Meet My Friend - Michelle Dennis Evans

Today my guest is Australian author Michelle Dennis Evans. Michelle and I have been blog buddies for a couple of years, and I'm thrilled to be part of the blog tour for her debut novel, a YA contemporary titled Spiralling Out of Control.

Here's Michelle!

First of all let me shout out a huge thank you to Carol for hosing me today. 

School is a funny thing. And it happens to be one of the things I have enjoyed writing about in the Spiralling Trilogy. When I was in primary school and I dreamed of becoming an author, my teachers encouraged my writing. I even wrote (hand wrote and illustrated) a book called The Googles V The Manelopes. Then in high school my dreams were crushed. Teachers could see no talent and my English grades were very average. It took me fifteen years to find the courage to enrol in a course and chase after my dream.

It makes me wonder how many people have crushed dreams still inside of them. What would it take to chip away and find some old dreams that need reviving?

Chasing a dream is energising.

Achieving a dream is fulfilling.

I encourage you to encourage someone today to chase their dream.

Temptation, depression, seduction, betrayal ... Not what Stephanie was expecting at fifteen years of age. Uprooted from her happy, all-girl high school life with a dream filled future and thrown into an unfriendly co-ed school, Stephanie spirals into depression. 

When charismatic high school senior, Jason notices her, Stephanie jumps in feet first and willingly puts all her faith and trust in him, a boy she barely knows. 

Every choice she makes and turn she takes leads her towards a dangerous path.

Her best friend is never far away and ready to catch her … but will she push Tabbie too far away when she needs her most?

This novel contains adult themes.
Recommended reading audiences 15+
Available through Amazon

Michelle not only writes to nourish her soul but also to inspire, take people on a journey and escape their world. She believes you can find healing or hope when you read about someone else’s story – fiction or truth. 

Michelle is married to an awesome man who works crazy unpredictable hours yet still finds time to be her best friend and a hands on dad. 

Michelle spends her days educating, socialising and sporting her four children and her nights writing.

Michelle tweets at @michelledevans

Do you ever feel as if you're spiraling out of control?
Sometimes I do.
Wishing you a productive week!

Please pardon the wonky formatting. Most of you probably know I've had computer problems for a few weeks, during which time I formatted this post. Nothing worked the way it should. And although I'm adding this note on Sunday, the wonkiness remains. Sigh. But I'm now happily back in business, so things should look way more normal around here next week.


How terrible that those teachers dampened your dreams!
Carol, you're wonky in a good way though.
If wonky is wrong, then I don't wanna be right :)
Shelly said…
Michelle is a terrific writer and I'm so glad her book is launched! And optimistic's comment above made me laugh out loud~
LR said…
Wonky is wonderful. :)
Anonymous said…
I thought this post interesting, when I was at school my school teachers resented the fact that I was interested in music and had passed many exams. The one subject I really hated was poetry. Yet years on have two published books and starting my third, Never give up on dreams I still love my music.
Rula Sinara said…
Congrats on your release, Michelle! Teachers make such a difference, both ways. Glad you rediscovered your creative spirit and drive!
J.L. Campbell said…
Hi, Michelle & Carol,
Just came from visiting Lynda, who posted an awesome review of your book.
Carol Kilgore said…
Maybe we're all wonky together :)

I think some teachers don't realize what a huge role they play in our lives.

Shelly - I laughed at OE's comment, too :)

Yvonne - So true about never giving up.
L. Diane Wolfe said…
I wanted to be an artist when I was younger, but one comment from a key person in my life crushed that.

Fortunately, I found other ways to express my creativity.
Southpaw said…
All it takes is one teacher too. And like you said, Carol, I don't think they realize what impact they can have.
Nicole Zoltack said…
Wonky is awesome in its own way. :)
Lexa Cain said…
(Haha! Alex's comment is funny!) Congrats to Michelle for following her dream and publishing a book. Wishing her much success. :-)
Julie Flanders said…
Sorry you're still wonky, Carol!

It's great to meet you, Michelle. And sad to think about how often dreams can be crushed like that. There's no excuse for doing that to a child.

