on her career and trying to forget that her once idyllic marriage is soon
coming to a heartbreaking end. Almost a year ago to the day, Trina caught her
husband, Walt, kissing her sister in her mother’s kitchen under the mistletoe.
But it’s Christmas time again, and Trina feels the familial pressure to
return to the nest for the annual holiday celebrations. It’s only for a week.
Surely she can tolerate being in the same house with her sister for that long.
What she doesn’t bargain for, though, is that her mother has invited Walt to
stay with the family for the holiday season, as well.
Walt’s presence sends Trina running to her old friend, Mim’s, bed and
breakfast, where she runs into her high school boyfriend, Kurt. Trina quickly
realizes the attraction is still strong between them, and the temptation to be
with him is stronger still, even if he is only looking for a one-night stand.
But, as Trina discovers, Walt’s not willing to give up without a fight this
Will Trina and Kurt rekindle their juvenile romance? Or will she repair her
relationship with Walt? Who can she believe in?
Targeted Age Group: New Adult/Adult
Book Price: 2.99
How is Writing In Your Genre Different from Others?
This is an interesting question because I don’t really have “a genre”, and I’m not even quite sure that BELIEVE IN ME fits very well within the romance genre. It’s got elements of romance, but it’s missing (I think) certain other elements, although most people agree that it is a romantic story. That’s why I classify it as (sweet) contemporary romance/women’s fiction.
I also write Christian fiction and nonfiction, short and long. I’ve written one Christian thriller/suspense novel, one zombie fairy tale and am working on a historical novel (which will actually be part of a series). I’m also considering expanding the characters and world of BELIEVE IN ME by adding a full-length prequel and sequel.
Each genre certainly has its own set of rules and patterns that need to be followed, and I’ve never been very good at actually following rules. I follow my characters and their stories, and if that means I end up writing in different genres, then so be it. I’m not the first to do it, and I probably won’t be the last.
What Advice Would You Give Aspiring Writers?
Oh, the usual advice you hear certainly is the best: Keep writing. Practice every day, no matter what. That’s the only way you’ll ever get better. And you should always be trying to improve your craft. Nobody’s “there” yet. Even the bestselling authors have a lot of work to do, and the best ones keep on working at it.
Be open to constructive criticism, and take the non-constructive criticism with a grain of salt. There’s no way everyone in the world will like what you write. People are individuals, with different tastes, backgrounds, belief systems, etc. They just might not like your book. But if they tell you why they hated it, then you have some extra insight into just who your audience is (and isn’t), so you can market more effectively.
Several people have hated (and reviewed) BELIEVE IN ME, but they’ve all been kind enough to say exactly why they hated it so much. That’s been a huge help (and a major blessing) to me. Several people have loved BELIEVE IN ME, and they’ve told me why too. So I’m doing what I can to try to reach more of those people – the people who WILL love the book. That’s my audience.
So that’s one more piece of advice: Know your audience.
Mishael Austin Witty is a professional editor and the internationally bestselling author of SHADOWS OF THINGS TO COME, a Christian thriller/suspense novel, and BELIEVE IN ME, a sweet contemporary romance novella. She is also the author of a zombie fairy tale, CAMPANULA (a zombified retelling of Rapunzel, complete with zombies, angels, and everlasting love) and the upcoming THE FALLING SUN (Sunset’s Hope, Book One), a full-length historical novel set during the American Civil War period.
Ms. Witty’s love of books began when she was very young. She wrote her first story at the age of four and (almost) never looked back. She took a brief break from writing fiction to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology before realizing that her first love, literature, was also her strongest. So she succumbed to the pull of her attraction to the written word and became an editor. A few years later, she wrote, and self-published, her first book, SHADOWS OF THINGS TO COME (2006).
In addition to her books, which are all self-published (to date), Ms. Witty has written several highly acclaimed flash fiction works that can be found on sites such as Faithwriters, The Iron Writer, and Colors of My Soul. One of her stories, “Today You Will Be With Me”, won an Editor’s Choice Award and appeared in the Faithwriters anthology, A Year of Celebration (2005).
She lives in Louisville, KY, with her husband, two daughters, and two feline fur babies. You can connect with her online via Facebook, Twitter (@woweditor12), or either of her websites: http://www.wittyonlineditor.com and http://www.bluebrownbooks.com.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
In writing BELIEVE IN ME, I was really just responding to a call for submissions from Entangled Publishing. Last year they released a Christmas story anthology based on song lyrics. I chose the line “Let’s see if you believe in me” from “Santa Baby”.
So, with that in mind, I started wondering what would make someone feel like they needed to say that to someone else. The obvious answer was “infidelity”, but I didn’t want the infidelity to be the MAIN focus of the story, and I didn’t want it to be so grievous that it wasn’t something that couldn’t be forgiven (although I know there are some people who think that any sort of infidelity at all is unforgivable). I don’t happen to be one of those people. In fact, I believe that just about ANY sin is forgivable, as does God (except, in His case, there’s that ONE unpardonable sin…).
But BELIEVE IN ME is NOT a story about God (not overtly), and it doesn’t even contain Christian characters. It IS a story of reconciliation and forgiveness. A message that I think this world needs to hear right now. Lives can be changed for the better, and relationships can improve. You just have to be open to believing in the possibility and working things out.
By the way Entangled said it was a good story, it just wasn’t right for them (their readers don’t like infidelity of any kind), so since I’d already self-published one book, I decided to do that with this one as well.