Michelle Robinson was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Oakland’s rich culture has laid the fabric for this story. She’s been doing hair for two decades. As a hairstylist, it’s safe to say she has also served as a therapist to her clients. She has heard and witnessed it all right behind her styling chair. From her experiences, she’s given advice to many and has watched people’s lives transition. With this driving force, she has finally penned her first novel.
You can learn more about Michelle by e-mail or by visiting one of the following sites:
Journee and Jordyn are thirty-something year old twins with two totally different lifestyles. Journee is in love with Drew, her high school sweetheart that’s in prison. A phone call from him changes everything. After a fight, she decides to end their relationship and tries to move on but she has unfinished business with Jason, another ex-boyfriend. As she moves forward, she meets Jules who appears to be Mr. Right until all his baggage shows up.
Now Jordyn is living by her own rules but the problem is she hasn’t told anyone, but the drama begins when her secret is leaked on Facebook. She finds herself in a battle with her love life, family, friends and herself.
Follow these two as they take their family and friends on a turbulent ride into their lives as they discover they are worlds apart but are forever connected.
Q. Welcome Michelle! Tell our readers about yourself.
A. I love music. Compassionate. I’m a great friend, daughter, cousin, girlfriend, hairstylist, poet & thinker. I am a humanitarian. My belief is you owe it to life to give to others. I have a high moral background. I am a dreamer. As long as you have a dream, life should keep you busy. I am a believer that all things are possible. I’m also an artist so I creatively think outside the box. I’m a go-getter so I don’t take no as an option for me. I’m organized to the point that I can’t function in confusion. I can be the life of the party and also like spending time alone. I also love taking naps.
Q. Talk to us about your journey to writing.
A. I started writing poetry in junior high school. In my twenties, I wanted to write a book. The people I told assumed it would be about hair. I that wasn’t genre wasn’t my passion as far as writing goes. I had no concept but I decided when the time came it would be fiction. I felt that I wasn’t experienced enough to make an impact, so I kept reading books. I felt that I needed to learn more about life. So I lived life, kept a journal, and experienced more.
Q. Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
A. I was telling two people a story at different times on the same day and they both told me that I needed to write a book. So I figured that was a sign from God and I started writing.
Q. What has the responses been from those that have read your book, Right Before My Eyes?
A. People have said it’s a great book, a page turner; they finished it in 2 days. Some finished it in 1 day. They couldn’t put it down, was late to work trying to finish it, stayed up til 3am in bed with my boyfriend with a flashlight reading it, the characters are well developed, loved the sisterhood of the girls in the book, my readers can relate to these characters, they were shocked at the ending, fending for the next book.
Q. How long did it take you to write this book?
A. 15 months.
Q. How did you feel the day you held a copy of your first book in your hands?
A. The feeling I had was very similar to giving birth. I was full of joy and super excited!
Q. Please tell the readers who are the main characters?
A. Journee Bell, Jordyn Bell, Derrick Long, Chelsea Hendricks, Najah Joseph and Kalena Martin.
Q. What is the conflict in the story?
Q. Which characters in your novel are you most like?
A. Journee, her mother, Derrick, Pops & Chelsea.
Q. Take us inside Right Before My Eyes. What are two major events taking place?
A. A wedding and Journee discovering who really is her Mr. Right.
Q. Are your characters based on portrayals of real people?
A. Two of them are and some are a combination of many people in one character.
Q. Thinking about your writing career, is there anything you'd go back and do differently now that you have been published?
A. Definitely would have done more research looking for a good editor.
Q. Is there any lesson or moral you hope your story might reveal to those who read it?
A. Love and trust God through your storms and trust Him to give you what you desire on His time. Be patient and pray on your journey so you can learn life’s lessons and help someone else along the way. True friendship should be valued and not envied. Life’s not perfect, but it can seem that way with great friends to share it with. Life provides that we are all on the same journey just walking in different shoes. We are searching for that earthly love that we get from God and our parents. We struggle, we make mistakes, we love, we hate, and we forgive. We must also try to accept people who are different than us. This book proves that.
I can’t believe it . . . and don’t get none of this twisted with the Lil Wayne and T-Pain song. I couldn’t believe how things changed on such a lovely and warm sunny mid-May morning—Saturday to be exact. I was feeling wonderfully blessed. My day was full. I had a girlfriend’s brunch to go to with Chelsea. It was given by the Women’s Department at her church, Acts Full Gospel. After that, it was Kalena’s graduation from Holy Names College that afternoon. I lay in the bed with my blackberry in hand checking my Facebook page. I called my cell my “crackberry.”
After I updated my status, letting all 281 of my friends know what I was doing for the day, it read, Journee “Nee” Faith Bell is looking forward to this blessed day of fellowship and celebrations. Congratulations Kalena, you “smart” diva.
I checked out what everyone’s status read.
Nothing too exciting. People were either complaining about how hot it was going to be or praising the Lord for their blessings. I could always find some encouraging words from my Facebook friends. That was when I remembered that I put my crackberry before my daily prayer. Lord, forgive me.
I jumped up and starting praying on my way to the shower, thanking God for another day and asking Him to protect me. Then I prayed for everyone else like I always do. I was fresh out of the shower and listening to the quiet storm, 102.9 FM KBLX, and Sterling James was announcing the next song. It was Oakland’s own, Ledisi.
I loved her new hit song Alright. I turned my Bose speakers up just a little trying to get my groove on. I didn’t know, but it was something about being clean and butt naked that just made me wanna dance; especially, when I got the house to myself.
My male best friend, Derrick, moved in after his divorce and was the best roommate a sista could ask for. He was rarely here, knew how to fix things around the house, and gave that good manly advice.
Derrick must have spent the night at one of his many chicks’ house. I told him about that. I said, “if you are just having a fling, don’t spend the night ’cause when the two of you finish up, one falls asleep and the other one falls in love.”
I had just got off the phone chopping it up with mama. My parents were doing fine. My pop and twin sister, Jordyn, went fishing last night and mama was lounging, getting ready to watch The Cosby Show marathon. Jordyn and I bought her the whole eight seasons on DVD for her birthday last year and we hadn’t seen her since. Pops didn’t mind. He enjoyed watching the Huxtables with her. Calling to check in with my parents was the first thing I did on Saturday mornings.
Ok, the second thing, since I joined Facebook. Checking on my parents determined how I was going to be doing that weekend.
I was two-stepping and shaking my naked behind all the way into my walk-in closet to pick the right outfit for the day. A chocolate and turquoise sleeveless dress was my choice. It had jewels on the V-neck so I didn’t need to pick out a necklace for today. Even though I bought a new turquoise necklace from Macy’s the other day. I picked out my turquoise chandelier earrings and two albacore bracelets in two different shades of turquoise. One was darker than the other so they both served a purpose. I then paired my “Ross Special” dress with my Marc Fisher turquoise and brown strap-up sandals. These sandals made my French tip pedi pop.
Thanks Shonell for helping promote Michelle on her book tour
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