Over the last couple of months, I’ve had the chance to review two novels by LDS author Marcia Mickelson, “Star Shining Brightly” and “Reasonable Doubt.” Marcia joins us today to talk about her books and her future plans.
Marcia, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here. You’ve now written two books for the LDS market. Your first book, “Star Shining Brightly,” is the story of a man who goes to work as a driver for a famous Hollywood actress who eventually comes back to the Church. How did you come up with the idea for the book?
Well, first I have to admit a guilty pleasure. I like to watch Inside Edition and all those “news” shows that report about what’s going on in Hollywood. I know they’re lame, but something just draws me to them. It’s the same with awards shows and red carpet shows.
Despite the immorality and materialism associated with Hollywood, I am very interested in it. I wanted to write about Hollywood and I’d like to think it’s not all bad. My character, Lauren, grew up in the Church, but with her success in acting came temptations that were hard to ignore. Eventually, she realized she wouldn’t be happy living that kind of life. She was able to get to a place where she could lead a moral life and continue working in the film industry. I think that’s what I wanted to create—Hollywood without all the bad stuff.
Your second book, “Reasonable Doubt,” tells about a lady who was raped while in law school and now works to put offenders behind bars. What was your inspiration for this story?
I’m not really sure where that story came from. I wanted to create a character who was strong, yet very vulnerable. Since Julia works as a defense attorney, she actually defends people who have been accused of crimes. She, herself is a victim of a crime, and so I think it creates inner turmoil within her which I wanted to explore in this book.
I noticed that law school plays a part in both of your books. Do you have a special interest in the law, or was this coincidental?
Actually, I’ve always wanted to go to law school. It was a dream of mine since I was very young. However, in college, I found that four years was enough for me. I just couldn’t imagine doing more school after I graduated. I gave up the dream, but I haven’t regretted it. It just wasn’t for me. I think I’m much happier with what I’m doing now-being a mom and writing.
What projects are you working on now?
Right now, I’m working on a sequel to “Reasonable Doubt.” I guess it’s more of a spin-off than a sequel. You’ll see a little of Julia and Pablo, the main characters in “Reasonable Doubt,” but they’re very minor characters in this one.
You have three young sons. How do you balance writing and motherhood?
It’s a hard balance because both things are very important. I don’t do any writing during the day. That’s their time. I do my writing at night once they are in bed. I couldn’t write with the constant interruptions of little kids anyway. They’re always wanting or needing something which is perfectly fine. So I take care of those things in the daytime and save nighttime for writing. I prefer to write at night when I don’t have to worry about them needing something.
However, I do make sure that they understand that writing is also important for me.
Thank you for joining us, Marcia. We’ll be sure to check in again as you release more novels in the future.