Glad you found the courage to go back to writing and are now seeing your dreams coming true. Congratulations and best of luck on your book!!
~Sia McKye~ said…
I've always drawn. I love to draw and I enjoyed taking art classes in school. I had a teacher come at me because I'd take pictures and then draw or paint the picture. I love to do portraits and again, sometimes use photos I've taken. I was told that I was technically correct but that my work lacked spark. Really, have you seen some of the 19th century artists?

I still draw and still enjoy it.

Teachers are subjective and yet they don't realize the power of their words to someone in their early teens.

Glad you pursued your dreams!

Sia McKye Over Coffee
Carol Kilgore said…
Maybe a little wonky is what makes us unique :)

Sia - Another teacher horror story. It's a wonder all of us aren't hiding in holes someplace afraid we're not fit for social companionship.
It is sad how much damage one person can do to a child with an insensitive and/or critical comment.

It seems this book conveys some very important messages.

Best of luck to Michelle!

Robin said…
If a person really wants something they will move past the criticism. And you did just that!!! I think it is a testament to the power of the dream if it can survive what might be perceived as failure. So many people that we now consider great were told by someone, at some point, that they would never succeed at their dream. Yet, they persisted. If it had been easy, I am not sure that their stories would so inspirational. Thank you for sharing your success story here!!!
You have so many friends, with so much talent. Thank you for introducing yet another.
Welcome Michelle, your book sounds fascinating. And I hope that Carol didn't really hose you - not the act of a gracious host.
L.G. Smith said…
Not so wonky. :)

And I saw this on Lynda's site too. Sounds like an intense story. :)
I can definitely relate to Michelle's journey. Except I had no one to encourage me in the beginning. If I had told my teachers I wanted to be an author, they would have died of laughter.
Alex - I know! I am teaching my children to be stronger than I was - no one should ever be able to dampen our dreams but we need to be strong in ourselves first.
Shelly - thank you so much for your encouragement!
Optimistic & LR ... I love wonky!
Yvonne - wow, your experience is interesting too - yes never give up!
Rula - thank you!
JL - thanks for visiting
L. Diane - so glad you were still able to express your creativity.
Southpaw - so true.
Nicole Z - yes! so true :D
Lexa - thank you!
Julie - I think it's a lesson for us to all watch our words and encourage our children to be strong in the dreams. Thank you so much!
Sia - I'm so glad you still enjoy drawing.
Robyn - my low self esteem at the time didn't help - thanks for your wishes.
Robin - so true and thank you for reading my post here.
Elephant's - sorry about the hosing! LOL made me giggle when I saw my mistake.
LG - hello! yes it's a pretty heavy story :\
Stina - that is so sad - so glad you are writing now. xx
Janie Junebug said…
I had a couple of nasty and discouraging teachers in high school. They probably think of me today and figure I'm sitting around, unemployed. Right again. I wish you great success with your book, but Carol shouldn't have hosed you. Sorry for your wonkiness, Carol.

Hi Janie - there was no hosing LOL. I'm told teachers today are much more careful with their words ... I do hope so.
VR Barkowski said…
Einstein got lousy grades. Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard. As long as the dream is exists, it can be achieved. But when we're young we are especially vulnerable to what others say and think of us.

Congrats on your trilogy, Michelle,. It sounds awesome! And Carol, I'm delighted to hear the wonkiness is waning. :)

VR Barkowski
Denise Covey said…
I'm seeing Michelle's book everywhere so it's lovely to see her on your blog Carol. She's not on my blog list. I'll have to visit and rectify that. Sounds like a gripping book.

Shelley Munro said…
I think it's terrible that a teacher would stomp on your dreams. Good on you for dragging out your dream again and setting about making it come true.

All the best with your book!
Shelley, now I feel like I'm following you! thanks for your comment. x
Lynda R Young said…
wonderful post. Encouragement goes such a long way.
Mason Canyon said…
Michelle, it's a shame that teachers continue to crash students dreams because everything doesn't line up perfectly at the time. So glad you didn't give up. Wishing you much success.

Carol, hope you're having a better week.

