Fan Friday Book Give Away With Guest Author Michelle Ule

Today, I’m excited to introduce an author I met last fall at a fabulous writing retreat. Michelle Ule gives so much of her time to help other authors and all with a sweet attitude. Michelle has graciously offered to give a copy of her new book to one of you who comments below.

Michelle Ule professionalshot5

Navy wife Michelle Ule is a graduate of UCLA and the author of three novellas and a novel. She lives in northern California with her family where she works at a literary agency, teaches Bible study, plays in a woodwind ensemble, and writes.

Michelle is a long-time lay counselor in both crisis pregnancies and budget counseling. She loves to travel and is an accomplished genealogist. You can learn more about her at www.michelleule.com

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The Skullduggery involved in writing about Navy SEALS

When I began researching Navy SEALs for my novel Bridging Two Hearts,  I began at my local military recruiting center. I stood at the locked entrance and picked up a red phone to call in with my name and reason for visiting (since I obviously was not a candidate for enlistment). A camera overhead moved to settle on me and I pretended I didn’t care.

The receptionist sailor introduced me to a woman “chief”–a dive officer who had a large photo of herself in a diving bell posted on the wall behind her desk. I explained that as a retired Navy wife, I had spent twenty years of my marriage without a need to know things I didn’t need to know, therefore, I didn’t have a problem with not needing to know important details about SEAL operations.

She smiled.

As did ever military person I explained this to over the next several months.

But, she explained, she could not give me any SEAL details and I understood that. Instead, she picked up a hot pink post-it note and wrote a name and a phone number. I should call “Steve” and he could give me information.

When “Steve” answered my call, I heard the click of pool balls in the bridgecoverbackground along with what sounded like a sip out of a glass. You can envision “Steve’s” surroundings as well as I did!

I explained who I was–that I was writing a story about Navy SEALS and I just needed background information about the domestic side of SEAL life. I’ve read enough memoirs, I understood how grim their lives were, and I did not need any information about operations.

“Where did you get my number?” “Steve” demanded.

I explained about the chief at Navy recruiting.

“I’ve been shut down,” he muttered. “I can’t say anything. I can’t help you.”

I went through my line about not needing to know and he snickered.

“Well, try this name and number. He’s a PAO (Public Affairs Officer) and maybe he can help you.”

I dialed “Dave’s” phone number–it had an area code from the Bay Area.

This office sounded more efficient, but “Dave,” too, had a terse question: “Where did you get this phone number and my name?”

I tried to remain professional and explained about “Steve” in Sonoma County, and “Dave” relaxed.

He didn’t give me a lot of information, “I can’t discussion current operations,” but he did provide me with an appropriate age for my hero and what he would have covered in his military “pipeline.” That helped.

A week after my phone call with Dave,  I noted a mysterious Naval intelligence officer is now following me on twitter . . .

What better way to start writing a story about clandestine activities than with a mystery? :-)

What unusual situations have you run into when trying to get information (book or not!)?

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About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

12 thoughts on “Fan Friday Book Give Away With Guest Author Michelle Ule

  1. Michelle, I loved your interview with Michelle! (Just typing that made me smile. Must be the second cup of coffee. 🙂 )

    Michelle (U), your wit tickles me. I especially liked “a camera settled over me and I pretended I didn’t care.” For some reason, that struck me as funny. Thanks for sharing your SEAL research–you made me see it through your eyes–and I’m looking forward to reading Bridging Two Hearts.

    Unusual situations I’ve run into? Hmmm. Well, since I seem to have an invisable bullseye on my forehead, certain situations tend to “find” me. LOL! Many of the folks in my novels are quirky, fun-loving souls facing real-life dilemmas. I loosely based one of the characters (a sheriff’s deputy) on someone from a former home town. The unusual part? Some of the most hilarious incidents actually happened in real life and I had to somewhat disguise them in the book so they didn’t seem contrived!

  2. Elizabeth Bohan says:

    As an RN that worked as the Risk Management Specialist in a level 3 hospital, a hospital that has intensive care areas at the highest level of care, I was always involved in some sort of situation that involved obtaining information.Perhaps one of the most interesting and the most dangerous situations, was dealing with a man who had an injury and could no longer talk. Paralyzed from the injury, he was confined to bed rest. He was divorced and had remarried several years prior to his hospitalization. Unfortunately, his grown children despised his new wife and their relationships were very strained.

