Monday, May 27, 2019

New interview with novelist Michelle Dim-St. Pierre

Novelist Michelle Dim-St. Pierre joins me today to chat a bit about her new suspense, Bloody Coffee.

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 served her second year 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. She went on to get a BS degree in Nursing in Tel-Aviv, and 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.

Writing was Michelle’s outlet at first, but it soon became her passion. Now, she is 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, started the Pinnacle trilogy and was the Winner of Beach Book Festival in the Romance category, and also received several honorable mentions in other book contests. It was published to rave reviews.

Michelle is a world traveler who enjoys cooking epicurean food and creating original recipes. With her creativity, she merged her cooking and writing and is working on a companion cookbook. She currently splits her time between Florida and Georgia, where she is at work on her next two books. Visit her website at

Welcome, Michelle. Please tell us about your current release.
Bloody Coffee is the second book in the Pinnacle trilogy. The story follows the previous book, Pinnacle Lust. Obviously, you will find the same characters but also some new ones. Though it’s part of a trilogy, the book is crafted as a standalone story, so that people don’t have to read Pinnacle Lust to understand Bloody Coffee. Some people might not read the previous book at all and some might read it after they finish reading Bloody Coffee. While Pinnacle Lust’s genre is romance, Bloody Coffee falls into a different genre so it will easily attract more readers.

What inspired you to write this book?
Like I said, it’s a trilogy. The plot for the entire trilogy was already drafted before I started the first book in the series. Generally speaking, this story, along with my other novels, draws on my life and everything happening around me. It’s a reflection of my work, my friends and colleagues, and my family. The story was born from my experiences but developed through my imagination. I love to imagine my characters are real people. I think about what they would do in different situations that I find myself in. I play the story like a movie in my mind and the characters take on a life of their own. The story comes from that.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am currently working on the last book in the Pinnacle trilogy. This novel will bring the story of my two leading characters to a close, and will reveal the truth behind Leigh’s mother’s journal. I also hope to get back to my blog and to bring the Pinnacle companion cookbook back to the front burner. I started this project as a collaborative effort with a chef. However, along with his busy schedule, my personal life placed more demands on me and I no longer had the flexibility to work my schedule around someone else. Unfortunately, that pushed the cookbook project to the back burner. However, my inspiration still has a spark for this project. And right now, I’m deciding whether to continue and complete this project solo or to search for a local chef.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
This is a great question. In some ways, since I never received any education in writing, I don’t see myself as a writer. As everybody knows, nursing was my career. Being a writer is not the first thing that rolls off my tongue. I always say that I am a nurse. However, I always had a passion for writing. I think it all started when I was a young girl. I buried all my secrets, anger and dreams in a diary—like most young girls. However, I never outgrew the habit. I kept writing in my diary. I often wondered, was it that I never grew up or did I simply have more secrets to hide away?

Later, when I became a nurse, and throughout my successful career, my diary served me well. It was a vehicle to unload all of the emotional baggage created from my work. You can imagine the things I saw and heard—many of which were confidential of course. I dealt with sexual abuse victims, child abuse, homicides, affairs, corruption, mistakes, and disagreements. These crimes happened regularly and affected the lives of everyone—ordinary people, politicians, celebrities, officers, rich people, poor people, the educated, the uneducated, and you get the idea. The list is endless.

Then came my colorful life, as a successful, young, single woman. There was always something that I couldn’t and shouldn't talk about, so I wrote about it. I unloaded everything into my diary, and I still do to this day.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Unfortunately, I am not writing fulltime. For one, I can’t make a living from writing, and two, I have demands in my life that come first.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I think my writing quirk would be that 75% of my writing is done away from the keyboard. I imagine my story unfolding in my mind, like a movie. Then I transfer my thoughts to the keyboard. Late nights are my preferred time for writing… maybe because I don’t have that many distractions such as phone calls, family issues, etc.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Always 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 a distaste for the gathering of toy medical supplies and leather briefcases for an overly eager child.

No matter, as I grew into adulthood, I followed the path I knew to be most true to myself. I poured my heart and my soul into my studies and eventually my profession. Sometimes the hospital felt more like home than home itself. The sense of order and cleanliness juxtaposed against chaos and distress—all set amidst a regular buzz of activity, soothed my soul in a way that I still find hard to describe with mere words.

Over time, nursing became second nature. A profession that I loved, and that fundamentally shaped my personality, intellect and emotional development, had finally reached its peak. I knew it was time for a new challenge.

I began to give in to my desire to write. 
What started as a hobby—a deviation from my daily work schedule, an imaginative escape into a fantasy world that I could shape and produce as I saw fit—has turned into so much more. A few pages here grew into a few chapters. A few chapters grew into more chapters and before I knew it I had an intricate story and an admirable heroine. I felt like I’d found my second calling.

As I dipped into creative writing, I also had to learn the business side and the logistics of publishing from scratch. As much as writing was a joy it also became a challenge with concrete goals—something that I could pour myself into, and something that I could aspire to, much like I did with my nursing career.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m just really excited about this new book. Of course, the final book is packed with action and emotion. There’s so much story to resolve. I feel like a conductor trying to get everything to come together at the right time, to make it sing. And it’s the last book in the trilogy. It’s kind of like having your last child. I want to savor every minute.


No comments: