Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Michelle Medlock Adams-Prolific Writer with a Purpose

It's my honor today to interview Michelle Medlock Adams. Michelle is a best-selling author and an award-winning journalist, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the Hoosier State Press Association to name a few. She is a prolific writer with a purpose. Her list of accomplishments are impressive! Michelle loves the Lord and her writing shows she has a purpose with every book she pens. 

So, Michelle tell us a little about yourself.

 I’m married to my high school sweetheart, Jeff, and we have two married daughters, Abby and Allyson, three granddaughters and two grandsons. Jeff and I share our home in Southern Indiana with a miniature dachshund, a rescue Greyhound/Lab mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, I enjoy bass fishing, cheering on Indiana University sports teams and the Chicago Cubbies, and all things leopard print.

 I know you've done ghostwriting, devotionals, children's books, and adult literature. Be honest: which is more fun? 

That's an easy one-writing for children is WAY more fun. Truly, my heart beats so fast when I start thinking about a new children's book idea and begin researching the topic and exploring the best way to tell that story. I love writing both fiction and nonfiction for kids. In all honestly, I have never truly "grown up." Most of my favorite people are children. 😊 I love looking at the world through their eyes. Writing for children is the best job ever!

Writers usually have a love for writing at a young age. When did you begin writing?

When I was in first grade, Mrs. True made an announcement that would forever change my life. "We're having a poetry contest this week," she said, "so use today and tomorrow to come up with your best poem."

 We had just studied the various types of poems, and I decided I really liked the ones that rhymed. In fact, I had checked out every book of rhyming poetry I could find from our school library, and I'd read them all--twice.

 As my classmates wrote about their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, I carefully crafted the words to my poem: "I Love Penny." Penny was my 7-year-old wiener dog and my best friend in the whole world. My poem went a little something like this: "Penny is my very best friend. I'll love her to the very end. She's a very special wiener dog. I love her though she smells like a hog..."

 OK so I wasn't exactly a first grade Dr. Seuss, but my poem was good enough to earn first prize. (I guess the other first grade poets must've been really bad.) At any rate, I won a few sparkly pencils and the honor of going first in the lunch line that afternoon. Mrs. True also displayed my poem in the front of the room for all to see. I stared at my winning poem all afternoon, and in my mind, I was already coming up with a follow-up rhyme.

That's the day I became a writer. I wanted to write all the time, and so I did. I wrote during recess while other kids played tag and climbed n the monkey bars. I completely fell in love with words.

What makes writing your passion?

Creating stories for children--stories that teach, entertain, encourage and inspire--it's a noble calling. It's a calling I don't take for granted. I truly love what I do.

What's the story behind your choice of characters?

For my book, "Dachshund Through the Snow"...

I've been a dog lover for as long as I can remember. So, after writing and publishing more than 100 books, it only makes sense that I'd finally write a story about my favorite breed of dog--the dachshund. (I grew up with a shorthaired red miniature doxie named Penny. And since then, I've loved Max, Maddie, Anne, Freckles, Miller, and our current cutie Mollie Mae.)

But, "Dachshund Through the Snow" was inspired by Miller, our longhaired miniature dachshund who loved to dig and dig and dig! He is in heaven but his memory lives on through Crosby in my book, "Dachshund Through the Snow." 

Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I know a lot of writers are introverts, but I may be the exception. I am an extrovert in every way! I love to connect with my readers at book events, book signings, writers conferences, etc. I also love speaking to children in school convocations and encouraging them to follow their dreams. When COVID hit and closed all of those opportunities, it was so hard for writers to connect with their readers in a tangible way.

 I started doing Facebook Live events and chatting with readers via comments. I also started "Storytime with Michelle" and brought my stories to the kids at home. I think, as writers, we need to make every effort to connect with our readers through story, through social media, at events--in every way. It means so much to them, and it's so encouraging and enlightening to us! We can learn from our readers. I do every day!

What's your writing ritual?

I am at my laptop computer every single day--whether I'm working on an article for a magazine or coming up with a new children's story or working on a  non-fiction book. I write every single day. I love it so much that it doesn't even feel like a job, but it is my full-time job. I am a full-time freelance writer, so I can't afford to have "writer's block" very often.

