Today's Muse: Michelle Houts
Author of: The Beef Princess of Practical County (click here for a review)
Welcome, Michelle, and Happy Monday to everyone! I have an extra copy of Michelle's book for a giveaway, so if you're particularly wanting to read it, look below for contest details! (:
Bookworm: The Beef Princess of Practical County is about a young girl growing up on a beef farm, where she's raising beef cattle to be show steers. Have you ever shown or raised cattle?
Michelle: I do live on a livestock farm where we raise cattle, hogs, and goats. We once had a goat who was sure he was a golden retriever. I now have three children involved in showing beef cattle.
Bookworm: Is the book based off of a personal experience?
Michelle: Kind of second-hand personal experience. A few years ago, my daughter entered a steer show for the first time. I was completely amazed at the amount of hard work and the level of maturity young people must muster in order to raise and sell a market animal for the fair. It's a learning experience from day one. I thought these kids had a great story to tell, so Libby evolved from several strong young people I've known.
Bookworm: What was your road to publication like?
Michelle: Can you say AMAZING? Well, kind of long and amazing. While a couple of other middle grade novels I attempted collected drawers full of rejection letters, The Beef Princess of Practical County received just one before the phone rang and Random House was making an offer. Almost two years later, I still pinch myself when I remember that phone call.
Bookworm: That must have been thrilling! Speaking of the book, can satisfied readers look forward to a sequel in the near future?
Michelle: Oh, I believe with all my heart that the dramatic and hilarious little sister in this book, Frannie, has her own story to tell. She needs to grow up a little, but she will certainly not grow out of that headstrong personality. That could get her into trouble at times, don't you think? And remember the goat (in my real life) who is certain he's a dog? Well, he just may need to meander on over to the Ryan family farm for a summer. The wheels are turning...
Bookworm: What are you reading right now?
Michelle: Carolina Harmony by Marilyn Taylor McDowell. A sweet, sweet story about a young girl in the mountains who wants the one thing that every other kid seems to have, a home where she is wanted. Like The Beef Princess of Practical County, it's certainly on the younger end of that fuzzy line between YA and MG, but it's wholesome and timeless tale is heartwarming and fun.
Totally Random Bonus Question: Ketchup or mustard?
Michelle: I always have to be the difficult one in the bunch. Neither. Definitely mayo. Even on hot dogs.
Want to win my spare copy of The Beef Princess of Practical County? To enter, comment below with a way for me to contact you and answer the totally random last question of Michelle's interview: ketchup or mustard (or mayonaise and pickle relish)?
+1 for following or already being a follower
+2 for commenting on the review (and then don't forget to say you did in your entry!)
Contest ends Monday, March 27!