family dynamics (one is the mother of twins, the other has no children). But we have the same heart. We both wanted our families to "work" but wondered if it was worth all the work.

3. If one of your characters were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

Karis would be sweet cream with nuts. She's mostly nice and sweet, but she's also crunchy sometimes.

Sonia would be Rocky Road because she a tough one.

4. Are there any themes in Trouble in My Way and The Good Stuff that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

Trouble In My Way is all about integrity. Karis is growing into the knowledge of what it means to be a godly young lady, and that's what I hope readers will take from this novel. One thing that kind of "jumped out" with this story as I wrote it was how Karis felt about being the big "oops!" in her mom's life. Though her mother loved Karis, she wasn't aware of how it made Karis feel when the mother referred to the pregnancy as a "mistake."

The theme of The Good Stuff has to be surrender. Marriage is tough, and it calls for a complete surrender to God's sovereignty. It calls for great faith in yourself, in your mate, and most importantly in God. Marriage is where 1 Corinthians 13 comes to life.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

The most difficult parts for Trouble In My Way was the ending. I wasn't quite sure how to end it so that I could resolve a sub-plot between Karis and one of her best friends - Tamisha. Karis was dishonest about a romantic relationship, which caused tension in this friendship. I wasn't really sure about how I wanted it to end. I wrote 2 different endings and picked the one I thought worked best.

The toughest thing with The Good Stuff was how to totally "write" the miracle that God performed in these marriages. But when I looked back on things, I realized that the miracle was in the process of surrender. It wasn't a big one-time event, it came as they walked. This was something that I had to really work with because novels always have a climax. It was a tough thing.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

I'm working on a fun, light book that I believe will encourage newer Christians to keep growing in their walk with God. No publication date - just writing it now!

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Thank you, Michelle, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Trouble in My Way or the Good Stuff. Your choice.

If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post. Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname Wouldn't want you to miss out on winning a book. :)

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when I announce the winner.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.

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windycindy said...

Great interview! This is a new author to me. Her books sound like ones I would really enjoy reading!
Please enter me in your drawing.
Many thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

new author, but her books look great. please enter my name in the draw. thanks,
sarahwoll at hotmail dot com

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

Oooh, oooh! I love Michelle Stimpson and really loved Trouble in My Way, but I haven't read The Good Stuff so I MUST HAVE IT!!! I hope I win. :)

windycindy said...

I wouldn't mind either book. Please add me to your drawing. Thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

Thanks ladies! Best to you!

squiresj said...

This is a new author to me and I would love to read her books and write reviews for her. I would like to be entered to win Trouble in MY Way as I am a Mother who knows what it was to have rebellious teenager.
jrs362 (at) hotmail (dot) com

Martha A. said...

i have not read anything by this author either! I would like to try it. It sounds like a great story.

Anonymous said...

As a former troubled teen, I am excited to read your stories! Congrats on your work...I would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks for the opportunity-
christasterken (at) att (dot) com

www (dot) christasterken (dot) wordpress (dot) com

Carolynn said...

I would love to read these books, thanks for the chance to win!
carolynnwald at hotmail dot com

Tiffany Amber Stockton said...

We have a winner from this drawing and that is:


Congratulations! I've emailed you for your mailing information so we can send out your book.

As always, thanks to everyone for your continued support.