Thoughts in Progress
Linda Kage said…
All my teachers encouraged my writing, so it makes me wonder what would have happened if I'd had someone discourage it. I'm so happy you were able to uncover you dream and get story published. Congrats!!
Carol Kilgore said…
I apologize for any hosing that may or may not have taken place with or without my knowledge :)

And also for my seeming lack of proofreading skills.
From one Michelle to another... congrats for hanging in there and fulfilling your dream... you rock!
Hi Carol. *waving*
Janie Junebug said…
I shouldn't have teased you, Carol. I thought it was a cute error.

Carol Kilgore said…
No worries, Janie. You weren't the only one who caught it. I missed it entirely. Maybe I'm the one that needs a good hosing, LOL!
Carol Kilgore said…
Yeah, yeah. Should be 'who needs' but it's quite evident this is mostly a non-edited blog :)
Emily R. King said…
Huge congrats to Michelle. As a young mom of four, feel I'm spiraling out of control all the time. :)
Anonymous said…
That's great that you pursued your dreams, despite any doubts or naysayers.

I felt like I was spiraling out of control today.
klahanie said…
Hi Carol and hi Michelle,

Or should I say, gidday Michelle. The more naysayers I have, the more I go find the "yaysayers"! :)

Good on you and I note that Carol was um "hosing" you today. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Thankfully, I have a famous dog that keeps my writing inspiration going.

Gary :)
Lynda - yes, we must remember to be the encourager
Mason - thank you so much
Linda - how awesome you had encouraging teachers
Michelle - thank you!
Emily - I hope you aren't too dizzy!
Medeia - I hope your tomorrow is less of a spiral :D
Gary... well the is nothing like a good hosing :D thanks for your comments
Melissa said…
My dad squelched my childhood fiction writing, saying it would cause my grades to drop. Never mind that as I pre-teen, I'd already figured out character sketches all on my own before I even knew such a thing existed or what they were even called.

I know he was trying to do the right thing, but I can't help but wonder where I would be today if my parents had encouraged my writing.

Great post. Good luck with your book. :)

Hi, Carol. *waves*
Editors At Work said…
Congratulations to Michelle. Encouraging someone rather than tempering their creativity is great.

Hi Carol!

Tara Tyler said…
serious issues, sounds like a dramatic read, perfect for ya. congrats!

and i'll hav some wine w/ya! happy sweet award from last post!
Carol Kilgore said…
Tara - Thanks! It's about wine o'clock in my neck of the woods :)
Christine Rains said…
Great post! I do wonder if I would have started sending stuff out to be published earlier in my life if someone encouraged me, but no one did.
Helena said…
Pretty much every day I have a spiraling-out-of-control sensation, so Michelle's novel sounds especially appealing to me.

Melissa - My parents are very interested in my writing now :\ Sad really - they weren't the encouraging type when I was a child either. I'm glad you're writing now.
Editors - yes, so true.
Tara - thank you :D
Christine - I think if we are all more encouraging the world will be a better place :D
Helena - I hope you find time to read Spiralling Out of Control. :)
Ava Quinn said…
Beautiful cover, Michelle. And I love the visual of crushed dreams inside people, like stomped on potato chips. Good luck with your writing! :)
It would be nice if you could offer those nasty teachers some autographed copies of your book Michelle! Glad you didn't let them stand in your way. Hope all of your computer problems are over Carol.

Ava- thank you! :D
Empty Nest - I can't actually remember the name of the worst of them... perhaps that's a good thing! Thanks for your encouragement.
Here's to always chasing those dreams! Good for you.
Gwen Gardner said…
Good for you, Michelle! Glad you didn't give up. That's inspiring :)

Hi Carol!
Misha Gericke said…
Michelle, too many people people live with crushed dreams. And the sad thing is that going after those dreams is the only way to live a truly fulfilled life.
Carol Kilgore said…
Misha - So true about living a truly fulfilled life.
Val Poore said…
Congratulations and good luck to Michelle. Well done for overcoming the obstacles and living your dream!
Old Kitty said…
Awwww I hope Tabbie is there to catch Stephanie when she falls!!!

Great to meet you Michelle! All the best with Spiralling! Take care
Anonymous said…
Keep following those dreams -- and see if you can sue Google(s) for copyright infringement. =]
Carol Kilgore said…
Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and bringing good wishes for Michelle and her new book.

And thanks to Michelle for blogging with me!