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Interview with Michelle De Bruin

Michelle De Bruin’s third book, Dreaming of Tomorrow recently was released by Scrivenings Press. She originally intended to write two books, not three. But the material she’d planned for the first book provided enough for two books, so the storyline expanded enough to fill an entire trilogy.

Michelle cites two sources of inspiration for her story, the first of which is her relationship with the Lord. At the beginning of the book, Song of Solomon 2:3-4 is quoted. This book in the Bible describes a marriage relationship between a husband and wife and also describes the relationship of the Church as the Bride of Christ to the Lord. She wanted to write a story that helps readers understand God’s deep, committed, and faithful love to us.

Her second source of inspiration is the historic context of the location where she lives. The town in the book, Oswell City, is a fictional version of a small town on the Iowa prairie, complete with a hotel, a bakery, a law firm, a newspaper, a mayor, and a church. The town where Michelle lives was settled by immigrants from Holland who brought their Calvinist theology. The hero of the story, Logan De Witt, is a pastor, and is based on the historic minister in a Dutch Reformed Church. Says Michelle, “The heritage, the theology, and the role of the minister inspires me and shapes me since they are very much a part of who I am.”

There are three messages that she hopes readers catch. The first one of what she mentioned earlier of God’s committed and faithful love for us. The second message is that men and women can partner together in ministry. The third message is the picture of what a healthy marriage looks like. None of her characters are based on people she knows. Rather, the characters represent ideals and spiritual truths.

Michelle writes Christian fiction because she wants to illustrate how God works in a person’s life healing and restoring. She writes historical fiction because she enjoys history. She says, “I like learning about beginnings and why things are the way they are. I write fiction because story communicates to us in ways that make possible the understanding of truth, similar to the parables Jesus used in the New Testament to help listeners understand the deep truths of what the Kingdom of God was like. I write romance because the church’s relationship to the Lord is a love story. Seeing it play out in a wholesome way between a hero and heroine helps us understand God’s unending love for us.”

When asked what she does to prepare for writing, Michelle indicated, “I don’t do much to prepare outside of research. I also keep a journal for each of my main characters. This is where I “help” them develop their emotions and attitudes. I enjoy journaling for myself, and I’ve found that journaling for my characters helps them develop their spiritual arcs and their full dimensions. I am very much a plotter. I outline a story from beginning to end before I sit down to write the manuscript.”

On a personal note, Michelle’s favorite literary character is Captain Wentworth in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. He stayed true to Anne which led to his second chance. And if she would have coffee with any author, dead or alive, she love to have a conversation with Tim Keller {author of Counterfeit Gods, Uncommon Ground, etc.) sometime. She says, “He is an excellent preacher, and I appreciate his writing. I’d want to ask him all about doing ministry in a large city, which is much different from my context, so I’m sure there is much I could learn from him.”

When she’s not writing, you’ll find her spending time with her family, playing the piano, or working in the garden. She’s not only an author, but a voracious reader and is blessed to review books for Celebrate Lit. Says Michelle, “I love doing this because I get to sample good books from so many talented authors, and then help support them by sharing their work with others. I just finished reading Light in the Mountain Sky by Misty Beller. I’m also taking a look at An Ivy Hill Christmas by Julie Klassen, and To Steal a Heart by Jen Turano.”


Linda Shenton Matchett is an author, speaker, and history geek. A native of Baltimore, Maryland she was born a stone's throw from Fort McHenry and has lived in historic places all her life. Linda is a member of ACFW, RWA, and Sisters in Crime. She is a volunteer docent and archivist for the Wright Museum of WWII and a trustee for her local public library.

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