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Lingering Thoughts Become a Book

8/26/2015

Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

Local author and educator Michele Venne grew up in Cave Creek, Arizona, not aspiring to write a novel, but to be an educator. As a young adult, Michele loved to write that yearly letter to friends and family, that didn’t always end up in the mailboxes before the holidays. She penned a few poems for people celebrating special occasions, or sometime for no reason at all, just because she was inspired. 

The seeds of a longer story began when Michelle decided to write the scene that kept playing on the movie screen in her head. The pages became the prologue and the first three chapters of what would be her first novel. Then it sat and sat, springing to life five years later when it was pulled off the shelf, polished to a shine, and five additional chapters were added during a creative writing class. Again, the work sat, the rest of the story chattering away inside Michelle’s head until one day, she said “Enough!” She snatched the story off the shelf once again and finished the first draft in three weeks. 

That’s the good news. Sadly, it is balanced with the bad news that Michele became the victim to fraud by a small press who was to publish her novel. This set her on the path, determined, to become an indie author. Romantic suspense is Michele’s genre of choice. She loves the heroine who is smart, brave, and doesn’t need to rely on the hero to get her out of a jam. Michele has kept her writing polished by taking college creative writing classes and attending workshops and stays in contact through writing conferences. The mechanics come easily because she has taught language, reading, and writing, for most of her 25-year career in education. Michele observes, “What I have learned over years of teaching and writing is that everyone, who loves to write, whether published or not, goes about creating their own style. Nothing works the same way for everyone, that’s what makes writing a creative process.”

Seven years ago, Michele created her own business, “My Joy Enterprises”.  She tutors students in grades 2-12 and helps college students edit papers and understand College Algebra. In the education section of her business, Michele offers professional development opportunities to local districts and schools. Many of the materials she has created over the years are put into the components of games, lessons, and assessments, which enhance the student’s learning experience as well as fit the Common Core State Standards for skills acquired at the various grade levels. To enhance the education of the whole person, Michele also has two certifications in yoga and offers in-home sessions for individuals and groups. All of this is a complement to her own creativity in writing that she shares with others. 

To date, Michele has eight books in print: six of them novels and two collections of poetry. Ever the educator, Michele includes a “Dear Reader” letter at the beginning of each book that offers information about the topics in the story or poems. She also adds “Questions to Ponder” at the end to encourage readers to consider their opinions of social ills that are an intricate part of each of her books. In this way she provides not only entertainment of the story but also an opportunity for reflection and discussion. 

Michele Venne’s books are available on her Web site, www.myjoyenterprises.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and the Dog-Eared Pages Used Bookstore in Phoenix. She also accepts offers to speak to groups about writing, publishing, parenting, and tips for how to be successful in school. It’s all about “choosing to make art a priority in our lives and the courage to be quiet enough to listen to the small voice inside.”

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.co