Tuesday, January 13, 2015

BRENTWOOD'S WARD ~ Michelle Griep

Meet Michelle Griep

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, except for a short season when I kicked around the idea of becoming an astronaut. Two problems with that, though. First off, I hate science and math, both of which are slightly necessary to succeed in an aerospace career. Secondly, it was a total deal breaker when I found out that astronauts don’t actually wear cool Lt. Uhura uniforms.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I’d be running a B&B in England. Near a castle. On a moor. With Mr. Rochester as my neighbor. Wow. Did I mention I’m an out-of-the-closet Charlotte Bronte fan-a-maniac?

Why do you write?
Because being a pirate is frowned upon and I’m pretty sure no one will pay me to eat brownies all day. There’s also the simple matter of quieting the voices in my head by capturing them onto paper so I can have some peace.

What do you struggle with most, as a Christian Fiction writer? How do you overcome it?
One of the biggest traps to snap it’s sharp jaws into a writer’s neck is measuring yourself up against sales numbers. It’s a constant battle to remind myself that my immeasurable worth is found in what Jesus did on the cross, not on having my name in the #1 slot of the New York Times Bestsellers.

How much of yourself is in your characters?
There’s a piece of me in every character—even the villains. Not that I have a split personality, mind you, but this phenomenon is pretty universal amongst writers. In fact, I’ve got a favorite quote from John Milton that sums it up quite nicely:

“For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.”

But sometimes your heroes are a shade on the dark side. Why?

Most heroes are too good to be true. I like to dress mine in unpredictability. Someone who’s not necessarily safe to be around but always has his loved one’s best interests at heart and will put his head on the chopping block to save them if need be. This reminding you of anyone? The same could be said for Jesus. I hope readers make that connection, subconsciously at least. Heroes are not always what we expect them to look like on the outside.

What type of books do you write?
The kind that keep you awake late into the wee hours, heart pounding, curious to find out what’s going to happen. And long after you’ve read the last page, stories that won’t leave your mind for days. But if you simply mean genre, then historical. My latest release is BRENTWOOD’S WARD

Here’s a blurb:
 There’s none better than NICHOLAS BRENTWOOD at catching the felons who ravage London’s streets, and there’s nothing he loves more than seeing justice carried out—but this time he’s met his match. Beautiful and beguiling EMILY PAYNE is more treacherous than a city full of miscreants and thugs, for she’s a thief of the highest order . . . she’s stolen his heart.

Why write this book? What was the inspiration?
What attracted my interest as an author was an old newspaper advertisement put out by Henry Fielding, the founder of the Bow Street Runners. It encouraged the public to send a note to Bow Street as soon as any serious crime occurred so that “a set of brave fellows could immediately be dispatched in pursuit of the villains.” I wondered about those “brave fellows” and what kind of villains they might come up against, and thus was born Nicholas Brentwood.

Be sure to follow Michelle’s adventures at:
Website: Michelle Griep
And all the other usual haunts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Instagram.

Now that you’ve met this author, who are some of your other favorite authors? Answer in the comment section and your name will be tossed in a hat to win a signed copy of BRENTWOOD’S WARD.


Michelle Griep's novel, BRENTWOOD'S WARD is written in a very similar style to that of the late Georgette Heyer. I don't think I've said that about another book in any of the reviews I've done over the years.
Griep's style also is such that with every turn of the page , you're unsure of what a character might prove to do or say - especially the heroine.

Character depth, setting, depiction of verbage - ALL well-done and the clincher for me in reading BRENTWOOD'S WARD was during a four-week illness where reading has been a very difficult thing for me, comprehension as well as the lack of ability to concentrate well. . .not only did I WANT to read that book completely through, but there were places I found myself gripping the book with more than normal tension, saying to one of the characters (won't tell you which one(s), but there were more than a couple instances) "No. Don't let so and so fool you." - OR -" NO! don't do that or don't go that way." 
That said. . .I read this entire novel in just a few hours and it's sticking with me yet today.
I can't say when I've been so absorbed by a book that I've not had the urge to critique as I read -- until BRENTWOOD'S WARD.

I'll be looking for more of Michelle Griep's stories to see if they compel me to keep reading the way this one has.


 Now that you’ve read JOY'S TAKE, who are some of your other favorite authors? Answer in the comment section and your name will be tossed in a hat to win a signed copy of BRENTWOOD’S WARD.

DRAWING TO BE HELD -- MONDAY - JANUARY 19th - EVENING - WINNER ANNOUNCED HERE and VIA EMAIL - leave your email address WITH the comment.

Thanks for stopping by JOURNEYS TO JOY!


Amanda said...

Hi, Michelle! I so want to read this book! It looks amazing! And I want Mr. Rochester as my neighbor too! :)

Great interview as always, dear Joy!


Anonymous said...

George MacDonald, Sandra D. Bricker, G.K. Chesterton, and too many more to list.

Unknown said...

I just read Julie Klassen's The Secret of Pembrooke Park and really enjoyed it.

Sarah said...

Pick a favorite author?! What does Danielle say in Ever After... "I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens!" Seriously, Joy, that's a tough question, because there are so many good authors out there. I haven't had a chance to read any of Michelle's books yet, but I am definitely intrigued. Thanks for sharing! :)

journeystojoy.net said...

Thanks, ladies for responding.
So looking forward to YOUR TAKE on BRENTWOOD'S WARD when you've read it too.
I can't wait for Michelle's next book now that I've read this one. Somehow I KNOW you'll be impressed with Michelle's writing!

You've each been entered into the drawing for next MONDAY NIGHT.

God's Girl said...

Joy, this looks like a great debut by Michelle. Would really like to read this book set in the England as they are so hard to find! Thanks so much for doing this and thanks for the fantastic review!! Loved it!!



journeystojoy.net said...

This really isn't Michelle's debut novel - she's had others pubished but this is MY first Griep novel and I am going to be hitting Amazon.com for the one that came out before this one.

Be prepared for the curve (not just the one in a stairway) in this story. LOTS of good stuff here.

Thanks for stopping by, Chris - your name is entered in the drawing for Monday evening.

God's Girl said...

Oops, didn't realize this was not her debut. So will have to seek out the others just like you!! Still this sounds like an awesome book. I try to keep up on all the ones that are not American wrote for you know who!! LOL!!

Happy Sunday Joy! Thanks for the great post!!

journeystojoy.net said...


CONGRATULATIONS, SARAH - we'll get that book out to you ASAP!

Come by next time for a visit with Donn Taylor and LIGHTNING ON A QUIET NIGHT.