If you haven't read Michelle Gable's bestselling novels, now is a great time to start! As she describes in today's #womenshistoryreads interview, her work is inspired by history, using facts as a jumping-off point to spin compelling narratives that will keep your attention until the last page and beyond. (And if you've spent any time in a bookstore in the past few years, you'll probably recognize the iconic blue script that sets her books apart -- it's beautiful.)
And the woman who inspired her next book sounds particularly fascinating. Read on for more...
Greer: How would you describe what you write?
Michelle: This is a great question, and one I’m asked all the time. It usually happens in some random setting, like on the tennis court. My partner will announce, “hey, she’s a writer!” Then the inevitable: “what do you write?” “Novels” is not a satisfying answer, I’ve learned.
Generally, I describe my books as a combination of historical and contemporary fiction, or historical fiction with a contemporary thread. All of my books are based on real people or events, so I hope my writing results in a lot of googling.
Greer: What’s your next book about and when will we see it?
Michelle: My next novel is called The Summer I Met Jack and it comes out on May 29th. Yes, it is that Jack…Jack Kennedy. The main character was a woman he was engaged to briefly in 1951. Alicia Corning Clark—one of her many names—was a Jewish Polish refugee and Papa Kennedy forbid the marriage. She was a firecracker and led a fascinating life in her own right, as an artist, a B-movie actress, and paramour to a number of leading men and even a leading lady or two (hello, Katharine Hepburn!)
Greer: Sounds fantastic! Can't wait. Last question: what book, movie or TV show would your readers probably be surprised to find out you love?
Michelle: Well, I’m going to go with a podcast because I’m obsessed with them. Most people are shocked when I tell them how much I love the True Crime/Comedy podcast My Favorite Murder.
Greer: I'll have to check it out!
Michelle: And your question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to uncover or confirm a historical detail? This can either be straight up insane or crazy as in the time/energy/stress/money far outweighed whatever information you gleaned.
Greer: It took me a while to think of an answer for this question, so I think maybe I haven't been crazy enough! But I did seek out a private magic library in Manhattan while I was researching THE MAGICIAN'S LIE -- I'd heard rumors about it, and seen a few mentions here and there on the internet, so I went waaaaaay down a rabbit hole hunting for more information. Finally I figured out where it was located, and even better, an e-mail address for it. I wrote a very nice letter begging for access to their materials, and I had all these visions of paging through dusty old playbills and artifacts. I was so excited when they wrote back! And then they told me that pretty much the whole collection was digitized and I could have access to it through the website if I just paid a monthly fee. Somehow, that sucked the glamour right out of the whole business. (I ended up not really using anything I found there, either.)
THE SUMMER I MET JACK comes out May 29. Is Michelle's book tour bringing her to your neck of the woods? Find out that and more with these links:
@MGableWriter on Twitter and Instagram
For a change of pace, tomorrow's #WomensHistoryReads interview will take us into the world of nonfiction. Tune in, won't you?