Monday, November 4, 2013

Michele Mene, author of London, I confess...I'm that Girl

Author Bio:
In 1985, I was born in the humble city of Houston, Texas.  It was here that I learned the truth of lady politics through lessons learned in competitive soccer, at the club and college level, and attending an all-girls college preparatory school.  Most of my life has been spent writing for myself while pursuing education, and, in the process, acquiring a lot of student debt.  

Apart from publishing fanfiction under the pseudonym Amnicity, much of my work remained unread, apart from a few close friends.  These friends supported the idea of writing about my experience of pursuing a postgraduate degree in London, due to the shared belief that it is a story many women could relate to, or learn from.  To trial this theory, London, I Confess... I’m That Girl was published on Wattpad under the pseudonym Michele Mene in 2012, without the knowledge of many of my family and friends.  During that time, London, I Confess... I’m That Girl developed a featured spot on Wattpad, and secured my belief that there are readers who not only enjoy an antiquated writing style, but also can relate to the story.  Recently, London, I Confess... I’m That Girl has been removed from Wattpad, and published as an ebook on Amazon with the hope of expanding my audience of readers.

Title: London, I Confess... I’m That Girl
Author: Michele Mene
ISBN: 978-0989478229
Page count: 321
Genre: Memoir, Humor
Price: $2.99
Tell us about your book:
When writing this book, I wanted to find a creative way to tell my story and protect people’s identities.  For this reason, pseudonyms are used, and there are references to classic literature.  These references are used as analogies in online dating, understanding my emotions as a result of online dating, and understanding my interactions with different persons me throughout my time in London.

On Amazon my summary reads:

Tex is almost certain that on moving to London for her studies, she will fulfill her Pride & Prejudice fantasy of courting Mr Darcy. However, on discovering her Texan accent does not equate to instant Collin Firths at her doorway, Tex decides to trial online dating. The online ballroom proves to encompass many characters, unfortunately, many of the gentlemen share Mr Collins’s peculiar characteristics. Though, Mr Collins is a slight improvement from the outlandish gentlemen Tex meets during her commutes to university and football, or on social outings. 

Yet, nothing prepares Tex for when people from a certain gentleman's school acknowledge her in a way that would amuse unkind ladies like Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst. Thus, it certainly is not Tex's fault she can equate part of her personality to Mr Rochester’s wife from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre as matters begin to escalate, and stresses due to university intensify. 

Tex’s trials increase as the events cause her to recall past experiences of bullying. Thus, she begins to question the difference between who she was, and who she currently is. Luckily, Tex is able to find humor in the experiences that enable her to categorize her actions according to the appropriate Bennet sister, or Miss Bingley. Though in the end, Tex must ultimately decide who she wishes people to see when they refer to “that girl.”

How long did it take to write the book?
It took me a year and half to fully write and edit the book.

What inspired you to write the book?
My experiences in London, and the amusement my friends gained from them.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I tried to write everyday.  It was a slow process that many times involved me slamming my laptop closed before walking away for a bit.  Some of the scenes were a bit more difficult to write than others, and so would take me a couple of days to get through.  If not that, then my eyes would be closed while willing my fingers to find the right kets.  Other scenes were relished for the humor they provided.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope that my readers are able to leave my book with a few laughs, possibly a reflection upon how their actions can effect others (even it is unintentional), or a feeling of not being alone if they have gone through similar experiences. 

