Are you ready for Michelle’s next book?
On March 8th, 2022, Tyndale House Publishers is scheduled to release “Count the Nights by Stars”. To celebrate the historical fiction book, BTSCelebs is interviewing the author, Michelle Shocklee. In our exclusive interview, you will learn more about her writing style, the book character she relates to, what message her new novel sends to people of all religions and more.
Enjoy our exciting chat now!
BTSCelebs: Who is Michelle Shocklee professionally?
Michelle Shocklee: I am a lifelong avid reader of fiction who is profoundly blessed to also get to create my own stories. Although I write historical fiction, my characters experience challenges and life situations that we face in our modern world today. To me, the beautiful thing about studying, reading, and writing about history is the lessons we learn and the hope for the future that comes from putting those lessons into action. Righting wrongs and seeing one another as equals are themes that run throughout the pages of all my books. Because my faith in Jesus Christ is as much a part of me as breathing is, the stories I write will always shine a light on the hope and healing found in Him. I’m not preachy about it, but I also believe it’s important to share the gospel by using the God-given gifts we each have; mine happens to be writing stories.
How does “Count the Nights by Stars” differ from your previous novel? What elements are the same?
Like my previous novel, Under the Tulip Tree, my latest novel, Count the Nights by Stars, is a dual-time story set in Nashville, Tennessee. However, that is where the similarities end. Count the Nights by Stars takes place in 1897 and 1961, both important years in the history of Nashville, and follows the lives of two women, Priscilla and Audrey. Both women struggle with finding purpose in life by overcoming situations that neither of them sees coming. The theme of “I see you” takes each woman down a different path and ultimately opens her eyes to a hurting world and the role she can play in the healing process. Where Under the Tulip Tree addressed the issues of slavery and racial reconciliation, this book addresses the dark subject of human trafficking. But as I said before, shining a light in the darkness is a vital part of everyone’s story.
Which character do you identify with the most and why?
I think I identify with Audrey from the 1961 story a little more, mainly because I was a child of the 60s. Her character is not based on me, but Audrey experiences an awakening about the world and the people around her that is familiar and enlightening at the same time. Priscilla’s story, however, comes from a deep desire in my heart to see the people who live in the shadows. I’ve worked with elderly individuals for twenty-five years and it’s truly a joy to get to know them and listen to stories of bygone years, hearing about the fascinating things they accomplished in their lifetimes and seeing these precious people not as old, gray-haired men and women, but as the vibrant young people they were.
How can people of all religions relate to the story in “Count the Nights by Stars”?
Although Count the Nights by Stars is written from a Christian worldview, the theme of “I see you” is universal. Tragically, human trafficking is a worldwide problem that will take all of us to solve. Civil rights and compassion for those with special needs are also themes woven into the book.
What other projects should fans anticipate from you in 2022?
Count the Nights by Stars is the only book I’ll release in 2022, but readers are welcome to visit my website and check out my previous historical novels including the Christy Award finalist Under the Tulip Tree.
Learn more about Michelle Shocklee by visiting her official website, michelleshocklee.com
Tyndale: About the Author
Michelle Shocklee is the author of several historical novels including Under the Tulip Tree, a Christy Award finalist. Her work has been included in numerous Chicken Soup for the Soul books, magazines, and blogs. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of two grown sons, she makes her home in Tennessee, not far from the historical sites she writes about.
A Special Thanks to Michelle Shocklee and Tyndale House Publishers for the interview and photo.