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Monday, October 3, 2011

Michelle Styles, To Marry a Matchmaker and a Giveaway!

Today we have Historical author Michelle Styles with us and she's got a book for you! 

But before we give over to her...a reminder! My Blog's sidebars on both sides have links to follow KATE WALKER and CHRISTINA HOLLIS blog tours for MEGA GIVEAWAYS! Follow and Comment for giveaways and to go in the Grand Prize Draw!

So over to Michelle now....

Finding Inspiration
For me, when I turn in my manuscripts to my editor, it is the beginning of the journey rather than the end. This is a polite way of saying that there are ALWAYS revisions and a number of times, the story radically changes. To Marry A Matchmaker was no exception. My then editor highlighted a number of problems because basically it suffered from sagging middle syndrome. To tell if your story has sagging middle syndrome, one quick way is to see if your hero and heroine are spending a lot of time apart, busy with things but the relationship isn’t advancing. Every scene needs to work hard and further that central relationship.
My former editor basically gave me the choice to bin the story and start afresh. However, I loved the story and was determined to save it. One of the major difficulties was my heroine. She wasn’t coming across on the page as I wanted. Then I accidentally saw something that perhaps I shouldn’t have and someone described me as a busybody because sometimes I do give unasked for advice. It comes from the heart and because I want people to succeed but occasionally my good intentions go wrong. And the moment, I read those words, I knew I had my heroine.
Like me, Henri was a proactive person whose actions are motivated by her desire to do good and to leave the world a little better than how she’d found it. Only often her plans go awry. She is like my great grandmother used to say someone who if the road to Hell paved with good intentions, the head contractor in chief. Do-gooding with unintended consequences runs in my family!  She means well but can occasionally have blinkers on, particularly where match-making is concerned.
I also knew I had my hero, Robert, a self-made man who doesn’t entirely approved Henri’s penchant for match-making, particularly as his ward just suffered near ruin in London and is coming up to Northumberland to recover. Determined to forestall Henri, Robert wagers with Henri that she will be unable to refrain from match-making for a month. Never one to back down, and with the possibility of besting Robert in the prospect, Henri happily accepts. However, things do not go precisely as either of them planned.
I had enormous fun writing To Marry A Matchmaker and Henri remains one of my favourite heroines.  It was worth the trauma and heartbreak of not getting it right the first time. Sometimes ideas are just better when you have had to really think and ponder about the solutions.
Does anyone else suffer from good intentions going wrong syndrome?
To Marry A Matchmaker is out in Large Print this month and to celebrate, I am offering a signed paperback copy of To Marry A Matchmatcher to one lucky poster.
Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance in a wide variety of time periods. To read an extract of To Marry A Matchmaker, please visit http://www.michellestyles.co.uk/

Michelle Style on the Web:

Website               Blog                 Facebook                   Twitter

Thank you Michelle for being with us here and for this giveaway!

38 comments:

  1. I think sometimes my good intentions do go wrong.

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  2. How wonderful, Nas, to have Michelle Styles as your guest! She's one of my favourite romance-author bloggers.

    I remember reading on your blog about your tribulations with this book, Michelle. So glad to hear it worked out for you.

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  4. Hello Chey and Azarimba!

    Thanks for coming along to read this post!

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  5. How interesting how that book end up getting revamped!

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  6. It's funny how we can get stuck and our breakthroughs can come from the most interesting places.

    Don't enter me in the contest. Good luck, Kate!

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  7. I'm glad you didn't give up on it. It does take time for a manuscript to become better, and it's like falling in love with it all over again. I also have stories I want to save.

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  8. Hi Nas and Michelle,sometimes its like when you have a idea and others ask you to rethink and you want to be struck with it.It compels us to do deep thinking and find better solutions and ways to represent our thoughts to the world. Congratulation on able to accomplish that Michelle!

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  9. This is really cute. Henri sounds just like Emma in Jane Austin's classic.

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  10. I love the sound of your heroine, I can really buy into a character who I can tell is trying to do the very best for everyone,but whose good intentions can so easily have consequences she hadn't imagined. I know sometimes I have a character in my head and am convinced I don't want to change them, but there is some crucial element missing. I'm battling a 'sagging middle' at the moment and you've just given me a new angle to consider - I'm now dissecting my heroine! Thanks for a great post.

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  11. "there are ALWAYS revisions and a number of times, the story radically changes."

    Agree.

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  12. How exciting that it did work out! I'm already in love with these characters. I'm sure I'll like Henri!

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  13. To Marry a Matchmaker sounds interesting. I definitely can identify with wanting to do good for somebody, but having things go wrong.

    Revisions are the bane of a writer's existing, but when they're all done it's cause for celebration!

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  14. Great post. Sometimes I happy when things don't work out perfectly the first time because it really allows me time to understand the character. I think it's probably better now than before.

