Wednesday, November 30, 2011

5 Easy Questions with Michelle Ule!

Every Wednesday, I ask a writer the same five easy questions. In an effort to support and promote fellow wordsmiths, I feature authors who write a variety of genres, from sweet inspirational to mainstream thrillers. The writers themselves may be aspiring, published, or best-selling--all have made an impact on my life.

Thank you for joining me in welcoming… Michelle Ule!!

I met Michelle through Books & Such Literary Agency where we are both clients (Michelle also works there!). Michelle is such an intelligent, encouraging writer—I’m honored to have her here today and can’t wait for the day I get to meet her in person. Her novella, The Dogtrot Christmas, is featured in the New York Times Bestselling Christmas collection, A Log Cabin Christmas! Details to follow. Trust me, this book makes an excellent Christmas gift!

Let’s get to it!

1. Beverage of choice?

I actually really like water. With ice in the summer, without in the winter. The best water was from our well when we lived in Washington State.  :-)  Otherwise, mocha--but Starbuck's drink is a little too sweet.

2. Any pets?

I have a 10 year-old blind Gordon Setter dog, Suzie, whom I've written about on my blog "Life with a blind dog: How come she's always hungry?" and "Life with a blind dog: Watch Out." We have a miserable Hawaiian calico stray who has never gotten over leaving Hawai'i 14 years ago. Her name is Kali.  

3. Dream vacation?

St. Petersburg, Russia where I'd love to get lost for a day or two in the Hermitage art museum and wander the city with an excellent English-speaking guide who can take me to all the Romanov sites.

4. What are you listening to right now?

Civil War music to get in the mood for the novel I'm working on. If it's closer to Christmas, probably Nat King Cole's Christmas album.  :-)

5. What's for dinner?

Salmon or possibly quiche; depending on what's on sale at the grocery store later this morning!  :-)


Michelle, I drink a lot of water too, but soda and coffee are my faves! Your sweet dog Suzie is a very special member of the family—has she caught up with Murphy lately?—and I’m sure Kali is too. Cats are so independent and funny, aren’t they? I’m officially inviting myself along to Russia with you. A few years ago, I became obsessed with the story of the Romanovs. I read several conflicting books about the fates of the Grand Duchesses and enjoyed the rich history accompanying them. It would be a dream trip to traipse around St. Petersburg!

Oh, and I love Allison Krauss. One of her songs was featured on the Cold Mountain soundtrack, and it always reminds me of the Civil War. So haunting… Thanks so much for being my guest today, Michelle!


Nine novellas make up a collection of romantic Christmas tales from the 19th century. Spanning the country, we see how love blossomed in the rough walled cabins of winter. Learn about the Mexican posada tradition and how it meshed with the Scottish frontier Christmas; experience the anguish of a Civil War battlefield where stars provide hope; join a young teacher and students snowed into the classroom on the eve of Jesus' birth, and more!

Plenty of short stories perfect for curling up with a cup of cocoa and wood on the fire; this makes a lovely Christmas gift in a gorgeous book.

Michelle Ule fell in love with history, particularly US history, as a child and has read avidly on the subject ever since. Researching and then writing her massive family history, Pioneer Stock, put family names to extraordinary events in North American since the family's earliest arrival in 1628.
When the opportunity arose to write a romance set in a log cabin, she immediately reached into her family's past for pertinent stories. Panthers in the woods, Native Americans reaching between the unchinked gaps in the log cabin to touch the baby, a horrifying moment at the water hole-- all these stories and more happened to her Texas pioneer kinfolk.
Her degree may be in English Literature from UCLA, her training may be as a newspaper reporter and her life may be rich with travel and family, but Michelle Ule always comes back to the most dynamic parts of her life: reading and loving God. To learn more about Michelle, check out her blog and like her on Facebook. Michelle is also blogging this week at the Books & Such Blog.

Have you decorated for the holidays yet?

Have a wonderful Wednesday!


  1. Hello, Michelle! Your vacations sounds super interesting and I'm admitting this, I didn't know there was Civil War music. That would be neat to listen to. :)

    Great answers. Happy Wednesday!

    Jill, yep! We decked the halls the weekend of Thanksgiving. I love watching the twinkling lights in the morning while sipping my coffee!

  2. Oooh! I haven't had quiche for years. Can I come over for dinner? lol Great to meet you!

  3. Ooh, can we make this an open-for-anyone vacation to Russia? I have adored Russian culture and history, especially the Romanovs, ever since I was a little girl. I have several matroishkas around my house, and my oldest daughter even has a Russian name!

    I'm a fan of water, too. Nice to meet you, Michelle!

