Waltham woman makes literary debut with teen pregnancy novel.Zoom Photos. Purchase this photo Wicked Local staff photo by Lisa Cassidy.Michele Richard, author of "Mocked by Destiny", smiles at her daughter, Virginia, 9, in their Waltham home.
.By Joyce Kelly
Wicked Local Waltham
Posted Mar 01, 2011 @ 08:28 AM
WALTHAM — Michele Richard said she was relaxing on Virginia Beach, watching her cousins and their babies playing in the sand, with Navy Seals training in the background, when it hit her: she was watching a story unfold before her eyes.
“I literally grabbed my notebook and started writing. It was the whole setting – it just kind of formed this little story,” said Richard, a Waltham resident.
“I wanted to address the issue of kids having kids. I found way too many kids having kids, and when I saw this little scene playing out, I decided to put it in fiction form so they can learn without the preaching,” she said.
When teens go through junior high school, “everything changes,” she said, and teenage pregnancy is too often glorified on television.
“TV makes a big drama out of it,” she said. “Young people don’t realize what’s involved with having a baby. How do you get them to look at things differently?”
“I want them to see, pregnancy is not all sunshine and bon-bons, it changes your entire life. I wanted them to think it’s not all about them lying on the couch getting fat and being happy. I basically told the truth in fiction form,” said Richard.
She started writing the story, “Mocked By Destiny,” in August, and three months later she finished a 350-page novel, she said.
Almost as quickly as inspiration struck, Richard secured a publishing deal with The Writers Coffee Shop, a small, Australia-based publishing house.
“Mocked By Destiny” was released online Feb. 24, and will be available in hardcover at Barnes & Noble and Borders in coming weeks, Richard said.
She had entered a writing competition held by the publisher, and, even though she did not win, Richard intrigued editors, who offered to publish “Mocked by Destiny,” she said.
“I was surprised when they instantly wanted it. I was writing for fun. I was surprised, because you hear all the stories that it takes forever to get published,” Richard said.
Writers Coffee Shop also asked her sign a deal with them for two more fiction novels – “Mocked By Faith,” a story about arranged marriages, and “Mocked by Fate,” a love story of a man and woman contending with the challenges of being from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
“Mocked By Faith” is slated for an August release, and “Mocked By Fate” is set to come out in February 2012.
Richard was able to complete all three books in the span of about a year, she said, because she simply loves writing.
“I write a lot. It’s one of my favorite things to do,” she gushed.
“I am crazily excited. It’s still so surreal, it’s nerve-wracking, but in a good way. It’s exhilarating,” said Richard, who works part-time as a recess monitor at Whittemore Elementary School, and co-leads the school’s Girl Scout Troop.
Richard’s 9-year-old daughter, Virginia, is a third-grader at Whittemore, and her 11-year-old daughter, Danielle, is a sixth-grader at McDevitt Middle School.
“They are very excited. It’s a very thrilling thing,” said Richard.
Richard will discuss her novel, answer questions and sign books at the Waltham Public Library on March 9 at 7:30 p.m.
For additional information or to order a copy of “Mocked by Destiny,” visit Richard’s website michele-richard.net, amazon.com or thewriterscoffeeshop.com/publishinghouse.
Joyce Kelly can be reached at 781-398-8005 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2011 Wicked Local Waltham. Some rights reserved
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