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  15. Deep sigh. I love Michelle's writing. I won a copy of her ' Question of Impropriety' last year and it was a fab read!

    This going awry? Oh yes, I'm having that issue with a couple of my chapters not quite fitting the plot of my MS - its the dreaded - keep it in or delete' stage now.

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  16. Hi Michelle! It's good to see you over here. Don't ever hold back! You give the very best advice :) Your heroine sounds wonderful. Nothing like the feeling of a writing breakthrough :)

    Nas, thanks for having Michelle here. Her books, and writing advice, are fantastic.

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  17. Hi Nas, hi Michelle.
    Oh yes I hear you. I suffer from that syndrome big time. In addition, in my fantasy the feedback was that people didn't like the heroine. I needed to show her humanity early. I accomplished this by adding a friend in chapter one. Short lived but necessary and folks began to appreciate her.

    I wish you all the best with your book.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

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  18. I'd like to have the opportunity to lie around in a hammock with romance novels all day :)

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  19. Michelle's book sounds fun!!

    I'm so glad she was able to save her manuscript!

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  20. Good intentions don't always go the way I intended. But at least sometimes that's a good thing because something even better happens as a result.

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  21. Michelle, I appreciate your advice about knowing what to hold onto and what to reinvent. Wishing you much good luck with what sounds like a delightful read.

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  22. Hi Friends,

    I fear there's some hiccup with Blogger accepting comments from Michelle Style, so please bear with us, she's been commenting and answering but Blogger has been eating her comments!

    I've changed to this full page commenting, and this is my trial comment!

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  23. Another great interview/guest post! I'm always intrigued by historicals. I know one writerly good intention that always backfires on me is trying to stuff too much into a scene - descriptions and dialogue and what have you. Gotta pare down :-)

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  24. Hi Michelle,

    Great to meet you here, at Nas's! And wonderful guest post!

    And yeah - my DH suffers from the good intentions going wrong syndrome! Many a times, even I fail to understand what exactly he's trying to do! I'm still in the learning process, though!!!

    Great to know the revamped book made it! And I'm going to check your tips with some of my MSs that I've shelved!

    Thanks for bringing us another fab author, Nas!

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  25. I'm always falling into good intentions gone wrong situations. No matter how hard I try to stay out of them. The past few times I've set friends up on dates it's ended badly, but it turns out to be a good thing for them, they always meet their spouse afterwards. I definitely might identify with Henri just a wee bit. Lol.

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  26. It's encouraging to hear that Michelle's editor gave her the option to start over, but she kept with her book and turned it into a success! I just hate that sagging middle syndrome! :)

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  27. Finally I got in!!!

    Azarimba -- thank you so much for saying that! It quite made my morning.

    Angela F -- Donna Alward said the same thing about TMAM when she read it. I read Emma when I was in highschool. My fave Jane Austen has always been Persuasion.

    Talei -- I am pleased you liked A Question of Impropriety.

    And yes I am always glad when revisions are over BUT really it is all about making hte book the best it can be.

    And thank you to Nas for having me!!! And for changing the blogger comments.

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  28. I always love reading your posts :) Great people!

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  29. I have a friend this happens to way too often. Great to meet you Michelle!

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  30. Awww! I love that she had so much fun writing something that didn't go right the first time!

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  31. Peggy -- once I had figured out Henri, it became so much fun to write. Sometimes it is only in the revisions that you can really draw out the full potential.
    Donna -- It is great toknow that I am not alone in the good intentions gone wrong brigade, although sometimes I feel like I am heading the parade.

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  32. I'm overly excited right now. I have just found out that my latest ms has been accepted. It is such a great feeling!

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  33. Congratulations Michelle! Wow! What a fabulous news! Thanks for sharing with us here!

    Any idea what the title would be?

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  34. Writing a book sounds totally frustrating but the huge reward comes with the finished product. I do love historical romance. I'll check out Michelle's book as soon as I finish re-reading "Forever Amber". Wheww that's a long one. About 760 pages. Good for Michelle to be able to save her book.

    Manzanita@Wannabuyaduck

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  35. Hi Michelle and Nas,
    Your book sounds wonderful!!

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  36. Sometimes the best things come from thinking, rethinking, then rethinking again! Great post.

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  37. The winner has been drawn and the first name was Lolarific.

    If you can contact me via my website -- www.michellestyles.co.uk, I will be happy to send a copy of To Marry A matchmaker out to you or another book from my backlist if you'd prefer.

    Thank you to everyone who left comments.

    all the best
    Michelle

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  38. I would like to thank all my lovely friends who came and chatted to Michelle Styles and a big "thank you" to Michelle as well for taking the ime out from her schedule to be with us here!

    Congratulations Lolarific!

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I'd be happy to know what you think!

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