  4. Love quiche and salmon! Sounds like a good meal tonight. :-)

  5. Hi Michelle! St Petersburg is supposed to be amazing. I'd love to go there. Great answers.

    Hi Jill! :)

  6. So much to say on this one (another great interview). I really need to drink more water. We have a 12yo dog and she is losing her vision, hearing and all other capabilities. Russia surprised me. The Civil War music reminded me of Jill. And I'm the only one in my family that likes quiche...I'll join you for dinner!

    ~ Wendy

  7. How fun to see Michelle featured here today. I've had the privilege of meeting her in person--twice. She's a sweetheart. I loved being able to congratulate her face-to-face the very day she learned that A Log Cabin Christmas Collection, in which her debut novella is featured, made the NYT Bestseller list. Talk about a great way to launch a career!

    I'm hungry for quiche now. =)

  8. Great interview! I love getting to know all these writers!

  9. Good morning!!

    Jessica P: We were out of town for Thanksgiving so we didn't have a chance to decorate. I can't wait to sip coffee in front of twinkling lights--picture me with you this morning, okay? :)

    Jessica B: Mmm, quiche. Let's make it a writer's brunch!

    E Louise: How cool! The only Russian names I know are Irena or Anya? They sound pretty!

    Jessica N: I'm with you on the quiche, but the salmon? You can have my portion! :)

    Talli: Well, it looks as if we're all in favor of heading to Russia. Meet you there!

    Wendy: I'm sorry about your dog. They are family members--it's hard when they get older. And I need to drink more water too. Somehow, my coffee probably doesn't count!

    Keli: Jealous! I would have loved to been there too, then I could have met both of you!

    Jaime: Thanks, Jaime!!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  10. Great interview, ladies.

    Michelle, I love that you listen to CW music when writing btw-the Glory soundtrack is very inspirational.

    I'm a history and Civil War buff. I write in that era. I'm looking forward to reading your work.

  11. The Log Cabin Christmas Collection sounds fab - I'm a sucker for short, holiday-themed historicals...running off to find it now. :)

  12. Great interview, Jill!

    Let's first encounter with Michelle..was when I met her at our Books and Such get-together at the ACFW conference. First faux pas was when I called her "Mary" in my star-struck fog. (Blessedly, she giggled as she gently corrected me. Of course I knew her name, but "Mary" was what tumbled off my tongue.) Second faux pas: when I congratulated her (in an elevator also at ACFW) on being a #1 bestseller and she hadn't even heard the fantastic news yet! Talk about dopey, crawl-in-the-hole kinds of moments. :)

    Anyway, Michelle, you rock! (Oh, and did you catch Gone With the Wind when it ran on T.V. for almost 100 times over Thanksgiving?)

  13. Ooops,see what I mean about faux pas...

    I meant to say that I congratulated Michelle on having made it on the NYT bestseller list. :)

  14. Fun interview, ladies! I enjoyed meeting Michelle at the ACFW Conference this year and appreciate all the work she does for Books & Such. Oh, and I just listened to some Nat King Cole Christmas music this morning. Heavenly. :)

  15. I'm a mocha gal too. Need that extra shot of yum when I do drink coffee. :O)

  16. Sat on Santa's lap yesterday and mini tree goes up tomorrow. ;) I'll have to check out Michelle's blog.. My deaf dog is my heart.

  17. Loree: I haven't listened to the Glory soundtrack--thanks for the tip!

    Kristi: Me too! Christmas is my favorite time of the year!

    Cynthia: I am always sticking my foot in my mouth! You are not alone!! Too funny...

    Sarah: Me too--Michelle is a behind the scenes wonder--love her!

    Diane: Chocolate and coffee go together. :)

    August: Nice! I like the idea of a mini-tree. Easy to set up; easy to take down. :) And give that sweet dog a hug for me!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!

  18. Thanks for all your greetings and comments--I was busy working all day at Books & Such yesterday to get over here!

    Thanks for the tip on the "Glory" soundtrack, I'll have to tune up I-tunes.

    Isn't it curious how terrific movies can change our lives? I saw Dr. Zhivago as an impressionable 13-year-old and spent then next I0 years reading Russian history. My mother thought I named our son Nicholas after the czar--which shows how little she knew of Russian history!

    And "Gone with the Wind," of course, is a cultural icon. I can hear the lilt of the music even as I type! (Of course it's really windy in northern California this morning).

    Yes, Cynthia spilled the beans at ACFW about the NYTimes, and I didn't believe her. Becky Germany, our editor, set me straight and it was so much FUN to be at the conference with some of my co-writers and just squeal together.

    May it happen to all of you!


  19. Michelle: I had a good friend who loved Dr. Zhivago. I never watched it until I caught the last half of it on television last year. I really need to rent the whole thing. :) Thank you so much for stopping by and participating today!


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