Excerpt from book:

I guess I should be saying football and not soccer?  I still play, and am actually on the team here at uni.  I’m usually the goalkeeper, but after months of complaining they let me play on the field today.
We won, but I was slightly afraid one, or a couple, of the girls were going to try and beat me up.  I'm not totally lying when I say it was an accident that I tripped one girl up on one occasion, or maybe completely flattened her with a slide-tackle on another.  I was trying to get the ball.  She wasn't very nice anyways.
My coach and teammates had to poke fun at me because, after I tripped her up, I simply jogged away for the free kick, trying not to laugh (I was also trying get away from the referee so that I didn't get a card).  Then, when I took her out in the second half, I walked over to say that I didn't mean to do it while acting very innocent.  It is very important to act innocent, even if the girl slaps your hand away and calls you mean names.
In my opinion, there are times for smart fouls, and if you can't stand a little push or shove, then don't get on the field.  I hate when people complain about being shoved about.  I've gotten cleat marks from their tackles and didn't complain.  Shoot, one girl actually left a nice little mark on the inside of my calf, but I didn't complain about it.  It is all part of the game. - Tex
Indeed, its proper name is football!  You catch on well!  Sounds like you will need a lot of luck to continue playing like that.  Tough challenges are expected, but a deliberate foul?  You are simply asking for trouble, whether a simple kick-around in the park or real competition in a league...Try to remember this is ‘soccer’ you are playing and not American football.  I hope your taste in football sides is better.  Though, with the way you talk, it might be a lost cause. - Nessie
It is called a “smart foul,” and it has its place within the sport.  I’ve seen girls do far worse.  Once in college I watched my own teammate slide-tackle a girl in my own box before tumbling over her so she could kick her in the head.  Of course I am not a lost cause.  I support Liverpool FC. - Tex
Oh, so this is simply because you are playing like a ‘girl’.  I should have known girls wouldn't know how to play the game properly, or is this just the way Americans play?  I hope not, because I do plan to support America in the World Cup when they play against England.  Scotland has a saying of “Anyone but England” when it comes to football.
Your taste in football is worse than I thought.  Liverpool?  Chelsea FC would be a far better choice, plus they are in London. - Nessie
Our sides within Bingley’s drawing room were cast, as Mr Nessie Darcy quips with Miss Tex Bennet.  EAS could only laugh at hearing the latest comment, which made my cheeks blush as rumbling giggles tried to be squashed within my chest.  Nessie would not win this round of wit!
“Oh my gosh, Tex, that is hilarious!  What does he look like?” EAS asked during one of our Skype conversations.
“Uhm-shoot!  He got off the dating site.”
“Is he on the social network?” she smirked, causing my cheeks to flare slightly.
Yes, Nessie was on the social network.  My naturally curious nature had gone to his social networking site a few days before in a moment of stalker weakness.  Social network stalking was like online dating in the sense many people did it, but few wished to admit so.  In my defense, it was simply to look at his social network while hoping Nessie would be the gentleman by adding me first.  This was not the era where a lady needed to seem too eager to secure herself a suitor.  This is the era where ladies scout a suitor’s social networking page to make sure he has no questionable pictures or other ladies waiting for him.
“Let me see,” EAS gushed.
“Here,” I laughed, seeing no harm in showing his social networking page to a lady a country away.
“Dang it, I wish we could see everything on his page.  Ooo pictures.  Oh he is really hot in this one Tex,” she gushed, making me blush.
This is now an era where a lady is happy to know her friends approve of a possible suitor solely based upon prescribed information on a social networking site.  There is little historical difference in seeking approval based upon the basis of aesthetics or clout.  Then it hit me:
Oh my gosh, Nessie could be doing this too.
Quickly, my fingers went to my own site while discussing life with EAS.
Oh, I look a little chubby in that picture.
What was I thinking when deciding to wear that outfit?
Oh my gosh, he will think I’m a total nerd with all these posting from the internet game EAS made me play.
Delete.  Delete.  Delete.
Is it okay to leave comments from my guy friends?  I’m sure it is better I have guy friends than not.
Courting at a cyber-ball can become quite taxing.  However, my reasons for primping were rightly anticipated for, within the next few days, Nessie requested to be added to my social networking site.  After a day, his proposal was accepted.  There was no need for games as he plainly stated his reasoning.
I think this will be a lot easier for me than emails. - Nessie
Of course, that makes total sense. - Tex
Where can we go to buy your book?
My book is currently available on Amazon, with plans to expand to other venues.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?

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