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Interview with Michelle McCraw

Michelle McCraw writes steamy contemporary romance that make you laugh and feature characters who unashamedly love science, engineering, and technology and also lots of sex. Her novel 23 and You and Me finaled in the RWA Vivian Contest, the Contemporary Romance Writers’ Stiletto Contest, and the Windy City Romance Writers’ Four Seasons Contest. Michelle enjoys reading, travel, drinking bourbon, and spoiling her extraordinarily ill-behaved but adorable dogs.

How did you become a writer?

I'm one of those people who's written stories ever since I could hold a pencil. I always thought of myself as a good kid, but maybe I wasn't because my elementary school teachers would often send me off during class to draw or to write stories in the computer lab (in the wayback times before we had phones or laptops at school). Then I got distracted by other activities and life, and I woke up one day at a certain age and realized that if I ever wanted to write my novel (I always thought of it then as a singular work), I needed to get started. I did some research and learned about National Novel Writing Month, and I sat down at my keyboard on November 1 and started to write. I didn't finish it that month, and when I did finish my novel months later, it was bad. Like, 130,000 words of backstory and tired tropes. But I was hooked. I started another the following November 1. And then another about nine months later. And I've been writing ever since.

What are your current/future projects? I've written a lighthearted contemporary romance, 23 and You and Me, about a man who takes a home DNA test and finds out he isn't who he thought he was, and about the irrepressible, down-on-her-luck actress and DNA customer-service rep who convinces him to overcome his deep-seated fears to drive from Ohio to Las Vegas to meet his biological family. Along the way, they encounter snowstorms, insufficient motel rooms, the meaning of family, and love. I'm also writing a series of workplace rom-coms featuring tech geniuses and the people who fall for them. Do you have a routine you follow when writing? Yes! I wake up at 5am on weekdays, get ready for work, and sit down at the kitchen table with my laptop to write from 5:30-7:30am. Black coffee, quiet house, darkness outside, my dogs lying at my feet. Often, I'll get on Zoom with another writer, and we work in sprints to hold each other accountable. For my day job, I'm a project manager, so you bet your Gantt chart I'm a planner. If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be? Start sooner! I thought I had to wait until I had big chunks of time for writing, but I find I can write in short bursts. The words accumulate little by little. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? Find what works for you. If you're not a morning person, don't try to emulate my process. Experiment to find what fits into your style of work and what helps you feel creative. My biggest observation is that you make time for what's important. If writing is important to you, you'll find time to do it. What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you? Visit my website: If you sign up for my newsletter, I'll send you a free novella, and once or twice a month I send updates, book recommendations, sneak peeks, and freebies, plus puppy pics!

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