Thursday, June 18, 2015

Interview with debut novelist Michelle Dim-St. Pierre

Welcome, Readers.

Today’s special guest is debut novelist Michelle Dim-St. Pierre. She’s talking a bit about Pinnacle Lust, her writing, and a few other tidbits.

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, Nurse and Author

Michelle Dim-St. Pierre was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel, where she spent more than half of her life before relocating to the United States.

She lived through four wars and served in the Israel Defense Forces for two years. Unlike her first year of service in an armored division in the Golan Heights, she spent her second year serving in the medical corps where she interacted directly with the injured soldiers of the Peace of Galilee war and their families. This interaction, along with the exposure to the hospital atmosphere, fascinated Michelle and further touched her heart.

After graduating from school with a BS in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, she practiced internationally for 32 years in various positions in the surgical field and quickly advanced into health care administration. During her career she worked in the Operating Room, Recovery Room, and CCU—along with many other duties.

At first, writing was Michelle’s outlet, but it soon became her passion. So, recently she left nursing and became a full-time writer. Her international background, along with her military and nursing experience is always at the tip of her pen. Her first novel, Pinnacle Lust, starts the Pinnacle trilogy.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes.

Welcome, Michelle. Please tell us about your current release.
Pinnacle Lust, published in January 2015, takes place in Israel, during Operation Desert Storm. It is a story, about an illicit affair that leads to great love, betrayal, and an unregretful commitment. Sharon Lapidot, is a beautiful young nurse who falls deeper and deeper into an affair with a married doctor. Her world is shattered by powerful and eroding mistakes, but her courage leads her to an unregretful commitment in a land far from home. It is only eighteen years later when her daughter discovers that the man who raised her is not her biological father.

Besides the affair between nurse and doctor, Pinnacle Lust deals with:
-- The power of love in a woman’s life and the resilience of the human spirit.
-- The real, raw emotions of an escalating affair—the duality of love and hate, lust and anger.
-- The demanding life of a young, single career woman who lives in Israel.
-- The culture in Israel and how the Jewish religion factors into that with the dichotomy of the religious and the secular Jews.
-- The gaps and the links between secular Jews and Hasidic Jews—tying the two groups together by their roots and beliefs and separating them by their every day lifestyle.
--The effect of Operation Desert Storm on everyday life in Israel.
--The political relationship between Israel and the U.S.

What inspired you to write this book?
There are many things which I hear, see and know but can’t share, so I write about it and call it fiction. Whether I witnessed these events or was part of them, I can’t tell…J I believe that every minute of my life is another brush stroke to my writing—military service, nursing school, work, social, news, gossip, and even the grocery store—you name it. Pinnacle Lust is not an autobiography, but it is fair to say that some of my personal experiences inspired my writing.

Excerpt from Pinnacle Lust:
The air was saturated with the aroma of the melting cheese fondue. The windows fogged up and started to sweat. The cold, stormy weather outside conflicted with the cozy ambiance inside the house. The wind whistled and I could hear the rain pouring down, hitting the roof and gutters. I had second thoughts about the table I set—was it too formal?
“So, when was the last time you were involved in a relationship with a woman?” I finally responded to his earlier confession.
“It was a long time ago.” He laughed.
“Are you gay?” I asked.
“Hell no!”
“Thank God.” I laughed and walked toward him. I leaned with my back to the counter, went up on my toes, pushed with my palms and lifted myself up on top of it, next to the stove. Now I could see his face and I could try to hold a conversation with him, forcing him to look straight into my eyes.
“You sound so relieved. Why do you care if I’m involved with someone and whether I’m gay or not?”
“Obviously, I do.” Did I just admit that I have an interest in him? I thought and watched him stick a skewer into one of the bread cubes.
“You want a bite?” he asked while dipping the skewer in the cheese mixture. “Here.” He pulled the skewer from the pot and directed it to my mouth. “Be carful—it’s hot.”
No, no, no. You are not feeding me. This is way too romantic. I was uncomfortable. “I’ll hold it for a minute,” I said in effort to save the situation.
I studied every move he made. He had so much charm, his presence made a statement, and he was very charismatic.
“Can I ask why you aren’t involved in a relationship?” I quizzed him while blowing on the hot cheese-covered bread.
“I’m not sure. I never thought about it like that.” He looked at me as if he had to think more about it. “You know…I really don’t ask women out—I’m not sure if they are interested in me. I’d rather not take the chance of being turned down.”
“You’re not sure if they are interested in you? You’re kidding, right? Who wouldn’t want to date you?” I said strongly and laughed.
“Someone like you, I guess.” He looked at me with a smile and refilled my wine glass.
“Ha-ha-ha,” I said with an insulted voice.
 “Here, let’s go. Come dance with me.” He lifted me up from the counter.
“Yes, dance with me—here.”
Before I understood what Ron was saying, I found myself sharing one floor tile with him—a slow dance with my hero in his own living room.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am now working on the second book in the Pinnacle Trilogy, which I hope to release early next year. Simultaneously, I am working, on the third book in the trilogy. And whenever I experience writer’s block, I shift over to a different project that is slowly coming to life on my desk, an exciting cookbook filled with surprises.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Though literature was always my favorite subject in school and writing was never a problem for me, the truth is that only upon the release of my debut novel, Pinnacle Lust, did I considered myself a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your workday like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
From my perspective I am writing 24/7—my mind is writing at least three times more than my own hands….:) But, being a first time published author, I spend a good part of my day dealing with social media, marketing and promotions. Most of my writing is done late at night, after business hours.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I find myself writing the best romantic scenes when I quarrel with my husband.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a nurse. Even as a small child, I knew that caring for people was my true passion—what I was built for. I remember running around my childhood home with my first toy stethoscope, blood pressure cuff and thermometer, which my family had rather reluctantly condensed into a small leather briefcase for me after tiring of my incessant begging. I practiced and practiced—on them, on my friends, and on any visitor who happened to linger at our house longer than five minutes. Looking back, their reluctance may have stemmed from a weariness of opening their mouths and sticking their tongues out, yet again, instead of the distaste for the gathering of toy medical supplies and leather briefcases for an overly eager child.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
My readers can find out about updates about my projects by signing up for my free newsletter.


Thank you, Michelle!

If you'd like to learn more about Michelle, she has a couple more virtual book tour stops coming up:

Monday, June 22 @ Women's Writing Circle
Guest Post

Friday, June 26 @ Deal Sharing Aunt

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