Michelle Griep Speaks Up!


Everyone’s Story welcomes one day early (due to an approaching snowstorm and possible power outage) author Michelle Griep. I had the pleasure of hosting Michelle’s co-author of their present release, Out of the Frying Pan, Kelly Klepfer, back in September 2016. Now it’s Michelle’s turn! Michelle speaks up on where and who inspire authors when it comes to plotting. Plus, check out Michelle’s BookGiveaway (especially if you missed it back when Kelly was on the blog). Michelle and I look forward to chatting with you.





Michell is offering 1 randomly chosen commenter 1 copy of Out of the Frying Pan. The winner will be announced here on Friday, April 7th between  5-6 PM EST.

** For Giveaways: it’s not necessary to insert your private email information within comments.

Blurb of Out of the Frying Pan:

Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for Fern and Zula Hopkins. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective Jared Flynn. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.


It Takes a Village to Plot a Book By Michelle Griep

There’s a lot of people out there who dream about writing a book but either don’t have the time or the gumption to sit down and get it done. If that’s you, don’t despair. Even if you can’t manage to put two words together to save your life, you can still be a major part in the producing of a great story—and you may not even know you’re doing it!

Here’s the deal . . . though writing is a solitary profession, the end product is never the result of just one person. Writers are inspired by those around them, for good or for bad, and those influences often go directly into stories.


Here’s a case in point:

My recent release, Out of the Frying Pan, was influenced by many, many people. Some took an active role and others hadn’t a clue. And because I co-wrote the story, author Kelly Klepfer played a big role in the shaping of the plot. Okay, I’ll be real. She’s the mastermind behind the whole zany mystery, but she did let me off the leash now and then to add in my own ideas. But surprise! Those ideas were often born out of my interaction with non-writerly type people.

One of the characters I write is Zula Hopkins. She’s a southern gal with the fashion sense of a pelican and a craft addiction bordering on criminal. I was trying to come up with an idea for her to pull off some kind of fake flower Pinterest fail when I thought of a friend in my “real” life. This friend of mine makes an annual pilgrimage to the cemetery the day following Memorial Day. Why? Because most places around here pull off the fake flowers from the graves and toss them in the dumpster. She scores loads of free silk flowers every year by dumpster diving. So, I had my character do the same.

But not all characters or influences are human. My mom used to have a dog. Well, I call it a dog but really the thing could’ve been a biological experiment gone to the bad place. This poor pup had a bulging eye, maybe three teeth, and patches of fur were missing. And if looking at this dog didn’t make you cringe, the smell would—especially if he’d eaten any “people” food (which of course was all my mom fed him). So, to ramp up tension between my character Zula and Kelly’s character Fern, I added in a creepy-looking rat terrier named Fifi.

My friend and my mom didn’t know I based anything off of them until they read the book—and even then I changed the dog so much that my mom didn’t realize it was her dog that’d influenced me.

So you see, even if you aren’t able to pen your own novel, just by merit of you being you around those who do write books, you are able to inspire the plots of stories.

Hmm . . . I wonder if that means you should get a royalty check?

Michelle’s Ah-hahs To Tweet:

Meet @MichelleGriep, #HistoricalRomance author dipping toes into #CozyMystery. #BookGiveaway (Tweet This)

@MichelleGriep Speaks Up: It Takes a Village to Plot a Book (Tweet This)

@MichelleGriep: Ever wonder if you sneak your way into a novel? (Tweet This)

Author’s Bio:

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is Out of the Frying Pan, but historical romance is her usual haunt, The Captive Heart being her most recent.

Places to connect with Michelle:







Michelle and I look forward to your comments.


29 comments to Michelle Griep Speaks Up!

  • Kelly A Tyree

    I loved The Captive Heart, I am sure Out of the Frying Pan will be just as good!

  • Thanks for hosting me Elaine! And thanks for stopping by Kelly! Super glad you loved Captive Heart.

  • Debbie Mitchell

    Please put me in the drawing. Michelle is one of my favorite authors. I love her writing and her wonderful wit! My birthday is on the 5th…does that mean I get an extra entry? LOL Just kidding. *wink wink*
    Waving at you, Michelle!

    • elaineadmin

      Debbie, Happy Birthday blessings to you 😊 Wishing you a wonderful day!

      You’re definitely in Michelle’s drawing.

      Hope to see you again!

  • Anne Rightler

    It definitely is a fun book! I wonder how they decided to co-author it and is there a sequel in mind? I loved The Captive Heart and so did my 13 year old granddaughter. Thank you for the interview!

  • Liz

    Sounds like a refreshing read- I can always use a little humor! Love Michelle’s crisp style…count me in.

  • Kristine Klein

    This is seriously one of the funniest books I’ve read. I had the pleasure of hosting Michelle and Kelly last fall for tea with my book club. Michelle has been a frequent book club guest. Anyway, you can imagine that there were no dull moments! I think we gave them plenty of ideas for future Fern & Zula adventures.

    • elaineadmin

      Kristine, I’m picturing your book club sipping tea and laughing aloud… what a nice time you must have had.

      Do drop by the blog again.

  • I am definitely feeling the love! Thanks everybody for your sweet comments. If I had a spare treasure chest, I’d send you all a copy!

    Kelly and I co-authored because, well, we love to outdo one another with our snark. Kelly had a great plot idea and figured we’d mesh well, so asked if I’d want to give it a whirl. The rest is history.

    As to if there’s more Fern & Zula on the horizon, talk to plot girl. I just write what she tells me. I know we’ve got a few ideas up our sleeves, though.

  • Janet Estridge

    Our library readers love mystery books and I do too.
    Thanks for entering me in your giveaway.

  • Kerri

    I picked up Brentwood’s Ward and couldn’t put it down. I love the characters and the story. The same happened when I read A Captive Heart. The pictures that were painted, through words, stuck with me.

  • Marilyn

    Out of the Frying Pan sounds like a fun read with laughter and tense moments with Fern and Zula Hopkins. Thank you for sharing and introducing this reader to Michelle Griep.

  • Ann Ellison

    Another new to me author and the book sounds like a fun read.

    • elaineadmin

      Ann, you just caught me before I turned my computer off for the evening and hit the pillow…but for you, I won’t make your sweet comment remain in moderation a whole day 💗

  • Maryann

    I love reading cozy mysteries and this sounds like a fun book I would enjoy!

  • elaineadmin

    It’s been another fun week on Everyone’s Story and I thank my guest, Michelle Griep, for making that possible. Michelle, it was a pleasure to host you. I’m glad you received several nice comments from adoring viewers!

    Thanks too for the lovely BookGiveaway of Out of the Frying Pan. And the winner of Michelle’s novel is…

    Maryann!! Yay, Maryann. Michelle and I will be contacting you via direct email. Happy reading!

    Blessings to all.

  • Thanks everyone for your sweet comments! I seriously have the best readers in the world. And thank you, Elaine, for hosting me. It’s been great!

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