High School Presentations

(Grades 9-12, approximately 45-60 minutes)

Please fill out the contact form on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability.

 

Keeping Your Dream Alive in the Real World

In today’s increasingly practical society, many young people don’t realize all the different ways into a world they love. For example, in publishing there are cover designers and marketing people and event planners and editors and literary agents – all of them earning a living in the world they love and many of them writing on the side to make their dream a reality. During this presentation, Michelle outlines her journey from unhappy, tech industry dropout to published writer and discusses ways to plan a happy and fulfilling future while keeping your dream alive. Followed by Q&A about writing and life.

 

We’re Not Looking for Typos; Self Editing for the Beginning Writer

Writing a book is hard. Revisions are the easy part! Right?! Not quite. While most young writers understandably focus on basics like typos, spelling mistakes, and chronology, the real work of revision is a little more complicated. This talk focuses on the nuts and bolts of self-editing, outlining the importance of plot, pacing, character development relationship development, and all the things we notice as readers but sometimes fail to see in our own work – mostly because we’re not looking for them! Michelle uses examples from the revision process of one of her books to illustrate the importance of focusing on big picture issues to turn out a compelling and well-crafted final product.

 

College Presentations

(60-90 minutes including Q&A)

 

Growing Up YA; The Changing Face of YA Fiction

Since her award winning debut novel, Prophecy of the Sisters, Michelle has published nine YA novels in genres that include gothic fantasy, steampunk, contemporary fantasy, contemporary thriller, and contemporary fiction. The genre changes at a rapid pace, far more rapidly than the adult market, making the landscape a moving target for aspiring YA writers. This presentation discusses the challenges and creative joy in writing for such a dynamic market and offers insight into career success and longevity.

 

Beyond the Sword; Creating Strong Female Characters for the Modern Feminist

Not too long ago, creating a strong female character in fiction could only mean a sword-wielding badass in tight pants. We’ve come a long way, baby! But we still have a ways to go. This presentation discusses the complexity of creating strong female characters with authenticity and nuance, proving that strength doesn’t always come from a weapon (or tight pants).

 

We Can’t All Be Katniss Everdeen; Creating Complex Female Characters – Strong, Weak, and Everything in Between

A “strong female character” has becomes a catch phrase in all creative mediums for a “good female character.” But what happens when we relegate the authentic experience of being female to a cliched, one-size-fits-all reflection of modern femininity? What do we lose when we neglect to tell the stories of women deemed “weak” by modern standards? Of women who are unpleasant or “soft” or emotionally unstable? These aren’t character traits of women but of of all human beings. This presentation discusses the importance of creating a wide variety of female characters to inform the modern feminine narrative.

 

Walking the Tightrope; Balancing Your Creative Drive with the Logistics of Survival

Writing for a living is both harder and easier than it has ever been. While the explosion of internet and multi-media content has in some ways forced the printed word into obsolescence, it also presents the modern writer with a wealth of opportunity in areas outside the traditional publishing landscape. As the internationally published author of over ten novels, Michelle has also worked with TV studios and app companies to earn a living in the ever-changing landscape of the written word. This presentation outlines the options available to young writers, and the benefits and challenges of juggling those “heart projects” with the ones that pay the bills.

 

Self Editing for the Aspiring-to-be-Published Writer

Writing a book is hard. Revisions are the easy part! Right? Not quite. While many writers focus on basics such as typos, spelling mistakes, and chronology issues, the real work of revisions is a little more complicated. This presentation focuses on the nuts and bolts of self-editing, outlining the importance of plot, pacing, character development relationship development, and all the things we notice as readers but sometimes fail to see in our own work – mostly because we’re not looking. Michelle uses examples from the revision process of one of her books to illustrate the importance of focusing on big picture issues to turn out a more compelling and well-crafted final product.

 

Three Ring Circus; Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Boutique Publishing in the Modern Literary Landscape

While traditional publishing doubles down on their bestsellers, often leaving mid-list authors in the dust, self-publishing and boutique publishing is rapidly growing, offering modern writers more options – and pitfalls – than ever before. As the internationally published writer of more than ten novels, Michelle discusses the benefits and challenges of getting your work to the reading public in the modern publishing landscape.

 

Key Notes, Conference Presentations, and Commencement Speeches

Please fill out the contact form on the ABOUT page for pricing and availability.

 

Virtual Author Visits for Schools and Book Clubs

Michelle is available to discuss any of the above topics with students anywhere in the world. She also offers virtual book discussions for classes that have read one of her books.

Cost: $250/hour

ORDER LIES I TOLD
iBooks
Amazon
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ORDER THIS WICKED GAME
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ORDER A TEMPTATION OF ANGELS
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ORDER CIRCLE OF FIRE
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ORDER GUARDIAN OF THE GATE
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ORDER PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS
iBooks
Amazon
B & N
Indiebound