    I became involved when my boss, the hospital in-house attorney, told me that the children were suspecting the stepmother had somehow caused the accident, hoping to get a big life insurance settlement after he passed. In order to gather the information, we had to develop a method of communication with the patient that involved blinking his eyes, and we had to get someone to film this communication while his attorney asked him questions, The difficult part was getting this done without his new wife knowing anything about it.

    The meeting was set up with the patient, and then one of the sons said to me, “Just so you know she can get angry very easily, and she packs a gun in her purse.”

    That put a new twist on the situation, and we had to scramble to get two securuity men up into the family waiting room across from the man’s hospital room. I was to watch for the dreaded stepmother and escort her away from the room and keep her busy. If warranted, I was to signal for help. I would only be steps away from the officers.

    The new wife did come up, and I noted she had her purse tucked under her arm. It was of a size that could easily hold a weapon. It didn’t take her long to find out something was going on that she didn’t like. As I saw her getting agitated and gripping her purse tighter, I walked with her near the waiting area, and calmly told her that there was to be no trouble and securty was present in case there was. She them muttered something under her breath, and looked at me straight in the face. I never flinched and I looked right back at her, my eyes not blinking. She shifted her purse back to a nonthreatening position, and said, “OK, I’ll come back later.” I accompanied her to the elevator, and silently prayed. The elevator door opened. I let her in, and the door closed behind her. As I watched the lighted numbers tick off the floor numbers going back to the lobby, I took a deep breath. Relieved, I went back to check on how the patient and his attorney were doing.

    Later I had to debrief with the officers and update my boss. Little did I know this was only going to be one of many interesting stories in my time working with risk and safety in a hospital. One thing was for sure, gathering information took on a whole new meaning that day.

  3. Donna Pyle says:

    Michelle, I had no idea that you used to be a Navy wife. That’s a difficult calling. One of my best friends married an Army Staff Sargent three years ago and they’re stationed in Germany. He, however, has been deployed to Afghanistan. She struggles with that fine line that you mentioned – needing to know certain things, but not really wanting to know them. She tries to keep the home fires burning and her spirits up, but it wears on her. I’ll be interested to read your book to gain some kind of insight on the inner workings and struggles of military life.

    And how cool that you play in a woodwind ensemble! I play flute. It’s one of the ways I relax. 🙂

  4. michelle says:

    Fascinating story, Elizabeth! And who would have guessed, when you showed up for work that day, you’d end up in a dramatic encounter.

    What happened with “talking” to the patient using blinking eyes? Did you get the information the authorities needed?

    (But don’t tell me if I don’t need to know!)

    • Elizabeth Bohan says:

      Yes, the attorney did get his questions answered, and everything was finally settled “outside” the hospital.

  5. michelle says:

    As it happens, I’m writing a little more today about the military concept “need to know” on my own blog: http://wp.me/p1ektw-T1

  6. michelle says:

    Cynthia–my history teacher in junior high used to chide us about reading fiction (she also was our English teacher). “I don’t know why you kids waste your time on fiction. You should read non-fiction. It’s not only even more unbelievable, but it’s also true!”

    So, I guess you get the best of both worlds with historical fiction, right? 🙂

  7. JaniceG says:

    Just popping in to say “Hi” to my two favorite Michelles. I have a book by each of you! And I have the wonderful Kindle I won through Michelle L’s contest so I can get your future books. I just recently bought Bridging Two Hearts so I will not need to be entered into the contest. I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish the book I am almost done with.

    I suppose this would not seem so unusual, but having worked in accounting and trying to locate people who need to pay a bill to a company can be quite a challenge. Avoidance tactics are very well refined in some people. Surely there is a school somewhere that those people attend.

  8. Peter L says:

    Hi. I haven’t read any of Michelle’s books, but her blog posts are good! I’ve also watched enough movies and NCIS and JAG episodes to get a good laugh out of her “need to know” line.

    The only time I’ve had trouble getting information is from high school students trying to get away with something. Amazing the lengths they’ll go to in order not get their cell phones taken away for the day.

  9. Great interview, Michelle. Love learning about the new Michelle. Bridging Two Hearts sounds like a book I would love! Will have to get if I don’t win it.

  10. michelle says:

    How fun to see friends here! Thank you, P.T.

  11. samuelehall says:

    Michelle Lim, you tell MichelIe Ule that I love her voice; she’s got real sass. I read a bunch of her blogs. Thanks for connecting us to her.

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