 We're coming to the end of the fall season, what is your favorite fall family activity?

Fall is my very favorite season. It's so beautiful here in Southern Indiana in the Fall--lots of yellow, orange, and red bursts of color dot the highways and backroads. So pretty! It's hard to narrow it down to just one favorite activity but I'd say going to a nearby Fall Festival that features corn mazes, petting zoos, and hayrides, and eating lots of yummy fall food like pumpkin pie and persimmon pudding. It's also fun to carve pumpkins with the fam. My son-in-law Wes is amazing at it! Last year, he carved my pumpkin to look like a dachshund! It was impressive.

A dachshund?! That is so fitting for you!

Here is a link to Michelle's newest book. This is an adorable story with a special message for children! 

Just a few more questions and we'll let you get back to work! With the holiday season right around the corner, what are some of your favorite traditions?

It's all about family this time of year, isn't it? I have such amazing memories of past Christmas Eves. Every December 24, we used to head to my parents' house and spend the night, along with my brother and his family, and, my sister and her family. 

We'd eat lots of fattening foods such as fudge, buckeyes, my mom's famous chocolate oatmeal cookies, reindeer mix, and more. 

And, we'd play Euchre (a card game popular in the Midwest) for hours until one team proved victorious over all other duos. Usually, my sister Martie and I won, and when we had beaten every other team, we'd break into the "Sisters" song from the movie, White Christmas. Of course, no one else found this nearly as funny as the two of us, but we continued singing just the same. Sometimes, we'd even perform the accompanying choreography...yes, we were obnoxious. 

What fun! Precious memories for sure. What do you do now for Christmas Eve?

Our Christmas Eves are a little different now that my parents have moved to heaven and my girls are married and have families of their own, but December 24 is still wonderful. Now, we all go to my sister's house and spend the night. Fudge, buckeyes, reindeer mix, and my mom's famous chocolate oatmeal cookies are still part of our food extravaganza. 

What about the Euchre game? Do you still play?

Martie and I still dominate in Euchre and we still open one gift that night, unless we can talk my sister into two gifts--she is the matriarch now. 

The age old question, real or artificial tree?

Artificial trees, and I put up five. I love decorating for Christmas. I have a pencil tree that was my mom's which features all of the sentimental ornaments, including her favorite plush Grinch ornament. 😊 That one always has a place of prominence. I love Christmas so much!

Thanks so much Michelle for sharing a little bit about yourself today. It's been a pleasure!

For a chance to win Michelle's latest children's book, Dachshund Through the Snow, enter the rafflecopter. Leave a comment with some of your favorite Christmas traditions!

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Kay Garrett said...

My favorite Christmas tradition was my Dad always arriving very early so he could go down the hall saying “Hohoho Santa’s been here!” and waking up our daughter to go see what was under the tree. It was a tradition that we all loved – including his granddaughter. When she had just turned a teenager, she actually woke up very early to get dressed and fixed up (you know teenagers when it comes to having their photos taken) and then crawled back into bed just so Pappaw could “wake her up” Christmas morning like he always did. I cherish these memories since both my parents and our daughter are celebrating Christmas together in heaven.
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Robin said...

When our oldest grandchild was born, I bought a small Christmas tree and made an ornament with her picture. 20 years and 5 grandblessings later the trees are full of joyful memories. I put them up in November and leave up until Valentines Day.

Gayle M. Irwin said...

I volunteer with pet rescue organizations, so I love all types of dog and cat stories, including children's books! I'm excited about Michelle's new story!! One of my favorite memories and Christmas traditions is creating cut-out sugar cookies with my mother and maternal grandmother. We made angels, trees, stars, and Santas. Even as an adult and after my grandma passed, mom and I continued the tradition whenever we could get together (we lived in different states when I left for college). I loved the fellowship, laughter, and creativity of the cookie making and baking! It's still a sweet memory for me.

Jackie Layton said...

I love that you put up your mother's Christmas tree with sentimental ornaments. That is so special.

Amy Houts said...

We set out a felt snowman with lights set atop a tomato cage. I read a digital copy of Michelle’s book and wrote an endorsement. Loved it! Such a fun book! I’d love to give a copy to my grandchildren. Amy Houts, amysase [at]

bn100 said...

cute cover